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What were the best-looking race cars?

Goodwood shares its list, but what do you think?


“The best-looking F1 cars of all time” is the headline on a recent article published on the Goodwood Road & Racing website

Author Ben Miles admitted that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder, and then shared nine F1 cars — and in no particular order — that made the Goodwood list.

I’ll share that list in a moment, but the story got me to thinking that is the beauty of a racing car in its design, in its livery, or as I suspect Enzo Ferrari might say, in its crossing the line beneath the checkered flag before its competitors.

I’d suggest that a car can be beautiful in its appearance and/or its design, but when it comes to racing, isn’t its true beauty in its success on the track?

Personally, through the years I’ve been more attune to Indy cars than to F1 cars, and I can think of several Indy cars that I found to be beautiful that were not successful when it came to lapping the Brickyard at speed.

Just a couple of examples: Mickey Thompson’s 1964 Sears-Allstate Specials with their semi-enclosed front and rear fenders. Or in 1964 when Smokey Yunick showed up with his “capsule car,” which could be considered beautiful, well, at least from an engineering standpoint. 

But back to that Goodwood list: the Jordan 191 in 7Up livery, the Shadow DN7, the Canon-Camel Williams FW14B, the Ligier JS/11, the McLaren MP4-20 and MP4/14, the John Player Special Lotus 72, the Gurney Eagle T1G, and the Ferrari 641.

Feel free to use the Comments section below to share some racing cars that you consider to be particularly beautiful — or even particularly ugly.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Jim Clark’s revolutionary Lotus-Ford Indycar, AJ Foyt’s Orange Coyote, Unser’s Johnny Lightning Special, and the 1911 winner, the Marmon Wasp, perhaps.

  2. Come on Don, Porsche 935 and 917‘s not to mention the 962, late 1980s number 17 Darrell Waltrip Tide cars now those are race cars. Lol. They are all Beautiful.


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