Top Cars by Company

Regardless of performance, looks, speed or anything like that, these, in my opinion, are the true pinnacle of a company’s productive brilliance, some being mundane little motors that were never meant to conquer the world, while others changed the field of automotive technology forever.I shan’t go into as much detail as I have in other journals, as I feel that the less words I take to justify my adoration for these machines, the better these cars are able to speak for themselves. :)

 


AC: AC Cobra (1962 – Present)  AC_Cobra_-_50th_Annyversary_Cobra_Limited_Edition_CSX8000_(02)One of only a few products but by far the best, especially with that Shelby V8 roaring under the bonnet!


Alfa Romeo: Alfa Romeo GTV (1995 – 2005)  Alfa_Romeo_Coupè_Gtv_(14393329595)Sublime, sophisticated, sporty, (highly unreliable), but incredibly stylish!


Alvis: Alvis Three Litre series IV TF 21 (1966 – 1967)TF21 1The perfect product from the long-forgotten company. A perfect mix of 3.0L Straight-Six power and some beautiful styling.


Audi: Audi Quattro (1980 – 1991) MB_quattroThe rally car that crushed all others and led the company to victory in Group B competitions year after year.


Austin: Austin Mini (1959 – 2000)7147280-1964-austin-and-morris-mk-1-mini-cooper-s-selection-available-std-cThat 10ft symbol of Englishness that was neither broken by time nor British Leyland.


Aston Martin: Aston Martin DB7 Vantage (1994 – 2004)007A design that defined a generation. The DB9, the Vanquish and the DBS of the 2010’s all owe their luscious styling to this pioneer of the 1990’s.


Bentley: Bentley Corniche (1971 – 1977) 2997fe4a2f9c5ff050f598f19e00e1f1While most will cite the years that Bentley were under the ownership of Rolls Royce as the company’s darkest, the Bentley Corniche was, to me at least, the pinnacle of their beauty and design prowess. Subtle but sublime.


Bitter: Bitter CD (1973 – 1979)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of only a handful of designs from the small German carmaker, the CD just looks great; a sporty hatchback but with a somewhat high price tag.


BMW: BMW 850i (1989 – 1999) dr9It’s got Pop-up headlights and it’s a BMW, the magic just makes itself!


Bristol: Bristol 410 (1968 – 1969)1968_Bristol_410The last of the classic Bristol designs before angles took over, quite possibly the most beautiful product of this bespoke car manufacturer.


British Leyland: Triumph Stag (1970 – 1977) img_4839lBritish Leyland’s best car, and with that Italian styling you can see why.


Bugatti: Bugatti Chiron (2015 – Present) 1200px-FoS20162016_0624_132444AA_(27785299372)While the Veyron was a motoring icon and a pinnacle of technology, the Chiron, to my mind, has perfected it in the looks department with its fantastic looking headlights and wonderful profile.


Buick: Buick Centurion (1971 – 1973) buick-centurionMy favourite Buick, a lovable convertible that would make for the perfect California Cruiser.


Cadillac: Cadillac Eldorado (1992 – 2002) 1992_Cadillac_Eldorado_2841While I loved big Caddies of the 1970’s I adore the Eldorado of 1992, maintaining the luxury and improving the style but at half the size.


Chevrolet: Chevrolet Corvette (C4) (1984 – 1996) 1983-chevrolet-corvette-c4-wallpaper-1While Jeremy Clarkson may enjoy machine gunning these things, I personally adore the Corvette, America’s very own Ferrari!


Chrysler: Chrysler TC by Maserati (1989 – 1991) tcCertainly an odd change from their bland minivans, the Chrysler TC brought in some excellent help from the legendary Italian car manufacturer Maserati, even if it’s basically just a rebadged Biturbo.


Citroën: Citroën C2 (2003 – 2009) Citroen_C2_(6)I’ve owned one for 13 years and not once has it put a foot out of line. Stylish and filled with charm, though perhaps a little slow, I’ve adored this car from the moment it slipped onto my driveway!


Daimler: Daimler DS420 (1966 – 1992)DSC_0200Daimler may have made many luxury limousines and stylish sports cars before the DS420, but this truly is the machine that was the pinnacle of their beauty and craftsmanship, and was even able to give Rolls Royce a run for its money.


De Tomaso: De Tomaso Pantera (1971 – 1991) De_Tomaso_Pantera_(Sp_2014-06-15b)Though riddled with faults, so many in fact that Elvis Presley had no choice but to shoot his, the Pantera was still one of the best supercars to come out of the 1970’s. A mixture of pure style, looks and a V8 Flamethrower under the bonnet!


