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The Most Iconic Cars in Automobile History


The world is full of brilliant cars, but few attain the honour of being called an iconic car. It is hard to define the word iconic, but we generally mean an iconic car would be one that would stand out from the rest, one that changes the industry forever, one that simply everyone fell in love with, and one which remained evergreen. There are many that fit this description, and as such, it was not an easy task for us to list down the best cars in the history of all because if you ask ten petrolheads, you will get ten different lists. So, many opinions exist but this is our list of the best cars in the history of cars.

As such after much research and debate, we present to you the most iconic cars in automobile history. The list is no particular order or ranking.


The legendary BMW M1 was one of the most famous sports cars of the 1970s. Designed by Paul Bracq and Giorgio Guigiara, it is a timeless design that drew the eyes of everyone. BMW M1 had an unique look that inspired racing but also aesthetics, it had certain key characteristics in its design that set it apart from the rest. The design was a study of the BMW Turbo in 1972 and has built-in dynamics that allow the car to retain a low centre of gravity in order to allow top cornering. 

The engine of the BMW M1 was very impressive and remains remarkable. It produces 277 horsepower with a maximum torque of 330 Nm and has a 6-cylinder petrol engine with 3.5 litres of displacement. It hit maximum speeds of 265 km/h which was the fastest German sports vehicle of the time. The BMW M1 had excellent handling due to its light weight. In a nutshell, the BMW M1 is a definite iconic one in the history of cars and loved by many still today.

Ford Model T

The Ford Model T would probably qualify as the most iconic car of all time. It is the first accessible automobile that a normal middle-class American could afford, thanks to Ford’s efficient assembly line system at their factory. The Ford Model T was rightfully called the most influential car of the 20th century. It was the eighth most sold car of all time as per a 2012 survey at 15 million units. This was because the Ford Model T aimed to become a reliable, easy to understand and maintain, and a method of mass transportation. 

The engine was a four-cylinder one mounted at the front which produced maximum speeds of 72 km/h with a 20 horsepower and ran on gasoline, ethanol, or kerosene. It was a rear-wheel drive vehicle and had a two-speed transmission. The way of operating the Ford Model T was different to how today’s cars are operated with its pedals and throttle being controlled by a level. All in all, a literal iconic car, the Ford Model T, a car that started off the automobile boom.

Porsche 911

Yet another legendary and iconic car, the Porsche 911. It was introduced in 1964 and is a luxury sports car, it is one of the most recognisable and popular cars out there. The car was known for its rear engine and being air-cooled. It was used for different competitions after private modifications and was said to be the best competition car. The original models of the Porsche 911 had 1,991 cc, 130 horsepower engines with a five-speed transmission and had two seats with a limited rear space. 

The Porsche 911 is regularly referred to as one of the best sports cars that exists. Its rear-engine placement allowed for great handling and even oversteering and had a sporty feeling because of the power coming out from the back, a simply unique car of its time. The Porsche 911 also had great interior with comfortable leather seats that hug your body and keep you safe while high-speed cornering. To this day, the Porsche 911 ranks as the best sports car. A deserving iconic car, one that will remain in the history books of best cars.

Mercedes Benz 300SL

Mercedes Benz 300SL is one of the most attractive cars ever built. It is one of the most sought-after cars and is priced easily above 1 million US dollars. The car is a marvel, the right combination of sports and luxury. A unique part about this car is its engine placement, it is mounted on its side in order to produce a lower centre of gravity to improve handling. The brakes were also quite innovative as they were wider to make up for the lack of friction area. As for the suspension, it had four-wheel independent one; this car, if owned today, would not be called outdated as it had features that would give a tough time to even modern cars.

With its powerful engine, its top speeds reached up to 263 km/h and was one of the fastest cars of its time. The interior of the car was solid and inspired sportiness but also comfort, the high-quality seats hugged you tight and made sure you remained safe during hard turns or high speeds. All in all, a legendary car that would still put modern cars to shame, and as such, its worth is over a million dollars.

Volkswagen Golf

A grey Volkswagen Golf parked.

The Volkswagen Golf, the top three best-selling model of the world, is another iconic car in the history of cars. It was born in 1974 as a successor to the legendary Volkswagen Beetle and continues to this day, remaining in the top lists. The Volkswagen Golf has received World Car of the Year twice because of how of an excellent car it has been. It was initially sold as Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and the first generation had a 1.6 litre engine with maximum speeds of up to 180 km/h and was front-wheel drive.

Currently, it comes with a 1.4 litre engine which gives a solid 147 horsepower with a 184 lb-ft torque. It offers 8-speed auto transmission and offers great handling with its 16 inches wheels for a comfortable ride. The interior is roomy with about 53 cubic feet of storage space and a solid number of features. 

The original Volkswagen Golf had a completely new design as it changed to a water-cooled front engine rather than the air-cooled rear engine of the Beetle. It became more angular as opposed to round and downward facing headlights. Further generations kept on improving with better aerodynamics, interior, performance, and features. The Volkswagen Golf deserves to be included in the most iconic cars in history; after all, it is the top three most selling models in the world.


The top 5 most iconic cars in the history of cars are presented above from Ford to Volkswagen, all these cars started with strong roots and top automobile companies that kept consumer’s needs but also innovation at the heart of their decision-making which made their cars top sellers, most popular, and iconic. 

Yes, some of you may have expected some other car to be included in this list and we know that many other cars potentially deserve but this is our opinion of the most iconic cars in automobile history. And, again as aforementioned, ask about the most iconic cars to ten different petrolheads and you will get ten different lists. As such, the list is very subjective and opinion-based.

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