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In Pictures: The cars you'll always remember

Soulful cars may not always be reliable, but they are perfectly imperfect and always memorable

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Citroen 2CV: designed to carry two peasant farmers and 100 kilos of farm goods to market at 60 kilometres per hour along roads ripped apart by artillery shells, the 2CV was super slow, and super soulful. Only the French could make this car.

iStockPhoto

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1970 Dodge Charger RT: Plum-colored paint, side scoops and a throbbing, 440-cubic-inch V8 make for a soulful ride. You remember this one.

Courtesy Toronto International Auto Show

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1966 Alfa Romeo Spider Duetto: The Spider became an icon after its appearance in the 1967 movie The Graduate, where a youthful Dustin Hoffman got seduced by a family friend. That may have added to the car's soulfulness.

Reuters

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The Shelby Daytona coupe is a soulful car thanks to its unique, muscular shape and its connection to the golden age of auto racing. The coupe was designed by Peter Brock (shown here with his wife Gayle) while he worked with Carroll Shelby, the legendary creator of the Shelby Cobra

Gayle Brock

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You don't forget your first ride in a Caterham Seven (especially if you get a rock in the head.) The Seven still carries the unmistakable imprimatur of the man who designed it back in the 1950s - Colin Chapman, the legendary founder of Lotus cars. He imbued the car with soul that has never been extinguished. (Crash protection is another matter.)

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Buick Special: it looks like it should come with a Blues musician at the wheel. And it often does.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Austin Healey: With one of the most beautiful shapes ever applied to a sports car (and one of the leakiest convertible tops), the Healey conjures up the soulful style of mid-20th century England.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Air-cooled Porsche 911: in the 1960s, the Porsche 911 came with a manual transmission, an air-cooled motor, and handling characteristics that kept it out of the hands of status-seeking yuppies who couldn't drive a stick or cope with trailing-throttle oversteer. That time has passed, along with the car's soulfulness.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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1964 Ford Thunderbird: this is a car that epitomizes American style in the Mad Men era. With lines and mechanical underpinnings that speak to its period, the Thunderbird is unique and unforgettable. (Especially in pastel colours.)

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Tatra 603: with looks that conjure up a Sputnik capsule crossed with an Edsel, the Czech-built Tatra stands out from the crowd with its Eastern-bloc soul.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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1959 Mercedes 300 sedan: The solid quality and distinctive lines of this classic Mercedes sedan conjure up a time when Mercedes was more than a mass-market luxury brand. Definitely soulful.

Peter Cheney/The Globe and Mail

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Late-50's VW Beetle: it was commissioned by Adolf Hitler, designed by Ferdinand Porsche, and became the best-selling car in the world. The Beetle had oodles of soul (and really bad brakes.) The one shown here was owned by the family of television director Herrie ten Cate in the 1960's (he's on the left, age two or so.)

Courtesy of Herrie ten Cate

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Uniqueness is a key ingredient of automotive soul. And few cars can beat the Porsche 356 "Bathtub" Speedster on that score.

Porsche

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