Dodge: Dodge RAM 2500 (1992 – 2002) 1996-dodge-ram-2500-for-sale-2016-05-17-1-1024x768The RAM that came to symbolise Dodge. The model of 1992 combined oodles of power with go anywhere grunt and a stylish, terrain conquering body, so much so that it even became the vehicle of choice when the late Bill Paxton went up against Mother Nature’s worst in Twister.


Ferrari: Ferrari 456 (1992 – 1997) 

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Ferrari is a sea of classics, I could populate several lists as to why they’re one of the best companies ever to grace the roads. However, the 456 wins through by being the best mixture of power and luxury style. The 355 looks good, but is a bit too cramped and perhaps a touch overpowered for what it’ll be used for, while the F40 and alike are beyond practical ownership, as well as removing all the creature comforts you’d expect in a £500,000 car in order to save on weight (they don’t even come with carpets!). The 456 brings out the best in a sporty luxury coupe, draped in Connolly leather and with a sublime V8 under that luscious body.

Fiat: Fiat X1/9 (1972 – 1989) 

FiatX1_9__04On looks alone this takes the cake, and there was some lovely performance if the idea you had in mind was cruising the highways of southern Europe.

Ford (Europe): Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth (1986 – 1992) 

SierraSapphireCosworth_04While the Capri was truly Britain’s Mustang and the Escort Cosworth that followed was so powerful it ripped the face off of Hot Hatchbacks for the next 20 years, the Sierra in my mind is the perfect middle ground, that fantastic styling with some brilliant performance!

Ford (USA): Ford F-350 Super-Duty (1999 – 2007)maxresdefaultIt had to be good to fight the new Dodge Ram, and it did just that! A perfect mix of style and substance, built to conquer the mountains, the plains and anywhere else you care to mention.


Ford Mustang: Ford Mustang GT (1999 – 2004) 

1999-ford-mustang-svt-cobra-tested-review-car-and-driver-photo-561584-s-original
The original; a timeless classic. The Mach 1; another timeless classic. The new Mustang of 2015; destined to be a classic. However, the Mustang I adore the most is this, the growling, grunting beast of beauty from 1999, with some fantastic lines, a sleek body and a very serious face. It looks very… ANGRY!!

General Motors: GMC Syclone (1991)  

0351b0ae7496254c70919a9e67d52bc3It looks like a pickup truck but it’s far from it! Underneath it boasts a Turbocharged 4.3L V6 engine that could whip this machine from 0-60 in 5.3 seconds, which is quick even by today’s standards!


Hillman: Hillman Avenger (1970 – 1981) 

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A staple of the 1970’s British road scene and a car that is fondly remembered for its beautiful looks and spacious interior. Sadly the Avenger was unable to reverse the fortunes of the Hillman company following the catastrophic episode of the impish Imp.

Honda: Honda NSX (1990 – 2005) 

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You just have to look at it, it screams power, performance, excitement!

Hummer: Hummer H1 (1992 – 2004)  

1200px-Hummer_H1While the Hummer is perhaps the least economical vehicle ever sold to civilians, especially it’s gaudy descendants the H2 and H3 (which were less US Army and more Pimpmobile), the original I love the most for its gruff, war-winning looks and its largely unchanged resemblance to the Humvee off which it was based, both inside and out.

Hyundai: Hyundai Tiburon (1996 – 2009) 

1200px-2005–2007_Hyundai_Tiburon_(GK)_V6_coupe
I honestly don’t think much of Hyundai, they’re just sort of there, but if I had to pick a car the Tiburon really is the best, a vast improvement over the Scoupe in terms of both looks and performance.

Jaguar: Jaguar XK8 (1996 – 2004) 

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It’s a car that holds a mixed reception among Jag fans, with many picking holes in it for attempting to replicate the E-Type.Does it look as good as the E-Type? No, but then again nothing does.Is it a good car? Well, when you combine its already fantastic looks with some raunchy power and some perfect internal luxury, it is by far Jag’s best contribution!

Jeep: Jeep Truck C-10 (1971 – 1988)

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The original creator of 4×4 off-road vehicles, Jeep has a legacy as old as time when it comes to strong and dependable car models. However, my favourite in terms of being a perfect blend of style and substance is the C-10 truck from the 1970’s. An advancement on the strong and sturdy Gladiator of the 60’s, the C-10 continues that legacy but also sports some truly fantastic looks.

Jensen: Jensen Interceptor (1966 – 1976) 

1971_Jensen_Interceptor_MkII,_front_left_(USA)About as reliable as a chocolate heat shield, but just look at it!

Lamborghini: Lamborghini Diablo (1990 – 2001) 

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11 years of utter perfection, far more spectacular and practical than the Countach that preceded it, and that’s saying a lot!

