100 Historic Cars That Changed the Art of Car Manufacturing: Part 2


The first fifty of our two-part series sure did make you rethink how you see the cars now. They could have made you realize that more than anything else, the geneses in this industry are something worth knowing about. Below is the second part of the list. Time to get the wheels rolling.

51. Honda Civic 1972–Present (Japan)

The Honda Civic has undergone many changes since its release as a two-door subcompact car. And with these changes came larger and more expensive models. It became a must-have for the enthusiasts who swap out interchangeable engines and trick out their Civics. It won the 2005 International Car of the Year Award and bagged car of the year accolades in Europe and Asia.

52. Ford V-8 1932–1934 (United States)

The Ford V-8 made history when it became the first low-priced, mass-marketed car to come with a V8 engine. It had 64hp, which increased with more advancements made. It was only produced for a couple of years and was Ford’s first model fitted with the V8 engine.

53. Ford Thunderbird 1955–1997, 2002–2005 (United States)

Pioneer in the class of personal luxury vehicle, the Ford Thunderbird was built to respond to Chevrolet’s Corvette sports car. The features of Thunderbird gave emphasis on comfort and convenience. Although its body was feasible for even NASCAR racing, Ford insisted that the Thunderbird is a personal luxury car and was not made to show off sportiness.

54. Ford Taurus 1986–Present (United States)

One of the most anticipated car from the Ford Motors, the Ford Taurus stirred commotion when it came out as more rounded than any sedan cars, a measure taken for aerodynamics and made it feasible for it to reach the fuel efficiency standards set by the US government. Ford’s rivals in the industry soon then followed the round design of the Taurus to compete with Ford.

55. Ford Mustang 1964–1968 (United States)

Ford Mustang High Country Special - Front Angle, 1968, 800x600, 1 of 2

The first American pony car went by the name of the Ford Mustang—a new class of sports-car coupes with long hoods and short rear decks. The production of the Ford Mustangs drove Chevrolet to make Camaro, the Pontiac made Firebird, the Dodge Challenger was born, and many other models. It was the first American car to win the Tiffany Gold Medal for excellence in design.

56. Ford Model T 1908–1927 (United States)

This world should be thankful to the Ford Model T as it was the car that made automobiles affordable for the common man. It was able to be produced en masse because it used an assembly line instead of being handcrafted one by one. With over 15 million of them sold, Ford’s vision of providing cars in as efficient manner as possible was achieved.

57. Ford GT 40 1964–1969 (United States)

Built and designed in England but powered by American-made engines, the Ford GT was a real star. The car Mk II GTO, won in 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Henry Ford II himself attended the event. It was the first time an American manufacturer won the contest. The GTO remained a victor for the next three years, as well as three other FIFA titles between 1966 and 1968. Only 107 of them were made, but replicas of the GTO are frequently built.

58. Ford F-Series 1948–Present (United States)

This series of pickup trucks literally built America. The Ford F-Series trucks are the best-selling vehicle in the United States for thirty-two years and the best-selling trucks for the past forty-three years. The production of the F-Series ran for thirteen generations.

59. Ford Explorer 1990–1994 (United States)

The first generation of Explorers was equipped with the then new 155 horsepower (116kW) 4.0L Cologne V-6. It came available in three-door, five-door, and with either rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The rear inflatable seats feature of the Explorer won the Best New Technology Award from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada in 2011.

60. Fiat 500 Topolino 1936–1948 (Italy)

One of the smallest cars in the eowrld but managed to kick out 13 horspower and top speeds of 53mphs, the Fiat 500 also boasts a remarkable fuel efficiency, achieving nearly 40mpg. Its name “Topolino” is an Italian for little mouse, and it was called so because of the two round headlights that made it look a little mousey.

61. Ferrari 250 GT 1953–1964 (Italy)

The 250 line was Ferrari’s most successful releases at the time. It featured a V-12 engine and came on either a short wheelbase (2,400mm/94.5in) or a long wheelbase (2,600mm/102.4in). The GT Berlinetta was produced as a “Tour de France” model on a long wheelbase. It competed in the 10-day Tour de France automobile race.

