1. 1938 Delahaye 165 Roadster
Figoni and Falaschi were automotive art deco royalty, having worked with Bugatti, Delage, Rolls-Royce, Talbot Lago, and Delahaye, with which the coachbuilders worked extensively.
It’s almost impossible to pick out the sexiest of the F&F Delahayes, as there were hundreds of unique designs made, but we decided that this red 1938 Delahaye 165 Roadster best represents Figoni and Falaschi, Delahaye, and its amazing art deco stable-mates.
2. 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe
Gullwing doors are one of the most eye catching automotive design elements, but all too often they’re either from tacky aftermarket kits or were included by the designer for the sole purpose of looking flashy.
In the 300SL, the car for which they were invented, they served a very valuable purpose though; they allowed for additional reinforcement of the chassis near the bottom of the car that helped the 300SL to go on to be a world-beating supercar and race car.
3. 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic
A little more than two years ago, the ’36 Bugatti Type 57C Atlantic became known as the “most expensive car in the world,” after it sold for more than $30 million. It is believed that only two remain today.
The car was based on the ’35 Aerolithé concept and maintained many of the stand-out features, including that well-known seam that runs from the nose, through the windshield and all the way to the boot.
4. 1961 Jaguar E-Type
Enzo Ferrari described the Jaguar E-Type as “the most beautiful car ever made” and we’re not going to be the ones to disagree with him.
It’s dramatically proportioned, and beautiful in a way that makes it seem almost organic.
That said, a lot of people think it looks remarkably like a penis.Hopefully the ladies like that.
5. 1967 Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 Stradale
Alfa Romeo is a brand defined by sex appeal and fun; when making a car, those seems to always be the driving factors behind the design and engineering.
As emotionally engaging as all Alfas are, the Tipo 33 Stradale is certainly the most breath-taking of the bunch.
The whole concept was that it brought some of the company’s amazing race tech to the street, and did so while clad in one of the most beautiful bodies ever made.
6. 1948 Cadillac Series 62 Saoutchik Cabriolet
Jaques Saoutchik was a giant in the coachbuilding game. From his 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo to his 1948 Delahaye 175s Coupé, he’s built some of the most stunning cars of all time.
Saoutchik was all about over-the-top risks, and the Cadillac Series 62 was a complete refelction of this mentaily.
The front fenders overflow from the nose, over the front tires and sweep through to the rear. They are empahsized by two sharp, but large, swipes of chrome that match.
The car is further set apart by the tri-tone scheme, including hand-applied canework on the door panels.
7. 1938 Talbot-Lago T150 C SS Teardrop Coupe
Yeah, it’s another ’30s art deco car. Don’t blame us for being able to appreciate the greatest design decade of all time.
The 150 C, C standing for “Competition,” has the teardrop styling similar to the Bugatti 57SC Atlantic, but isn’t as well known.
That could be because Talbot-Lago no longer exists, but the fact that only 11 examples of this car exist today make it extremely note-worthy.
Another masterpiece by Figoni et Falaschi, the ’38 coupe has emphasized emotional curves, grilles over each headlight and the streamlined seam running through the car.
8. 1936 Mercedes-Benz 540k Special Roadster
Mercedes-Benz is mostly known for making technologically impressive, conservatively styled, and very well built cars, and the ’36 540K Spezial Roadster is two of those things.
Rather than being conservatively styled, the 540k was a long-nosed statement of wealth, style, and Benz’s sporting pride.
Production was cut short due to the second world war, and thus only a few were made, and even fewer survived.
The 540k holds the record for the most expensive pre-war car to have ever been sold at auction ($11,700,000) and is the most expensive car that isn’t a Ferrari 250.
9. 1925 Rolls-Royce Jonckheere Phantom I Round Door Coupé
Most Rolls-Royces follow a beloved, but predictable formula: a massive, boxy sedan with an upright silver grille and an attitude that says, “don’t touch me, peasant,” but the Jonckheere Phantom I Round Door Coupé managed to retain the imposing stature of the more run of the mill Rolls while taking on a wild and unpredictable life of its own.
From the center crease to the signature round doors, every panel of this car is a masterpiece.
10. 1936 Auburn Boattail Speedster
This is, hands down, the most elegant American sports car ever made.
Not only does it have smooth, sensual art deco lines, but its reputation was made by gangsters, test drivers who took every single car up to 100mph on public highways, and rakish young men who spent their free time in double breasted suits with women in scandalously short skirts.