Automotive designs are often associated with particular time periods due to their designs reflecting other artistic ventures and even architectural trends within society. This reflection of societal patterns can lead to an appearance becoming somewhat stale or dated once this period has passed. Car manufacturers spent billions on design and creating new models for today's consumer, but sometimes the most treasured car is a design from years past. The outstanding car designs in this slideshow represent some of the most timeless automobile designs in history, check out 30 of the most innovative vehicle designs that will never go out of style.
Aston Martin DB4
The successor to the Mach II did not disappoint and continued Aston Martin's history of elegant and timeless designs. The DB4 was manufactured from 1958 until 1963, and the company continued to push the envelope regarding bold style and appearance. The car was not too shabby in the performance department either, pushing a top speed of 139 miles per hour.
The Pontiac GTO was manufactured between 1964 and 1974, and although over 40 years have passed since the last one rolled off the production line, the design remains an inspiration for many muscle cars today. The GTO could also walk the walk, posting a 12.8 second quarter mile time straight from the factory.
Manufactured from 2003 until 2013, the Gallardo is the most popular Lamborghini model of all time. The aggressive styling of the Gallardo was complimented by its powerful engine and efficient mechanics.
Maserati A6G CS Berlinetta
This beautiful Maserati was available for purchase between 1947 and 1956 and indeed embodies a style that would turn heads today. The A6 was even converted into a single-seater racecar that won the 1953 Italian Grand Prix. This car was one of the last that the Maserati brothers designed before their departure from the manufacturer.
Talbot-Lago Grand Sport T26
Not only was the Grand Sport T26 one of the fastest production vehicles available at the time, but it also has an unmistakable style. Just 51 of these unique, classy cars were ever manufactured, making it difficult to spot one outside of a museum.
Aston Martin DB2 4MKIII
This vehicle was deemed so cool by James Bond author Ian Fleming that it became one of the most iconic and stylish Bond vehicles in the novel Goldfinger. Only 199 of these vehicles were ever produced, and it was sold between 1957 and 1959. Over 60 years later this car is undoubtedly a style icon within the automotive industry.
The tapered nose and grill that is reminiscent of the 1950s A6 from the same company have been given a contemporary update which looks very dramatic. The GranTurismo has been produced from 2007 until the present day, and there have been many additions to the base design since this time. Maserati has continued their tradition of classy, timeless designs with this vehicle.
The Honda S2000 is an uncommon venture from Honda, combing a rear-wheel-drive configuration with a high-performance engine. The S2000 was in production from 1999 until 2009 and received significant praise from automotive critics and consumers. Carrying on the tradition of the roadsters of the 1960s the S2000 is a classy design that will remain popular for years to come.
International Scout 4X4
This vehicle provided many design features of the modern SUV and symbolized a rugged and adventurous lifestyle. Created by an agricultural machinery producer, the Scout 4x4 was designed to compete with Jeep in the leisure-vehicle market.
In the 1990s, Acura/Honda wanted to manufacturer a unique vehicle that was mainly a street-legal race car. The exceptional design of the NSX was way ahead of its time, and many elements of the 1990s cars have made their way into modern vehicles. The NSX was resurrected by Honda in 2016 with a new generation of the NSX available to consumers.
Chevrolet Chevelle 396 SS
One of the signature cars of muscle scene of the 1960s, the Chevelle SS was a mix of audacious design and insane performance. Aiming to compete with Ford and Plymouth, Chevrolet indeed created a masterpiece with the Chevelle SS.
Seven generations of the Corvette have made their way off the production line and into the hearts of many in North America. The incomparable lines, performance, and popularity of a Corvette provide a standard for American sports cars that is still seen in many designs today.
The Mustang has been produced since 1964, and many design features from the original model are still present in today's line of these vehicles from Ford. Any model of the Ford Mustang is trendy just about anywhere in the world and has undoubtedly become interwoven into American car culture and modern designs.
The original E-Type was manufactured from 1961 to 1975 and is an aggregation of beautiful design, high-performance, and pricing that was within reach for many consumers. On release of the Jaguar E-Type, Enzo Ferrari called it the most beautiful vehicle ever made; this should be enough to convince anyone that the car is an utterly timeless classic.
