“The interrelation between the body of a beautiful woman and a Farina designed car is simplicity and harmony of line, so that when they are old, you can still see how beautiful they were when they were young.” – “Pinin” Farina
Automotive beauty is a slightly arbitrary term, and can never really be rooted in fact. For example, I thought everyone anonymously agreed Pagani cars were all beautiful (maybe a bit of a stretch) but some think they’re ugly.
So calling a car beautiful can be a bit opinionated. But all of us out there who loves cars can all agree that there is just something about them that pulls every heart string.
I mean, explain to me why you would spend monstrous amounts of money into a depreciating asset (in most cases) that may pretty much be a money pit and break all of the time. And at the end of the day, you love it like your own child.
Does that make any logical sense? Of course not. But we as car lovers do it anyway, and we do it gladly.
We all have a great story to tell to.
When I was young, maybe around eight years old, I would borrow (steal) my dads MotorTrend magazines and look through to the back where they provided quick information about a number of new cars that were coming out.
I would take the info I saw and write my own books about it. Which if you think about it, is kind of crazy since I’m still technically writing about cars today.
I wrote three books about cars through my life, in the span of about a year or so. My only real goal back then was to make each book longer.
The last book I wrote was 64 pages long full of poor illustrations and handwriting. But ever since then, cars have been a large part of who I am. As I share with many of you out there.
As time goes on, I find myself getting more and more emotionally attached and spell bound to these machines. They’re more than just…cars.
I know you all share this with me.
What Is Automotive Beauty?
It’s a deeply complex question and the answer changes with anyone you ask in the community. There is no one image or sentence than can sum up the emotion you feel when “the thing” happens.
“The Thing” happened to me when I drove my first Ferrari.
It was a black on black Ferrari F430 and the setting was Michigan International Speedway.
The massive V8 engine was seemingly strapped to the back of my head and as I pressed the gas pedal, my soul came to life. That’s the only way I can describe it.
The car was talking to me. Every shift was kick to my neck like the car was saying “More! More!” As the Ferrari and I danced around the circuit, we became friends.
My machine told me what it was feeling; what it could do. I pushed it to the limit and begging for more. I felt like I was met with a mechanical smile the whole time from my new best friend.
Since I was 13 years old, the world of cars and having a mechanical extension of your soul and personality put me in heaven.
My point is, automotive beauty is that one car that is your best friend. I can’t explain how it happens or why or what cognitive function triggers when a piece of machinery is a piece of you, but you know it. You just know it.
I know that anyone not in tune with the automotive world would read this and think I’m crazy, and that’s okay.
Have you ever gazed upon a car new or old and just been in awe at the pure beauty before you?
Think about a young person walking into an exotic dealership showroom, surrounded by the finest in automotive design. Something clicks. Something happens.
As you get older you look at more cars and you can see the history of it. You see where it has been. Every car has a story, just like the owner. When you appreciate the story, you’ll find beauty in it.
Take a look at this:
This is a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO. It, and its family, are considered to be some of the most beautiful cars ever.
This side view of the machine is the most astonishing thing I’ve ever seen. Partially because this is just incredible from a time period so long ago.
Even in today’s world, there is something about a long hood (or bonnet) and gorgeous lines that just tick something inside our souls.
You could relate a cars beauty to the beauty of anything really. It’s never skin deep. Sure, cars can be beautiful on the outside. But the inner beauty of a car can far outweigh what our eyes see. Just like the people we find beautiful.
Cars from the finest automotive builders in the world create absolute works of art for the road, and you feel them.
Finally on the looks of automotive beauty, it is not simple. Some say a beautiful car has nice leather and good options, but this is just the surface. I think that a truly beautiful automobile forces you to step in closer for a better look.
The voice of a car is automotive beauty. The cars voice gives it exactly what voice gives humans. It talks to you through feeling, and noise. You can feel how comfortable the machine is by its voice.
The sound of a super car, classic car, sports car, race car; Anything. Each one has its own special voice.
This again is something only car people can really take in and appreciate. It is vocal beauty. A piece of automotive beauty.
“Soul” in the car world is an often abused term. Like this article says, it can often be an excuse for a lot of faults and issues in a car.
But, real soul is much more complex than that.
You can feel and see a cars soul through its experience with dents battle scars, and also when you climb in, and feel that…feeling.
Trying to define the soul of a car is impossible, so I won’t try too hard. But again, you know it when you know it.
This is something that like I said before, varies from person to person.
I could go on for years about what I feel and think goes into automotive beauty, but I want to hear what you think.
If you’re reading this, there is a reason. You find something beautiful in cars and I’d love to hear what it is.
Share with me in the comments below what you think makes a car beautiful inside and out, and your experience with cars. Something we all can share and relate to.
Through my life, one thing that bonds myself to others is our common love for automobiles.
I’ve met so many people who I assume wouldn’t otherwise talk to me simply because we both loved cars. It’s an easy talking point. That’s why I’m writing this article right now; A common affection for cars!
Just try it: Go up to anyone at a car meet and just ask them about their car or why they love cars. I promise you’ll make a friend. It worked for me.
I look forward to connecting with all of you, and to end this piece I want to share with you a simple video from the legendary BBC show we all know, Top Gear.
In this episode, Jeremy Clarkson talks about the Touring/Alfa Romeo Disco Volante. A beautiful automobile.
Top Gear’s editing team is just the best at they what do, and this is one of the first things you should watch if you’re diving into what makes cars so great.