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The most beautiful pre-war cars ever made

Vintage car

A love of cars is the glue that holds the staff at Trafalgar Street car park together. We love small ones, large ones, old ones, new ones – we just can’t get enough of them! But the cars that get us talking the most are those works of art that are so beautiful that they deserve to be in a gallery rather than being sullied by the dirt and damage of the road. After much discussion, we decided to list our favourites by era, so this week we’re going to look at some of the most stunning examples of pre-war cars.

Bugatti T57 – 1934-40

Less than 700 of these beauties were made in the six years of production, but in the T57’s case less is definitely more. With its long bonnet, elegant lines, and sweeping wheel arches, the T57 was the plaything of the aristocracy and A-list celebrities of the day.  Ralph Lauren recently bought a rare 1936 T57SC for over $40million proving that some things never stop being desirable!

Mercedes-Benz 540K Cabriolet – 1035-40

Possibly the most beautiful Mercedes ever built, the 540K was designed to be everything its predecessor, the 500K, was and more. Much more in fact. With an increase in size, power and refinement, the 540K would have been a success without its facelift, but the sleek lines and expanded curves made the cabriolet version of this monster one of the most desirable cars around.

Talbot-Lago T150 CSS – 1935-40

Another iconic vehicle from the 30s was the Talbot-Lago T150 CSS, a breathtakingly beautiful coupé that oozed French chic. Nicknamed “The Teardrop” because, well, it looked like a teardrop, the sweeping curves of the T150 art deco classic combined with the powerful 4-litre engine made headlines in the fashion and racing world. Many feel that the streamlined nature of this car changed the way designers built racing cars forever.

Duesenberg Model J – 1928-37

Designed to challenge the best Europe could offer, the Duesenberg Model J not only did that but did it with a style rarely seen. More beautiful than a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost and just as refined, the Model J was the height of luxury and status in pre-war America. Maybe that’s why it was the car of choice for Mae West, Howard Hughes and, um, Al Capone!

We know that a list like this is subjective, which is why we want to hear your views. Head on over to Twitter and let us know your thoughts; maybe you have a favourite from the era that we’ve missed? But of course, rest assured that you don’t need to drive one of these to park with us at Trafalgar Street car park!