What is it about sexy cars that drives us wild? Think back to your first dream car. Was it a boxy family sedan or a station wagon? Hell no! It was something with sleek lines and curves in all the right places. There is a reason that most people associated sexy cars with attractive women…both evoke feelings of lust and envy. Both can jack your status through the roof and make your guy friends slap you on the back.
So, what does it take to be a sexy car? That is the million dollar question. Ask any three people and you will probably get three different answers. To some, it is the shape of the body, while others are drawn to the design of the windows, the color, or the grille. For others still, it is a combination of different features. Even if you can’t put your finger on what makes a car sexy, you know one when you see it. Let’s take a look at 20 sexy cars that everyone has probably lusted after at some point in their lives. Just a warning, we are not following any order here. The cars are listed randomly and skip decades before swinging back, so hold on.
1. 1906 Rolls Royce Silver Ghost
Our list of sexy cars starts in 1906. That year, Rolls Royce built four chassis. The 40/50 chassis was the newest member of the Rolls Royce family. Of the 40/50 chassis produced, only chassis no. 60551, registered AX 201, went on to be officially designated as the Silver Ghost. Notice we said ”officially.” Many buyers modeled the coachwork of their cars after the Silver Ghost.
2. Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante
The entire Bugatti Type 57 series are sexy cars by any measure. The line brought a huge amount of international fame and attention to the French automaker. To our eye, the Type 57SC Atalante (of which only 17 were made) is among the sexiest cars ever built and we are not alone.
The Bugatti Type 57SC with chassis number 57502 was auctioned in 2009. After having sat in a garage for about 50 years, it still was able to fetch $5 million U.S. making it one of the highest valued cars in automotive history.
3. Mercedes-Benz SSK
The Mercedes-Benz SSK is a roadster built between 1928 and 1932. SSK stands for ”Super Sport Kurz,” the German equivalent of ”Super Sport Short.” The SSK quickly became famous for its high performance and racing successes. SSK’s are fitted with a supercharged 7.0L straight-6 engine that is capable of producing 300 hp and more than 500 lb-ft of torque. A well tuned SSK has a top speed of 120 miles per hour
The SSK was the last car designed for Mercedes-Benz by Ferdinand Porsche before he moved on to build his own dream cars. The Mercedes-Benz SSK is a sexy car in its own right, but it was also the basis for other sexy cars like the Mercedes-Benz 540K.
4. Mercedes-Benz 540K
Mercedes-Benz built upon the SSK with the 500K. Arguably, the 500K could make our list of sexy cars, if it wasn’t for the spectacular Mercedes-Benz 540K. Sleek and lightweight, the 540K has a top speed of 105 mph thanks to a 5.4L straight-8 powerplant. The straight-8 is force-fed by twin pressurized updraft carburetors and a Roots supercharger. You could drive without engaging the supercharger and the 540K offered 115 hp. With the supercharger engaged, output jumps to 180 hp.
5. Volvo P1800E
Outside of the Polestar division, Volvo and sexy cars rarely enter the same conversation. One of the few exceptions to that rule is the Volvo P1800E. The earlier P1800S was a great car as well, but the P1800E makes our list of sexy cars because of the updated grille and added power.
The power of the Volvo 1800E was upgraded with Bosch D-Jetronic fuel injection and a revised camshaft. Output was boosted to130 hp and the P1800E has a top speed of 118 mph. Add to that an unusual look that just spoke to people and you can see how this car made our list of the sexiest cars.
6. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren
If you combine the design teams of Mercedes and McLaren, you know you are going to get a sexy performance machine. The joint design team created the SLR McLaren using the historical Mercedes 300 SLR and the gullwing 300 SL coupe as their muse. The result is an artistic car that is well refined, yet brawny when it needs to be.
7. Cadillac Series 61 Sedanette
When collectors think of a Cadillac that best defines the automaker, the Series 61 Sedanette is often the first car mentioned. The car easily represents the excess and opulence that best represents Cadillac. The Series 61 Sedanette features an intriguing upright grille, beautifully rounded fenders, a rakish roofline, and fins….before they became huge monstrosities in the 1950s. Everything just seemed to come together in an amazing package that begs to be admired by everyone.
