Discussion>> Top 20 Most Influential Cars Pt.2

Let's continue our discussion on the top 20 most influential cars of all time right now with second and final part of our list.

From some of the world's greatest Supercars to the humble People's Car, it's all here.

CAR: Volkswagen Beetle

YEAR: 1938

KEY MILESTONE: The People's Car. One of the world's best selling automobiles of all time.

LASTING INFLUENCE: The original Beetle was sold in various markets through the early 2000s. It also helped form the groundwork for Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and subsidaries.


Mike: Is there anyone out there who hasn't known someone with a Beetle? It doesn't seem like it. The culture that sprung up of customizing and racing air cooled Beetles is also very notable, especially here in California.

Rod: The much loved VW Bug is Europe's Model T. It was also the first import car to gain acceptance into the US market, starting a trend which has changed the fortunes of the entire domestic car industry.

Jonathan: Lethargic acceleration, heaters that either didn't work or only blew hot in the the summer, barely-attached driving seats, snapping window winders, underpowered batteries, rust… My five years of Beetle ownership were typical, and yet I wouldn't have missed them for anything. Add a half-decent stereo and a couple of friends to a Beetle, and you've got a perfect motoring experience that makes you forget any of the bad points.

Paddy: The Beetle further evolved the philosophy of accessible motoring to the general public but it's success is down to more than that. Launched at a time when US cars of the era suffered from such flamboyant styling and needless excess, the Beetle was happy to say nothing about itself. But by saying nothing, it really said everything. It does however owe some of its success to one of the greatest advertising campaigns of all time at the hands of Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Charles: Slightly off topic, but VW's Beetle ads were also very influential. That whole campaign really shook up the advertising industry, and you can still see its influence today.

CAR: McLaren F1

YEAR: 1994

KEY MILESTONE: "The ultimate road car." Set a new benchmark for what a production car could do.

LASTING INFLUENCE: 20 years later and it's still one of the fastest cars of all time.


Mike: The three-seat cockpit with the driver in the middle is one of the coolest things I have ever seen on a car.

Rod: This was the last production based car to win the 24Hs of Le Mans outright, an unthinkable feat even today.

Jonathan: Gordon Murray's automotive pièce de resistance, packed with technology and innovation. There may be cars which are faster (and more expensive), but for me the F1 defines the term supercar.

Andy: As Rod mentioned, it’s the last production based racecar to win Le Mans. Very few cars have won Le Mans on their debut. It also finished 3rd, 4th, 5th 13th  at Le Mans, won the 1995 and 1996 BPR Championship and 1996 Japanese GT (now Super GT) Championship.

This was a huge achievement when you consider it wasn’t designed for the race track. It was only when a couple of owners, Thomas Bscher (later, head of Bugatti) and Ray Bellm said they would run one themselves, that Gordon and Ron decided they better do it properly themselves. It was a blessing, because the racecars helped to turn the project into a profit.

One of the coolest things about the F1 is the lack of driver aids and gizmos, one of the last supercars of this era and only beaten a couple of times in top speed. What many people don’t realize is how useable the F1 is as a day to day car. There was an owner in Sussex who used to use his daily and even went to the local supermarket!

Charles: Jonathan touched on an interesting point about what defines a supercar. In my opinion, a supercar needs to rewrite the rulebook, pushing the boundaries of engineering, design and performance. The F1 achieved all of that.

CAR: Lamborghini Miura

YEAR: 1966

KEY MILESTONE: Redefined what a sports car could be with its mid-mounted V12 and stunning bodywork. It's considered to be the world's first genuine supercar.

LASTING INFLUENCE: All mid-engine high performance road cars can trace their lineage back to to the Miura.


Mike: I would love to see Lamborghini get back to the flowing, organic design language seen in the Miura. Would be a nice contrast from the wind-tunnel developed supercars of today.

Rod: This car was the fastest production car in the world when it was introduced. It repurposed the midship layout of Le Mans racers for the street, a radical proposition at the time. 

Jonathan: A world away from the chiselled looks of latter-day Lamborghinis, the Miura wowed the public on its launch, and is another car that still stuns to this day – especially as the flowing lines conceal a howling V12. Just watch the opening scene from The Italian Job for four minutes of Miura magic

Paddy: Most things evolve. They change slowly, gradually maturing sometimes in a manner that makes it hard to pinpoint when the old went out and the new came in. That is usually true with art, music and cars. It is not true with the era of the supercar however. There is a well defined moment when everything changed, and that moment was the arrival of the Lamborghini Miura.

