Help me compile the real definitive list of the best cars ever


Author: James ElliottPublished:

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.

You can post them on the dedicated thread on our Forums, on C&SC’s Facebook or Google+ pages, or e-mail them to me at and I will collate all the scores.

I might even turn the results into a book!



My family owned quite a few Borgwards in the 60s i.e. the saloon, the station wagon and the coupe, however, I still think that the best looking car of all times is the Borgward Isabella coupe. It still gets a lot of admirers and heads turn around to watch her as she make her way majestically along the roads. I do think that this car is still a heroe with regards to looks and even to performance, considering the age. Thanks

V. Palmier

Jim Simpson

Best Drivers car (vintage) would be a Lancia Fulvia coupe

Most beautiful car would possibly be the Alfa Romeo Sportiva by Bertone

Most important car would perhaps be the Ford GT 40

Best all rounder sports car would have to be the Mazda Miata NC

Dream car would be a Lamborghini Miura SV


obviously based on my limited knowledge

Best drivers car - Mini Cooper ( the original )
Most beautiful - Lotus 79 ( Dutch GP '78 )
Most important - '59 Mini
Best all-rounder - Triumph 2500S
Dream car - Bugatti type 35


Best Drivers' Car:

1. McLaren F1
2. Lotus Elan (original)
3. Ferrari 250 GT SWB
4. Porsche 911 (won't specify which one, just 'the best one')
5. AC (Shelby) Cobra 289

Most Beautiful Car:

1.Talbot-Lago T150 'Teardrop'
2.Ferrari 250 California
3. Alfa Romeo 6C Villa d'Este
4. Alfa Romeo 8C Competizione
5. Citroen DS

Most Important Car

1. Benz Patent Motorwagen
2. Ford Model T
3. Volkswagen Beetle
4. Toyota Corolla
5. Toyota Prius

Best all-rounder

1. Mercedes-Benz W124
2. Lada Riva
3. Range Rover
4. Lexus LS
5. BMW 3 Series (E90)

My Dream Car

1. Ferrari 250 GTO
2. Rolls-Royce Phantom (current one)
3. Bugatti Royale (the Coupe Napoleon, if I must pick one)
4. Citroen DS
5. Bristol Fighter

Peter Settle

this is so important that I don't even agree with the criteria.What is "best"?-your first car?the car in which you lost your virginity?
the first car you entered a competitive event?the car that inspired you the most?the car you lusted after? etc etc.Also you can't ignore the sordid aspect of what you can afford.However for me the answer is easy-any car driven by the late and much missed Jim Clark-he could turn anything into a beautiful swan from an ugly duckling-sorry not to be specific.After the JCMR this year as always I visited his humble grave in Chirnside and shed a tear and crossed myself.A good man that gave of his best is everything he drove-Peter Settle


I feel a can of worms coming on...


1.Driver's car: Lotus Elise

2.Most beautiful: Alfa Romeo tipo33 stradale, Lamborghini Miura

3.Most important : Austin/Morris Mini (simply because most modern cars follow Issigonis' engineering principles)

4.Best all-rounder : no idea

5. Dream Car : Mclaren F1, Ferrari F40, Bugatti type35...oops, getting carried away...

Chris Martin

Well James, that's one way to find out who, or how many are still reading the website - yep, it's list time again !
But, I notice all these replies are on the blog page (I am about number 8) and still none on the forum. And although fergieswatchmaker's reply is probably the most astute, only lukecrowley571 has answered in the format you requested, and even he ballsed it up by including the Prius which was nothing more than a marketing gimmick, soon to be forgotten.
I'll get working on my list pronto.
Chris Martin



Just my tuppence worth but surely when it comes to the "Driver's cars" category, we should only refer to cars that we've actually driven. How else would we know ?

Chris Martin

pure is right, and that is why on my submission(over on the forum) I have included only cars I have driven, so consequently it is not maybe the list you were expecting. And yes, I have driven a Porsche 911, but only in regular traffic and not exploring it's abilities, ditto the late seventies Aston Martin V8, but I fully expect this to be an inviitation to some to indulge in their own 'Fantasy Drive' wish list.
Chris M.


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