Top 20 Most Beautiful British Cars of All Time

Before I’ve even started, I know I’m going to have to justify and defend my list of the most beautiful British cars of all time. Before you get the pitchforks out and light the torches, this list has a few surprises in it in comparison to the usual lists. I’ve tried to be a bit different in an attempt to avoid being, well, boring.

I have also attempted to be slightly more even with the manufacturer choices than the usual lists, as I could have easily filled the 20 places with Jaguar and Aston Martin. I have had to omit my number one choice, the Aston Martin Vulcan, as there are no road legal versions yet.

I have also tried to avoid having two cars that are very similar from the same manufacturer… you’ll see what I mean in the list.

Without further ado, here are my choices for the top 20 most beautiful British cars of all time.


Some describe it as a hearse, but that doesn’t really do it justice now does it?


I’m sorry Reliant Robin fans, but this takes the top spot for the three wheelers.

18) MG MGA

At the age of 25, my dad managed to own one of these and pay for the insurance. Today, I can hardly afford to insure myself on a Fiesta EcoBoost for christ sake.

17) BRISTOL 411

I wanted to include the Bristol Fighter, but the beauty factor was lacking slightly, but not with the 411. I know this doesn’t count toward beauty, but it had a 6.3 litre engine, which is just insane.


Who thought putting a 7 litre engine in this was a smart idea? Whoever it was, they are my hero.


Is there a classier way to arrive anywhere?


Just as BMW bought into the James Bond franchise, the DB7 was released. Imagine one of these in Goldeneye, and not the 12 second cameo from a BMW Z3. It appeared in Johnny English instead…


I had the pleasure of a winter ride in one of these, and it’s still one of my favourite journies of my life so far.

A morning in a Rolls Royce When compiling my dream garage as most petrolheads like to do in their spare time, I never really considered a Rolls Royce. Yes I admired the craftsmanship and attention …

The article actually appeared in Rolls Royce & Bentley Owner’s club magazine… what do you mean you don’t care?


Another car we British placed a ridiculous engine in. This time a 7.2 litre engine was sufficient. Look at that rear view though, a stunning derrière. Sorry, that’s French. I meant arse.


The other car my dad managed to own at my age, whereas I live in London and rented a Zipcar van for a day…

“The blokiest bloke’s car ever built” – James May


If it’s good enough for the only Welsh James Bond, then it is good enough for me. Yes, Timothy Dalton is Welsh I’ll have you know.


An incredible achievement engineering-wise, but I don’t see the McLaren F1 enough on the beauty rankings. It is properly gorgeous.


As soon as I win the lottery, this is the first car that I will buy. Lightweight, cool and utterly beautiful from all angles.


What a beast. A beautiful beast that is. Brian Johnson, the AC/DC singer has one making it the coolest car in the world.


Simple and elegant design always works when it’s from Britain. The Healey 3000 is no exception. The Rover 200 is an exception.


This was a split decision between the C-type and D-type. I’ve opted for the C-type as it doesn’t have a massive shark fin.


Before the DB5 fan club smash down my door, it was the DB5 or the DB6 Volante for the list. I saw Prince Charles’ blue DB6 Volante once, and that as enough to convince me that it is more beautiful than the DB5… just.


What’s this modern car doing so far up? Well, sorry folks, the McLaren P1 is here to stay at the top of British car lists, so get used to it. Before you shout at your screen, just glance at the picture again.


2nd place… 2ND PLACE?!

I’m afraid so. It is time to accept that the E-type isn’t the most beautiful British car of all time. It may be more impressive as a car than the number one spot, but for me, the top spot is justified.

Also, the hard-top is more beautiful… there I said it.


*Knees weaken*

It was the XK120 or the XK150 for the list, and I just think the XK120 is that tiny bit more beautiful.

For me the XK120 is the most beautiful British car ever made, and always will be.

Let me know if you agree or disagree with me in the comments below.

Via : DriveTribe


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  1. The MGTC, the MGBGT and the TR3A all deserve consideration on this list. And maybe the Triumph GT6+ while we’re tossing around names.

        1. On a recent bicycle ride, I saw one of these magnificent beasts at the drive-up window of a McDonalds. Amazed that a near priceless car could be seen slumming like this…

  2. Lotus Europa? Pretty? Wow, IMHO one of the most awkward looking cars of all time. Tremendous fun to drive but pretty is not a word I would use to describe it. Kermit the frog from the front, Ford F series from the back.
    Tough call between the number 1 and 2. Both cars in coupe form are stunning. For me its the E-type however. Somehow it reminds me of the Mach 5 (Speed Racer’s car). Tells you a little bit about my age…………

  3. I agree with the list and really love all the XK Jags, so I was happy to see that you picked the 120 as your top car. I believe the 120-140-150 right up to the MK II were the most beautiful cars ever to be made by any builder, and then they frosted the cake with the C and E Type. I lust after the old Jags more than I do women at this age, and that’s because I’ve had lots of women, but I’ve never had a Jaguar.

