Barely a week goes by without a book thumping on to the desks in C&SC towers purporting to be the definitive list of the best 100/500/1000 classics/supercars/beautiful cars/whatever.
I don’t have anything against that, but just as when C&SC picks a group of cars (except when we use a poll of experts or readers, of course), unless it goes into encyclopaedic depth, it is by definition going to be rather subjective. The exception possibly being the Cars of the Century project some years back.
In their more candid moments, many of the authors will confess that their choices are influenced by all manner of trivial things (quite apart from their personal preferences car-wise) such as what they have written about recently, what they know they can do off the top of their heads, or tweak from previous efforts, or even what photos they already have to hand.
To be honest, knowing what they get paid for a book and the effort that it takes to complete one, I can understand why some of the writers don’t sweat too much over every tome they churn out.
I should also stress that I am definitely not implying that any of the books in the main picture are representative of any of what I am saying, they were just a few random ones I grabbed for a quick photo.
So, don’t get me wrong, there are millions of emphatically impressive labour-of-love books out there, but with this particular genre, it always strikes me that readers are being slightly misled by the presentation of these lists as comprehensive when they are usually anything but.
What to do about it, then?
Ask you lot, obviously!
With your help, I want to turn one person’s opinion into 100s, even 1000s and that surely is a fairer reflection of what really constitutes the best. Decided by enthusiasts for enthusiasts.
Here’s how I am going to go about it, To try and keep it as simple as possible and avoid just a disconnected list of random cars, I am going to break it into five categories.
All you have to do is select your top five (from any era) in any or all categories with your first choice receiving 25 points, your runner-up 20 and so on until your fifth choice receives five points. If you want to add some brief explanatory notes for your choices, that would be better still.
Here are the categories, with no date restrictions at all – it can be anything from the Benz Patent Motorwagen of 1886 to whatever potent little sexbomb Kia is launching this week:
Best drivers’ car
Most beautiful car
Most important car
Best all-rounder (including practicality!)
Your dream car (money no object)
And that’s it. Please share you opinions and urge all your petrolhead friends, family, acquaintances and pets to share theirs, too. The more the better, and the more balanced and true the results.
I might even turn the results into a book!