We were recently debating the best fifty cars of all time. Here is DTW´s take on the subject.
In at number 50 is the much-loved Alfa Romeo 90. Some say it´s the last real Alfa. It has a zany interior, flawed driving position and inept styling but the V6 was to die-for.
49. The 1988 BMW 518i brought BMW into the mainstream. It has plain grey cloth and a four-cylinder engine but it was the car that killed the Granada and Renault Safrane.
48. The 1996 Cadillac Fleetwood was the last of the body-on-frame leviathans. It had peerless ride and superb handling coupled with astonishing performance. Perhaps only the Porsche 911 equalled its single-minded focus.
46. The 1969 Austin Maxi had space and pace if not much grace. Yet it had revolutionary suspension and fantastic packaging. The gear-linkage was by wire.
45. The 1968 MG Magnette brought MG-sportiness to the staid Farina body and set the cat-among the pigeons at Ford and Vauxhall. Once a staple classic car they are now falling out of favour. Avoid at all costs. But still so very British.
44. In 1980 the Chevy Citation amazed customers with its FWD engineering and clean-cut looks. The engine range was huge and the number of options beggared belief. This is the car that helped set the tone for GM´s tumultuous decade.
43. The Ford Ka blew off the doors with its styling, simple engineering and fun driving style. It had a tested four-cylinder engine and boasted great roominess for a car of its size… Values are set to rise in the future so it´s time to buy one now. Perhaps only the Porsche 911 beats it in terms of sheer outright styling appeal.
42. The Citroen C4 carries on the tradition of empty-styling and mediocre engineering established by PSA since the year 2000 or thereabouts. It´s a complete non-entity and doesn´t even warrent your attention if it comes free and filled with bars of gold bullion.
41. The 1983 Ford Granada was popular, well-priced and square. At the time it seemed like just another big car but by the end of the decade it was clear the big saloon´s days were numbered. This is the archetypal straight-down-the-line big V6 load hauler. It does what is asked of it day after day without complaint. In many ways the SUV and Mininvan have not caught up with what was acheived by just putting a box on the back of a saloon. Peerless.
40. Another car from the firm that put French motoring on the map, the Citroen AX. Flimsy, cheap and cramped but it was nippy, frugal and a hoot to drive around in. The revised interior of the Series 2 cars were special. Furthermore, it was styled by Brit Geoff Matthews and had a 1.4 litre engine in some versions. Only the Porsche 911 rivals it for its depth of consumer-led focus.
We will have more of the Top Fifty very soon.