Andy: The definition of car-p0rn!

CAR: GC8 Subaru Impreza WRX

YEAR: 1992

KEY MILESTONE: A groundbreaking car both on the street and in professional rally racing. Helped establish Subaru as an enthusiast brand.

LASTING INFLUENCE: Still a favorite of both tuners and rally racers nearly two decades after it was introduced.


Mike: Besides its potent AWD system, the Boxer motor gives the WRX a ton of character. It's one of those cars you can instantly recognize with your ears.

Andy: Often forgotten fact….The 2d 22B, along with other WRC Variants was style by Peter Stevens, who stylized the McLaren F1.

Jonathan:  An object lesson in how racing success to can change the perception of your brand. The sound of an Impreza crackling and howling its way through a forest is something everyone should witness.

Charles: The WRX was so influential. It put startling performance within the reach of every day enthusiasts, without the need to get a mortgage or sacrifice practicality. It was useable performance too; the WRX made average drivers seem like great drivers. It also played a big part in drawing a new generation to the WRC. In some countries, the WRX – which became popular with ram-raiders – forced Authorities to improve their police cars, as they simply weren't able to keep up.


CAR: Ford Escort Mk.II

YEAR: 1975

KEY MILESTONE: A very capable compact car that become a rally icon in Europe.

LASTING INFLUENCE: Still considered to be one of Ford Europe's best cars. Simple in its design and loved by many.


Mike: As an American I'm glad Ford is finally starting to sell its European models in the US. That won't make up not selling this car over here though…

Jonathan: I can't think Escort MK.II without immediately conjuring up an image of a Rothmans-livered, headlamp-laden, mud-splattered vision of rallying heaven coming at me sideways. Buying an Escort meant basking in the racing and rally success of this suburban success story – the top of the tree being the RS Mexico and slant-nosed RS2000 variants.

Paddy: The MKII Escort remains one of the most successful chassis' in motorsport history. Its simple design and lightweight RWD platform along with access to the Ford parts bin, brought a competitive car to the masses. Their popularity has never receded and with an illustrious history of icons such as Clark, Vatanen, Blomqvist, Waldegard, Mikkola and McRae who have all drive the MKII Escort in anger, I can't imagine a day when the Escorts won't be an integral part of modern rallying.


CAR: Nissan Silvia S13

YEAR: 1989

KEY MILESTONE: The Silvia and its hatchback cousin, the 180SX combined a well-designed FR chassis with powerful turbocharged motors and handsome styling.

LASTING INFLUENCE: While the S13 is an icon among drifters, it's also proven to to be adept at everything else. Still one of the world's most popular tuning platforms.


Mike: The Japanese commercials with the two-tone Silvia set to Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale". That's enough to sell me right there. The fact that there's a global motorsport that probably wouldn't exist without this car also says a ton.

Charles: The needs and demands of performance enthusiasts have always been the same, and the S13 ticked all of the right boxes. It was a car that was easy to modify and fun to drive. That combination endeared itself to fans worldwide.


YEAR: 1986

KEY MILESTONE: One of the best examples of the factory tuner car ever.

LASTING INFLUENCE: Not only was the E30 M3 a groundbreaking machine in its own right, it was the beginning one of the world's best performance models.


Mike: In high school my friends and I would talk about the E30 M3's "80s porn star looks". Who wouldn't want to look like an 80s porn star? The fact that it has such an awesome powertrain is just a bonus.

Rod: Many imitators have come and gone, but the M3 is the standard that all other performance saloons are measured on. 

Jonathan: The ultimate driving machine? The E30 sums up the two-wheel touring car excess of the '80s and early '90s, and is still the go-to model for track day nirvana.


CAR: Mercedes Benz 300SL

YEAR: 1954

KEY MILESTONE: The 300SL featured a beautiful design, unique gull wing doors and a racing pedigree to back it up its looks.

LASTING INFLUENCE: The 300SL was notable enough to inspire Mercedes to build the SLS AMG.


Mike: The sexiest Mercedes ever. What more needs to be said?

