The ten most timeless car designs

There are some designs that just don't go out of style. While other automobiles grow stale, these never seem to age. Here are what Jalopnik readers chose as the ten cars that stay perpetually young, fresh and stunning.

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The ten most timeless car designs

10.) Lancia Stratos

Suggested By: ThatDamnDrunk

Why it's timeless: Though it's starting to look like a kit car today, there's something absurdly fantastic about the Lancia Stratos. It's that perfect wedge shape ,with the front wheels jutting up above the hood line.

It still looks fast and thrilling today and it will continue to do so for quite some time thanks to a new Lancia Stratos.

Photo Credit: Alessio Ricci

The ten most timeless car designs

9.) Datsun 240Z

Suggested By: chartguy1

Why it's timeless: The Datsun 240Z is emblematic of the volume-driven Japanese approach to car design. The look is international, taking inspiration from many other classic sports cars of the period.

Those cars all have their own quirks and flaws, while the 240Z seems to have purged itself from all oddness. It is a front engined sports car, distilled.

Photo Credit: ASR Photos

The ten most timeless car designs

8.) Ford GT40

Suggested By: rawtoast

Why it's timeless: The shape of the GT40 is indeed aerodynamic, but it is also so damn low and so damn famous that every time you see one it will still have that same effect on you. It will be a stunning car, beautiful and loud and exciting whether it's the 1960s or the 2010s.

Photo Credit: Jim Culp

The ten most timeless car designs

7.) Ferrari Daytona

Suggested By: Dingo_426

Why it's timeless: The Ferrari Daytona is a pretty car, no doubt, but more importantly it's a big, fast, phenomenally expensive Ferrari from the golden years of car appreciation.

There are faster cars, there are prettier cars, but there is little out there that grabs you like a perfectly drawn classic Ferrari.

Photo Credit: Victor Masson

The ten most timeless car designs

6.) Porsche 911

Suggested By: ejp

Why it's timeless: For years Porsche PR has been hammering into our brains that the 911 silhouette is elemental. That single, graceful arch from the windshield to the tail is like a gift from on high.

Well, I don't know if I believe that 1960s aerodynamics is the be-all, end-all for car design, but the Porsche 911 has carved out a piece of the automotive psyche for itself that leaves it timeless. The 911 has always stood for a rich, fast, sports car, and with the shape always staying the same through all these years, the shape too has come to stand for a classy, racy spirit.

Photo Credit: Jim Culp

The ten most timeless car designs

5.) Jaguar XKE

Suggested By: snapoversteer

Why it's timeless: I've always thought that the Jaguar E-Type was just an old man's car, something that sat around in garages and at car shows and never really was appreciated by anyone.

There is something to its absurd proportions, though. In no way does it look modern, what with its high, narrow, frail stance, but that's what makes it so eye catching and so enduringly attractive.

Photo Credit: Victor Masson

The ten most timeless car designs

4.) Mini

Suggested By: mikeado

Why it's timeless: The Mini could well be classic if only because they never really changed the way it looked for all the decades it was in production. There is something more to the Mini than, say, a Morgan roadster or a Porsche 911.

The associations that come to mind with the Mini, memories that spring forth like the stars of the Italian Job as optimizations of the freewheeling Sixties that everyone selectively remembers.

Photo Credit: Chris Ibbotson

The ten most timeless car designs

3.) 1932 Fords

Suggested By: TheShadowFromHell

Why it's timeless: Ford got things right with the Lincoln-aping '32 models. They were handsome cars when new, and as the years wear on, they become ever more representative of all the great tropes of prewar car design.

Hot rod culture has made them into icons, as these old Fords become representative not only of classic 1930s styling, but also of the golden years of customization in the 1950s. Perfect associations for a perfect car.

Photo Credit: Borja Laullón

The ten most timeless car designs

2.) Citroën DS

Suggested By: Defender90

Why it's timeless: Though many car aficionados will tell you that the DS was a futuristic design ahead of its time, nothing else ever really ended up looking quite like a DS.

That doesn't really bother us, because it means the DS has stood still in time, always looking a little different from everything else and always looking as charming as ever. Classic French style is always fashionable, and the DS is no exception.

Photo Credit: Michael Gil

The ten most timeless car designs

1.) Jeep

Suggested By: ncasolo

Why it's timeless: The Jeep has been praised far and wide as a pinnacle in the industrial art of the automobile. It looks so functional, and indeed so very much linked to its birth in World War II that it might not come to mind as the most timeless car design of all time.

Even though the Jeep is so very linked to the 1940s, it somehow tapped into something elemental; the feeling of a machine built for freedom, for escape. These are the classic symbols of automobiles distilled into one blocky, ugly package and it's just perfect.

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