16 Greatest Cars of All Time: The Most Iconic Cars in History

The greatest cars of all time are vehicles whose performance, historical significance and aesthetics have made their marks in history. These cars have stood the test of time and are loved even up to these days.

Greatest Cars of All Time ~ Ran When Parked

Getting your hands on any of these cars might cost you a fortune due to their vintage qualities, but they are worth every dime. In this blog post, we present, in our view and estimation, the finest cars that have resonated throughout history.

The List of the Greatest Cars of All Time

Note that this list of the finest cars of all time is purely subjective and based on our research and findings. Also, it is in no particular order, as we believe each car listed here is unique in its own right. Nevertheless, we’ve strived to bring the creme-de-la-creme.

1. The Ford Model T Produced in 1908

Ford Model T Produced in 1908 ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • First affordable car
  • First mass-produced vehicle
Cons
  • Fire hazard
  • Poor brakes
Price $2,000 – $3,000
Durability 30,000 miles – 50,000 miles

 

One of the first vehicles to have made an impact on the affordability and mass production of cars is the Ford Model T. Before the advent of this vehicle, cars were handcrafted, which took a lot of time and effort, making them less affordable to the average person.

However, the introduction of this vehicle allowed the middle class to own cars, and eventually, Model T became a household name in the automotive industry.

The Model T was fitted with a 2.9L inline 4-cylinder engine that made 20 Horsepower with a maximum speed of 42 miles per hour. It was designed by the Ford Motor Company to run on gas, kerosine or ethanol and had a fuel economy rating of 13 mpg.

The Ford Model T was a rear-wheel drive and had a planetary gear transmission made up of three independent gear sets. The vehicle went on to become the highest-selling car for decades until it was overtaken by the VW Beetle in 1972.

2. The Volkswagen Beetle Made in 1938

Pros
  • Cheap to produce
  • Easy maintenance
Cons
  • Reliability
  • Fuel efficiency
Price $12,000 – $15,000
Durability 80,000 miles – 100,000 miles

 

Known as the People’s Car, the Volkswagen was ordered by the German government for the new roads that had just been constructed. A few years after its introduction, the Beetle caught on with the German people and soon became a worldwide phenomenon.

The American press waxed lyrical about the People’s Car, with many praising it for its stamina. By the end of its “lifespan,” the vehicle had made over 23 million sales across the globe.

Under the hood of the original Volkswagen was a four-cylinder air-cooled engine that produced 25 Horsepower and a top seed of 62 miles per hour. However, after World War II, the speed was increased to 71 miles per hour, and it could reach 62 miles per hour in 27.5 seconds.

It could sit up to 5 people and consumed 6.7 liters every 100 kilometers. The Beetle was discontinued in 2019 after it was accused of rigging to beat standard emissions tests.

3. The Ford Mustang Manufactured in 1964

Ford Mustang Manufactured in 1964 ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • First pony car
  • Allowed customization
Cons
  • Rust easily
  • Electrical problems
Price $19,000 – $38,000
Durability 200,000 miles – 250,000 miles

 

The second Ford vehicle on our list is the 1964 Mustang, which ushered in the era of pony cars. The Mustang was famed for its unique style that combined aesthetics with power while ensuring great fuel economy.

Built on the platform of the less popular Ford Falcon, it was initially equipped with a straight 6-cylinder engine, which produced 84 Horsepower at 4,200rpm. Later, the engine was upgraded to a V8, increasing the Horsepower to 164 at 4,400 rpm.

4. Bentley Continental GT Produced in 2002

Bentley Continental GT Produced in 2002 ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Luxurious cabin
  • Quick acceleration
Cons
  • Small cargo area
  • Fuel efficiency
Price $240,000 – $300,000
Durability 30,000 miles – 35,000 miles

 

A more modern vehicle that made a huge impact on sales is the Continental GT, introduced in 2002 at the Paris Auto Show. It was a cheaper version of the Continental R&T models, attracting a huge customer base for the company.

Under the hood was a 6L twin-turbocharged W12 engine that produced a whopping 552 Horsepower. The Continental GT gave the manufacturer access to society’s middle class and enlarged its customer base.

5. The Chevrolet Corvette Produced in 1953

Chevrolet Corvette Produced in 1953 ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Convertible top
  • High performance
Cons
  • Less space
  • Uncomfortable seating
Durability 250,000 miles – 300,000 miles
Price $90,000 – $100,000

 

The Chevy Corvette, known for its distinctive style, lightweight bodywork and competitive pricing, has enjoyed the front pages of many auto magazines for years. Originally produced as a two-seater, 6-cylinder convertible, the Corvette has upgraded over the years to include a V8 engine and competitive chassis.

