Our wedding days, as we are frequently reminded, are the most important days of our lives. So, it only makes sense that we’d want to make a suitably impressive entrance. However, short of appearing in a puff of smoke or bungee-jumping from the belfry, most of us will have to settle for a wedding car.
But not all is lost. If you know what you want and where to look, some of the last century’s most iconic motors will give you that grand entrance you’ve built up in your head – that is, if their decades-old engines make it to the church on time. But with looks such as these, it should be a chance you’re willing to take.
A little different to the classic tourer look, but nonetheless a fantastic choice for your big day, Volkswagen’s Karmann Ghia is as striking a sports car as you could want to ride off into the sunset in. Combining the chassis and mechanicals of the Type 1 Beetle and exterior design from Ghia’s Luigi Segre, this is a true icon.
It’s moustache-like dual grille gives the Ghia a cosmopolitan European look, and in classic wedding white the car will stand out enough that you won’t need to adorn it with ostentatious or gauche bows. Nothing needs to scream wedding about the Ghia, because its sub-2 litre engine whispers sophistication loud enough.
Bentley MK VI
An icon of British resilience, the Bentley MK VI was the first post-war car produced by Bentley. Announced in 1946, the first model rolled off the production line the same year – and has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years as one of the most popular modern wedding cars.
All instances of the MK VI were painted in Crewe – in the same plant where traditional wood and leather interiors were hand-fitted. The cabin may look small, but twin suicide doors give you more than enough room to fit a wedding party through, and a sliding sunroof affords you the ability to pop out of the top in celebratory style – watch your top hat, though gents.
Between 1947 and 1956, the Princess was the Austin flagship model. With higher specification leather, wool and burr walnut interior and a 3.5 litre straight-six engine, this was heads and shoulders above the manufacturer’s other offerings – and remains so to this day.
Keep your eye out for the 1950 limousine version – now incredibly rare. This slightly longer version has an extended chassis length and passenger area to enable the installation of a pair of drop down seats and glass division – to make your big day even more deluxe.
A family-run company based in Stoke-on-Trent, Beauford obviously appreciate the importance of weddings. It may be cheating a little – as their signature Tourer is simply designed to look like a vintage car, and was first made in 1985, but these kit cars look the part – and the uninitiated wouldn’t know the difference.
With open or closed bodies, many of the vehicles are bought and constructed with the sole intention of becoming wedding cars and, what’s more, because they’re kits, the customisation options are endless. To this end, if you can imagine what you’d like a Beauford to look like, there’s likely one out there that fits the bill and is available to hire.
Rolls Royce Silver Cloud 1
First produced in 1955, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud needs no introduction. Well over 5 metres long and just shy of 2 metres wide, this is a car with a presence. A wonderfully curvy profile and towering front grille make this a motor built almost as ecclesiastically as the church you’re on the way to.
A longer-wheelbase model, introduced in 1956, is available if you’ve got a larger wedding party. But be aware, a contemporary car reviewer only just managed to get the model up over 100-miles an hour 60 years ago, so today’s models probably won’t take too much pounding – and, as gorgeous as the Silver Cloud is, the magic may dissipate should you pull up on the back of a tow truck.