Journal: Which Classic Looks Best In Profile?

Which Classic Looks Best In Profile?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 28, 2016
24 comments

Call me simple, but I know cars from their profiles. After realizing at about nine years old that my burgeoning career as a car designer was going to be a tough one if I couldn’t sketch the third dimension, I set about looking for examples of the ideal vehicle profile to draw. Though a bit boring, I think a classic’s side view is where many accepted nicknames and colloquialisms come from—“Tin Snail,” “Bug,” “Breadvan,” and “Clown shoe” among them.

It’s taken some time, but enthusiasts have learned to project feelings, emotions, and language onto the objects they covet. The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, for example, evolved from a number of internal design proposals, but notably, one of the cars happened to have been inspired by an actual stingray that styling chief Bill Mitchell caught while on holiday. The designers definitely did their job—in profile, I’m not sure you could call the finished car anything but “Sting Ray”.

I appreciate when designers take liberties with their sketches, as you can only tell when the lines have been compromised when it enters three dimensions and thousands of parts. American cars from the 1960s and ’70s, for instance, often look beautiful in sketch form (with special credit to Chrysler’s fuselage-era artists) before being sanitized, cost-cut, and punched-out into production.

In contrast, Italian carrozzeria often produced profile drawings that, while neat and tidy, often lacked the show of form that three dimensions, a clay model, or finished car could wear; side sketches don’t often do shapely cars justice.

And if you’re the owner of a BMW M Coupe or Z3 Coupe, seeing your car from the side may lead people to think its designers were clowning around when they apparently based its outline on an oversized shoe. At least the Ferrari 250 GTO with “Breadvan” bodywork has a rear window that resembles an oven door to continue the styling theme…

Which classic car do you think looks best in profile?

Sources: petrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.competrolicious.comiedei.files.wordpress.com

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24 Comments on "Which Classic Looks Best In Profile?"

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Sifu Alex
Sifu Alex

An E Type is stunning from every angle.

Doug Staab
Doug Staab

The 66 Olds Toro cracks my top 10

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Bill Meyer
Bill Meyer

How ’bout this……

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Paul Steel
Paul Steel

The 02 looks cool in profile too…

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Paul Steel
Paul Steel

My GT Junior looks spot on from any angle!

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Simon Coultas

As an Alfisti I dont need any convincing. Planning on getting a 105 GTV2000 when I move to Australia. And another Brera to replace my beloved Bella here in Singapore (pictured below)

Michael Maddalena
Michael Maddalena

The Mercedes-Benz 450SLC “pillarless” Coupe…

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Thijmen Kuik
Thijmen Kuik

The bug, anyone can recognize it

Simon Coultas

Here is my contribution for a future classic………….

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Max Biddy
Max Biddy

I do hope they are. Many Alfisti sort of look at them as an abomination during the GM merger, but the 932s aren’t so different since they were a Fiat platform during Fiat ownership. I think the 159/Brera origin is pretty interesting and am hoping to pick a 3.2 up in the future.

Darel Matthews
Darel Matthews

The answer is always Volvo…..

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Simon Coultas

Yes thats one pretty Volvo and already a Classic IMHO.

Filippo Tonello
Filippo Tonello

Totally agreed! I made a page on Instagram about this some months ago! Search filippo.tonello92 or _m.o.t.r_ (Myths Of The Road).

Diego
Diego

Did you just criticize the design of the Z3 M coupe? It has to be one of the best looking coupes out there. What am I missing? Shoe like design?

Colby Shenkle (Leggera Creative)
Colby Shenkle (Leggera Creative)

I agree about the Miura — what about the Porsche 959? Certainly not the Stratos though

Adrien Prothery
Adrien Prothery

1979 308 gtb

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Michael
Michael

The 308 is one of the ultimate timeless designs that also led to such other famous cars such as the 288 GTO and of course the F40!! Bella!!

Geert Jan Schellekens

Ah, you’re into car profiles?
Eat your heart out on our AUTOBAHN fb group 🙂
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.1661332204082923&type=3

Paul Ipolito
Paul Ipolito

Sophia Loren

Orb
Orb

Work for me ?

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Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

….. and may I say Petrolicious … mille grazie and St GearHeaditis be praised .. for the much needed and very welcome … Edit function .

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Hmmm … well … hate to go for the obvious … but I’ll have to say … the Mercedes 300SL Gullwing . My 2nd choice ? The Ferrari 288 GTO … perhaps … no … the most beautiful car Ferrari ever built .. hands down .

Matthew Lange
Matthew Lange

The ‘Breadvan’ is not a Ferrari 250 GTO, it is an earlier 250SWB (or Passo Corto to give it the Italian name) rebodied for Count Volpi’s Scuderia Serenissima after Enzo Ferrari cancelled the order for a new GTO on account of Volpi’s support for the ill fated ATS F1 team.

As to the question, well you know my answer it’s actually my favourite view on the Daytona (not that there are any bad angles).

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
Two thumbs up on the Breadvan correction [ spot on the money good sir ] .. but a serious two down on the choice of the Daytona . Most certainly our Ferrari siblings [ your 365GTB and my former 365GTC/4 ] were beautiful cars overall . the profile of both are … err … a bit dull in comparison to many others [ see my 1st and 2nd choices ] Do know though I’ll be giving you an official thumbs up for the Breadvan bit .. despite the poor choice [ and bad form of choosing what you own ]… Read more »
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