Many cars produced will come and go with little fuss, yet there are those that’ll forever be remembered in the motor industry. Here’s a list of those vehicles that dared to break the convention, as they strived to innovate the next generation of motoring.
Shown above, the cute Fiat 500 has become a trendy cult car, its rounded egg-like body and minuscule size appealed to millions. The car certainly wasn’t a joke when it was introduced in 1957 – designed as transportation for the masses, it gave Italians the freedom to get about at an affordable price. Despite the 500’s size restrictions, it proved enormously practical. Besides the two-door coupe, it was also available in a longer version; with the standard engine turned on its side and 10cm added, fulfilling the needs of larger families.
The 500’s legacy is as strong today, as it was 50 years ago – the latest 500 is the ultimate urban accessory and continues to rival the ever-popular BMW Mini.
The Robin was first introduced in 1973 and powered by a water-cooled four-cylinder 750ccc engine that produced an uninspiring 32bhp. Made famous for its cameo appearance in Only Fools and Horses, the three-wheeled wagon only requires a bike license should you dare drive one - they’re known for their dangerous inability to remain grounded round corners. But don’t let that put you off, their inexpensive exterior makes replacing parts that little more bearable.
With over 1000 G-Wiz’s on UK roads, this is the most popular electric car in Britain and there are good reasons why. Firstly and most importantly, it’s cheap and the eight-hour charging time is about average. The car is perfect if you never intend on leaving the city, and although it struggles to keep up with fast moving traffic, with running costs of around seven pence per mile it’s certainly worth a look.
The original is, without doubt, one of the most popular vehicles ever produced. Launched in 1959, the Austin Mini notched up 5.4 million sales during its 41-year lifetime. The Mini had many faults, but it was revolutionary and remains an iconic motor to this day. With its four-man seating and decent boot space, all tucked up inside a mere 10-foot long car, the Mini gave customers a practical British motor that had never been seen before. The Mini’s exciting driving position meant motorists favoured this to the German Beetle.
Shortly after World War II, Henry Ford II was given the opportunity to buy Volkswagen, astonishingly after viewing VW’s offerings, Ford’s CEO, Ernest Breech famously decline. “Mr Ford I don’t think what we are being offered here is worth a damn”, proving to be one of the worst business decisions of all time. The Beetle, that arrived a few years later was affordable, practical and sensible and best of all it was almost indestructible.
Initially intended as a pre-war German ‘people’s car’ the Beetle went on to become an all-time best selling car. Love for the bug is still apparent today, as VW have just rolled out an all-new redefined model.