When it comes to quality, technology and innovation, few can match what the Germans have achieved over the years when it comes to cars.
From culture-defining cars of the people to some of the best sports vehicles of all time, many would argue that the country is top of the charts when it comes to classics.
Here’s why we think they’re the best.
Do you agree?
You only have to look at the company slogans to see why the Germans have a reputation for being top engineers.
BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine. That’s a big claim not without foundation.
Audi: Vorsprung Durch Technik. It means advancement through technology.
And those phrases sum up the German approach to both life and cars. It’s all about being the best, if a little clinical. Whichever way you look at it, it means that the Germans have been putting brilliant cars on the roads for decades.
It was a German who invented the internal combustion engine, after all. Karl Benz gets the credit for the first successful motor. It was an invention that changed the world and the Germans have been innovating ever since in a bid to stay at the top. And it’s just in the technological sense.
In spite of its dubious beginnings under the Nazi regime, the Volkswagen Beetle went on to start a culture – and a counterculture – that is one of the most enduring of motoring history. And the Volkswagen Golf GTI invented a new genre – the hot hatch, giving people the opportunity for the first time to own a car that was fast and practical at the same time.
It’s these types of innovation that have kept the Germans among the very best.
The big German car makers have been established for a long time for a good reason – they know how to build brands that last.
One prime example is the Porsche 911, seen by many as the best sports car of all time. That iconic shape has endured for more than 50 years and can trace its creation back to the original VW Beetle design of the 1930s.
The original Beetle was made for 65 years and 21.5 million of them were produced. That’s serious longevity. This idea has captured the imagination of so many and secured customers for life.
Right back to the Auto Union days of the 1930s, the Germans have a long and successful history in motorsport. From Le Mans heroes like Porsche and Audi to touring cars and rallying, German manufacturers have had – and continue to have – success in every field of motor racing.
And some iconic cars have been produced along the way – think Porsche 956 at Le Mans, the Audi Quattro on the World Rally Championship scene and BMW in touring cars.
Mercedes, of course, continues to sit at the top of the tree in Formula One.
There are Mercedes-Benz 190s and 300s from the 1970s and 1980s with 500,000 miles or more on the clock that continue to ply their trade as taxis around the world. Because German cars are generally bulletproof. They have led the way in quality for decades.
And that’s why so many German classics are still on the road after 20, 30, 40 or 50 years and more. It also means that there’s a German classic accessible to everyone.
Whether it’s a Golf GTI from the late 1970s, a stunning Porsche 911 from the 1960s or an Audi TT from 1998.