If you’ve got a keen eye for styles that are a little left field, you may already be aware of the way a Triumph Stag attracts attention. There are a number of iconic vehicles of the past which are more than just cars, of course. They are, in many ways, living and breathing statements of intent from designers who looked for far more than simple functionality. These days, the majority of production cars are really much of a muchness, relying on bland design and uninspiring looks to get by. They may be more comfortable, more efficient and more reliable than their predecessors, but they seem to lack a little creative spark. Here are six which will always catch the eye, whether they are in a museum or on the streets.
This striking limousine has always been a head-turner. Despite being produced between 1963 and 1981, less than 3000 of these models were built. The Mercedes 600 was a big favourite with many heads of state and a number of high profile celebrities. Former owners include Jack Nicholson, General Idi Amin, Leonid Breshnev, Elvis Presley and Fidel Castro.
Needless to say, not all distinctive cars are large. Some are small, and one in particular is very small. The BMW Isetta became known to one and all as the bubble car, and its distinctive round shape makes it easy to see why. It first went on sale in 1955 and remained in production until 1962. Although exceptionally small, it had a funky, modern look about it.
This beautiful sports tourer looks distinctively 70s and distinctively British, although it was styled by an Italian. The Triumph Stag was produced between 1970 and 1977 as a two-door convertible, and offered drivers and passengers a chance to enjoy the open road in a highly stylised vehicle which boasted a powerful engine and an impressively fast turn of speed.
Despite being in production for a great many decades, despite being one of the world’s most popular cars and despite still being produced today, there is still something exceptionally distinctive about the VW Beetle. This little beauty is one of the 20th century’s greatest ever creations, and it continues to set the tone for car makers who want to make the right waves.
At the time it was made (between 1958 and 1960), the Ford Edsel was a poor performer which never became popular with the American car buyer. It sold poorly and almost became a byword for failure. These days, however, the Edsel – named after the son of Henry Ford – is a striking classic car which somehow defines an era in the USA’s history.
The much-maligned 2CV featured a number of innovative breakthroughs in engineering, but its utilitarian bodywork gave it a rather ordinary feel. Despite this, it sold in huge numbers during a production run that began in 1948 and finally came to an end in 1990. There are plenty of people to this day who still think this car is a thing of beauty.