Hooniverse Asks- What Car is the Most 'Classical'?

What's brown and lays on the piano bench? Beethoven's last movement.

Yesterday I asked you what you thought was the most Rock & Roll car, and you came back with some most excellent suggestions from the ambulance they carted Jimi Hendrix off in, to the hearse that was Janis Joplin’s last ride. Well done rockers. Today, we want you to try something a little harder – classical cars.
Now, I don’t mean cars that are classics, but cars that – much like those that represent the epitome of rockdom – could possibly be seen as similarly representative of the works of Beethoven, Wagner, and the like. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, as there’re lots of cars that could be described as baroque, and as they always say, if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it.
So, having done so well on rock, do you think you could whip out that last vestige of culture- the one that beer and Spike TV have conspired to kill – and drop an opine on which car you think would be best in which to roll over Beethoven?
Image source: [La Femme Noire]

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  1. Maxichamp Avatar

    I'll say it: Excalibur.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Curses! Beat me to the neo-classical icon!
      <img src="http://www.mgmweddingcars.co.uk/Cars/Excalibur1.jpg&quot; width=500 /img>

      1. Maxichamp Avatar

        I'm not sure if this is an Excalibur or Zimmer, but here is California's ex-governor in one. Yuck.

        1. Black Steelies Avatar

          He ditched the Hummer for this thing?!

          1. Froggmann_ Avatar

            Well first he lost his pride, then his reputation, then his mind. Does it surprise you he has lost his taste in cars?

      2. OA5599 Avatar

        Every orchestra depends on a great horn section.
        <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3301/4613145213_926c6b2dcb.jpg"&gt;

  2. Maymar Avatar

    I'd lean towards the mid to full-sized Benz. Especially a late-model E500. Something big, traditional-looking, restrained, and still powerful.

  3. Mechanically Inept Avatar
    Mechanically Inept

    The Rollers from the old Grey Poupon ad. I don't know what model it is, and I don't care.
    [youtube G_pGT8Q_tjk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_pGT8Q_tjk youtube]

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Glove box? Mustard box!!!!

  4. CptSevere Avatar

    Late thirties Packard. About as classy as it gets.

    1. coupeZ600 Avatar

      What's that Hearse right by Boot Hill? Although it's more fugue-n-roll than strictly classical, it still tightens my Viola strings every time I see it.

      1. CptSevere Avatar

        Good call, it's like a thirty eight Packard, and in a perfect world, the 327 straight eight would be idling perfectly, with a nickel standing on edge on the head, while the car is idling. I've done that on another Packard eight, and it's a nice thing to see.

  5. RegalRegalia Avatar

    I think certain models fall into a classical categorization, but generally it seems most candidates for this question come from makes who try to live up to an image of truly representing classical. This is why you see despite major technological updates, a certain conservativism from makes like Rolls Royce and Bentley. Mercedes is classical in its philosophy only as far as its advertising can make consumers swallow it. So which one car is most classical? Easy, Deusenberg SJ.

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      I agree. Though I think there needs to be a bit of variety so I'd include Auburn and Cord as well. Add Delahaye as the Debussy of the bunch.

  6. Black Steelies Avatar

    Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, all the great classical composers were German. The classicaliest car should be the same.
    <img src="http://www.drive.ru/images/mercedes/mercedes-300sel-w108.jpg"&gt;

    1. jeremy![™] Avatar
    2. scroggzilla Avatar

      Signori Vivaldi, Rossini, Puccini and Verdi respectfully disagree
      <img src="http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4057/4688026505_8d4b1535d7.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="51 italian gp fangio and farina alfa-romeo 159 lead ascari and gonzalez ferrari 375_" />

      1. tonyola Avatar

        As do Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Stravinsky, Scriabin, and Rimsky-Korsakov.
        <img src="http://autoeng.ru/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/zil_111a1958_1.jpg&quot; width=400>

        1. marmer Avatar

          Mssrs. Debussy, Ravel, Massenet, Offenbach, Gounod, Satie, Poulenc, Milhaud, and Saint-Saëns are on the phone.
          <img src="http://www.supercars.net/gallery/119513/910/416014.jpg"&gt;

          1. marmer Avatar

            <img src="http://www.supercars.net/gallery/119513/910/416014.jpg"width=500&gt;
            for the scrolling-averse.

