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Top Motoring Designers Pick Their Most Beautiful Cars

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Tags: Classic Cars

Mercedes-Benz 300SL

The Ferrari 250GT, the Jaguar E-type and the Aston Martin DB4 are famed for their beauty, making them some of the most coveted marques ever made. But do car designers agree? Classic & Sports Car asked some of the motoring industry’s most creative minds to pick their favourites, and here’s what they have to say…

Giorgetto Giugiaro chooses the Mercedes-Benz 300SL 'Gullwing'

Not many people can boast being Car Designer of the Century, but Giugiaro can do just that – picking up the prestigious accolade in 1999 after overseeing the Alfa Sprint, the Iso Grifo, the Maserati Ghibli, the De Tomaso Mangusta, the VW Golf, Maserati Bora and the Lotus Espirit.

Outlining his choice to Classic & Sports Car, he said: “[It’s] a classic because of its ‘gullwing’ doors, but also because of its compactness and the strength of all of its technical aspects.”

Leonardo Fioravanti’s top pick is the Ferrari 330 P3/4

Penning his name to the Ferrari Berlinetta Boxer, Dino and 308GTB, Fioravanti was named MD of Pininfarina Studi e Ricerche in the 80s and went on to become assistant general manager of Ferrari before becoming general manager of Fiat Centro Stile.

Speaking of his number one beauty, the Ferrari 330 P3/4, he says: “This is absolutely the best race monster: beautiful, voluptuous and mysterious.”

Marcello Gandini opts for the Citroën DS

With a CV that boasts an impressive 15 years as chief designer at Bertone, Gandini is responsible for the Lamborghini Miura, Espada and Countach, plus the Lancia Stratos.

He says the Citroën DS is his ultimate choice, primarily because of the “concept and the audacity of the solutions used” rather than the styling, which was beyond innovative when it launched in 1955.

Tom Karen has a thing for the Cord 810/812

Karen has been described as one of Britain's greatest living designers and “the man who designed the 70s”, but motoring is where his career saw its start. Beginning at Ford in 1955, Karen later went on to head up Ogle Design – creating iconic motors such as the Reliant Scimitar GTE and the Bond Bug.

“A fresh design approach, very well carried out,” Karen says of the Cord 810/812.

Gordon Murray favours the Dino 206S

Murray enjoyed a double decade post as technical director of the Brabham F1 team from 1969, adding two World Championships to his belt. After enjoying success in the same position with McLaren, winning a further three titles, he turned his hand to designing road cars, creating the McLaren F1 and the Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren. This impressive CV makes him an automotive expert in anyone’s book.

He says the Dino 206S has always been his favourite, describing it as “typically ’60s and voluptuous”.

He adds: “For me, styling is about proportions and size and clarity…The 206 is perfect: the proportions, the balance – it speaks racing but it looks good on the road, too.”