Lancia: Lancia Montecarlo (1975 – 1978) 

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Yes, Lancia completely botched the brakes when it came to this machine, but again, just look at it! All it needs is for the backdrop to be changed to the sun kissed shores of the Côte d’Azur.


Land Rover: Land Rover Discovery (1989 – 1998) 

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While early ones were quite unreliable and rusted like R2-D2 in a car wash, the later versions of the 1st generation Discovery perfected both the styling and also gave the reliability a tune-up too, thanks largely to the company’s purchase by BMW. It’s a capable machine that combines looks and power, making it a prime choice for anyone wishing to conquer a mountain or two.

Lincoln: Lincoln Continental MkIII (1968 – 1971)

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Most Brits will deride the massive and bulky Lincoln as one of the worst cars ever made. Thankfully, I’m not like most Brits, and therefore adore such brash, big and beautiful boxy boulevard beasts of that indulgent period in the early 1970’s, before the Energy Crisis stuck its big nose in!

Lotus: Lotus Elan M100 (1989 – 1995) 

Lotus_Elan_M100_(1)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Esprit, but the Elan M100 is just the perfect little roadster. While reliability was something of an issue, even with parts outsourced from Toyota, the car offered a touch more luxury, refinement and personality than the rival MX-5. It really is quite a personable little machine, you could give it a name and everything.


Maserati: Maserati Sebring (1962 – 1969)

Maserati_(3494361066)
*Drools…*

Mazda: Mazda RX-7 (1978 – 1985)

Mazda-RX-7-front-three-quarters1
When I used to play Need for Speed Underground 2 on the Xbox when I was a kid, I always chose the RX-7 as my car of choice. While I would up the performance of this machine no end internally with modified engines and handling, I never spoiled this Pacific gem’s best attribute, its gorgeous looks!

McLaren: McLaren F1 (1992 – 1998)  

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Once the world’s fastest car, and certainly the most stylish of the lot, finally giving us a supercar that wasn’t massive and bulky like the XJ220 or the EB110.

Mercedes-Benz: Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (1954 – 1963)  DE64A457-3BF0-4FB4-B839-8AF6E3B5B418_0

Ah… such beauty!


MG: MG MGB (1962 – 1980)   bd07cd3158d62c886cae4c28143ceb79

Before British Leyland tampered with it, the MGB was the car everyone with a less than stellar wage promised themselves. A sturdy design mixed with mountains of beauty!


Mitsubishi: Mitsubishi Starion (1982 – 1989)    Starion_Conquest

If you look past its wide-boy styling, the Starion truly is a Stallion, fast, agile and cool!


Morris: Morris Minor (1948 – 1972)   morris-minor-1000-traveller-42-fj-31rwt-346-m

It became a staple of post-war British motoring, and is now perhaps the most popular classic car in the UK. New parts continue to be made, and there quite literally is no such thing as a written off Morris Minor, you could rebuild a burnt out shell to a fully functioning, road legal car simply through the number of spare parts available on the market!

Nissan: Nissan Figaro (1990)  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Only one word can possibly describe this car: Cute!


Peugeot: Peugeot 205GTi (1983 – 1998) http://www.autogaleria.hu -

Back in the days before Peugeot consistently kicked out absolute garbage, the 205GTi cemented the company as a master of speed and agility, and it was this car that defined Group B rallying and the fate that followed. But even off the rally stage it was still a formidable family hatchback.


Pontiac: Pontiac Trans Am (1982 – 1992)  1984-pontiac-firebird-trans-am-front

If it’s good enough for Knight Rider, it’s good enough for anyone!


Pagani: Pagani Zonda (1999 – 2011)   2002_Pagani_ZondaC12S16

Pagani’s first product, and boy was it superb!


Porsche: Porsche 928 (1977 – 1995)   1200px-1987_Porsche_928_S4_front

Incredible styling, oodles of performance, and indestructible German reliability, the 928 is Teutonic brilliance on wheels.


Range Rover: Range Rover P38 (1995 – 2002)   p38

While the original Range Rover Classic was a fantastic machine, it was the Range Rover P38 of 1994 that brought SUV’s out of the mud and put them on Knightsbridge.


Reliant: Reliant Scimitar (1968 – 1975)  1969_reliant_scimitar_se5_overdrive_30_sb

When they weren’t making horrible 3-wheeled deathtraps, Reliant also dabbled in making some sublime sports cars. The Reliant Scimitar was so perfect in every way that even Princess Anne got one for her 20th Birthday, followed by another 8 of these wonderful machines. Apparently she also liked to be a touch exuberant in them as well, seeing as a persistent rumour is she was pulled over more than once for speeding!


