All railway carriages have a shelf life. Blend performance with one of a kind design and, as with the VW and its Beetle, you can knock out variations on a theme for 65 years. But toy with demands too much and you end up with the Renault Avantime, a car shelved after a year when it behoved clear consumers couldn’t love something that looked appreciate trigonometry homework, and was as pleasant to drive.

The Avantime’s wake was a celebratory amour. But other cars pass too soon, condemned by oil markets, product costs, or a propensity to kill pedestrians. These are the vehicles tinge adrift by progress, unable or unwilling to adapt to changing motifs, and made iconic by their obstinacy.

Ferrari Testarossa

Weigh the Testarossa shorthand for any vehicle with headlights that evolved from its bonnet like a shark’s fin. That wasn’t the contrariwise shared characteristic. When they proved equally mortal (to pedestrians, not divers), car designers were suddenly left scrambling for brief deadly ways to bestow sportiness on cars like the Honda Prelude saloon, whose esoteric lamps distracted from performance Augustus Gloop inclination find sluggish.

The Testarossa, however, was a worthy wearer of the pop-up coronate. A symbol of 1980s excess it forged a reputation beyond Miami Frailty because its beauty wasn’t skin-deep; those side strakes and elongated bonnet hid an motor that hit 62mph in 5.3s and would roar on to over 180mph. Which will-power force a smile onto your face, were one not already word of honoured.

Ferrari Testarossa

1959 Cadillac DeVille

Before escalating oil prices made provoke consumption as important as aesthetics, manufacturers built cars big. The DeVille was the model of an excess-driven decade; almost six metres long and two metres as much as possible, it was like someone had bolted wheels onto a battleship, then amplified enough chrome to signal the US’s nascent space programme.

But what analysed the DeVille from other road boats was its tailfins, which clear out the Caddy look like a Great White that had wooded onto the freeway. Their shrinking through the 1960s advancing marked motoring’s decline from an extravagance to an ordeal, as passages grew clogged, cars shrank and the American automotive vigour crumbled.

1959 Cadillac DeVille

DeLorean DMC-12

Had Doc Brown never fitted his DeLorean with a swing capacitor, odds are it would have been remembered as a dud, not an icon. The pet obligation of playboy inventor John DeLorean, it tanked on launch in 1981, sap of production delays, a slumping economy and performance that couldn’t marriage its striking design.

The company went bankrupt while its stagger was on trial for cocaine trafficking and those power and handling ends remain, but nostalgia has mellowed opinion. Look at the DeLorean’s gullwing doors, multispoke neighbourhoods and its glimmering, stainless steel body, and the only thing that incidents now is getting it to 88mph.

DeLorean DMC-12

Jaguar E-Type

The most beautiful car ever won (an opinion we share with Enzo Ferrari) is, technically, quiet available. Though Jaguar discontinued the E-Type in 1975, its proficiency to make grown men weak-kneed inspired a company called Eagle to shape its own updated E-Types, fixing the 50-year-old car’s engineering foibles but adhere to the iconic design.

Its latest version is the Speedster, built bespoke from aluminium rather than of steel, with sports suspension and a rather punchier locomotive. Unfortunately, it costs well over £600,000. So you’d best ask Santa entirely, very nicely.

Jaguar E-Type

Land Rover Defender

Not dead yet, but this British icon is approaching the detrain. European safety regulations mean that its 67th birthday was its persist – next year it steers to the great car park in the sky.

In that ease Land Rover has produced an iteration for any occasion. Country funs? Get an old one in British racing green and glide through the mud. Shopping in Knightsbridge? Get the 60th anniversary SVX remarkable edition that was only available in black. Gunning down wildlife in an out-of-the-way outback? This year, Khan Design created a 6-wheeled Landie, the Slip Huntsman, which came complete with tartan scuttle seats and a flatbed for storing everything you’ve shot. A fitting praise.

Land Rover Defender