Jonathan: Now phenomenally rare and expensive, the SLS is an automotive work of art, and one where the sensuous, classic styling was helped rather than hindered by the use of aerodynamics. Proves the point that a car with gull-wing doors can never be bad.


CAR: Porsche 959

YEAR: 1986

KEY MILESTONE: The fastest car of its time, boasting some incredible technology. The 959 was the start of Porsche's reinvention of the 911 from the 993 through to the 991.

LASTING INFLUENCE: One of the greatest and most sought-after Porsches of all time, there are traces of 959 DNA every new 911 in showrooms today.


Mike: The 1980s aren't necessarily known for brilliant car designs, but I disagree. Just look at this car!

Rod: The 959 used high tech engineering innovation to gain stratospheric performance, not brute force. While there are many cars on the market like this now, at the time of the 959, this was not so much the case.

Jonathan: Obscenely fast, and though not the prettiest take on the 911 shape it took the old girl into previously unthought of performance territory. A test-bed of new supercar tech, with four-wheel drive, sequentially twin-turbocharged V6 boxer engine and active suspension. Like the Veyron, a money-losing vanity project to push the boundaries of automotive expectations: always the best reason to make a car.

CAR: Honda Civic

YEAR: 1973

KEY MILESTONE: An economy car at heart, but so much more than that. The Type R models proved just what the chassis was capable of.

LASTING INFLUENCE: Besides being one of the world's best selling models, the Civic defined a generation of car enthusiasts and builders.


Mike: Just like the original Mini, the Civic set benchmarks for what front-drive car was capable of in both practicality and fun factor.

Rod: The Honda Civic, like Toyota's Corolla, helped the Japanese car industry gain footholds in countries around the world. Without them, the Japanese car industry would not be where it is today.

Charles: The Civic was extremely influential in spawning the sport compact movement, especially in the United States. While it was always a popular car to modify in Japan, it captured the imagination of a new generation of enthusiasts in the western world. The Civic was one of the key players in the whole domestic versus import rivalry a decade ago.

So there you have it. As with any list like this, there's sure to be some disagreement, and we welcome you guys to join in the discussion below.

-The Speedhunters Team



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I feel like this reads more like a list of everyone's favorite cars than it does a list of the most influential. Many cars like the GTI, Civic, and the Beetle I understand, but there are others that I don't think fit. The subaru is definitely a sweet car, and belongs on many lists, but I don't feel it's very influential. What other cars did it inspire? What market segment did it expand? It's an affordable AWD sportscar, but it's really almost in a class of its own. It's just a Subaru. The same goes for the 300SL, and several of the cars on this list and the previous ten.

I liked the addition of the S13, but what about the Datsun 510 and 240z which pretty much started the Japanese tuner movement in the United States? I feel the S-chassis line (and the Honda Civic for that matter) owes its success to the groundwork done by these two cars in the 60s and 70s. Previously, Japanese cars were oddities with different designs and excellent gas mileage. These two cars put Japanese sports cars on the map in the States. I think the Honda Civic is responsible for the resurgence of the sport compact movement in the states, and I think Nissan might owe some of its more recent successes to Honda for that one, but I don't think the Civic spawned the sport compact movement.


Influential? Did the panel of hacks even bother to read the question?

Influential would imply that the vehicle cited would have some sort of impact on the motoring industry as a whole. That others in the industry would follow the pattern or pick up the innovations of the vehicle.

Beetle, Miura, 959, sure, those actually had influence on the motoring industry in mass production, birth of the supercar, and supercar turns high tech.

But what is the rest of this crap? F1, Impreza, Escort, Silvia, M3, SLS, Civic? 3 person cockpit, established Subaru, capable compact, popular tuning platform, 80's porn star, rare and expensive, economy car. These are your comments and justifications for naming these seven cars as "influential". That's the best you could do to defend those choices? Pathetic. What the hell is the influence on the industry? Those seven are nothing more than bumps in the road of motoring history. One company's offerings among a sea of many.

Aside from the three obvious intelligent answers in the bunch, the rest is a bunch of fan-boy BS.


Seems like you guys just went after what you thought is cool for this second half, instead of "influential".