  4. WOW…

    Aston Martin DB5? Not.
    Riley RM Series Drophead? Not.
    Jaguar MK V Drophead? Not.
    Rolls Royce P2 Continental? Not.
    Lotus Spirti? Not.
    Lagonda V12? Not.
    MG SA Drophead? Not.
    MG TD? Not.
    MG TC? Not

    Morgan 3 Wheeler? YES!
    Lotus Europa? YES!

    So, why not Allegro, Marina and Velox?


  5. It’s very hard to argue with a #1 pick of the XK120 but I would have to go with the Jaguar XK150S – that ‘as” identifier is very important. If you have a XK150S at a100 point restoration level, the beauty alone is stunning,but with the 3- carburetor configuration (‘S’), the car will drive all day at 100 mph with zero stress on the engine.

    1. The XK-150 S is a great and handsome car, but doesn’t have the jewel like quality of design and detailing that the XK-120 presented. It ls beautiful, but looks a little bloated when parked next to its older sibling.

  6. Some of these cars certainly deserve to be on this list of 20 Most Beautiful British Cars ever, Some just don’t. Especially when considered against those left off. The Jensen Intercepter? It was a horrible looking car when it was new, which is why it died in the American Market. That spot could have been given to the Squire Roadster from the thirties. It is perhaps the most beautiful sports car produced in any country at that time. If you have not seen one, look it up. Of the Lotus cars, No Original 62 Elite? The Healey 3000 was nice. But looks flabby compared to the Austin Healey 100-4.

    1. I agree with you David , the Elite was a brilliant looking car and imagine seeing a Healey 100 at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1952 and way prettier than the 3000 without ugly door handles and extra chrome .

  7. Back around 1974-75, I bought an Austin-Healey 3000 6 for $500. It was a bit of a POS, but I loved it. The blue had oxidized to gunmetal gray. The wheel spokes kept breaking. When it rained I had to put a towel across my lap and roll up my pant legs. It had no first gear and eventually, reverse started acting up.

    But there was nothing better than taking a moonlit drive along A1A in Florida, top down and radio blaring! It’s still my favorite car of all time.

  8. No TVR whatsoever? Seriously?? Im questioning the journalistic integrity here. Instead we have the TR6? A car they ran out of money for while designing it so they simply decided on a flat back end. A TR250 would however have been a correct choice. Yes to the S2 Lotus Europe, thank you! No 1960 Austin Seven (Mini)? That’s just so wrong if not insane.

  9. A interesting assemblage and interpretation of what is considered “most beautiful”. To use an old adage, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. With so many classic and architecturally interesting and beautiful cars having been manufactured over the decades, I think the author and or the contributors to this collection should reconsider a number of them. I cringed at a number of them when they entered my field of view, but then again…… beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

  10. I have a Jowett Jupiter which sadly gets overlooked as it’s not well known. Peerless is similar.
    My car gets lots of attention at rally’s in her metallic green paint, beige leather interior and a bit of whitewall bling. Stunning, beautiful, Wow! are some of the comments from the public.

  11. Difficult to argue with many on that list as they are all classics in their own right. If it was down to me, it would be the E-Type at number 1.

  12. Your criteria was “20 MOST BEAUTIFUL”
    On that basis i disagree with some of your choices .
    Jaguar E Type would be my #1
    MGB 62-69 Roadster would be in the top 5
    The 120, 140 & 150 would all make the list
    The Tr6 is a great car without making the “BEAUTIFUL 20

  13. I thought that the 7.0 litre Cobras were only built in the coupes, which were rather ugly, even then. Love that the MGA made the cut, such elegant curves were/are seldom seen in the automotive world. I also love the Moggie 3 wheeler being included, so unique. Sadly the bug-eye (or Frogeye if you will) Sprite didn’t make it. Surely the cheapest truly beautiful car of all time.

  14. I’m a Lotus Super7 fan. The Caterham has done nothing but improve it in braking and weight reduction. The inheritor of the post-WW2 English Sports Car tradition!

    Recent McLarens (and, frankly everything else) and such leave me cold, because they are space ships that give one no pleasure in every-day driving. The Caterham, OTOH, can be driven hard at less than 100 mph and it is truly a blast with a 2.5 liter engine. Yes, a solid rear axle is passe, but I intend to have so much fun that I don’t notice that!

  15. You are Close. several in there I don’t care for. I agree on the XK 120. I gave a 120 FHC which I like really well, although the roadster is probably a better looker.

  16. I have either had the pleasure of owning, driving or driving in several of these. I have to go with the XK-120. I had my first OTS as a Junior in college in ’58 and three years ago I got the same year and configuration except for interior color as a fully restored car … ’51 OTS. Simply adore the things even with the total lack of creature comfort. It is a “spiritual” kind of thing to see folks drift away from VERY expensive Mclarens and the like to drift over to the old XK-120 to talk. I have had two Series 1 E-type roadsters and loved both but not like the XK-120. My RR experiences go back to the P1, P2, PII and small HP. If the front of the radiator is forward of the front axle it is out in my book (although I grudgingly accommodate the PIII. Not only are the old RR fun to drivve but diving into the internal workings is almost a celestial experience …. as is the case for many capital “C” Classics.

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  18. Loved my 1953 Jaguar XK120M. Beautiful but tired car bought for a mere $800 in 1959. As a 19 year old kid I thought it was magnificent, although not very reliable…

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