8. Shelby Cobra
Technically, this is the AC Cobra, but Carroll Shelby put his stamp and nameplate on the car when it was sold in the United States. The Shelby moniker seems to come to mind more quickly in the North American market, so that is the tag we went with.
The result of the collaboration between Shelby and AC Cars Ltd. is a small British sports car powered by a 427 V8 capable of 425 hp and a top speed of 164 mph (in the production cars). The same engine provided 485 hp and a top speed of 185 mph in the competition models.
9. 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS
The entire first generation of the Chevrolet Camaro is great, but the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 RS is a true standout for its build quality and aggressive lines. 1969 was the last year of the first gen Camaro and few cars represent the powerful pony cars of the era better. The Z28 RS sports the required stripes of a period sports car. Its hood scoop and slot-hidden headlights create an aggressive, sneaky look.
Then there was the powertrain for the Z28. The powertrain includes a small block Chevy 302. The 302 used is equipped with forged pistons, forged steel crankshaft and connecting rods, a solid lifter camshaft, and Holley carbs. Buyers were able to opt for a dual four-barrel cross-ram intake manifold. The powerplant is paired to a Muncie four-speed with a Hurst shifter. The Z28 also features a 12-bolt rear axle, 3.73 gears. There is nothing better than sexy cars with great power!
10. Jaguar XK120
Between 1948 and 1954, Jaguar built the iconic XK120. William Lyons, the owner of Jaguar at the time, heavily influenced the design of the car. Amazingly, the design was completed in a two-week span.
The 1954 Jaguar XK120 Roadster pictured above is one of the most interesting sexy cars ever built. At the time, it was one of the most striking vehicles on the road. The XK120 is powered by a 3.4L straight-six that produces between 160 and 220 hp and could have a top speed of 124 mph, depending on the tuning. Sleek, sexy, and surprisingly fast…what’s not to like?
11. Aston-Martin DB5
The DB5 is not the first in the Aston-Martin DB series; however, it should make every list of sexy cars. Hell, any car driven by James Bond should be considered as part of every compilation of sexy cars, minus that Ford Mondeo from Casino Royale, of course.
Beyond its fame for being featured in multiple James Bond films. The DB5 sports amazing lines that draw your eye from front to back. Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera provided the elegant design which is complemented by reclining seats, wool pile carpet, electric windows, twin fuel tanks, chrome wire wheels, and full leather trim. The 282 hp 4.0L engine doesn’t hurt anyone’s feelings either.
12. Ferrari 360 Modena
When you are reading a list of sexy cars, you know a Ferrari has to be on it somewhere. Arguably, you could fill a list of the 20 sexiest cars with Ferraris only.
Ferrari built the 360 Modena between 1999 and 2005. Powered by a 400 hp 3.6L V8 and capable of jumping from 0-60 in scarcely more than 4.0 seconds, the Modena supplies plenty of thrills. On top of its 175 mph top speed, the 360 Modena offers a gorgeous Pininfarina body, supple leather, and outstanding driver ergonomics.
13. 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster
Yeah, we are bouncing around between decades so fast you may have a headache. That isn’t an apology, just acknowledging the obvious. Anyway, back to the Duesenberg.
Duesenberg built many sexy cars over its 25 year lifetime, but the 1936 Duesenberg SSJ Speedster really stands out. Built as the company was on the verge of bankruptcy, the SSJ Speedster offered 320 hp when the average car produced a paltry 54 hp. The power output was created in part by using dual overhead cams and a centrifugal-type supercharger. Due to the price tag, Depression-era economy, and failing production capability, Duesenberg only sold two SSJ Speedsters. They went to Clark Gable and Gary Cooper.
14. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Chevrolet has badged several Corvettes with the Stingray moniker, but we feel that the models built between 1963 and 1967 are the best. The hardtop and convertibles are both sexy cars, but the hardtop maybe the sexier of the two. One could reasonably argue that the split rear window of the ’63 model is more attractive than the single window of the ’67 pictured above.
