For the past century, legendary marques like Ferrari, Porsche, and Aston Martin have acquired mythological status in world culture – engineering marvels that feed our instincts as road warriors and fire our desire to defy the forces of conformity.
1. FERRARI – The Superamerica Series
Ferrari can rightfully be said to have changed the way we perceive the automobile, with the Superamerica series – in which cars were equipped with the V-12 engine developed for its Grand Prix racing cars of the 50s – renowned as the world’s outstanding sports cars.
2. PORSCHE 911
Right up to the new 2008 Porsche GT2, the 911 design has remained spectacularly intact and thus commands our attention as one of the truly iconic automotive designs.
3. FORD SHELBY MUSTANG GT 350/500
The 1967-68 Ford Shelby Mustang GT 350 was one of the best American muscle cars ever built, and was made iconic during the classic 12-minute car chase sequence in 1968 cop classic Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen.
4. ASTON MARTIN DB5
The 1965 Aston Martin DB5 gained instant immortality with none other than Sean Connery’s James Bond at the wheel of the newly launched DB5 in Goldfinger. Only 1,023 examples of this superb 6-cylinder 280 PS model were ever built.
5. MERCEDES-BENZ 300 SL ROADSTER GULLWIN
Upon its launch in 1952, the Gullwing was a sensation in virtually every racing competition it entered, with the 300 SL taking first and second place at Le Mans that year.
6. MASERATI GHIBLI SPYDER
Labouring under the shadow of the great Scuderia Ferrari, Alfieri Maserati produced breathtakingly beautiful designs. To that end, the Spyder is arguably the best example of true art in motor form.
7. THE VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
The Volkswagen Beetle acquired a mytho-poetic status in the 1960s. It was the car driven by flower children, a symbol of cultural revolt and the ‘small is beautiful’ ethos outlined by E.F. Schumacher.
8. JAGUAR XKE (E-TYPE)
The ‘E-Type’ is the car that not only helped rescue the British motor industry in the 1960s, it also set a new standard for the low-slung, front-engine sports car.
9. CHEVROLET CORVETTE ‘STING RAY’ 1963-67
One of the most classic and recognisable designs in the history of automobile manufacturing, it achieved immediate accolades upon its launch in 1963.
10. TESLA MODEL 3
Finally, it’s impossible to leave Elon Musk’s electric car out of the list. Truly the most futuristic of all vehicles, the potential of this vehicle and the Tesla brand is the parallel of Henry Ford, over a hundred years on.
Last year the company passed the one million-mark for cars on the road, with an annual increase of over 35% on sales, year-on-year.