A list of the best side mirrors in automotive history isn’t exactly an exciting one on paper. Until you start to actually look through some of the cooler side mirrors to ever adorn production cars and you realize there are some really cool ones. In this new list from Top Gear, we take a look at the nine greatest side mirrors in history and an E36 BMW M3 lands on the list.

The E36 BMW M3 isn’t exactly the pinnacle of automotive design. As an E36 lover, I personally happen to love it. But there’s no denying that its boxy shape isn’t exactly gorgeous. Having said that, the M3 version actually had one really cool design — its side mirrors.

Like delicate little tear drops, the side mirrors of the E36 BMW M3 look as if the wind is pulling them off the car. They’re held in place by two delicate little stalks and are very pretty. What’s interesting is that they’re the only round bit of design on the car. Everything else is boxy and square, which sounds like it wouldn’t work but it sort of does.

What’s really cool is that the E36 BMW M3’s side mirrors actually got some attention among some genuinely beautiful designs. For instance, mentioned in the same list are those from the Porsche 911 Speedster, which are beautifully sculpted bullet-looking things, and those from the Pagani Huayra, which are gorgeous, delicate and and designed to look like a woman’s eye. At least, according to Horacio Pagani himself, who designed them.

At first, side mirrors seem like an afterthought and they really are on most cars. In fact, they’re usually just made to be as aerodynamic as possible, so as to not get in the way of airflow. So they’re designs are typically function over form. However, when car designers actually play with the idea of good looking side mirrors, they can transform the look of a car and really stand out. As with the case of the E36 BMW M3.

[Source: Top Gear]