Car Designers: Citroen DS Most Beautiful Car in The History of the World, Ever

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
Classic & Sports Car magazine asked 20 car designers (full list after the jump) to name the most beautiful whip of all time. The winner: the Citroen DS. The Jaguar XK120 takes second place, followed by the Ferrari 275GTB, Cord 810/812, Ferrari 250GT Lusso, Ferrari 250GT Short-wheelbase, Jaguar E-type, Lamborghini Miura, Lotus Elan and Lotus Elite (1957). Caution: the DS’ position at the top of the pile (that doesn’t sound right) makes it the vehicle that most jurors voted most highly—rather than the car that most of them thought was the most beautiful. (Polls are funny that way. And our headline’s entirely misleading, now that I think about it.) Unfortunately, the buff book’s press release doesn’t reveal who voted for what. But the idea that a DS can hold a candle to American automobiles of the Classic Era (e.g. 1931 Duesenberg Model SJ “French Speedster” or 1935 Auburn 851 Speedster) is ludicrous, in a Le Corbusier is my God kinda way.
The jury Adams, Dennis Axe, Roy Bracq, Paul Callum, Ian Carr, Russell Crijns, Steve Fioravanti, Leonardo Gandini, Marcello Giugiaro, Giorgetto Heffernan, John Karen, Tom Le Quément, Patrick Martin, Paulo Murray, Gordon Okuyama, Ken Smith, Martin Stevens, Peter Thomson, Julian Tjaarda, Tom Winterbottom, OliverAll the cars that received votesAlfa Romeo CanguroAston Martin DB9Audi A6Bentley Continental GTBentley R-Type ContinentalBertone BAT 5Bertone MarzalBMW 328 Mille MigliaBugatti T41 Royale Coupé NapoleonBugatti T57SC AtlanticBuick Riviera (1963-’65)“Cadzilla”Citroën ID/DSCord 810/812Delage D8-120SFerrari 166 BarchettaFerrari 250GT LussoFerrari 250GT swbFerrari 250GTOFerrari 275GTBFerrari 330 P3/4Ferrari Dino 206SFerrari Dino 246GTFerrari P6Ford GT40Hispano-Suiza H6 (Tulip Wood)Jaguar E-typeJaguar XJ6 S1Jaguar XK120Jaguar XKSSLagonda RapideLamborghini CountachLamborghini GallardoLamborghini MiuraLancia StratosLincoln Continental (1961)Lotus Elan +2Lotus Elan S3Lotus Elite (1957)Maserati BoomerangMaserati KhamsinMercedes-Benz 500KMercedes-Benz Gullwing 300SLMiniPagaso Z102 ‘Thrill’Phantom CorsairTriumph TR4
Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Einberliner Einberliner on Feb 18, 2009

    Of course the DS won. They polled people who actually know a thing or two about car design, such as the venerable Giorgetto Guigaro, Peter Stevens, and Renault's criminally underrated design savant Patrick le Quoment, while avoiding polling hacks such as Chris Bungle. People of that caliber recognize the difference between talent and genius, and the Goddess is genius unadulterated. The last sentence of the blurb on this website shows its author to be a Red America rube rather than someone with a solid appreciation for design. After all, a vintage Duesey may be a very beautiful and breathtakingly well-crafted motorcar, but it's not any more beautiful than, say, a 1934 Citroën Traction Avant. That said, i agree with people above that the omission of cars such as the Talbot Lago teardrop coupe, NSU Ro80, and the Cisitalia 202MM is puzzling. To that list I'd add the Alfa GTV1750, MGA, Chrysler Airflow, and Lancia Fulvia. But a McDonald's fast-food styling job like a Stingray Corvette or ur-Mustang? No way.

  • Anonymous Anonymous on Nov 23, 2009

    [...] Disc brakes, power steering, and semi-automatic gears were extremely uncommon back then and alone justify the DS’s uniqueness, even if it had been ugly. Which it was not. [...]

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