The automotive world is defined by its innovation. It is the truly innovative machines that are remembered, even though popular, boring and Unusual cars are plentiful. This list of cars not only inspire, they were quantum shifts in the development of the automobile. These are the basic cars that changed the globe.
1908 – Ford Model T
The Model T was the first mass-produced automobile, so that it is one of the most important cars in US history. This flimsy little car created the automotive industry, urbanized a nation, and gave mobility on the masses. The manufacturing method that created the car was a lot more influential. Almost every industry or market in the world can trace its roots back to the process refined by people like Henry Frederick and Ford Winslow Taylor. If it finally ended production in 1927 with over 15 million cars sold, half the cars worldwide were Model T’s.
1908 – Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost
Dubbed “The Best car from the World” by Autocar magazine, the Silver Ghost transformed luxury motoring as well as modern warfare. The Silver Ghost had a significant role from the Turkish wars with Laurence of Arabia, Gallipoli, the Irish Civil War, World War I, the development of India, and was still in service during World War II. Through its combat use, the Silver Ghost ushered from the era of mechanized warfare and virtually ended the days of the horse artillery and cavalry unit. Most examples remain on the road today, and the earliest is worth approximately $200 million dollars.
1922 – Austin Seven
This tiny car is genesis to the modern automobile. The Seven borrowed the motorist controls from your limited production Cadillac Type 53, and mass produced it throughout the world. It was the 1st “people’s car” and the first production model for many major manufacturers. The Austin Seven and its re-bodied siblings virtually gave birth to BMW in Germany, Nissan in Japan, Holden in Australia, Rosengart in France, and Lotus and Jaguar in England.
1938 – Volkswagen Beetle
The beetle has an amazing history. It had been designed by Ferdinand Porsche based upon specifications manufactured by Adolf Hitler. It is amongst the first rear-engine cars, with one of the first air-cooled engines, made to travel at 100kph on Germany’s new Autobahn. The Beetle may be the longest running and most manufactured car of the single design platform, worldwide. The production lasted 65 years, ending with 21.5 million cars in 2006 for Brazil and 2003 for Mexico. The Beetle has had books and music written for it, is becoming an icon and a movie star, and was an inspiration to your generation. Its namesake the “new” Beetle is still in production to this day.
1959 – BMC Mini
The Mini is an icon of the 1960’s. Designed like a car for your masses, this is the first to employ a transverse front-wheel drive layout. It is the genesis for all modern front-wheel drive cars and spawned the new hatch era. The Mini was voted “Car in the Century” and produced over 100 variants in countries all over the world. Not just is this little people carrier a great city car, the Mini has a stellar record as a race car, rally car and movie icon.
1955 – Citroen DS
Decades prior to its time, the DS (Goddess) is one of the most celebrated designs in automotive history. Featuring its quirky scarab shape, hydraulic suspension, and turning headlights this car became a European icon which includes consistently topped the “Most Beautiful” and “Most Important” lists throughout the world. Be it the aerodynamic styling, the mechanical innovation or the pure space ship like design, every modern car on the streets can trace its roots back to this automobile. The DS shocked the world, and sold a record breaking 12,000 examples on its first day. The list from the innovations to the automotive world would fill a book. It can be sculpture, art…it is a Goddess.
1961 – Jaguar E-Type
The E-Type is just “The Most Incredible Car Ever Created.” The car is in the permanent design collection of the Museum of recent Art, and has been an inspiration for everything from cars to clothes. It is mesmerizing as some art, and merely adequate as a car.
1966 – Lamborghini Miura
Created by Marcello Gandini, this automotive icon is definitely the world’s first supercar. The Miura changed the conception of what a sports car might be, and introduced the world to an alternative level of motoring. With its bull inspired design, its transversely mounted V12, and its lightning quick speed, this was the genesis for cars much like the Pagani, the Bugatti McLaren, the and Veyron modern Ferrari. The Miura launched Lamborghini and ushered in a period of amazing, outrageous supercar design.
1983 – Chrysler Minivan
The Dodge Caravan and its particular Chrysler siblings revolutionized modern automobile. Not just did it create the minivan market, it helped give birth to the SUV and crossover markets. Arriving 18 months ahead of its only competitor, the Renault Espace, this vehicle became both an joke and icon to the American family. Owning one was in the beginning a sign of success, and an indication of “lost youth.” The Minivan has become as much a part of the America family as the ranch home and also the suburbs.
Toyota Prius 2010
Just as the Model T along with the Chrysler Minivan changed the entire world, so did the Toyota Prius. The Prius was the first mass produced full hybrid electric vehicle in the world. It was a status symbol in the united states when first introduced, and stays one of the cleanest vehicles sold in the US. Such as the Model T and the Volkswagen Beetle, the Prius is a major step in the evolution of the automobile.