There have been thousands of different cars produced over the past 100+ years. However, only a select few are ever remembered and collected. And beyond that, there are some which have achieved a legendary status, to the point where everyone who calls themselves an auto enthusiast is aware of their existence, even if they have never seen one in person.
As people who love cars, these 10 are ones you should never turn down the key to. When given the chance, these need to be driven.
Volkswagen Beetle (Type 1)
As sad as it may seem, some younger generations idea of the VW Beetle is the atrocious looking blue car driven by Aunt Marie on Breaking Bad. While that car deserves its reputation for not being very good, the Type 1 Bug is a legendary automobile. It seems like everyone owned one of these, or knew somebody that did.
This air-cooled, ever-reliable, "drop the engine in 20 minutes", rear-engined, snap oversteer prone people's car is unlikely to ever be forgotten. Perhaps the most astonishing part of the Beetle is how long it stayed relevant, remaining pretty much the same in some parts of the world from 1938 to 2003! That means if someone was born in the midst of World War II, when the Beetle was first created from a demand by Hitler, they may have been retired at age 65 when the last model rolled off the line. Think about your cell phone, computer, or even your clothing. Much of it begins to look outdated after just 5 years. Multiply that by 13 and you have an astonishing engineering feat. Why fix what ain't broken?
Ford Mustang (first generation)
Everybody loves a Mustang. Seriously, go pull random people off the streets back in the '60s, and do the same now. This is one of those vehicles that transcends the line between enthusiasts and people who see vehicles as a "point A to point B" transportation device. No matter who you are, you have to appreciate the timeless design of a 'Stang.
American car lovers will angrily rant and point out that the Mustang is not a muscle car, although it is often attributed as being one. It is in fact a pony car, but regardless of how technical you want to be about it, we can all agree that it had a major influence on the engineering of both American cars, and how they became perceived around the world. There's a very good reason that each new generation of the Mustang is still lauded today.
Ferrari is a company that doesn't mess around. They have a reputation to keep. They constantly have to be the best. The best lap time around a track, the best top speed in a straight line, and the best driving experience. Anything less than that is considered a failure, whether by company standards or by the general public.
The Ferrari F40 is not a failure, in any way. This is the supercar which all supercars are compared to... even today. While most older performance cars struggle to hold up in the electronic wave of modern vehicles, the F40 remains an incredible vehicle, particularly on its home turf, the race track. 0-60 came in a blistering 3.8 seconds. It was also the first road legal production car to ever reach 200 miles per hour. It is, in many senses of the word, the automotive definition of pure.
While the F40 may always reign supreme in terms of being a spiritual masterpiece, the Veyron is a product of unmatched engineering. This is, technically speaking, one of the greatest automotive achievements the world has ever seen.
For those that live under a rock, the Veyron is the world's fastest car. The Super Sport is capable of reaching 267 miles per hour. Most cars that are capable of hitting anything close to 250, or even 200 mph are very different from the Veyron. They're loud and raw, and uncomfortable to drive for the select few old men who have the money to purchase them. The Veyron on the other hand, is a supercar that is capable of being pushed completely to the limit with apparent ease. Check out this video to really see the engineering achievement that is this car. 267 miles per hour... in a car that's quiet, rides nice, has climate control, and a CD player for your tunes.
Ford Model T
As amazing and influential as the other vehicles on this list, few appreciate them outside of the circles of car enthusiasts. The Ford Model T breaks that trend. This is a car that has made into the history books. Not the automotive history books, mind you, but the "normal" history books, with George Washington. The American Revolution, the Civil War... and the Model T.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not the first car. Vehicles existed before this. None of the engineering or design that went into the Model T was something that was completely new to the world. However, Henry Ford did something even more special- he made these affordable for everyone.
Prior to the building of this car, most people never traveled more than 5-10 miles from the place they were born. Travel was reserved for the rich and the famous. For the everyday person, all of life consisted in living one place. Think about where you born. Imagine growing up entirely in that place, living your adult life entirely in that place, and one day dying there.
The Model T completely shattered this whole image of existence. It shrunk the world. And not just for a select few, but for everybody. Travel that would have taken hours now took minutes. Weeks of travel across states and between cities could now be achieved in just a few days. Entire industries came into existence, worldwide commerce grew like never before, and it all comes back to this car. Whether or not you are a car enthusiast, you could easily make the argument that this was one, if not the greatest, inventions ever created by man.