We List The 10 Best-Looking Race Cars Of All Time
A great racing car has more than just speed. As well as being fast, looks carry weight too.
Here is a celebration of those super-speedy cars that have also pleased eyeballs down the years.
An evolution of its predecessor – the XJR-8 – the XJR-9 was a sight to behold. With its Silk Cut-sponsor influence and slicked-back rear, the car matched strong performance with strong looks. Six wins in the 1988 World Sports Prototype – including at Le Mans – meant this car would be remembered for generations to come.
Few names conjure up images in racing history like that of this 1960s classic. The light blue combined with a red stripe is a livery that is synonymous with the GT40. Perhaps less well known is the story of the GT40 coming into existence. After an attempt to buy Italian outfit Ferrari fell through, Henry Ford II vowed to beat the Maranello-based manufacturer at its own game – racing. And Ford did so, with the GT40 becoming the first car in history to win Le Mans more than once.
The sleek lines and elegance of Audi’s 2011 R18 stood out. The dark livery, combined with a shark fin and its closed cockpit, meant the R18 looked angry as well as performing amazingly on the track. A win at Le Mans and some podiums may not have been Audi’s strongest results, but with a car that looked that good they were certainly memorable.
The rotary-powered 787B was the successor to 1990’s 787, which lacked in areas the 787B delivered in when it came to the Le Mans round of the 1991 endurance championship. Running in a one-off orange and green livery to honour the team’s Japanese clothing manufacturer, the car set a new record for the circuit in terms of most laps led. It remains the only time a Japanese marque has won at Le Mans.
The Porsche 962 was kept in competitive use long beyond its debut in 1984 at Daytona. Winning two World Sportscar Championships as well as notching up two victories at Le Mans, this meant the low-profiled 962 would live long in the memory.
Having earned its first F1 victory the year before, Jordan was hoping for even more success in 1999. Two wins and numerous podiums enabled the fun-loving team to be thrust into the role of unlikely title challengers – one they remained in until the final round in Japan where they fell short when they went up against McLaren.
McLaren has long been one of Formula One’s giants and the 2008 car was an answer to the question why. Six race wins and eight pole positions during the season, yet the title went to a thrilling final race in which the British team and driver Lewis Hamilton took the honours in the final corner of the last lap at the Brazilian Grand Prix.
It had been a difficult few years for Williams up until 1996. The death of Ayrton Senna two years earlier was a big loss to bear and required Damon Hill, son of three-times F1 champion Graham, to lead the team. Final-round heartache was the end result in the last two years but 1996 was different as the FW18 dominated, winning all but four of the 16 rounds and left Hill as a champion.
Red Bull RB9
Few thought Red Bull’s 2011 dominance with the RB7 could be beaten, but the RB9 ensured Red Bull had supremacy in 2013. Thirteen wins, including nine consecutive victories, meant the Austrian team truly had no rival in the season, with Sebastian Vettel finishing streets ahead of everyone in most races. The RB9 surpassed the seemingly unbeatable benchmark from 2011’s RB7 and created its own piece of history in 2013.
Brawn GP 001
Formed out of the ashes of Honda’s withdrawal in late 2008, numerous attempts to buy the team failed to come to fruition and meant that Formula 1 genius Ross Brawn stepped in to save the team and the hundreds of employed staff. Having only secured the team’s future mere weeks before the season’s start, along with a late change to Mercedes’ engines Brawn GP won six of the year’s first seven races, ensuring a stuttering second half of the year couldn’t deny Brawn GP and Jenson Button one of the most remarkable stories in sporting history.
Written by Joe Sweeney
Want to keep up on our latest news?
Subscribe to our email updates now - we promise they're worth it.