I briefly considered ending this post with the headline.
How funny would it be to open the story and see nothing but white space while wondering if it was a mistake or an artistic way to voice the opinion that an American company has never, in over one hundred years, built a truly beautiful car?
Yup, that would’ve been hilarious. An poignant.
I remember driving with my dad one day as a young adult and pulling up behind a Buick Rendezvous at a stop light. I wouldn’t have given it a second thought, but as he looked at it he shook his head and said, “Travis, why can’t America design a car?”
My dad had a point that day. Yes, this country has produced some iconic cars that have stood the test of time. But I can’t think of one that might be classified as beautiful. Jaguars are beautiful. Aston Martins are beautiful. Ferraris and Porsches are beautiful. Fords and Chevys? Not so much.
American cars are, and always have been, kind of clunky. Even our sleek sports cars, such as the Corvette and the Viper, have a certain rawness to them that keeps the beauty at bay.
Having said all that, though, I still think it’s worth it to take a look and share some American cars that come closest to beauty.
1963 Corvette Split Window
This Corvette got it right with beautiful curves, elegant lines and that iconic rear window.
1964 Shelby Cobra
Frequently replicated and instantly recognizable, the Shelby had a distinctly British look.
2005 Ford GT
Maybe it’s only beautiful because I love it. I’m not sure. Even parents of ugly babies only see beauty, so it’s possible I’m a little jaded here.
2013 Tesla Model S
Finally, an American design that stands up to the best of what Europe has to offer.
And that’s all I’ve got. Four. I suppose there are candidates from the likes of Packard and Hudson, but I just don’t find them all that different from other cars of the era. Aside from the Tesla, America hasn’t designed a truly beautiful car in 50 years.
What is the most beautiful car ever produced by an American company?