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Car Of The (20th) Century

Year : October 1989.

Pioneered By : Dick Holzhaus, a Dutch car enthusiast with Fred van der Vlugt, pioneer of European Car Of The Year Competition

Scope : To select the automobile from the 20th century with the most significant impact on motoring, worldwide. 

Spadework : Manufacturers and one-make car clubs contacted for car lists.

Initial Count : 716 cars listed

First Phase of Judging : Shortlisted to 200 cars by senior journalists & two representatives of the most prestigious car museums in Europe and USA.

Deadline for initial selection : February 1997 - the COTC election was publicly announced at the AutoRAI Amsterdam Motor Show.

Jury : 135 international journalists invited from 33 countries under the presidency of Lord Montagu of Beaulieu.

Second Shortlist : 100 cars by end-June 1998 - an exhibition of those cars was opened in Amsterdam.

Second Phase of Judging : Car enthusiasts worldwide could enter the election. Exhibition transferred to Canada. The public and the jury voted independently. 

Third Shortlist : Down to 25 cars. Actually 27 cars, as the jury's 25th place was a tied vote. And the public vote added one more car - the AC Cobra.

Fourth Shortlist : Five finalists.

Finals Announced : December 18, 1999 at Las Vegas.


1.    Ford Model T - 742 points

2.    Mini - 617 points

3.    Citroën DS - 567 points

4.    Volkswagen Beetle - 521 points

5.    Porsche 911 - 303 points

Other Awards of the Competition

Car Designer of the Century : Giorgetto Giugiaro

Credited with : Designing the Maserati Ghibli, Audi 80, Alfa Romeo Sprint, Alfa Romeo Alfasud, Volkswagen Golf, Volkswagen Scirocco, Fiat 850 Sport Spider, Fiat Uno, Lotus Esprit, Lancia Delta, DeLorean DMC-12, Lexus GS

Car Engineer of the Century : Dr. Ferdinand Porsche

Credited with : Being an automotive innovator and creator of the Volkswagen Beetle.

Car Entrepreneur of the Century : Henry Ford

Credited with : Putting the world on wheels with his Ford Model T - over 15 million sold between 1908 and 1914.

Car Executive of the Century : Ferdinand Piëch (grandson of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche)

Credited with : The development of numerous significant cars including the Audi Quattro and notably, the Bugatti Veyron, which as of 2012 is the fastest, most powerful and most expensive road legal automobile ever built.