GT40 would have been a better choice than Miura, since it knocked the pompous Europeans off their pedestal. F1 just plain doesn't belong. It was fast, but not influential to any thing else. The Subaru is JOKE on this list. A mk1 Escort would be a better choice than a mk2, in terms of influence. An original 911 should be there instead of 959, which pretty much only influenced the Carrera 4.

300SL, S13, and E30 are all cool cars, but really? Influential? The S13 was a formula that had been tried and true for decades by then. Why not pick an RA Celica or a S15, then? A BMW 320 was more influential than a homologation special of the 3-series coupe...

The Civic doesn't belong on this list anymore than the Ford Taurus. The early Corollas, Crowns, Coronas, and 240Z were much more influential in establishing Japanese companies overseas. They appeared in the 60s. The CVCC not until the mid-70s. Speaking of 240Z it should be here.

And so should 32 Ford Coupe/Roadster and the 49-53 Merc. If the topic is influence.


No mention of the 2000gt or 240Z? They brought the very idea that the Japanese could make sports cars to the world. looking at a lot of Toyotas sports cars you can see how they can trace their heritage back to that beautiful automotive work of art. The 240z was the genesis of great, affordable , japanese sports cars and while i am not sure if this still holds true but the Z line of car hold the title of best selling sports car of all time. Thats gotta count for somethings. Not to mention all the racing success this little datsun (along with the 510) had. Certainly put a hurting on those Alfa's, Porches and other euro brands. They still do at a lot of tracks.


Guys, it's an opinion piece, not a scientific study. And there's only so many cars they can include.


Most influential means influenced the most people

How were more people influenced by a Lambo or Porsche than a old Datsun??? ... . not one Datsun ... .. really???


I guess it depends on your definition of influential. The Subaru wrx for example influenced a generation of enthusiasts through the 90's in that one could be picked up second hand for under $15k and suddenly you have performance almost on par with a 911 at the time, especially with mods.


"GT40 would have been a better choice than Miura, since it knocked the pompous Europeans off their pedestal."

It cracks me up every time I hear comments like this. The car was designed under the direction of a couple of Brits in England.


scarface_au i agree, everyone has there opinions if they wanted to make everyone happy they list would have to be "top 10,000 most influential cars" but i do agree the subaru was a lil out of place but geez the rest of the list looks pretty good


The 300SL was the first car with fuel injection in 1954, in fact the road going version produced more HP than the racing version because of this.


Where's the 240Z? :O


I don't understand why is the Civic named in this list simply as Civic (with pictures of 1st and 6th gen models suggesting it is for every kind of Civics), and in the case of Golf only a special model, the G1 GTI is mentioned?

(But if I would leave my own point of view thats defined by my geographical location, I could say this list was great.)


missing a couple great cars and some on the list need not mention


audi quattro? mk1 golf? metro 6R4?

maybe you should do most influential road cars and motorsport separately..


forgot mini. the real one.


also i vote recount


did u guys know that " bastos" in tagalog(filipino language) means rude? haha! just saying.. dont hate!


You forgot the Austin 7! There are very few cars that have been more influential. After all it did lay down the 3 pedal layout that every car on this list uses. And it was far more of a peoples car than the VW Beetle...


Hi, a great post with some very interesting cars and views, just curious, but what about cars like the Fiat 500 it was out several years before the mini? At a pinch you could even argue Land Rover or Renault had some truly influential, ground breaking designs that revolutionised the way people got from A-B? Granted some are not as sexy or quicken your pulse but they do deserve recognition for being influential and even creating a whole new driving concept? Surely designing the first mpv (Renault Espace) was more influential to automotive history that a Honda civic?

There is a really heavy bias toward Japanese metal, but even here it misses out some of the true greats for instance the NSX with its novel construction influenced high end sports car design?

Cheers for at least considering metal from over the pond though!


240sx? really..?


The most influential cars of all time?? Seriously? I agree almost entirely with your first list, but this is just a wish list of your favourite cars. Granted, the Muria is regarded as the first ever supercar, and the Beetle for obvious reasons, but the Civic? And why the 959, surely it should be the 911? But then again, should the 911 even be in the list, has it really been that influential to car design? The F1 LM is probably my favourite car of all time, but I don’t see very many 3 seater cars with a gold lined boot on the roads today. And the S13, as mentioned above several times, this without a doubt should be the 240Z.

