The 100 Greatest Cars Of All Time...

Commendably addicted PHers may remember that we ran a story back in August on 'the 100 greatest cars of all time'. Or, more accurately, the '100 greatest cars of all time according to the Americans'.

It was compiled, the folks at Inside Line informed us, to "reflect a vehicle's direct contribution to American car culture". Inevitably it threw up some, er, interesting results, and some lively debate on our very own forums.

So heated was the debate, in fact, that PHer Matt Fullwood (aka 300bhp/ton) felt that PH should create its own list, using broadly the same ethos as Inside Line, but tweaked for a British angle: "Greatness, for the reason of this list, is defined by a vehicle's direct, significant contribution to British automotive culture, taking into account other World markets."

Finally, after much debate, many nominations, more than one forum thread on the subject and a lot of blood, sweat and spreadsheets, 300bhp sent the list over to PH Towers. And here it is, the 100 Greatest Cars Of All Time, according to PistonHeads.

We've listed the top 10 first, followed by the countdown in its entirety. The comments on the cars are were made by PHers during voting, as 300bhp asked those nominating a car to explain exactly why it was a worthy choice. Enjoy...

(Thanks to 300bhp/ton for all the hard work)

10: Ford Mustang (first generation)
"While maybe not the technically the first pony car, it did spearhead the pony car market. Offered a fantastic mix of performance, looks, options and a bargain price."

"Ask almost anyone (in the UK as least) to mention the first American muscle car to come to mind it'll be this, the quickest selling car of all time."

9: AC/Shelby Cobra 
"The car that directly influenced the 70mph motorway speed limit, due to 180mph+ testing on the M1 motorway in 1964! - An utter legend of a car."

"A lithe British chassis with big American muscle V8 engine produced one hell of a race car and one hell of an icon."

"If not the Lotus 7, is this perhaps the most copied car ever?"

8: Mazda MX-5 (Mk1)
"The ultimate British (sic) sports car, which brought a reliable two-seater back to the everyday people. A brilliant little car that does exactly what it says on the tin, with superb steering and handling which makes it as fun as anything on a public road."

"Does not pretend to be anything more than what it is yet people continually compare it with motors infinitely more expensive. The World’s best selling sports car."

7: Ferrari F40
"Poster pin-up for many a small child and car nut alike.

"It was also the first supercar to top 200mph, the ultimate driver’s machine. The epitome of supercars and surely the greatest Ferrari ever."

"Fast. Light. Perfect."

6: Lotus/Caterham Seven
"No frills back-to-basics perfection and shows you don’t need 500hp for fun. The original race car for the road, a lesson in minimalist motoring, offering potential superbike speed and pace, but with a proper seat."

"It's like the car's wired into your body; the 7 surely has the best steering & handling of any road car ever.

Is it also the most replicated car design ever?"

5: Audi Quattro
Perhaps the greatest rally car of all time, bringing AWD to rally cars for the first time. Rallying wouldn't be what it is today without this car.

"Truly a great everyday car which perfected 4WD for road cars, it made 4WD mean more than just tractors. There would be no Subaru Impreza WRX and no Mitsubishi Evo without this."

4: Jaguar E-Type
"One of the most beautiful cars ever built (especially in roadster form), was quick and relatively affordable to the masses. A beautiful design. A style icon and one of the best cars this country had produced."

"Affordable compared with rivals from Ferrari or Aston Martin. Simply stunning."

3: Porsche 911
"Everyone knows what it is despite it having been through more image and model changes than almost any other car. It’s still the everyday supercar, so useable in all weathers and still relatively practical."

"Bloody-minded German determination to make a rear-engined car handle. Goes hard, sounds great."

"Such an iconic car in many ways recognised the world over and there have been so many wonderful versions, and all with a wonderful and extensive racing pedigree."

2: McLaren F1
"It may not be the fastest anymore, but it’s still the greatest, defining the modern hypercar where it held its top speed record for quite a long time. You also can't fault the fastidious attention to detail and the designer’s idea of automotive perfection. Gold leaf lined engine ay. Is there anything cooler?"

"An iconic British car dedicated to performance and not watered down by marketing tosh." 

1: Mini (BMC, Austin, Morris, Rover)
"Issigonis's ingenuity changed car design for ever with one of the first transverse-engined FWD cars. The formula for all everyday cars since."

"A true British icon and the most iconic British car of all time which is also a hoot to drive, is compact, economical and a fun practical car for the masses - and it was in The Italian Job!"