Renault: Renault Avantime (2002 – 2003)  renault-avantime_5853-1

It may have fallen into a gap in the market, but it certainly found a place in my heart. The Avantime is the perfect blend of size, style, technology and French panache.


Rolls Royce: Rolls Royce Camargue (1975 – 1986)    Rolls-Royce-Camargue-1

While this car takes a beating regularly for its looks and outrageous price-tag, to me it’s something of a tragic figure, but it’s no less a Rolls Royce than the rest. If anything, its somewhat rare nature and quintessential 70’s style makes it even more desirable.


Rover: Rover P5 (1958 – 1973)   1357913572745534

The Rover P5, the luxury car for the blue-collar worker, a car that was the UK with a tax disc, and was so loved for its comfort, style and performance that Queen Elizabeth II had 2, while every Prime Minister from Harold Wilson to John Major used them on parliamentary duties well into the 1990’s!


SAAB: SAAB Sonett III (1970 – 1974)    Saab-Sonett_III_mp46_pic_71355

The late, lamented SAAB gave us many safe and stylish machines, but none more so than their true crowning achievement, the Sonett.


SEAT: SEAT 850 Sport (1966 – 1974)   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another cute and cuddly little sports car, this time from Sunny Spain!


Shelby: Shelby GT350 (2016 – Present)   IMG_6405s

Shelby’s partnership with Ford continues to define automotive power and precision in their latest outing, the Shelby GT350. While I was tempted to choose the GT350 of the 1960’s, my heart told me that the latest model, with that fantastic 2015 styling and raunchy power, it couldn’t be anything else.


Subaru: Subaru Baja (2002 – 2006)   subaru-baja-photo-6333-s-original

The looks and power of the Legacy, but with the practicality of a pickup truck.


Sunbeam: Sunbeam Rapier (1967 – 1976)   ebay364544

While not exactly a Ford Mustang Fastback in terms of speed, on looks alone it takes the cake, especially when compared to Sunbeam’s other humble family cars.


Suzuki: Suzuki Vitara (1988 – 1997)   1200px-Suzuki-Sidekick-Sport

While smaller than average, the Vitara (especially the 5-door model) was truly the economical choice for a family SUV.


Talbot: Talbot Sunbeam (1977 – 1981)  Talbot_Sunbeam_Lotus_first_reg_August_1980_2172cc

The father of all hot-hatchbacks, the VW Golf GTi, the 205GTi, the RS200, they all owe their existence to this. Taking the otherwise bland Talbot body of the Sunbeam and fitting it with 2.1L Slant-4 Lotus engine was a stroke of genius, and the Sunbeam absolutely crushed the opposition on the rally stage.


Toyota: Toyota Land Cruiser J60 (1980 – 1989) 80-89_Toyota_Land_Cruiser

The SUV that practically destroyed Land Rover. Size and technical reliability are what helped turn Toyota into a household name, especially in Australia. As it was once put by the local population “You can go into the Outback in a Land Rover, but if you want to come out again, use a Toyota.”


Triumph: Triumph Spitfire Mark II (1965 – 1967) 901_uxga_1cb95be05dd6f221e876c7f660fed03c
Perky performance captured in a sweet little body. It truly does live up to the name Spitfire!

TVR: TVR Tuscan Speed 6 (1999 – 2006)   tvr-tuscan-speed-6-other-S3193348-1

Despite it’s love/hate styling, the TVR Tuscan Speed 6 is by far Blackpool’s finest creation, utterly beautiful!


Vauxhall: Vauxhall Calibra (1989 – 1997)  vauxhall-calibra-turbo-4x4-very-rare-turbo-model-very-low-mileage-just-2-former-keepers-find-another-214136482-7

For those who constantly bash Vauxhall for being boring and bland, take a moment to admire the Calibra. It was strong, it was stylish, it had some good power and it really did break away from the slew of cheap, plastic saloon cars the company seemed to enjoy building.


Venturi: Venturi Atlantique 300 (1994 – 2000)  135750398316927

While its product list could be counted with both hands, the Atlantique is truly the pinnacle of their creation. It really is a fantastic car, stylish, fast, grips like golf shoes, it is, as Jeremy Clarkson once put it “you’re own personal fighter jet!”


Volkswagen: Volkswagen Scirocco (2008 – Present)  2008_Volkswagen_Scirocco_30289

While the original design of the 70’s was a great looking car, the new Scirocco is truly something else. It drives like a Golf GTi, but it looks so much better!


Volvo: Volvo 480 (1986 – 1995)

480frontVolvo’s first real venture away from indestructible saloon cars since the P1800, the 480 takes the idea of regular 3-door family hatchbacks and turns them on their head. With pop-up headlights, a low, smooth body and that always welcome safety, the 480 really was a superb little family car.