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The Avanti design ranks as number one on this list of 10 exceptional car designs.
1) Studebaker Corporation marketed the Avanti as "America's Only 4 Passenger High-Performance Personal Car." It was available between June 1962 and December 1963. Described as "one of the more significant milestones of the postwar industry", the car offered combined safety and high-speed performance. It was designed by Raymond Loewy's team of Tom Kellogg, Bob Andrews, and John Ebstein on a 40-day crash program. The Avanti featured a radical fiberglass body mounted on a modified Studebaker Lark Daytona 109-inch convertible chassis and powered by a modified 289 Hawk engine.
Studebaker Avanti
2) The Jaguar E-Type, or the Jaguar XK-E is a British sports car manufactured between 1961 and 1975. Its combination of beauty, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. At a time when most cars had drum brakes, live rear axles, and mediocre performance, the E-Type sprang on the scene with 150 mph and a sub-7 second 0–60 time, monocoque construction (a vehicle structure in which the chassis is integral with the body), disc brakes, rack and pinion steering, independent front and rear suspension, and unrivaled looks. The E-Type was based on Jaguar's D-Type racing car which had won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three consecutive years (1955–1957).
Jaguar E-Type
3) The Continental Mark II is a personal luxury car produced by Ford Motor Company in 1956 and 1957. An attempt to build a post-World War II car to rival the greatest of the pre-War era, it is regarded as a rare and elegant classic. Ford designated John Reinhart as chief stylist; Gordon Buehrig as the chief body engineer, assisted by Robert McGuffey Thomas; and Harley Copp as chief engineer. What emerged was something quite unlike other American cars of the period. While other makes experimented with flamboyant chrome-laden styling, the Continental Mark II was almost European in its simplicity of line and understated grace.
Lincoln Continental Mark II
4) The Aston Martin DB5 was designed by the Italian coach builder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. Released in 1963, it was an evolution of the final series of DB4. Although not the first, the DB5 is famous for being the most recognized cinematic James Bond car, first appearing in Goldfinger in 1964. The car used in the film was the original DB5 prototype, with another standard car used for stunts. To promote the film, the two DB5s were showcased at the 1964 New York World's Fair, and it was dubbed "the most famous car in the world.”
Aston Martin DB5
5) The TC Midget was the first postwar MG, launched in 1945. It was quite similar to the pre-war TB, sharing the same 1,250 cc (76 cu in) pushrod-OHV engine with a slightly higher compression ratio of 7.4:1 giving 54.5 bhp (40.6 kW) at 5200 rpm. The TC extended the pre-war classical style into the 1950s. The TC model especially became a status symbol of European sportscar chic to the emerging post-war American consumer. Only right-hand drive cars were exported to the United States. The export version had slightly smaller US specification sealed-beam headlights and larger twin rear lights, as well as turn signals and chrome-plated front and rear bumpers.
MG TC Midget
6) The Mercedes-Benz 300 SL was introduced in 1954 as a two-seat coupé with distinctive gull-wing doors. The racing W194 300 SL was built around a welded aluminum tube spaceframe chassis to offset its relatively underpowered carbureted engine. Designed by Daimler-Benz's chief engineer, Rudolf Uhlenhaut, the metal skeleton saved weight while still providing a high level of strength. Since it enveloped the passenger compartment traditional doors were impossible, giving birth to the model's distinctive gull-wing arrangement.
Mercedes Benz 300SL Gullwing
7) The Thunderbird entered production for the 1955 model year as a sporty two-seat convertible. Unlike the Chevrolet Corvette, it was not marketed as a sports car. The Thunderbird was revised for 1957 with a reshaped front bumper, a larger grille, restrained tailfins, and larger tail lamps. The instrument panel was re-styled with round gauges in a single pod, and the rear of the car was lengthened, allowing the spare tire to be positioned in the trunk. The 1957 model achieved a design pedigree that surpasses all other years combined. The 1958 model was to have a 4-passenger configuration and was quite distinctive, though it foreshadowed an immanent decline in the marque.
1957 Ford Thunderbird
8) The Citroën 2CV was introduced at the 1948 Paris Mondial de l'Automobile and manufactured by Citroën for model years 1948–1990. Labelled "ugly" by some, it is hailed as a paragon of superior design by others. A 1953 technical review in Autocar described "the extraordinary ingenuity of this design, which is undoubtedly the most original since the Model T Ford". In 2011, The Globe and Mail called it a "car like no other.” The automotive author L. J. K. Setright described the 2CV as "the most intelligent application of minimalism ever to succeed as a car", calling it a car of "remorseless rationality.”
Citroen 2CV
9) The Jeep Wrangler is arguably an indirect progression from the World War II Willys MB through the Willys civilian Jeeps (Jeep CJ) of the mid-1940s through 1980s that were produced by Kaiser-Jeep and by American Motors Corporation (AMC). Neither AMC nor Chrysler (after it purchased AMC in 1987) have claimed that the Wrangler was a direct descendant of the original military model. The modern day Jeep represents the epitome of design influenced by functionality.
Jeep Wrangler
10) At the 1994 North American International Auto Show, Volkswagen unveiled the Concept One, a "retro"-themed concept car with a resemblance to the original Volkswagen Beetle. In 1995, a new version of the Concept One was shown, in the Tokyo Motor Show. This one had major restyling and looked a lot like the final production version, launched in 1998. Strong public reaction to the Concept One convinced the company that it should develop a production version which was launched as the New Beetle in 1997. The New Beetle draws heavy inspiration from the exterior design of the original Beetle. Unlike the original Beetle, the New Beetle has its engine in the front, driving the front wheels, with luggage storage in the rear.
Volkswagon Beetle
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