Today, the vehicle boasts a 6.2L V8 engine that produces 490 Horsepower at 6,450 rpm and a torque of 465 pounds per foot at 5,150 rpm.

6. The Nissan GT-R Sports Car First Produced in 1969

 

Pros
  • Great handling
  • Speedy
Cons
  • Lurchy
  • Cabin noise
Durability 150,000 miles – 200,000 miles
Price $122,000 – $130,000

 

The GT-R Sports car was well-received when it made its appearance in 1969. Car enthusiasts could not stop talking about its exceptional all-wheel-drive system that improved handling and acceleration.

Some magazines labeled it “Godzilla” and claimed that it could accelerate from 0 – 60 miles per hour faster than a Lambo or Ferrari. The GT-R became one of the flagship products that launched Nissan into the major auto markets, racking up lots of success on the road and in motorsports.

7. Bugatti Veyron

Bugatti Veyron ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Fast
  • Powerful deceleration
Cons
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Faulty brake system
Durability 100,000 miles – 150,000 miles
Price $1,900, 000 – $2,000,000

 

Christened the Car of the Decade in the 2000s by the TV program Top Gear, the Veyron is one of the fastest street-legal vehicles. It can reach speeds of up to 267.856 miles per hour, but to protect the tires from damage, the speed is electronically limited to 258 miles per hour.

The beast features an 8.0L quad-turbocharged WR-16 that can produce a massive 1,187 Horsepower supported by a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Veyron has won race lovers over with its incredible speed and aerodynamic build, with some comparing it to the speed of the Concorde airplane.

8. Audi Quattro Made in the 1980s

Audi Quattro Made in the 1980s ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Great grip
  • Excellent torque
Cons
  • Poor mileage
  • Costly maintenance
Durability 150,000 miles – 200,000 miles
Price $49,000 – $70,000

 

The Quattro was first introduced in the late 80’s to rave press reviews, especially its traction and acceleration on wet surfaces. Originally, the vehicle featured a 2.1L SOHC I5 engine that generated 197 Horsepower at a maximum speed of 137 miles per hour.

The vehicle could accelerate from 0 – 62 miles per hour in 7.1 seconds and showcased a maximum torque of 210 pounds per foot. The new Quattro features a turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine with a maximum Horsepower of 261 miles per hour at 6,500 rpm.

9. Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Excellent powertrain
  • Stylish and Luxurious
Cons
  • Minor electrical problems
  • High dealer costs
Durability 50,000 miles – 70,000 miles
Price $42,000 – $80,000

 

This vehicle is renowned for its unique engine sound, which is often described as harmonic and passionate. It was among the first to deploy powerful twin-cam engines that can generate up to 280 Horsepower and 306 pounds per foot of torque.

Alfa has achieved several track successes in reputable competitions such as Le Mans, establishing its name as a high-performance brand. Its numerous appearances in movies and series lend credibility to its worldwide fame and appeal.

10. Toyota Prius Made in 1997

Pros
  • Excellent fuel efficiency
  • Spacious interior
Cons
  • Excessive engine oil consumption
  • Not suited to rough terrain
Durability 200,000 miles and 250,000 miles
Price $10,000 – $50,000

 

The Prius was touted as the car of the century by its manufacturer and is on record as being the first hybrid car to undergo mass production in 1997. The Prius was one of the fastest hybrid cars, selling 61% of the total of 10 million hybrid cars sold worldwide in 2017.

The vehicle comes in two body styles: a 4-door sedan and a 5-door liftback and runs on either a high-voltage or low-voltage battery. The Prius’s petrol engine produces up to 98 Horsepower combined with 20 kW from the electric motor, which powers the vehicle to speeds of 103 miles per hour.

11. Mercedes-Benz Produced in 1886

Pros
  • First practicar automobile
  • Basic transportatino
Cons
  • No steering wheel
  • Noisy
Durability 1,000 miles – 2,000 miles
Price $150

 

Mercedes Benz went down in history as the first vehicle to use an internal combustion engine in a self-propelled vehicle in 1886. Since then, the company has grown to become a household name, producing top-of-the-line luxury vehicles across the globe.

In 2018, Mercedes Benz was on record to have sold 2.31 million passenger cars, making it the largest seller of premium cars for the year. It has been over a century, and the vehicle is still going strong, producing some of the finest cars and strongest cars the world has ever known.

