Don’t expect any of these models to go away anytime soon

There is no shortage of car models in the auto industry these days. Some models have gained followings while others have become flashes in the pan. Then there are the titans of the business, the models that have lasted the test of time and have been around, literally, for generations. In the course of their respective lifetimes, these models have evolved in more ways than one, none more evident than their designs. These seven models have been around for so long their designs have evolved considerably from when they first came out. Knowing their place in the business, these models are unlikely to go away anytime soon.

Mini Cooper (1959 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798697
Of the seven models on this list, the Mini Cooper is the third-oldest, having been around since 1959.

The beloved hatchback is a year short of its 60th birthday and in all the years it’s been around, it’s become one of the most famous cars in the history of the industry. It’s appeared in movies, most famously in the Italian Job. Through it all, the Cooper has retained its small and nippy stature. It’s been around for 10 generations, and it wasn’t until the eighth-generation model that the Cooper arrived with a more modern design. In addition to a more modern look, the eight-generation Cooper also grew in size for the first time in its lineage. It’s gotten even bigger with the current (tenth-generation) generation model. The Cooper has grown in size, a fitting evolution for a model that has built a larger-than-life personality.

Read our full review on the 2016 Mini John Cooper Works Convertible.

Honda Civic (1972 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798689
It’s funny how the auto industry would look like now if the Honda Civic never existed in the first place.

That’s how it was supposed to go down because Honda was considering pulling out of the car manufacturing business altogether before it decided to give it one more go by launching the Civic. The rest, as they say, was history. The Civic emerged in 1972, instantly becoming a worldwide success thanks impart to its reliable engine, great fuel efficiency, and attractive design. Honda was able to parlay the Civic’s popularity to become one of the world’s biggest automakers. All told, the Civic has gone through 10 generations worth of designs, starting off as a small hatchback and evolving into one of the sharpest-looking compact models in the market today.

Read our driven review on the 2017 Honda Civic Type R.

Toyota Corolla (1966 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798701
There’s no model in the history of the industry that has reached the level of the Toyota Corolla.

Not only is it be the highest-selling car in the history of the business, but it’s also a perfect example of how a mass-produced car can look stylish, run efficiently, and cost cheaply. The Corolla has been at it for 11 generations now, having gone its most recent transformation in 2013. The Japanese compact model also has the distinction of looking different with each passing generation. That’s a big part of the Corolla’s popularity. It has managed to constantly look fresh, even if it’s been around since 1966. Make no mistake about its longevity, too. The Corolla will remain a part of lives for as long as there are people who buy it. Judging by the model’s sales volume in recent years, we’re going to see a lot more of the Corolla in the future.

Read our driven review on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback.

Ford Mustang (1964 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798699
By now, everyone knows how iconic the Ford Mustang is. But the Ford muscle car didn’t start off that way.

When it was unveiled in 1964, the Blue Oval was gambling on the car’s sporty, stylish, and performance-oriented makeup to attract buyers. The gamble, as well all know by now, paid off. Not only did the Mustang usher in the glory age of American muscle cars, but it also became the archetype of American engineering. Sales records tumbled when the Mustang launched in the mid-60s. and since then, the beloved pony car has undergone six generations of changes. The Mustang has had its struggles, specifically the fourth-generation model that moved away from the car’s distinctive design. But Ford corrected that with the launch of the fifth-generation model 2005. Since then, the Mustang has returned to its rightful place as one of the most popular performance cars in the U.S.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

Chevrolet Corvette (1953 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798691
The Chevrolet Corvette is the oldest model on this list, but you probably wouldn’t have known it given how popular the sports car is to this day.

The American sports car shares a connection with the Honda Civic in that, in the beginning, General Motors built the Corvette only as a concept or show car. There were no plans to produce it, in large part because the General didn’t know if there was a market that could help sustain it. But the crowd reaction to the show car was so favorable that GM decided to produce it properly. That decision ultimately led to the birth of the quintessential American sports car. The Corvette has gone through seven generations, and of all the cars on this list, it’s probably the one that has undergone the biggest transformation from the first-gen model to the current seventh-gen model. Today, the C7 Corvette looks less like a sports car and more like an actual supercar. And to think this model was never supposed to be built in the first place.

Read our full review on the 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 Convertible.

Jaguar XJ (1968 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798693

The Jaguar XJ doesn’t hold as much sway as other models on this list. That said, the XJ has been the heart of Jaguar’s automotive history since it launched in 1968. It has largely defined the automaker’s brand identity, having done so for nine generations since the original XJ broke into the scene. The XJ’s design has also changed a number of times, though the model’s overall profile has remained the same. It’s still Jaguar’s flagship model. It’s still one of the most impressive pieces of British automotive styling. It’s still regarded as one of the best examples of a luxury car that has gone better with age. You can point to other flagship luxury sedans and make cases for them as your favorite. But anybody who says the Jaguar XJ is one of the best luxury sedans in the market is someone who knows what he’s talking about.

Read our full review on the 2017 Jaguar XJ.

Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (1954 - Present)

Budget Direct Renders the Evolution of 7 Timeless Models
- image 798695

It’s hard to believe, but the Mercedes SL-Class is actually one of the longest-running sports car series in the world. It’s been around since 1954 — the second oldest model on this list — and in the space of 64 years, it has established itself as one of the most evocative pieces of German automotive engineering. The first-generation SL-Class is one of the most sought-after classic cars in the world today. That’s a testament to the lasting power of the model, in large part because of its gullwing doors and its status as the fastest production car of its time. Since then, the SL has evolved through six generations worth of design, culminating in the current version — the R231 — that’s been around since 2011. Beyond its unmistakable sports design, the current SL-Class continues the performance spirit that was established by its predecessors, proving that the model’s legacy is still fully intact, even if it’s a year away from celebrating its 65th birthday.

Read our full review on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class.

Source: Budget Direct

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: