Every classic car has its legion of followers, making it a cult vehicle. It’s the kind of die-hard allegiance that makes the world of classic cars so exciting. Whether the automobile was produced for a year, or for decades, it doesn’t stop it from being remembered by someone. Here are some of the biggest cult cars of all time.
The Jaguar XK8 was produced in 1996 and featured a long bonnet, open-mouthed grill and sleek curves. With a 4-litre, 33-valve V8 engine, the car could hit 0-60 in 6.4 seconds. Often compared to the Jaguar E-Type, the XK8 was built as a Grand Tourer, rather than as a sports car. It was a cult car because it was considered more affordable, compared to other Jaguar models.
From the moment the original VW Beetle was produced, it became destined for greatness. An entire culture rose up around the car, with people being attracted to the distinctive body style. The Bug featured an air-cooled four-cylinder, boxer engine and enough space to fit four passengers. The Beetle went on to be the longest-running produced car of a single platform, lasting for 30 years.
The Lamborghini Countach was one of the first classic cars to be considered ‘exotic,’ moving into the territory of supercar. It had a V12 engine, pointed backwards for better weight distribution. It was one of the earliest Lamborghini models to have the trademark scissor doors that tilted forward when opened.
When Sir Alec Issigonis created the Mini, it revolutionized the automotive industry. Despite it being so small, the car’s transverse engine helped it fit four people. It became a popular car among the public and celebrities, with all four member of the Beatles owning a customised Mini. The cult following was so great that it was voted the second most influential car of the 20th century in 1999.
The Lotus Elan was introduced during the 1960s, a golden age for the British sports car. It possessed a DOHC 1557cc engine and featured all-wheel disc brakes. It was lightweight and technologically advanced for the time, as it was the first Lotus car to have a steel backbone chassis with a fibreglass body. The Elan provided the blueprint for the popular Mazda MX-5, which became an affordable sports car for the modern day.
Introduced in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 achieved cult status as the highest-selling two-seater sports car in history. It reached 0-60 in 9.1 seconds, having a top speed of 114 mph. The Mazda was popular because of its affordable price and handling. Jeremy Clarkson once said “the fact is that if you want a sports car, the MX-5 is perfect. Nothing on the road will give you better value. Nothing will give you so much fun. The only reason I’m giving it five stars is because I can’t give it 14.”