The Big Three:
They may not be the first car brand that comes to mind when thinking about motorsport, but it’s hard not to think about General Motors when you’re at an NHRA event. You see, it was originally founded back in 1945 and has since gone on to become one of the biggest car manufacturers around. It has a large presence not only in the US but also abroad in places like Europe and Asia. Even now, you’ll find their badges dotted around the sport — from Funny Cars to Pro Stock.
Although the brand hasn’t been as prominent as it could have been in recent years, they have still maintained a large presence in the sport and kept up with the times. For example, they have produced V8 engines for many years, even before V8s became commonplace, and now they even produce V6 motors for certain models. What’s more is that, even today, you’ll still find that their older engines are much more reliable than your average brand.
Think of the most common cars that you see on the road today and you’ll probably think of Honda. Most people have probably heard of the brand, as it’s now one of the biggest in the world. They’ve been around since the 1970s and started their climb to fame in the world of motorsport in the 1980s, particularly focusing on rallying. They’ve since spread their tentacles into many different areas of motorsport and have become a car manufacturer to be reckoned with. You’ll still see their orange and black cars on the road today, as well as their logos all over the place in motorsport. Even today, you’re likely to see a Honda Civic on the grid at any motorsport event you attend.
They’ve been responsible for some of the most memorable and iconic cars of all time, including the iconic Civic Type R, the CBR1000RR, and much more. Their engines are reliable and fuel-efficient, which is essential for any motorsport fan, so it’s no wonder that they’ve been around for so long and are considered one of the great car companies of all time.
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned American car that’s been around for as long as dirt and grass can grow? It’s safe to assume that most people reading this have a soft spot for American cars, as they were the ones that started the whole car era back in 1899. Ford also started back then and has since gone on to become a household name. They’ve since extended their presence abroad, setting up factories in places like Romania and Turkey to help meet the growing demands of people over there.
They’ve been around for nearly a hundred years now and are still making cars that have gained iconic status. It all started with the Ford Model T, which was initially produced in small quantities back in the early 1900s. Since then, they’ve produced many different models and even some concepts that were ahead of their time. You’ll often see them on the road today, as they’re still considered one of the great American car companies.
This one might be a bit of a cheat, as it’s not exactly a car brand but more of a tuner. However, we had to include it, as it has been responsible for some of the most memorable custom vehicles ever created. These are German-built Beetles that were originally designed back in the 1950s, as a means of providing tax relief for German car owners. Thus was born the Ramblet, which is a play on words between the German words for “tax relief” and “beetle”. This name was eventually shortened to Ramblet and it’s since stuck.
It all started back in the 1950s and even today they’re still building them, as demand for these quirky cars has not diminished one bit. What’s more is that, due to their unusual designs and customizations, most people have never actually heard of them, which makes them even more iconic. If you’re a petrol head who wants to relieve some tax, then you can’t go wrong with a Ramblet.
There are literally hundreds of other brands that you could include on this list, as many motorsport fans know that there are quite a few other car companies that have been prominent in motorsport for years. It would be impossible to cover all of them in one article, so we’ll leave you with a few more iconic brands that you should know about: