In the beginning, it was simple.
A car was a carriage, similar to a horse-drawn one, but without the horses. Well, it did have horses, but these were found in the engine!
Soon, cars began to change. As different companies started building their own models, designs changed. For instance, cabins got bigger, and cars could carry more people. A windscreen was added, protecting the driver from bugs and other nasties and then an enclosed cabin followed.
Designs continued to change - think convertibles, roadsters, tourers, and now in modern times, crossovers, SUVs, pickups, coupes... the list goes on and on.
Within all these different types of cars, some stand out. But what makes them famous? Well, a number of different things. For example, which was the first car to use a turbocharger? Or what is the heaviest production car ever made? What the heaviest SUV, convertible or pickup? And the lightest ever production car?
Which car was the first to be mass produced? Which car was the first to use a steering wheel? Which car used anti-lock brakes before any others?
Yes, there are many reasons why cars are famous. Let's see if you can work them out.
The Toyota Corolla has been around since 1966. In that time, its 12 generations have sold 39 million units, making it the best selling name plate for a vehicle ever.
The heaviest production car in the world, the Mercedes-Maybach S600 Pullman Guard tips the scales at 5,100 kilograms.
The Koenigsegg Agera RS is the fastest car on the planet. And the fastest speed achieved? An incredible 277.9 mph.
Produced by Dodge between 1955 and 1956, this 2-door hardtop was specifically aimed at the fairer sex. Only 2,500 were sold in a two-year period, although little evidence suggests that it was well marketed.
Released in 1915, the Cadillac Type 51 was powered by a V8 engine. This was the power plant of choice for the company and Cadillac have continued to use V8 engines in most of their cars.
Car enthusiasts believe the Stout Scarab to be the first-ever minivan, although the designers and the general public might not have known it at the time. You can certainly see why they named it the Scarab; it looks like a long elongated beetle. The Scarab was built in the 1930's.
Famous as James Bond’s first ride, the Aston Martin quickly became the British sports car of choice and remains one of the worlds finest performance cars.
It was not the best selling car in the world in terms of numbers, but certainly the best selling single design that changed very little from when it was introduced in 1937 till the last one rolled off the production line in Mexico in 2003. 23 million units were sold during that time.
Before the Model C, cars were steered using a tiller. Although many vehicles in Europe were using steering wheels beforehand, the Model C was the first in the United States to do so.
The Batmobile in the 1960s "Batman" TV series was, in fact, a Lincoln Futura, a concept car from 1955 of which only one was ever built. The Batmobile itself was not this Futura but a replica with a fiberglass body. In 2013, it was sold for an astonishing $4.62 million at auction.
Early NASCAR racing saw drivers using stock vehicles, hence the term, stock car. The Hudson Hornet was so dominant that if you were not driving one, you didn't stand a chance of a NASCAR win, no matter how talented a driver you were.
Built in 1939, the Horch Special Roadster is a vehicle of rare beauty and shows off those classic lines of a pre-World War II car. A Horch 853A, Special Roadster sold for $5.1 million in California.
The car that started a revolution – small, lightweight frames and massive V8 engines. The brainchild of Carroll Shelby, the Cobra first revved in anger in 1962.
The first generation of the GT40 won the prestigious Le Mans 24-hour endurance race for four straight years from 1966 to 1969, which included filling out the top three positions in 1966. Only 105 were produced.
This was the car that introduced pony cars to the world. Although many would consider some early car models as muscle cars, in truth, the 1965 Ford Mustang is the muscle car that started it all.
A true classic from the '50s, the 300 SL started life as a racing car in 1952 but soon became a production car in 1954 as a two-door coupe. The 300 SL became instantly recognizable thanks to its gullwing doors. Just over 3,200 of the coupe and roadster were built up until 1963.
This concept car was built in small numbers. In fact, only 55 were made, of which 50 were used in a designed user program. As one can tell by the name, this Chrysler model was driven by a turbine engine. Only nine remain today, of which two are in private hands.
The dream of Preston Tucker, the Torpedo only saw 51 units built. Why? Well, Tucker was indicted for fraud, although many say he was setup. The truth is out there...
Ray Harroun was the driver of the Marmon Wasp that won the inaugural Indy 500 in 1911. He completed the race in over 6 hours with an average speed of 74.49 mph.
The Goliath GP700 was marketed between 1950 and 1957. It was built in Bremen, Germany.
1,311 Ferrari F40’s were produced between 1987 and 1991. Many consider this to be the finest Ferrari ever. The F40 was powered by a 2.9-liter twin turbo V12 capable of producing 471 brake horsepower. The F40’s top speed was 321 km/h.
Yes, in July 2005, the Ford F150 managed to sell 126,905 units. That is the most ever recorded and a record that still stands for monthly sales
Yes, the Tesla roadster is an incredible technology. Its electric engine produces 14 000 rpm. That's astonishing!
The 2015 Porsche 918 Spyder goes from a standing start to 60 mph in just 2.2 seconds. That makes it the quickest car to do so.
The most expensive car even sold at auction is a Ferrari GTO, sold in California in 2014 for $38 million.
Unbelievable, the W16 engine on the Bugatti Chiron produces 1,479 brake horsepower! Astounding!
Oldsmobile Jetfire - introduced in 1962, the Jetfire from Oldsmobile used a sports water injection system. For this to work, owners had to top up their Turbo Rocket Fuel, essentially a mixture of water and alcohol. They often forgot, and although it wasn't meant to, it affected the performance of the turbocharger and made the engine die. The Jetfire didn't last long, but it was the first car to use a turbocharger.
Yes, the Jensen FF, built between 1966 and 1971, was the first car to use an ABS system. Only 320 were ever made.
In 2005, the ninth generation of the Toyota Corolla had the single biggest sales year for any car model ever. It sold over 1.3 million units.
The Nissan Leaf was launched by the Japanese automaker in 2010. To date, it has sold over 300,000 units making it the top selling electric car of all time.
Although many people think Henry Ford's Model T was the first mass-produced car, it was, in fact, the Curved Dash from Oldsmobile. Ford did, however, tweak mass production to bring the cost of his vehicles down significantly.
In 1986 the Porsche 959 was the first car to make use of an active differential.
No convertible has ever weighed more than the Cadillac V-16. Produced in the 1930's, it weighed around 2,800 kilograms.
For those of us that hate parking, an auto parking system is a must. The 2003 Toyota Prius was the first car to make use of one.
The International XT is the heaviest pickup ever produced.
Yes, unbelievably, all the way back in 1899, Ferdinand Porsche designed the first hybrid.
Weighing in at 5,900 kilograms, the 2008 Conquest Knight is the heaviest SUV ever produced.
The Ariel Atom Highest red lines at 10,500 rpm.
The Ariel Atom is the lightest production car ever made.