posted 1 year ago

James May Names ‘Most Significant’ Cars Ever

Do you agree with Top Gear star’s London Classic Car Show selection?

Top Gear's James May hopes to “cause arguments in every pub” by naming the 13 most significant cars of all time.

But has he made the right selection?

You should tell us by revealing your choice for the most significant car of all time in the opinion box below.

Vehicles selected by James May will be displayed in the Cars That Changed The World exhibition at the London Classic Car Show, which is being held from January 8 to 11 at London’s ExCel conference centre.

Exhibition Spit Into Chambers

James has split the exhibition into groups.

Six cars sit in The Hall of Obviousness and six in The Chambers of Bloody Mindedness.

The 13th - and most significant vehicle - has a private stand.

May says it “looms largest” in his driving life and is “the biggest inspiration”.

“You could probably guess the identity of the six in the Hall of Obviousness, but the other six are less well known,” James explains. 

“I believe they are just as significant historically but they’ve simply been forgotten or misunderstood.”

As for the 13th, the Top Gear presenter said: “I’m not going to give that away. You simply have to visit the show and indulge me through my hall and chambers to get to it.”

Hall of Obviousness

Ford Model T

Cars in the Hall of Obviousness include the 1908 Ford Model T.

James says “the brilliance of the Model T is the way that it was made, rather than the car itself”. 

Austin Mini

The Ford is joined in the hall by the 1959 Austin Mini.

James explains that “an original Mini is incredibly uncomfortable and a bit hairy if you crash it, but also fantastic to drive”.

1938 Volkswagen Beetle1964 Ford Mustang1997 Toyota Prius

The Model T and Austin Mini are joined in the Hall of Obviousness by an 1886 Benz Motorwagen, 1938 Volkswagen Beetle, 1964 Ford Mustang and 1997 Toyota Prius. 

Chambers of Bloody Mindedness

1972 Honda Civic

Cars in the Chambers of Bloody Mindedness include the 1972 Honda Civic.

James says it was a “compact, lively and fuel efficient car that was well made and almost faultlessly reliable”. 

1980 Lada Riva

Stablemates in the chamber include the 1980 Lada Riva that – James says  - “did more than any other to put communism on wheels”.

It is joined by the: 1901 Waverley Electric, 1906 Cadillac Model K, 1933 Standard Superior, and the 2009 Bruno ExoMars Rover.

*What’s your choice for the most significant car of all? Let us know below.


The rover 100 metro would be my choice and i cant believe james never even considered it !!! Just goes to show how much he knows about cars then.

Original Mini - brilliant fun to drive, clever transverse engine configuration, bags of personality, and great use of space too. Transformational and still relevant.

Mk1 escort the peoples champion, simplicity style and shed loads of fun.

The Mercedes 500SL type 107. Sleek looking, beautiful lines and an iconic car of its time. It is still a head-turner today.

oops. Quintessence. :)

Porsche 911 - no question the quintesscence of the sports car.

The people's champion... The Morris Minor 1000 Reliability came as standard.

Bugatti Veyron. The impossible, made possible.

Citroen DS - literally decades ahead of its time with technologies and engineering ideas that have yet to become commonplace in moden cars.

I think the Mercedes SLK 170 , as it had the first controlled hardtop , and had the first ever space saver Tyre.