12. Jaguar XJ

Jaguar XJ ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Excellent performance
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Overheating
  • Burning smell
Durability 90,000 miles – 120,000 miles
Price $75,000 – $94,000

 

The XJ is one of the Jaguar cars famous for being the primary car used by British prime ministers from Margaret Thatcher to Boris Johnson. The most famous model was the Sentinel, which was fitted with armored plating, bullet-proof, and bomb-proof cars for Prime Minister David Cameron.

Aside from its prime ministerial role, the British-made luxury vehicle has made several high-profile appearances worldwide. The vehicle was discontinued in 2019 under unclear circumstances, but many believe it was due to the company’s EV plans.

13. Toyota Land Cruiser

Pros
  • Smooth drive
  • Powerful brake
Cons
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Limited rear seat room
Durability 250,000 miles – 300,000 miles
Price $94,000 – $145,000

 

The Cruiser has the enviable reputation as Toyota’s longest-running series of cars since 1951. The company has sold over 10 million units of these cars worldwide, and it continues to be in high demand due to its capacity to endure the worst temperature and traverse all kinds of terrain.

Though the vehicle appears bulky, it is speedy, as it recently chalked the fastest SUV, clocking 233 miles per hour in the Mojave Desert. The five-door SUV has a front engine mount with petrol and diesel options and is among the greatest cars of all time SUVs.

14. Land Rover

Land Rover ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Off-road capabilities
  • Great handling
Cons
  • Transmission issues
  • Electrical problems
Durability 200,000 miles – 250,000 miles
Price $83,000 – $122,000

 

The Landie, as it’s affectionately known, has been associated with British Royalty since 1951, receiving a Royal Warrant and a Queen’s Award in 2001. The company became more popular with the introduction of the Range Rover line of vehicles in 1970.

The Rover was initially designed to be cheap and suit difficult terrains, with little room for comfort. However, over time, the vehicle added several features, becoming one of the 25 best cars of all time by performance.

15. Tesla Roadster

Pros
  • Long range
  • Environmentally friendly
Cons
  • No engine roar
  • No manual transmission
Durability 50,000 miles – 70,000 miles
Price $200,000 – $250,000

 

This list won’t be complete without mentioning the car that is leading the charge for cleaner, more sustainable, and renewable energy. The first Tesla model, the Roadster, recorded a maximum distance of 311 miles on a single charge, winning the world distance record for electric cars.

It also won the 2006 Breakthrough Awards by Popular Mechanics and made it to the Forbes list of the Best Cars 2006. The Tesla Roadster isn’t in production anymore, but plans are far advanced to bring the vehicle back to the production line in the near future.

16. Aston Martin

Aston Martin ~ Ran When Parked

Pros
  • Powerful engine
  • Smooth transmission
Cons
  • Expensive to maintain
  • Engine failure
Durability 100,000 miles – 150,000 miles
Price $190,000 – $340,000

 

Whenever you think of this beauty, the first thing that comes to mind is the globally successful spy movie, James Bond. Just like the Landie, the Martin has held a Royal Warrant, supplying vehicles to the British Royalty since 1982.

The car company also won the Queen’s Award for its contribution to international trade in 2003, making it one of the top 100 cars in the world. It holds the record for having some of the most expensive cars ever sold, with its DBR 1 selling at $22,550,000 at an auction in 1956.

Conclusion

So far, we’ve given our version of the greatest cars of all time, taking into consideration their impact on the history of car making since their inception. Here is a recap of all that we’ve discovered:

  • This list of the finest cars of all time is purely subjective and based on our research and findings, and it is in no particular order, as each is unique in its own right.
  • The first vehicle to be mass-produced and relatively affordable for the average person was the Ford Model T, running on 20 Horsepower and with a maximum speed of 42 miles per hour.
  • One car that got the American press talking was the 1938 Volkswagen, which the German government ordered for their new roads.
  • The XJ Sentinel, used to transport the Prime Minister of the UK, was the most famous of the series, being fitted with armored plates and bulletproof and bombproof windows and doors.
  • This list won’t be complete without mentioning Tesla, the car that is leading the charge for cleaner, more sustainable, and renewable energy.

The Cruiser has the enviable reputation as Toyota’s longest-running series of cars since 1951 and has sold over 10 million units of these cars worldwide. Probably, the most iconic car to make a consistent appearance in movies is the Martin, with its DBR 1 selling for over $22,550,000 at an auction in 1951.

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