That list in full now...

Fiat/Abarth 500 (current) 100th .
Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato 99th  
Toyota Supra Turbo MK IV 98th  
Jaguar SS100 97th  
Jensen FF 96th  
Metro 6R4 95th  
TVR 'S' 94th  
Toyota 2000 GT 93rd  
Rover SD1 92nd  
Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost 91st  
Renault Espace 90th  
MG/AH Spridget 89th  
Lamborghini Diablo 88th  
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 (s197) 87th  
Citroen Traction Avant 86th  
Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 (2009) 85th  
Bentley Speed Six 84th  
Austin Healey 3000 83rd  
Renault Clio Williams 82nd  
Renault 5 Turbo 81st  
Jaguar MK2 80th  
Lotus Cortina 79th  
Lamborghini Murcielago 78th  
Jensen Interceptor 77th  
Jaguar XK120 76th  
Plymouth Hemi 'Cuda  75th  
Bentley Continental GT (including C)  74th  
Morris Minor 73rd  
Mercedes W124 72nd  
Jaguar XJ 71st  
Ford Capri 70th  
Dodge charger 69th  
Benz Patent Motorwagen 68th  
Aston Vantage V8 (classic) 67th  
VW Mk2 golf GTI  66th  
TVR Chimaera 65th  
Porsche 356 speedster 64th  
Mercedes S Class 63rd  
Jaguar D type 62nd  
Honda Integra Type R (DC2) 61st  
Toyota Landcruiser 60th  
Mitsubishi EVO 59th  
MG MGB 58th  
Mercedes 300SL Gullwing 57th  
Fiat 500 (Original) 56th  
Blower Bentley 55th  
Jaguar XJ220 54th  
Ariel Atom 53rd  
TVR Sagaris 52nd  
Porsche 959 51st  
Pagani Zonda 50th  
Ford Focus (MK1 & 2 including RS and ST) 49th  
Austin Seven 48th  
London Black Taxi 47th  
Willys-Overland Jeep 46th  
TVR Griffith  45th  
Lotus Elan 44th  
Lotus Carlton 43rd  
Ford Transit  42nd  
Ford Sierra Cosworth (including RS 500) 41st  
Rolls Royce Phantom  40th  
Honda NSX  39th  
Ford Escort MK1 38th  
Ferrari F355 37th  
Citroen 2CV  36th  
BMW E30 M3 35th  
Subaru Impreza Turbo (all variants) 34th  
Peugeot 205Gti 33rd  
Aston Martin DB5 32nd  
BMW 3 series 31st  
Nissan GT-R (R35) 30th  
TVR Cerbera  29th  
Ferrari 288 GTO 28th  
Land Rover Range Rover 27th  
Lancia Stratos 26th  
Ferrari 250 GTO 25th  
VW Beetle (classic) 24th  
Citroen DS  23rd  
BMW E39 M5 22nd  
Nissan Skyline (R32, R33 & R34) 21st  
Lamborghini Countach 20th  
Bugatti Veyron 19th  
Lancia Delta Integrale 18th  
Lotus Elise 17th  
Land Rover Defender 16th  
Land Rover (original Series) 15th  
Ford Model T 14th  
Lamborghini Miura 13th  
Ford GT40 12th  
VW MK1 Golf GTI 11th  
Ford Mustang (first generation) 10th  
AC/Shelby Cobra  9th  
Mazda MX-5 (Mk1) 8th  
Ferrari F40 7th  
Lotus/Caterham 7 6th  
Audi Quattro  5th  
Jaguar E-Type 4th  
Porsche 911 3rd  
McLaren F1 2nd  
Mini (BMC, Austin, Morris, Rover) 1st  

Comments (329) Join the discussion on the forum

  • karl1982 29 Sep 2011

    I think the mini is a good no:1. Its a timeless shape.

    Not sure about the veyron being so high though

  • BalhamBadger 29 Sep 2011

    karl1982 said:
    Not sure about the veyron being so hight though
    Probably up there purely from an engineering point of view.

  • davidcharles 29 Sep 2011

    ...and the arguements begin...

    bit odd saying porsche 911 at number 3, there's been 100's of 911's...some good , some great, some poor....but i get their thinking

  • Lawrence5 29 Sep 2011

    not sure on your number 1 but it's a good list biggrin

  • karl1982 29 Sep 2011

    Yes very true. It is a remarkable achievement thinking about it.

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