The 1989 Nissan Skyline is perhaps one of the most beloved Japanese sports cars in the world, specifically the GT-R model. The Skyline will never go out of style, and the signature rear lights also give the nod to American muscle cars and classic English roadsters.
The F40 commemorated the 40th anniversary of Ferrari and was the last car that was personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. The F40 was produced from 1987 until 1992, and this vehicle was the fastest and most expensive vehicle made by the manufacturer at the time. Although reception was mixed on release, the F40 has become a revered icon of Ferrari.
The Audi S8 has been produced since 1994 and has seen four different incarnations of the model released to the public. Notable for high-performance, reliability, and the first mass-market vehicle to use aluminum chassis, the S8 remains a stylish sleeper that will not be out of style anytime soon.
Representing the high-performance version of the BMW 3 Series, the M3 includes engine, handling, and braking improvements as well as adding aerodynamic and lightweight body components. The M3 has remained a favorite of BMW enthusiasts since 1985, and the bold design features have influenced several other manufacturers since.
Dodge Power Wagon
Dodge set the bar high with their attempt at creating a rugged, utility work vehicle that was extremely tough in most conditions. The original Power Wagon was produced from 1945 until 1980 and provided an outstanding blueprint for American work vehicles to model themselves after. The original power wagon also represents military-style vehicles penetrating their way into the consumer market after World War II.
Honda Civic SI
The Civic SI has been manufactured since 1984 and has provided a high-performance variant of the standard Civic. The SI Civic is known for edgy lines, dark wheels, and aerodynamic add-ons such as body kit and spoiler.
It is hard to believe it has been over fifty years since the first 911 rolled off the production line in Germany during 1963. The bug-eyed beauty has made a significant mark on styling within European luxury sports cars.
The first generation of the Mazda RX-7 was manufactured from 1978 until 1980, and the popularity of the vehicle paved the way for many Japanese sports cars to penetrate the North American market in the 1980s. The RX-7 has seen two additional models released since the Series 1, but it was the first incarnation of the model that provided long-lasting inspiration to future designers.
The Nissan Leaf is a compact, five-door hatchback that runs on battery power, released in 2010; the Leaf has become the most popular electric vehicle of all time. The sharp v design of the front end along with the exceptionally shaped headlights make the Nissan Leaf a true automotive icon in the new age of environmental awareness.
Toyota Supra A80
The Supra was in production from 1978 until 2002, but it was the A80 model of 1993 that made an impact on Japanese performance car design. The rounded body style was unique, and the engine under the hood solidified the A80 Supra's place in automotive history.
The 190SL proved that classic cars could offer some form of practicality with an increased trunk space and a lighter body, which improved fuel consumption. This classic vehicle provides many design features for modern sports cars as well as being a sought-after item for any collector.
Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG
The 560 AMG was one of Mercedes-Benz longest produced vehicles, manufactured from 1979 until 1991. As well as having a stylish profile on the road, this vehicle also introduced several safety features that became mandatory in all cars.
Also known as the Fairlady Z, this excellent Japanese vehicle was produced from 1978 until 1983. An absolute cult-classic among Japanese car enthusiasts, the design resembles a speeding bullet or even some of the later Corvette models. These vehicles are becoming increasingly rare across North America however an avid community still exists today.
The Cayenne has become a modern symbol of luxury SUVs, combining sleek Porsche design and luxuriousness with the power and handling of a sports car. Many modern SUV vehicles have taken design cues from the Cayenne which helped in shifting the overall shape of these vehicles from a box-like design to a more refined and sleek appearance.
Tesla Model X
The Tesla Model X is a cross-over SUV vehicle that is also fully electric and combines a futuristic, sleek look with the practicality of an SUV. While offering room for seven adults and their luggage, the Tesla Model X will surely also inspire many vehicle designs in the future.
Bugatti has created the world's most expensive production vehicle in the Veyron, and the company went all out in both design and performance. The Veyron has been described as a stylish, insect-like machine that is unique regarding its posture on the road. The price tag for the Veyron is over $2 million, so start saving now.