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10 Classic Cars Photographed With Their Contemporaries

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Classic cars are beautiful and recall an era where many had never had it so good. Auto design was opulent and cars were as much works of art as they were a form of transportation. As the twentieth century progressed, automotive design became more utilitarian, especially among everyday road going cars.

In today’s market, beauty is truly returning to the automotive industry. Just look at Jaguar’s F-Type sports car in the same light as the legendary E-Type. Both are jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the tastes both eras era are reflected in their styling. Here is a selection of photographs of classics and their contemporary successors. The art of the car is back in full force.

1. Ford Mustang


When the Ford Mustang first became available to consumers in 1964, it instantly became a symbol of speed and freedom. Between 1979 and 2004, its looks may have taken a turn for the worse, but the introduction of the fourth generation saw a return to the retro styling nearly everyone loves. Now, the sixth generation Mustang marries sporty lines with modern car building. Pictured here is a 1968 Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500 KR with a 2005 GT500.

2. Land Rover

Land Rover Defender and Disco

Synonymous with off-roading (and at times colonial conquest), Land Rovers were once used to explore impenetrable new frontiers. Now, they are largely used to shuttle around families in the suburbs. This being said, the boxy style, clean surfaces, and raised ride height have solidified the brand in motoring history. This image depicts the Land Rover Defender and the concept for the Discovery Sport that replaced it this year. The Defender was put into production in 1983, but it can draw its lineage back to the 1948 Land Rover Series offroaders.

3. Audi RS 2 Avant and RS4


A limited production run of a single year, the Audi RS 2 Avant established the lineage of RS performance vehicles that so many car lovers lust after. While not as old as many of the other classics on this list, its importance in automotive history is still noteworthy. This wagon had acceleration figures on par with the contemporary Chevy Corvette and Porsche 911. The RS4 also pictured above carries on that legacy; what appears to be an ordinary wagon actually boasts a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a V-8 under the hood that cranks out 450 horsepower. This pair shares a legacy of understated speed and elegance.

4. Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray


While the first Corvette hit the streets of the U.S. in 1953, the Sting Ray first came into fruition in 1963 with the Corvette C2. The Corvette’s beauty, speed, and its ability to rival European supercars for performance and handling have placed it in a sacred space in the annals of American auto history. That legacy continues today with the C7 Stingray. The newest Corvette not only has a jaw-dropping presence due to its exotic styling and aggressive stance, but the engineers and designers at Chevy managed to maintain the beauty of the original Sting Ray but truly modernized its look for a new generation.

5. Porsche 911


The original 911 was produced in 1964 with the intention to replace the smaller but still beautiful 356. Now, the 911 moniker has stuck around for more than fifty years, with improvements added on to model after model. As such, the shape of the 911 has only changed gradually over time, making it one of the most successful and recognizable sports cars on the market.

6. Aston Martin DB5 and DBS V12


The DB5 is instantly recognizable as James Bond’s car from Goldfinger and was named the most famous car in the world after it appeared on the big screen. Despite this fact, it is still one of the most beautifully styled cars of all time. Today, Aston Martin has continued to produce voluptuous grand tourers and also to be featured in the cinematic exploits in James Bond. In recent Daniel Craig installments, 007 has driven a DBS V12 that still features the signature grill the world has come to love.

7. Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II and Wraith


The name Rolls-Royce evokes images of white-gloved chauffeurs, sumptuous leather, and the Spirit of Ecstasy glimmering on the hood. This is because the British manufacturer of luxury automobiles has been carefully crafting its brand identity since the inception of Rolls-Royce Ltd. in 1906. The opulent 1962 Silver Cloud and 2013 Wraith pictured here demonstrate Rolls-Royce’s timeless elegance.

8. Mercedes-Benz


Like Rolls-Royce, luxury runs deep in the veins of Mercedes-Benz. However its German counterpart also often calls upon its racing heritage, especially in the creation of beautiful grand tourers. This includes the 300SL. Made iconic with sweeping gullwing doors that swung up rather than out like a traditional car door, the 300SL was immortalized in history books. Building on this success, Mercedes-Benz continued to manufacture vehicles in its name, including the recently discontinued SLS AMG GT. Fear not, GT lovers, the AMG GT has come to fill its place.

9. BMW 328 and 328 Homage


The BMW 328 is a name that carries on today and its origin can be drawn back to the overwhelmingly successful 1936 sports car pictured here. The kidney grills featured on all BMWs can also trace their lineage back to this spectacular specimen of automotive engineering. To pay tribute, the 328 Homage was built to honor its legacy. Both of these vehicles are striking, especially when shot together in the same photo.

10. Dodge Challenger


The first Dodge Challenger was available to the public in 1970 as Dodge’s contribution to the pony car segment. While not traditionally beautiful, it had massive amounts of presence and provide affordable power to the masses. After decades of hiatus, it returned in 2007 and was styled to recall the glory days of American Muscle.

It is easy to pine for the epoch of classic cars, where function and form cooperated to produce some of the most memorable vehicles to date. Fortunately, a new automotive golden age has dawned, and exciting new cars are joining automakers’ lineups aside names that have been in the business for decades.

Once again, it’s a great time to love cars.

Photo Source: Airows

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