          2. Froggmann_ Avatar


    3. OA5599 Avatar

      Copland, Gershwin, and Glass were born in the country that gave the world this:
      <img src="http://media2.worldcarfans.com/2008/7/large/3080730.001_1011super2.jpg&quot; width=500>

  7. P161911 Avatar

    Seeing as NPR is about the only radio station that plays Classical music, I think your choices would be this:
    <img src="http://www.autos4fast.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Volvo-240-3.jpg"width=400&gt;
    Or this:
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c3/1985-SAAB900CD-front.jpg/800px-1985-SAAB900CD-front.jpg"width=400&gt;
    I'm pretty sure old Swedish cars came from the factory with the radio preset to NPR.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      I'd go with the Volvo. Those have been known to log more than a million miles, and if it ain't Baroque, why fix it?
      <img src="http://image05.webshots.com/5/0/68/58/65206858BkGpSK_ph.jpg&quot; width=500>

  8. raphaelinberlin Avatar

    Where'd that old Orosz post go on composers and old Ferraris? I think that people often forget that the utter lunacy and outrageousness of many classical composers has only been dulled by the centuries – a lot of these composers got themselves into all kinds ofto-dos, got their operas banned from polite company etc. etc. For many composers, I'd put them as Lambo types. Certainly pre-1980s Lamborghinis, when there was a bit of class mixed into the crazy doors V12 recipe.

    1. skitter Avatar

      It would be easy to pick something historic, from pre-aero F1 cars to pre-midengine sports-racing cars. The jangly or groovy scores that accompany them in period films may sometimes be performed by pops symphonies. They might be considered the tail end of classical music in truly popular culture. Any period tech-showcase made primitive by modern advances, especially if sophisticated, powerful yet reserved, more expensive and less obvious. A 550 Maranello strikes me as an anti-F-body, though a Quattroporte V or Aston Rapide would also do nicely as preludes to an evening with the classics.

  9. OA5599 Avatar

    <img src="http://www.cartype.com/pics/3254/full/t41_napoleon.jpg&quot; width=500>
    Some patrons support classical music because it gives them the inside track on business opportunities. Others patronize the performing arts because of the great parties.
    The Bugatti Royale is about as business-up-front-party-in-the-back as you would ever need to transport you to and from the performances

  10. tiberiusẅisë Avatar
    1. OA5599 Avatar

      It's better known for its Rock and Roll connections.
      <img src="http://retrorambling.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/01564_joplin.jpg&quot; width=500">

  11. Andrew Avatar

    I think the Spyker captures the spirit of Baroque pretty well:
    <img src="http://www.voodooimages.com/LAAutoShow07/images/02.%20Spyker%20Interior.jpg"&gt;

  12. Lotte Avatar

    Probably a Jaguar XJ Supersport; high class and snobbish, but can't deny it looks/sounds great. Quiet at times, but when it climaxes it can get LOUD!
    <img src="http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1316/5136476708_3afd8a4314.jpg&quot; width="400">

  13. Automobiliac Avatar

    Any "classical car" needs to be spindly and elegant. I would propose the Bugatti Type 30 as a more Vivaldi-esque creation, and if Beethoven's more your tune, then I would say Bentley Blower!

  14. Jim-bob Avatar

    I'll nominate one of my own: The 1985 Cutlass Supreme Brougham. Pillow top seats with vulgalour upholstery? Check. Faux burl walnut trim? Check. Excessive amounts of chrome? Check. Large stereo? Check. Remember: nothing spells baroque opulence like a brougham.

  15. Brett Avatar

    Ford Model-T.
    It put cars within reach of the masses, started our love affair with the car and set the stage for car culture.
    Even today, a Model-T on the street will draw a crowd.

  16. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    A VW Phaeton seems like one of those cars where the stereo should only play classical music. Although I suspect that given its origins and history the soundtrack should be something difficult like Stockhausen instead of something more accessible like Brahms.

