We love cars here at Paragon Skills. Our Automotive Centre of Excellence in Bournemouth is full of petrol heads and car enthusiasts and that includes our tutors not just the Apprentices! Conversations in the corridors often revolve around things wheels and engines!
So for that reason, we have polled our Apprentices and Personal Tutors to find out what their top 10 legendary cars are and here are the results. This list is compiled of some influential cars, some crazy cars, and some that we don’t think get enough recognition. See what you think of these:
When the NSX was introduced to the public in 1990, it was one of the most technologically advanced supercars ever made, from a company that made sensible family saloons and hatches… It was the first production vehicle to use an all-aluminium chassis so it was rigid and light. The lightness of the engine, frame and body combined with impressive performance stats gained it a high status and a lot of recognition. A true legend, and the first car from Honda's line-up to ever be branded with the red Type-R badge we all know and love today.
We all know the term ‘Quattro’ stands for Audi’s four-wheel drive system, but the term came from the early 80’s when Audi brought out the original Audi Quattro. It was born from the original rally car that was the first to combine 4-wheel drive with turbocharging. With a boxy, sharp design, the Quattro was a real head tuner in its time, and still is today. The 2.1 litre inline 5 cylinder fired out 197 bhp and could shift the car from 0 to 60 mph in 7 seconds on any terrain with a top speed of nearly 140 mph. It dominated the purely insane group B rally series with the highly modified variant (S1 E2) pushing over 470 bhp at its peak. If you don’t know what the group B rally series is, it’s definitely worth the time to look into it, you will not be disappointed.
It’s the bestselling icon of British motoring that changed car design forever. The mini was made to be efficient, roomy but small, and still fun to blast down the B-roads. How did they make this possible? They mounted the engine sideways. This simple but major alteration, along with it being front wheel drive, meant that they could eliminate the driveshaft system resulting in a flat floor, and the front seats could be moved forward meaning comfort and legroom for the rear passengers. Weighing in at just 690 kg and with a 0-60 in just over 12 seconds it’s faster than quite a few modern hatchbacks. And it’s from 1959! I really do need a new car…
Produced from 1992 – 1999. The McLaren F1 has nothing to prove. It holds the top speed record of 243 mph, a record that still hasn’t been beaten today by ANY naturally aspirated car. If that isn’t impressive, I don’t know what is. Utilizing ultra-light materials, it was the first car to accommodate a carbon fibre chassis, superb aerodynamics and a naturally aspirated BMW V12 with 618 horsepower. The driver was positioned bang in the centre of the car for the ultimate driving experience, similar to an F1 car, but it also stood out as an everyday supercar with its driveability, quality build and two extra seats either side of the driver (Ultimate family car!)
Widely regarded as the first of its kind, and one of the most beautiful automotive designs of all time, the Miura was a monster mid-engine V12 two-seater setup that inspired every supercar to come after it. Only 764 were built between 1966 and 1972. It was recently duplicated in modern concept form in 2006, but the original stands as the true supercar classic. It’s also the only car to ever look good with eyelash headlights. A true masterpiece.
Porsche Carrera GT
The Carrera GT is crazy. It's also the final "old-world" supercar. It’s the pinnacle of the form invented and perfected by cars such as the Lamborghini Miura (See above), the Ferrari F40, the Porsche 959 and the McLaren F1 (See above), which are arguably some of the most important and most influential supercars of all time, so you can see how important this machine really is. It was the last real supercar made in large numbers with a true manual transmission. It doesn't look all that exotic, except to the people who know what they're looking at. A definite dream car of mine, and of many people around the world.
Toyota MR2 Turbo
Dubbed the ‘Poor man’s Ferrari’ here is the MR2 mk2 Turbo. Being the bigger brother of the standard naturally aspirated MR2, this thing means business, beating the Honda NSX, Mk4 Toyota Supra and Ferrari 348 in the quarter mile and being able to keep legends like the Mazda RX-7 FD, Nissan Skyline R32 and BMW E36 M3 at bay on the track. A true underdog at a fraction of the price. Just make sure if you buy one that it’s post 1993… the early models have a nasty habit of lift off oversteer, meaning if you let off the throttle on a corner you may be spun into a hedge. Have fun!
Originally inspired by small British roadsters, the Mx5 is a little less impressive than everything else on this list, but in my opinion no less important. They’ve never been the fastest cars on the roads, but with a perfect 50/50 weight distribution and a front engine, rear wheel drive layout, they’re the definition of a roadster and have inspired the look and feel of most roadsters since. The soft-top combined with an all-round well balanced car with tight handling and a cheap price you cannot beat. They’re a great starter car if you’re looking to modify and if you want to keep it stock you’re still going to be smiling more than the car itself. Guaranteed.
This was obviously going to be on the list. Specifically talking about the Mk4 or A80, it’s one of the most legendary cars of all time and one of my all-time favourites. Wielding the indestructible 2JZ-GTE you could run up to 800 bhp on the solid stock internals and hefty iron block that it came with. It also turned tight and was fairly comfortable for a daily driver if that was what you were aiming for. Also the dash was made to fit around the driver in such a way that it looked like a fighter jet inside, which is just one of the many reasons they’re so many peoples dream cars.
Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II
Maybe one of my favourite cars ever. The 190 Evo II was introduced in 1990 as a direct competitor to the dominant BMW E30 M3. It was only produced because of Homologation rules, which put simply, means that they legally had to make a certain amount of them for the road so that they could use them on the racetrack. With sharp styling and a meaty 2.5 Litre line-6 that Cosworth got their hands on, it pushes out 235 bhp stock. It’s an absolute weapon. It dominated the DTM world (German Touring Car racing series) pushing the E30 M3 off its pedestal and taking its rightful place on the throne. It’s a legend, and it’s the only Merc to ever look good with a wing, in my opinion.
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