Auto Underdogs

Over at Instapundit, he linked to a Popular Mechanics article on “the 100 sexiest cars of all time.” I started reading the list, but DAMN their site is a pain in the ass to negotiate. However, it inspired me — I figured that, on my own, I could pick five cars that I thought were both quite attractive and not likely to make the standard lists of good-looking cars.

I mean, we can all agree on the Jaguar E-Type, the Ferrari Testarossa, the 1963-1968 Corvettes, and whatnot. But how about some lesser-known exotics, or even downright mundane vehicles that nonetheless looked really good?

After I assembled my list, I discovered that I’d actually picked one that made their list, too. But I don’t care; it’s still a fairly obscure car.


In no particular order:


The second-generation Ford Taurus/Mercury Sable Station Wagons. These actually looked better than their sedan counterparts; the wagon body was a flowing, aerodynamic extension of the passenger compartment that seemed more organic than the betrunked siblings, who looked like they’d had their rear ends pared down. They just looked right. At least to me.


The second-generation Mazda RX-7. They took the first generation and rounded off the sharp edges, making it a nice, curvy, distinct little sports coupe. It already came with a unique engine (the beer-keg-styled rotary engine); the lovely bodywork just added to its distinctiveness.


The Chrysler LeBaron GTS. A spiffy-looking little sedan that was also an uber-practical hatchback. Yeah, it was still basically a K-Car, with the unsurprisingly mediocre performance and reliability, but it just looked nifty. It looked both elegant and sporty at once, while actually being neither, but I’m going strictly on looks.


And while I’m trash-talking Chrysler’s endless K-Car variants, their stylists also did a great job with the Dodge Daytona. Once they got the kinks worked out, it really looked good — from the front, it looked an awful lot like the aforementioned RX-7; from the side, especially without the spoiler, it was oddly reminiscent of the Porsche 928.


Finally, the one true exotic on my list, the Lamborghini Miura. This was Lambo’s first “supercar,” and it led the way for all the supercars to follow — and not just Lambos. Pretty much every mid-engine V-12 (or bigger) pure performance machine was inspired, at least in part, by the gorgeous Miura.


So that’s my five oddballs. Well, four oddballs and one certified wow-machine. You think you can do better?

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