  17. engineerd Avatar

    <img width=500 src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3e/Ford_Taurus_SHO_(second-gen).jpg">
    Most classical composers were, in some ways, the rock stars of their day. They would often live lifestyles much beyond their means, enjoy a brief stint of wild popularity, then fade away and die penniless. A while after their death they would be rediscovered and remastered. The new appreciation of their work would be tainted by myth and by the forgetfulness of history. Generations later people would look on them as geniuses who lived puritanical lives, even though more than a few were womanizers and suffered dementia from syphilis.
    Basically, they are the Ford Taurus SHO. A car that in the beginning tried to be something greater than it's lineage would suggest, enjoyed a brief period of popularity, faded away, then was resurrected into something nearly antithetical to its roots.

  18. SSurfer321 Avatar

    Nothing says classic like gull-wing doors
    <img src="http://images1.makefive.com/images/technology/motorized/the-best-automobiles/mercedes-300-sl-7.jpg"&gt;
    *img from Makefive.com

  19. P161911 Avatar

    So just any old sedan.

  20. Foolish Avatar

    I've got to go with the Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic. Honestly, I couldn't remember the name of this car, though I was pretty sure it was a Bugatti, so I had to Google for "riveted body!"
    Beautiful, in a classical music done well, kind of way.

  21. marmer Avatar

    How about a BMW Barockengel? (Baroque Angel)
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f4/BMW_Barockengel.jpg"width=500&gt;

    1. ptschett Avatar

      Yes, a thousand times yes. It's got Baroque right there in the (nick)name!

  22. facelvega Avatar

    Pre-german Rolls Royce, of course. Architects have known this since at least 1966:
    <img src="http://30.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9hf3hg6zs1qe0nlvo1_500.jpg"&gt;

  23. joshuman Avatar

    How about anything that has a man walking with a red flag in front?

  24. sparky Avatar

    1961 Continental.

    1. Froggmann_ Avatar


  25. Froggmann_ Avatar


  26. Deartháir Avatar

    I can think of only one in the modern world.
    <img src="http://www.carvehicle.net/wallpaper/1/2009/04/bugatti-veyron-sang-noir-2008-wallpaper-3.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Think about it. While time has softened the blow of their music, most of the greatest Classical composers were pushing every boundary they could, and trying every new concept they could, and the beauty of their creation is entirely a matter of opinion. Some loved the results, some thought it blasphemous, some found it distasteful. But the fact remained that no aspect of music remained unchanged by their creations. Some composers tried experimenting with new instruments, and melding them together in ways that had never been attempted. Hell, some artists even had to invent new chords altogether, just to get the sound they wanted. They pushed the boundaries, rewrote the rules, and didn't just shake the foundations of their establishments, but in some cases knocked them right down. They rewrote the theories, changed the rules, and tried things that were said to be impossible.
    No other car embodies that description better than the Veyron. And, like the contemporary public of most of these composers, the public is divided on whether they love or hate the result.

  27. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    If by classical you mean a once famous/same old song rehashed for generations, everyone recognizes but no one knows what the hell it is, interesting yet hard to live with every day, and still revered by a small group of snitty cheese eating whack-job purists, then I nominate the MGB.
    <img src="http://www.bilhistorie.dk/Billeder/MG/MGB1963.jpg&quot; width= '500" />

  28. e30m3 Avatar

    Mercedes Benz 540K, they had one at the High Museum in Atlanta for the allure of the automobile, it was really stunning http://image.automobilemag.com/f/features/news/25

  29. Age_of_Aerostar Avatar

    I'm not as good at older cars……. I think there are many better answers to the question then mine is, but still, from what I know, I always thought the Lincoln Town Car possessed a certain "classicalness" to it, and it's certainly a car that hasn't been "fixed."
    <DIV style="OVERFLOW: auto"><img src="http://wikicars.org/images/en/thumb/8/81/97_lincoln_town_car-1.jpg/250px-97_lincoln_town_car-1.jpg&quot; width=300>

  30. Jae Wycoff Avatar

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