Maybe the topic of discussion needs to be better defined, as to whether a particular car has been influential on car design or car culture (by setting a new trend of motorsport or modifying...)

Living in Ireland, with a keen interest in rallying and watching cars going sideways down a tight twisty backroad, the mk2 Escort is another one of my favourite cars, but I wouldn't really say that it’s been influential to car design. However, without it (and possibly the Quattro/Imprezza) I very much doubt that rallying would be where it is today.


Jaguar XJ220. An 80's car with modern looks even today, and much more influential than the F1 ever was. The 90's were full of round edged cars, so the XJ must have been influential.

E-type influential? Have you EVER seen a car like it? Not much of an influence then eh?

An influential car must have influenced, started a trend. The 300sl was the first car with gullwing doors wasn't it? That makes it influential.

The mini. First fwd hot hatch. Hell yeah, it was influential!

Well well. Just complete the list, you need to right your wrongs with a part Three;-)


Yeah, the beetle is pretty influential for being a great mass produced people's car, but, remember, it IS still the original Hitler-mobile.


think you can do better make your own blog then and STFU. Thanks Speed Hunters.


And wheres the RX7?


Sorry speedhunters, i completely agree with what has been said above. And how could you miss the GT40?


Everyone's just an expert, aren't they!

Get over yourselves, as somebody said above: its an opinion piece.


where's the RX7? You guys usually have a picture of a least once a week on your website. So where is it


I think the F100 (Including 150 etc.) series should have been mentioned, it is one of the best selling pick up trucks ever. But here are a few cars I would have added-Corvette, Ford GT, Enzo, Shelby Cobra, and since its my favorite car of all time-Jaguar Xj220...just sayin!


This list has become mainly bias to our speedhunters editor favorites.

You skipped on the 911's and had the WRX on the list?! You guys are kidding me!


M3 Pictures wont show for me :(


According to Wiki, the Lancer Evo 1 was launched in Japan in October 1992, one month before the launch of the WRX. Does that make it more influential?


The 300SL didn't have racing pedigree due to speed, but because of the same reason it was so heavy: it was built from heavy sedan parts from its stablemates. Due to this, it was able to complete many of the grueling road-rallies of the time that its competitors simply couldn't. And none of this makes it any less awesome ;)


I think many commentors are missing the point. They did not specify who was influenced by these cars. Some influenced design, some influenced the market, and some influenced us. This was not a list of iconic cars, it's a list of cars that move people to action (pun not intended). That is their influence.


Well check the 1st part too....some of the "missing" cars..are there ;-)


The subaru was the car that got me interested in WRC. It was the first awd car I got to really beat on and it changed my perception of imports 10 fold. Also I owned a fc-RX7 and it blew up at 115k miles....about 5k miles after I bought it...glad it was not on the list!

I think a lot of people looked at the pictures and then said "My favorite car isn't here....I'm pissed!" The list was of 20, but could consist of at least 50 cars if not more. Maybe reading the text will benefit some of you.


regarding the 959, its a Flat-6 not a V6 =)


Where. Is. The. Countach.


@Mike the GT40 had many elements of Detroit mixed in not to mention Americans who also worked on the project. The 67' Le Mans winner was entirely built in the US. Not to mention Moody & Shelby made the car a winner. I think a what PSTAR meant was it knocked the ITALIANS and Mr, Ferrari off their pedestal


Ehh I know this is a youth jdm inspired websit and all, but

As much as I love the gtr. Ae86, civic. Etc..

They are not the most influncial of all time.

Their all inspired by other cars gtr=(japans answer to the 911 Turbo) ae86= (japans mkii escort). Civic= japans golf, subure imprezza= (japans. Quattro)

Maybe the 240sx. But its a recarnation. Of the old s30 Z. Which was somehow not on this list? Wtf?

Every other car mentioned changed the game in a way never before thought of. The japanese cars (in a very japanese Way) just improved on a idea that was already created.

I think you guys are really selling Japan short in that matter.

Where is the rx7? A. Car with engine. That is its own in. Evry way, a body style that 20 years later still is influencing modern car design, and used things like sequencial turbo setups when that was supercar only terms?

Where is. The datsun Z? a car that represents all japanese sports car design.

Where. Is the. Toyota mkiv supra? A car that changed the way americans view japanese cars at the stop light, drag strip, and beyond?

