Debates over the most iconic cars ever produced have been, and will always be, raging among passionate gearheads in bars and on social media across the world. You could ask a hundred car lovers to give you their top 5 list and receive a hundred different lists in response. There might be some names that appear more often than most, but when it comes to cars it seems that opinions are more subjective than objective. The issue, perhaps, is defining the term 'iconic'. There are many ways to interpret this, whether it's about aesthetics, top speed, performance, exclusivity, the price tag, or something intangible. For the sake of this list, these are the cars that made the world sit up and take notice.
1. Ford Model T
The oldest car on this list and, without doubt, one of the most iconic cars to ever roll off the production line, Henry Ford's Model T was the world's first affordable automobile. Until 1908, when the Model T was produced, automobile travel was highly exclusive, available only to the super-rich. Ford's aim was to democratize this form of transport, which he achieved extraordinarily successfully, and by 1913 the Model T was outselling the combined output of the entire world's car manufacturers. The Ford Model T was by no means glamorous, but it changed the entire socio-economic fabric of the 20th century. Truly iconic.
2. Porsche 911
1963 saw the arrival of arguably the world's most recognizable sports car, as Porsche released its iconic 911. Famous for its unusual rear-engine, the 911's essence has remained unchanged over the years, cementing its place as one of motoring's great design and technology masterpieces. Like you think of the Testarossa when you hear Ferrari, the 911 is the first car that springs to mind when you hear the name Porsche.
3. Volkswagen Beetle
You'd struggle to find a more instantly recognizable car than the VW Beetle. Internally designated at Volkswagen as the 'Type 1', the Beetle was produced as a car for the German masses to take advantage of the country's new road network that had been developed by the late 1930s. One of the most ubiquitous vehicles ever made, the Beetle continued to be produced in huge numbers for the best part of 70 years. A few safety issues and a lack of power can't take iconic status away from this firm favorite.
4. Aston Martin DB5
Is there a fictional character more iconic than James Bond? Possibly not. With that in mind, the car synonymous with the suave spy rides into our top 5 oozing effortless class. The DB5 was named after David Brown, Aston Martin's chief, between 1963 and 1965 with a 4.0-liter, 282 bhp engine. With its elegant design and permanent association with 007, the Aston Martin DB5 is one of the most sought-after vehicles on the list.
5. Bugatti Veyron
Possibly even faster than all of the other cars on this list put together, the Veyron - named after Pierre Veyron, Bugatti's development engineer - was an astonishing feat of engineering. The hypercar's quoted 0-62mph was 2.46 seconds, leaving even other 200mph cars in the dust. From a technological standpoint, the Veyron takes the crown, although due to impossible demands for the technical team it was not a business success. Nonetheless, for form, function, looks, and sheer power, the Veyron is every bit an icon.