10 Cars That Changed The World

The humble automobile has continued to excite and fascinate since its inception, and each generation brought with them a new breed of vehicle that went further – and faster – than their predecessors. In this expansive feature, ten of the automotive industry’s most innovative creations are critiqued – from the stoically reliable Volkswagen Beetle, to the era-concluding Ferrari ‘Enzo’.

“Each in their own particular way have revolutionised our understanding of the automobile and defined the era in which they were launched. Each of these cars reflects a unique approach to styling and performance, reflective of the audacity of their designers and their desire to push the engineering envelope.”

In the present day, a car manufacturer would have to go far above and beyond the technical advancements we now take for granted in order to capture our attention in a way that re-shapes the entire automotive industry. Throughout history, however, there have been a number of dedicated individuals and now world-famous marques who have brought into being vehicles that remain absolute classics.

From the flair of the Ferrari to the highly robust Citroen, each manufacturer has changed the landscape of cars to come, and cemented their place in the pantheon of vehicular greats – be it on the track, or out on the open road.

Selected Excerpts

When it comes to thinking of the ultimate in race car styling and sports car performance, nothing compares to Ferrari. Ferrari can rightfully be said to have changed the way we perceive the automobile, having led the way in the evolution of the sports car as both a status symbol for the rich and famous and as an example of the Italian genius in automotive engineering and design.

Over the years, Porsche developed several sister models to the 911, most notably the 911 Targa (meaning “roof” in Italian) which was introduced in 1967 and intended as a partial return to the concept of the old Speedster convertible.

However, given the tendency of drivers to overestimate their skills or underestimate the Porsche’s racing-level speed and handling requirements, Porsche came up with a design that featured a sizable roll bar as a safety device for those wanting a little more insurance in their ability to survive the odd rollover!

Steve McQueen owned both the GT 350 and 500 models, although “he preferred the 350 “because it wasn’t so easy to kill myself in that one!” Given his cool, laid-back persona, Steve McQueen gave the Shelby Mustang a distinctive élan that elevated the car into the ranks of the world’s most illustrious cars of all time. If one recalls the crashing and banging of the Mustang on the streets of San Francisco, the Mustang was a car that not only changed but shook the world of automotive engineering.

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