Throughout history, cars have been used as iconic symbols, showing status, being used in songs, and prominent in various movies. But, from the first set of wheels to the newest 2022 models, there is something that appeals to everyone.
Some car owners see luxury brands and other expensive cars as the look of wealth and importance.
Hybrids and electric cars express environmental consciousness and general love for the environment.
A little red corvette became the subject of a chart-topping song for Prince (and an entire sexual revolution).
Believe it or not, “Little Red Corvette” is not the only time a car has been used to reference risqué actions. Take a look at “Pink Cadillac” by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band as another example. You can find many of these references with cars, even in movies like Grease.
The Top 8 Iconic Cars
While it is almost impossible to list every iconic car globally, there are a few notable ones that take the top of our list. These cars are the ones that put the icing on the cake in terms of power, prestige, and cinematic perfection. Here are the ones that we found to be worth taking a second glance:
The Tucker Torpedo was a design concept that Preston Tucker thought of while in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It was produced by the Tucker Corporation briefly in 1948 in Chicago, Illinois. It was one of the fastest cars during that time, topping out at 120 mph, and featured a four-speed manual transmission or a three-speed automatic (Tuckermatic). If you were to come across one of these vehicles today, you could expect to pay $1.2 million.
Aston Martin DB5
Bond…James Bond. The Aston Martin DB5 is synonymous with the luxurious spy. Aston Martin manufactured the car from 1963 to 1965, with a reboot in 2020. The Aston Martin DB5 is a Grand Tourer (G.T.) designed by the Italian coachbuilder Carrozzeria Touring Superleggera. The car had a top speed of 145 mph and featured a five-speed manual transmission or a three-speed BorgWarner automatic.
When discussing the Rolls-Royce Phantom, there are eight different generations:
- I: 1925-1931
- II: 1929-1936
- III: 1936-1939
- IV: 1950-1956
- V: 1959-1968
- VI: 1968-1990
- VII: 2003-2017
- Drophead Coupe: 2007-2016
- Coupe: 2008-2016
- VIII: 2017- present
Let’s focus on the classic – Generation One – where it all started. The Phantom was the original replacement for the Silver Ghost and was introduced in 1925. There were 3512 produced between 1925-1931 in Derby, England, and Springfield, Massachusetts. Rolls-Royce cars were branded as luxury vehicles.
The Austin-Healey 3000 is a British sports car built from 1959-1967 and is the best-known out of all the “big Healey” models. Jensen Motors was responsible for the car’s bodywork. The models were assembled at BMC’s MG Works in Abingdon, England, alongside the MG models. In a road test, one model made it to a top speed of 115 mph. The 1985 song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears features Curt Smith (vocalist) driving an Austin-Healey 3000.
The first SUV ever produced by the Ford Motor Company was the Bronco. From 1965 to 1996, the Bronco went through five generations and was revived for a sixth, having just been released in 2021. All the Bronco models were a front-engine, four-wheel-drive concept. In addition, until 1977, the Bronco was a two-door compact SUV; through 1996, it was converted into a two-door full-size SUV. Finally, the resurrected 2021 model comes in a two- or four-door design and is classified as a mid-sized SUV.
The original version of the Veyron is named for racing driver Pierre Veyron. Designed and developed in Germany by Bugatti Engineering GmbH and manufactured by Bugatti Automobiles SAS in Molsheim, France, the Bugatti Veyron is a mid-engine sports car that began production in 2005. The Bugatti Veyron features a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Volkswagen Type 2
Volkswagen Type 2 is known by many names – informally “Bus” (US), “Camper” (UK), and “Bulli” (Germany). Type 1 (Beetle) is probably the more famous of the Volkswagen line, but the bus holds its own place in history. Commonly associated with the period of peace and love, the Volkswagen Type 2 is featured in many Vietnam-era movies. Production began in 1949, and decades after they ended original production, Volkswagen announced in 2017 that they would be bringing out a new all-electric microbus on the new MEB platform in 2022.
The Lamborghini Miura is a sports car produced by the Italian automaker Lamborghini from 1966 to 1973. Like classic sports cars, the transmission is a five-speed manual. The Miura is a superstar of the big screen, making appearances in the opening sequence of The Italian Job. Eddie Van Halen also revved the engine of a Miura in the 1984 song “Panama.” At the start of the music video for the 1997 song “Alright” by Jamiroquai, the music video begins with a Miura is next to a Lamborghini Diablo.
What Notable Cars Did We Miss?
Are there cars that you think should have been on our list? Make your own list of iconic cars and share them. We understand that there could have been thousands of cars on this list and everyone has a different taste when it comes to cars and models.
From the cinematic elegance of the Aston Martin DB5 to the hippy-like Type 2 (VW Bus), there are true relics that defined entire eras. If you look hard enough, you can find more than one for each era – some are even making a comeback!