Enzo Ferrari once said, “I don’t sell cars; I sell engines. The cars I throw in for free since something has to hold the engines in.” And there’s no doubt Ferrari put all his heart and soul into making beautiful cars to hold those engines, but then again, he did need something worthy to frame the true masterpiece under the hood.

You’ll find that if a car’s engine — as well as the bay it sits in — is beautiful, then the rest of the car’s design follows suit. And since most of a car’s moving parts are under the hood, there are infinite possibilities for creative use of space and masterful design work. That’s why it’s a shame to see most modern manufacturers cover up the engine with cheap plastics and crowd the engine bay with machine-stamped, mass-produced parts all in the name of efficiency. These are our 15 favorite engine bays mechanical canvases of all.

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa

Making a case for red heads since 1957.

Making a case for redheads since 1957.

1991 Bugatti EB110

Seeing the throttle bodies at work is like watching a tiny ballet on the valve covers.

Seeing the throttle bodies at work is like watching a tiny ballet on the valve covers.

1932 Maybach Zeppelin DS8 Sport Cabriolet

Even the engine was given a luxurious amount of space.

Even the engine was given a luxurious amount of space.

1992 McLaren F1

Even the most opulent cars in the world aren't lined with gold.

Even the most opulent cars in the world aren’t lined with gold…except for the F1. But it’s purely for performance.

2001 Alfa Romeo 156 GTA

Bravo to Alfa Romeo for leaving that beautiful chrome waterfall exposed.

Bravo to Alfa Romeo for leaving that beautiful chrome waterfall exposed.

1966 Lamborghini Miura

A transverse V12 sprouting Velocity stacks? It would have been a sin not to include the Miura's V12.

A transverse V12 sprouting Velocity stacks? It would have been a sin not to include the Miura’s V12.

2014 Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead “Waterspeed” Edition

As far as modern engine bays go, Rolls Royce does not disappoint.

As far as modern engine bays go, Rolls-Royce does not disappoint.

1961 Jaguar E-Type

We're very happy to hear Jaguar is making a move back to straight-six engines. (Photo: Hemmings)

We’re very happy to hear Jaguar is making a move back to straight-six engines. (Photo: Hemmings)

Porsche 911 Reimagined by Singer

There's not much room creativity in the back of a standard 911, but give Singer some quilted leather and they'll work wonders.

There’s not much room for creativity in the back of a standard 911, but give Singer some quilted leather and they’ll work wonders.

1967 Ferrari 312 F1

Whether this qualifies as an engine bay is debatable -- but as a work of art there's no question.

Whether this qualifies as an engine bay is debatable — but as a work of art there’s no question.

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

Even with a 4.7-liter V8, there's still enough room to fall in on either side.

Even with a 4.7-liter V8, there’s still enough room to fall in on either side. (Photo: Barrett Jackson)

1930 Cadillac V-16 Convertible

Can you believe this is a (very distant) relative of the ETC? [WHAT'S ETC?]

Can you believe this is a (very distant) relative of Cadillac’s electric-hybrid ELR?

Jaguar CX-75

If you have a pair of mid-mounted turbines, you have to make sure they're properly illuminated for everyone to see.

If you have a pair of mid-mounted turbines, you have to make sure they’re properly illuminated for everyone to see.

2011 Pagani Zonda R

Suspension, chassis, engine -- all are bolted together like one mechanical nervous system of high-strung performance.

Suspension, chassis, engine — all are bolted together like one mechanical nervous system of high-strung performance.

2001 Spyker C8

Almost everything on the C8 is designed to perfection. That includes the details you can't always see.

Almost everything on the C8 is designed to perfection. That includes the details you can’t always see.

Other Gorgeous Details

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Engine bays aren’t the only beautiful little details we love. Look over our favorite finishing touches (superficial and functional). Read the Story