Where is the nsx? A car that forced ferrarri to get off their asses and brought the global industry to recogonise the future of lightweight materials being used on cars?

How the hell did you make this list and pput honda civic, but forget chey corvette?

Or the bel air?

Or big boot mercedes s class of the past 40 years?

I hate to see when. A sight becomes a commercial. Trying. To just appease its customer base. Be real with me and this list is a total falacie* !

Awesome most def but not influencial?


The civic was a good choice. All you have to do is go to a car show or a race meet and they are there in the droves. The fact that the Civic literally spawned the sport compact race movement in the U.S. almost certainly earns it a place on the list, albeit the end of the list. Put your FF bashing aside and deal with the fact that it is what it is, a defining vehicle of the last 20 years.


The birth of McLaren F1 it self was influenced by Honda NSX. So i dont think F1 belongs to the list.


anyone else think the first 4 posts are the same person? C'mon son! I wholeheartedly agree with this list, and would only debate maybe 2.


how could you not put in the list one of the greatest rally cars...lancia integrale...


why cant people state their opinions without calling the speedhunters panel names? Now thats a commenter fail


I couldnt have chosen a more perfect 10, well done that man :)


LOL: Check out young Walter behind the wheel :-o


Awesome list. Each car has a great contribution in a very special way. Alot of thougfht when into it. That I can see. But i agree and i really like it.


@ Donn Prud. It was actually a Cadillac which was the 1st one to sport 3 pedals as we know today ;) Other than that, the cars in the list are of course extremely nice, but I have to agree it needs 240 Z, and Peugeot 205 GTI too. It was cheap, fast, practical, and more than capable on rally stages... a bit like the Mk1 Golf GTI. Then I would have put on this list a car that is very important, the Renault 5 ;)


Not quite a car in the same context but a car none the less. The Range Rover?


The important detail being that the opinions presented above by the SH staff lack any supporting details and make every appearance of being totally unqualified. While the opinions posted as comments actually contain supporting details and are therefore much more valid.

So what the hell is the SH staff doing writing and displaying their ignorance, when they should be reading and learning about a topic they appear to have no knowledge of?


you guys love top gear. probably could have copied their list.


no mitsu love?


Uhm Lancia Delta Integrale? Lancia Stratos?


There is no such car as Ford Escort RS Mexico. Mexico was a sport model but definitely not RS-model. Top of the Escort tree was RS1800 which had the Cosworth BDA engine and was a homologation model for the group 4 rally cars. And for those who don't think Escort MKII should not be on the list, well you should know that it is a real synonyme for a rally car and it is still this day maybe the most widely used rally car in the world. So it is greatly influential rally car for enthusiasts. I think you should have put on the list Escort MK1 and MK2 because they are basically the same car underneath the styling and MK1 was the benchmark for a 70's rally car which other manufacturers took great influence of. For example FIAT 131 Abarth, Vauxhall Chevette, Opel Ascona 400 and the rest were in concept much like the Escort was.


XJ220??? the car was nice, but not influential. It couldn't hold a candle to the F1. And it had its cats removed to gain the extra Hp to achieve 217mph. NOT PRODUCTION SPEC...meanwhile F1 goes 231 in production trim. wins the first JGTC for a non-Japanese car and won 1st at Le Mans....the XJ didn't come close to those achievements.



The first 4 posts say "influentia"l more times than JTins mom blew me this month


Not really sure which crowd you guys are listing these cars to be inspired by. For an example, the S13. It has inspired many drivers and tuners of our day, but it doesn't really have much of an effect on the automotive industry as a whole. There are no companies, Nissan included, which are trying to build the new S13. The FR-S is the "new AE86" and the Genesis Coupe, while RWD, sporty and affordable, is just trying to gain it's own ground. Also, if you're including the S13 because of it's tunability and drifting fame, then what's the AE86 for? Same goes for the Subaru and the Audi. You even said yourself, without the Audi Quattro, there'd be no WRX and Evos. The Quattro was innovation, the Subaru was just evolution.

All that said, it's still a good list of good cars and there can NEVER be a list of cars that folks won't disagree with, but I still feel like you were a little repetitive while missing out on some major cars such as the MG TC (influenced all of the small roadsters from the Lotus Elan to the Miata) or E28 M5 rather than the E30 M3. The E30 M3 was an amazing car, don't get me wrong, but it didn't really start an industrial trend like the M5 did by defining what sport sedans are today.