No matter your rear window preference, you have to admire the beautiful lines of the car and the awesome array of powerplants. Power could come from a small-block 327 all the way up to a big-block 427. Output ranged from 250 hp to 435 hp. The 435 hp version is capable of blasting from 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds and can finish the standing quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds at 102 mph.
15. 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT
The 1968 Ferrari Dino 206 GT was the first Dino built by the legendary automaker. It was designed by Pininfarina, but built by Scaglietti. The Dino 206 GT features the soft edges and curving lines found in many 1960s Italian cars. Following Ferrari naming techniques, the 206 tells you its engine size and number of cylinders…2.0L V6 equals 206. The engine produces 160 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque thanks to dual overhead camshafts, a 9.7:1 compression ratio, and three Weber 2-barrel carbs. Smallish output for a Ferrari, but the Dino 206GT was built as an entry-level supercar.
16. Alfa-Romeo 4C
Jumping ahead to the present, we have the Alfa-Romeo 4C. Do you have whiplash from all of the sudden changes between decades yet?
Alfa-Romeo has built many sexy cars over the years, but the 4C is a superstar. The 2015 Alfa-Romeo 4C pictured above pretty much sums up the outstanding lines of the car. The feline front and the lightly up-turned rear are amazing. Power comes from a 1.75L turbocharged four-cylinder engine. The displacement sounds pretty insignificant, but it packs a helluva punch. Output hits 240 hp and the 4C has a 0-60 time of 4.5 seconds and a top speed of 160 mph.
17. Nissan GT-R R35
To help your whiplash, we will stay in this century. Nissan has been building the GT-R R35 since 2009. The GT-R is as sleek as any of the sexy cars on our list and it packs power beyond belief. Under the hood, you will find a 3.8L twin-turbo V-6 that pushes 545 ponies and 436 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. That powerhouse allows the Track Edition to offer numbers like 0-60 mph in 2.7 seconds and a quarter mile run in 11.0 seconds at 125 mph. All of that for about a quarter of the price of a base Lamborghini.
18. Ford GT40
During the 1960s, Henry Ford II and Enzo Ferrari were in the midst of negotiating the sale of Ferrari to Ford Motors. Negotiations broke down and Henry Ford II vowed to build a car that would take Ferrari down a peg or two in the racing world. The Ford GT40 was the child of that vow. Powered by series of Carroll Shelby-influenced engines, the Ford GT40 won the 24 Hours of LeMans four times between 1966 and 1969, including taking all three top spots in 1966. Having fulfilled Henry Ford’s vow, the GT40 was retired after the 1969 season.
19. Lamborghini Reventon
Another automaker that makes every list of sexy cars is Lamborghini. The only Lambo in our group of sexy cars is the Reventon built in 2008. On top of its low-slung sex appeal, the Reventon is powered by a 6.4L V12. The 650 hp engine delivers 476 lb-ft of torque, a 211 mph top speed, a 0-60 time of just 3.4 seconds, and will hit 100 mph in 7.6 seconds. All of that for the bargain basement price of $2 million U.S.
20. 1938 Delahaye 165 Roadster
Delahaye is probably one of the least known automakers. The company built cars between 1894 and 1954. Delahaye worked with art deco designers Figoni and Falaschi to produce some of the most forward-thinking designs in automotive industry. The pair occasionally worked with Bugatti, Delage, Rolls-Royce, and Talbot Lago to create other sexy cars, but their best work was with Delahaye.
Perhaps the sexiest car to come from the collaboration is the 1938 Delahaye 165 Roadster. Once billed as the ”world’s most voluptuous supercar,” it was first shown at the 1938 Paris Motor Show. The 165 Roadster features radical elegance and world-class performance (at the time). It was powered by a rare Delahaye V12 taken from the Type 145 racing car.
While our list of sexy cars is subjective, to say the least, hopefully, you found some new favorites today. There’s no doubt there will be disagreements and amendments to our list, so if you think we excluded a car that deserved a spot, let us know in the comments below!