I have to start this blog post with a caveat. I’m a girl. I grew up obsessed with horses, not Hondas. I’m kind of terrified of car engines, and I honestly couldn’t tell you the difference between a carburetor and a camshaft. That being said, I do know an iconic car when I see one. I’ll drool over a slick Corvette as much as the next person, and right now I’ve got a bit of a fancy for early history of automobiles, since they feature a bit in a novel I’m writing. So, without further ado, I present my top 5 picks for most iconic cars.
5. The DeLorean Time Machine
Growing up, I thought the Back to the Future DeLorean was the coolest car imaginable. Not only did its doors open up…it was also a time machine. Although nowhere near as amazing as the T.A.R.D.I.S. (which can’t make this list because…it’s a phone box and not a car…), the DeLorean did an admirable job transporting Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown to various times in their local history, where they got into fantastic misadventures and always barely made it home alive.
One of my personal favorites, this old automobile was slick and impressive in its day, with a steam-powered engine that could maintain speeds of about 35 mph for normal driving. When the internal combustion engine became more popular, the Steamer lost steam, and eventually became obsolete. But when the Stanley twins were first developing their steam-powered motorcar, they conducted numerous speed trials and, in 1906, actually achieved an airborne flight of 100 feet when the car hit 197 mph!
Come on, what can be more awesome than the Batmobile? Especially the Tumbler from the Christopher Nolan Batman trilogy, which takes the Batmobile from awesome to epic. The tank-like Tumbler features weapons, a ramp jump capability, and self-destructs into the Batpod, a motorcycle which is ten times more brilliant than just about any other motorcycle out there.
2. The Tesla Roadster
Of all the electrical cars now in production, few are as sleek and thrilling (and satisfying!) as the models produced by Tesla Motors. The little Roadster is flashy and fast, with cutting edge design and top-notch performance — the kind of performance you might not expect from an electrical car. The Sport version can go from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, which sounds impressive even to someone like me. Even though the technical specifications are all a bit over my head, this car definitely scores high on the coolness factor.
1. The Model-T Ford
Hearkening back to the old-school autos again, what car is more iconic than the old Model-T, the first car to be mass-produced by an assembly line process? This automobile was named as the Car of the Century in 1999, primarily due to its influence in making cars affordable and accessible to more people than ever. As Henry Ford said, “no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.” The simple engineering and efficient production of this vehicle completely revolutionized industry in the 20th century, making it an iconic invention and not just my #1 iconic car.