As we stated in Part One of this article, there are many cars that were so significant that they changed everything. In Part Two of this article, we will look at several more of the most important cars ever made.
At the 1955 Paris Auto Show at the Citroen booth, the new DS was shown to an astonished audience. It was a car with a self-leveling hydro-pneumatic suspension, front-wheel drive, a futuristic interior, and an aerodynamic design. For all the visitors at the 1955 Paris Auto Show, the Citroen DS wasn’t just a car, but a vision of the future landing in France. By the end of the first day of the car show, over 18,000 orders were put for the new DS.
They also sold the DS in America but it only had modest success on the market. Despite the advantages of its basic design, U.S. customers were reserved. However, in all other parts of the world, the DS was popular, selling over 1.5 million examples before they ceased production in 1975.
Despite its dubious beginnings as a show car for German Nazi Party, the Volkswagen Beetle became the car of the hippie movement. It was also the bestselling car in the world. Officially, the production of the VW Beetle started in 1938 and ended in 2003 with more than 22 million Beetles sold. The Beetle was the first global car. It was the car for those who only dreamed about owning a vehicle, especially in third world countries in Africa and South America. With its unique technical layout, flat-four engine and rear-wheel drive, the Beetle was a characteristic sight on the roads.
Jaguar E Type
The Jaguar E-Type was the first massively popular sports car. It is a design icon that has graced the roads of the world since 1961 and still looks as attractive as ever. When it debuted in 1961, the Jaguar E-Type was a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Despite Jaguar’s long-lasting tradition of building fine sports cars, the E-Type was years ahead of its time. It was derived it from Jaguar’s Le Mans-winning C and D Type racers, making it as fast as any Ferrari at the time. The E-Type stayed in production for 15 years, until 1976, selling over 74,000 units.
The love affair with the Ford Mustang has lasted for over 50 years and Ford has produced over nine million. It is one of the most successful nameplates in the entire car industry. The secret of the Mustang’s appeal is its V8 engine with a touch of luxury and good looks. All that comes in an affordable package with a long list of options. Our article consultant, Century Ford of Mount Airy, MD, explained that the Mustang was responsible for started an entire new class of cars called pony cars. And it made history as one of the best first-year sales of all time. The Mustang has become the automotive symbol of America.
The Datsun 240Z was the first highly successful Japanese sports car on the American market. It featured a bigger engine and more power and performance than anything from Japan. Critics say it was a copy of several European designs. Datsun introduced the 240Z to America in 1970, and it was the perfect car for the time. The muscle car craze was winding down because safety regulations were killing domestic performance cars. People were searching for alternatives to provide driving excitement with better handling and prices. Over the years, Datsun added bigger engines, 2.6 and 2.8-liters, and did several re-styles. The demand was always high, so, when they discontinued this first series of Z cars in 1978, Datsun built over 300,000.
Land Rover Defender
Many car enthusiasts write off British cars as quirky and problematic but, there are several examples where British cars are durable and dependable in their ruggedness. The Land Rover Defender is one of them. Debuting in 1948, the Land Rover was a simple off-road vehicle that was, along with Willy’s Jeep Willys, a pioneer. It had a tough chassis, permanent all-wheel-drive, an all-alloy body, making it extremely good on rough terrain. The production of the Defender stopped in 2016 after 68 years. Amazingly, over 70 percent of all Land Rovers are still on roads all over the planet.
Ford F-Series Trucks
Pickup trucks are the backbone of the global economy and the only car class that endured over 100 years with little departure from the original concept. Among dozens of models in this country, there is one nameplate that has been a symbol of quality and durability for over 80 years: the Ford F-Series trucks. Produced in 13 generations, over 35 million examples have been sold.