What makes an awesome car? Is it the design? The top speed? The elegance? The car's personality? Or is it a combination of all these aspects and something more? A 'wow' factor, perhaps. Whatever it may be, every era has its giants, its own icons. Sleek, powerful beasts that moved with a sublime feline grace and bewitched all those who laid eyes on them. These are ultimate dream machines, the one car of his or her era that everyone would aspire to have. So, here are 10 objects of desires that dominated the wish lists of their time.
1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SL
When discussing the best cars, the name Mercedes-Benz pops up quite often, not undeservedly. The German stalwart has a reputation for turning out the most elegant, classy and finely engineered machines, and you wont find any better engineered in its time than the 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SL. A 2.8 liter dual overhead cam engine (same as the 280CE vintage), two door coupe that combined all the best aspects of beautiful design, precision engineering, power and ride quality; it's the ultimate object of desire for most people of its era.
2. 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa
If you tried to imagine what the most awesome car in the world should look like, odds are you'll be picturing a bright, blazing red Ferrari. The 'Prancing Horse' is amongst the most honored standards in racing, and the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa is the one that started it all. With it's rich racing heritage proudly on display, this sexy beast is the epitome of a true sports car; and it's also extremely rare - only 22 ever made.
3. 1968 Alfa-Romeo Carabo
Designed by the famed house of Bertone, the 1968 Alfa-Romeo Carabo was the most revolutionary car of its time. The release of the daring concept car sent shock waves through the automobile press and the positive reception was unanimous. Painted an iridescent green in order to resemble its namesake beetle, it was a totally fresh approach to car design with its air intakes, tapering lines and upward-opening doors; a design that has stood the test of time.
4. 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Riviera Phaeton
Designed to kill the giants of its time, the 1933 Duesenberg Model SJ Riviera Phaeton would become the most iconic car of the 1930s. With a monstrous engine displacement of 420 cubic inches, and a centrifugal supercharger, the Duesenberg Model SJ could put out 320hp. And the most popular version of the customizable body was the convertible sedan format with a vanishing top that stowed in the rear bumper; i.e. the Riviera Phaeton. A true Immortal.
5. 1934 DeSoto Airflow
Unappreciated in its own time, 1934 DeSoto SE Airflow had to wait a while for it's due. Introducing concepts largely unheard of in the 1930's, this car was a true harbinger with features such as streamlined design and uni-body construction. Powered by a 241 cubic-inch six-cylinder motor that put out 100 horsepower, the Airflow was immortalized when racer Harry Hartz used his to set 32 stock car records.
6. Jaguar E-Type (1961-1975)
Designed with pure aerodynamics in mind, the Jaguar E-type would become the ultimate embodiment of the objet du desir. With its graceful, feline beauty and incredible raw power, 'the Jag' is unmatched in terms of both racing heritage and drool-factor. Equipped with a 6-cylinder in-line engine with a 3.8 liter capacity, generating 265 hp, there are not many cars in history that can stand up to this British icon.
7. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette
A car reminiscent of sunny California, the Chevrolet Corvette is the ultimate American Dream. Beautifully sculpted from fiberglass, it sported an in-line six-cylinder engine, generating 150 horsepower; and Chevy's 2-speed Powerglide automatic transmission. Built for the long straight drives of the Pacific coast, this svelte machine is a premium piece of Americana.
8. 1967 Ford Mustang
Muscle cars occupy a very special place in the hearts of enthusiasts, and in this class - a Ford Mustang often occupies a high place. And among Mustangs, the 1967 Ford Mustang doubtlessly takes the top of the podium. This brilliant, brutal beast sports a convertible top and is powered by 390-cubic-inch 6.4L V-8 Engine churning out 320hp, that'll keep the most demanding car enthusiast happy.
9. 1960 Lincoln Continental
Carrying forward Lincoln's legacy of elegance, the 1960 Lincoln Continental is amongst the most recognizable icons of the 1960's. With a wheelbase of 131 inches, this car was big and tailored for the wide open spaces. With a 430 cubic-inch V8 engine blasting 315 horsepower, it was most often remembered as Elvis Presley's favorite car. And if it's good enough for the King....
10. 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge RA IV
Another American Icon, the 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge Ram Air IV has a special place amongst the classics. This iconic muscle car redefined the class in term of its unforgiving looks as well as cutting edge performance. Pontiac GTOs represent the ultimate muscle cars, and the 370-bhp Judge represents the GTO at its most extreme.