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!



@Chris Martin: I didn't think the Prius would be the one I'd have to defend, but defend it I will. The Benz Motorwagen is there because it showed people that you didn't need a horse or a 20-ton steam engine out front to move your carriage around. It wasn't actually very good. The Model T is there because it showed people that you didn't need to spend a small fortune on a car. It wasn't actually that good. The Prius is there because it has shown that a major car maker can experiment with alternative powertrains and sell cars so equipped to the general public in decent numbers. Like it or not, there's a big hybrid/electric push on the horizon, and the Prius was the first, important step in getting the public to accept that. Also, I have driven one, and it turns out it's quite excellent.

Chris Martin

Thanks to lukecrowley571 for explaining your thinking, and yes, right or wrong, Toyota did succeed in getting a hybrid out there in some numbers, but my argument is that while it is an alternative to other cars on the market, there is nothing new in it's concept, and neither is it going to change the world. For a more detailed reasoning behind this I have posted a new thread over on the Non-classic matters forum which I suspect could start a long running argument, but hey; don't shoot the messenger, I just tell it as I see it. Other worhty concepts could include the Stanley Steamer or the NSU Ro80, both great cars in their own right, but both consigned to history as not quite what the public wanted.

As for driving a Prius, I will admit you are one up on me there, although I have been a passenger in one a friend had as a company car, but it seemd as capable as any other modern, no more, no less.




Do you think lukecrowley571 has driven all those cars ? If I put five cars in each catoagory I would simply be putting down most

of the cars i have owned - goodness there would be a P5 in 'best handling' -  how rediculous is that !


Thank you for the chance to dream aloud.
Best driver's car: Lotus Elan 1962.
Most beautiful: Type 35 Bugatti / E-Type jaguar (I can never make up my mind!)
Most important: MG M-Type Midget 1929 (Because without it there might never have been affordable sports cars.)
Best all-rounder: Mazda MX-5 1989.
Dream car: Aston Martin DB4 GT.

Old Number One

Best Drivers Car
Ferrari 250 GT SWB Berlinetta

Most beautiful car
Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 Villa d'Este

Most important car
Volkswagen Beetle

Best all-rounder
Porsche 911

Dream car
Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe (to actually discover it!)


Best Drivers Car
Ferrari 360

Most beautiful car
Ferrari 250

Most important car
Audi R8

Best all-rounder
BMW Zagato Coupe

Dream car
Bugatti Type 57 Aerolithe
white kitchen cabinets


This would be a good idea for you posting this. It helps other online enthusiast who has the heart for cars. Some car lovers tend to post blogs, articles, etc to express their passion for cars. 

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