Maybe the list should have been extended to 50?


The Nissan 300zx should have been included...


240z !!!- bmw 2002- bmw 320i ? ....... el camino ?


@Chris I agree to the legitimacy of the Mark IV as a race winning American made car, but I completely disagree with championing the Mark I and II as an innovative and the ultimate American engineered/built race winner. At the same time I contest that Shelby was nothing more than a promoter, a Don King of the race world, contributing nothing in terms of engineering or performance.

I submit a substitute; Chaparral Cars. Not just one model but all of them as a whole. They were the most innovative cars in the world at the time and have contributed not just specific performance features but also significant advances in vehicle engineering and dynamics.

I'd take Jim Hall's cars over Shelby's any day... and that's even if I disregard his Z-Max sponsorshit.


Boxer V6...? Other than that, I liked this post. Hahaha


Boxer V6...? Other than that, I liked this post. Hahaha


now i know... that there is no such tjing as THE most influential car in the world.. unless this world is inhabited by only one person.. anyways, great job guys!


@ Mike...well said! I think we're getting away from production cars, but the Chaparral vehicles were TRULY innovative! I just think Ford deserves some credit for its GT40 program , while I don't agree with your assessment of Shelby(didn't Shelby build the MkIV?), that's fine who wants to live in a world where we all think alike. Personally, I think they should increase the size of the list, but I think 20 cars was probably hard enough for the SH staff to decide on!


@ Julien: True, the Caddy did it first. But the Austin made it accessible to everyone. If not for the Austin's influence who knows how we'd be driving.

With a list like this there's always going to be an argument. For example, in Australia there's few cars more influential than the Ford Falcon XRGT. It was the car that kicked off the muscle car wars in Australia. Without it we'd never have the mighty XYGTHO, Bathurst Monaros and Toranas, the Charger or the Group C "Big Bangers". A car that created an entire car culture in Australia? That gave V8s to the general public (before the XRGT there were no V8s accessible to the public)? A culture that gave the world the Mad Max Interceptors? Surely that counts as highly influential!


S13 n E30 r both on the list, i can go to bed smilin tonite! =)


Agree with what's being said above, this is a list of favorites, not influentials. What about Mazda? The FC/ FD set a new standard, even now, a hugely popular series, performance and aesthetically. What about the Cosmo 110S? Or cars like the 2000GT? Mk4 Supra? NSX, Japan's first supercar-ish venture. The Ford GT40 for gods sake?! Also, an older Silvia like the S12 or 10, those were the cars that paved the way for the future of the S chassis. The 240Z, that's where it all started on the wangan. Or the Lotus 7, one could argue that it 'influenced' pretty much every kit car ever after! I know I'm basically regurgitating what others have said above but come on SH, at least half those cars have no place there...


No porsche 911 or corvette? Come on that is crazy !


V6 Boxer? On an enthusiast website? Come on, this isn't a Craigslist ad!

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OMG! OMG! OMG! What about the Pinto?? It influenced me about what kind of car NOT to get! lol You people are funny. I'll agree with the "this wasn't a scientific study statement", and leave it at that. Thanks Speedhunters for yer work nonetheless!


It's blatantly obvious, the SH writers should be doing the reading and learning, and the SH website visitors should be teaching the class.


the volkswagen beetle doesn't belong on this list because it is a blatant rip off to the tatra v570


wheres Ferrari F40? wasn't that influential too?


I cant tell if the question was "which production automobiles are the most influential of all time?" or "what cars would be hella cool if we got a clean one and stanced and drifted it?"


japanese cars are good but not influential ,always copy


As per the 959; I've never heard of a V6 boxer engine.


How could you guys forget the Lotus Seven? It was the first car in the world to combine power and pure simplicity! It also largely influenced the kit car scene. Not to mention, that nowadays tons of Lotus 7 kit cars and replicas are still manufactured and popular among enthusiasts. I'm sure that the Shelby Cobra, which also is hugely popular, was influenced by it.


I feel like one is missing: the Datsun 240z. If it weren't for that, it is likely that there would have never been any international interest in a Japanese sportscar. I feel like that is the definition of influential.