On a day-to-day basis, cars are a means of transportation. But there are some cars that do more than taking people from place to place; they changed the world.
When compiling the list of most iconic cars in the history, we stumbled upon one problem, that is how do we define “iconic”? To some people, this word means exceptionally beautiful; to some, it means the most outrageously expensive. Others may think an iconic car must be the fastest or has the most advanced technology. Well, truth to be told, an iconic car may mean all of those things and many other, too. However, in this article, we will give you a list of 5 cars that redefined the meaning of transportation and changed the world history for good.
1. Ford Model T
Ford Model T was not the first car that has ever existed. The first car that was ever made and recorded in history was a steam-powered vehicle created in the 1670s, while Ford Model T was introduced in 1908. Despite being quite late in the game, Ford Model T changed the game forever. Before Model T, the vehicle that was called “car” was a toy for the rich; it was expensive, impractical, and dangerous. Then Henry Ford created a car that was meant for travel and that was affordable to everyone. In order to cut down the cost for the manufacturer and price for the buyers, Henry Ford applied assembly line work practices to his car manufacturing process and mass-produced Model T.
The car was not ideal in terms of speed as it could only run as fast as 45 mph (about 72 km/h), but it was safer and much cheaper than other options on the market at that time, thereby giving people the freedom to travel that was never before seen. “Tin Lizzie”, as Model T was casually called, became such a success that any descriptive adjective is an understatement, a great example of which is how Model T outsold the total output of all other vehicles in 1913.
“Tin Lizzie” is not the fastest or most beautiful car ever made, but it has changed the landscape of transportation industry in particular as well as how all industries function in general across the world.
Henry Ford’s Model T is the one that totally changed the concept of what a “car” is and who it is for
2. Willys-Overland Jeep
Willys-Overland Jeep was released in 1943 and it is widely recognised as the first mass-produced SUV in the world. But, that is only the tip of the iceberg of what Willys-Overland Jeep has contributed to human history.
This car started its life as a military vehicle in the Second World War. The Allied Army was in need of a vehicle that could replace horses and motorcycles as transportations means. The American Bantam Car Company of Butler created a prototype that far exceeded expectations, but since the military wanted a large number of cars, the American Bantam joined force with Willys-Overland and Ford to manufacture the Jeep together to serve the War. During this time, more than 500,000 Jeeps were used by the Allied on the front line mainly as scout cars.
The design of the original Jeep in 1943 was rugged and boxy, probably too crude for modern taste, but it was well-loved because of its functionality. The car was light and low-maintenance, and the wheels were so exceptionally tough that they were able to take on almost any kind of terrains imaginable. It was also easy to operate, so the soldiers were always ready for action.
After the Second World War ended, the Jeep started its civilian life, but the car is forever remembered as the car that helped the Allied end the most devastating conflict in human history.
Willys-Overland Jeep was the first SUV in the world as well as the car that the Allied military used during the Second World War
3. Chevrolet Corvette
1953 was the year that saw the advent of Chevrolet Corvette, one of the most iconic cars in the history, and one of the rare vehicles that can stand through the test of time. Chevrolet Corvette was intentionally built to be “iconic” with powerful performance and advanced technology, and it succeeded. Starting out as a convertible/roadster, Vette, how the car is known colloquially, was a clear evidence of the fact that the United States was fully capable of producing cool sports cars besides chunky sedans. For that reason, until now, Vette is still known as the most iconic sports car in the United States.
Even though the car went through quite a lot of changes during its six decades of existence and seven generations, every look makes many avid car fans fall in love with the car all over again. It does not matter whether it is the head-turner C1 with a retro-futuristic design, the sleek C2 with the recognisable split windows, or the newest C7 using NASA advanced technologies, Chevrolet Corvette continues making history and marking state-of-the-art science and automation, maintaining its place as the most iconic sports car of America.
Chevrolet Corvette is the first and most memorable sports car in the United States
4. Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang is lovingly given the name “pony car”, but one look at it and you surely know that it is not as lovely as it is called. Lovely or not, Ford Mustang was the most lucrative sports car in the world that Ford has offered since 1964. In fact, it is such a hit that Ford announced that it sold the 10,000,000th Mustang earlier this year. This huge achievement is partly attributed to Ford’s approach to sports cars: making a sports car that is accessible to the masses.
Despite being a massive success, Ford Mustang did have some low moments. From the 1970s to the early 2000s, the car went through a lot of modifications, most of which were not very welcomed by car lovers, and the design feature that people dislike the most till this day is probably the “Fox Body” design. However, in 2005, Ford seemed to have learned its lesson and made a new generation of Mustang that was closer to the original one in 1964. And after reaching the milestone in 2018, Ford said that they would create a totally new Mustang and we do have a lot to look forward to.
It really does not matter whether you love Ford Mustang or not. If you happen to know American culture (who does not, seriously?), you can see that Ford Mustang is such a classic muscle car and it has made many appearances in various Hollywood movies and famous music videos. A few notable movie Mustangs (yes, movies that feature Ford Mustangs is called movie Mustangs) include Bullitt, 2 Fast 2 Furious, John Wick, I Am Legend, Fast and Furious 3 Tokyo Drift, Transformers, and Gone in Sixty Seconds. The list goes on and on, but the point here is that Ford Mustang is a car that screams “Action!” and “America” like no other.
Ford Mustang is the best-selling sports car in the world and is almost synonymous with America
5. Tesla Model S
Despite the recent conundrum with Tesla the past couple of months, there is no denying that Tesla Model S is the car that revolutionised electric car and people’s opinions about electric car for good. Many people even consider Tesla Model S’s role in the transportation industry is as important and transformative as that of Ford Model T back in the 1940s. While in the past Ford Model T proved that cars could be affordable and accessible to the masses, Tesla Model S now shows that electric cars can be as pretty, attractive, and fast as sports cars. No kidding, a Model S can reach 155 mph (approximately 249 km/h) and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (approximately 0 to 97 km/h) in 2.8 seconds.
Before Tesla Model S, when it came to electric cars, people would think of some versions of ugly golf carts or those rounded stubby tiny two-person cars. After Model S, the first electric car that comes to people’s minds is likely to be a Tesla, and what does it look like? Luxurious, sexy, speedy, and comfortable. The Tesla Autopilot function on Tesla cars can even help people drive without their hands on the wheels. Now the ladies can put on makeup while on the highway without worrying that they may crash into another car. It is like a dream come true, isn’t it? Another selling point of Tesla Model S is its price. Pricing wise, the car is pretty competitive in comparison with similarly sized, alike featured, and equally gorgeous cars such as Cadillac CTS-V Wagon or Audi A7.
While Tesla only released its first real car, the Model S, in 2012 and the future of the company is still a big question, with what the Model S has accomplished so far, we can believe that the future of beautiful and fast electric car is not far away.
Tesla Model S revolutionised electric cars for all future time
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