62. Ferrari 125S 1947 (Italy)

The first car from the Italian manufacturer Ferrari and the first one to bear its name, the 125 sport featured a V12 engine. It gained Ferrari its first victory in the Grand Prix of Rome. Ferrari is now a well-known brand, and the Ferrari 125S started it all.

63. Duesenberg Model J 1928–1937 (United States/United Kingdom)

Designed to be the biggest, fastest, and most expensive model on its day, the Model J featured a power output of 320hp and a speed of 104mphs.

64. Dodge Viper 1992–Present (United States)

Manufactured by the Dodge division of the Chrysler company, the Viper debuted as a pace car for the Indianapolis 500 in 1991. It was forced to use it instead of the Japanese-built Stealth to appease complaints from the United Auto Workers. The first generation of Vipers were called the Spartan and lacked basic features like side windows, exterior door handles, and a roof.

65. Delorean DMC-12 1981–1983 (United States)

What makes it a notable model is the fact that it is the only one produced by John DeLorean’s DeLorean Motor Company. The production ceased when the company went down under. It achieved timeless fame, however, when it was featured in the popular movie franchise Back to the Future. The car was a true embodiment of the 1980s spirit.

66. Datsun 510 1968–1973 (Japan)

With a Hitachi downcraft carbureted 1.6L L-series I4 engine, packing 96hp (72kW), a top speed of 100mph, the Datsun 510 was a popular automobile in its time until today. It had a front disc brakes, four-wheel independent suspension, rear-wheel drive, and either a four-speed manual or a three-speed automatic transmission. It was designed to cater to the needs of the average man, driving people to call it the poor man’s BMW.

67. Cord 810/812 1936–1937 (United States)

The Cord 810 was significant because it was the first American-designed and built front-wheel drive auto with independent front-end suspension. It was designed by Gordon M. Buehrig and his team and had a 4,739cc Lycoming V8 and a semi-automatic four-speed transmission under its hood. Aside from its unique hidden headlights, the Cord model was remarkable for its coffin-shaped nose.

68. Citroën DS 1955–1975 (France)

Crafted by a team of highly skilled people, the Citroën DS had an aerodynamic design and was known for its superb handling, which set new standards. It was styled and engineered by Italian sculptor and industrial engineer Flaminio Bertoni, with the help of French aeronautical engineer André Lefèbvre. Its hydropneumatic self-levelling suspension was developed by Paul Magès. It was named the most beautiful car of all time by the Classic and Sport Magazine and came third place in the Car of the Century poll.

69. Citroën 2CV 1948–1990 (France)

Came by the name 2CV, which in French is deuxchevaux, meaning two horses, the Citroën 2CV featured a distinctive full-width, canvas, rollback sunroof, which became the most suitable for large loads. It was reliable and affordable and became a big name for French farmers.

70. Citroën Traction Avant 1934–1957 (France)

The first unitary-bodied, front-wheel drive production car in the world, the Traction Avant’s front wheels were independently sprung and used a torsion bar and a wishbone suspension arrangement. It was able to reach a speed of 60mph but maintained conservative fuel usage. It was also a finalist for the Car of the Century award.

71. Chrysler Minivan 1983–Present (United States)

Considered the most popular minivan ever manufactured in America, the Chrysler minivan provided comfort and responsive handling. It became a favorite of soccer moms and dads who were lugging a bunch of kids and their gear around. Later generations of the minivan featured removable seats, making it easy for them to be converted into a hauling vehicle.

72. Chrysler Airflow 1934–1937 (United States)

It is a legend for being the first car to take aerodynamics into consideration and the first to yse streamlining in the design process. Conceptualized by Chrysler engineer Carl Breer, the Airflow was built as a full-sized automobile that was sleeker and less susceptible to air resistance. The engine of this car was moved back toward the front wheel, and its passenger seats were moved up so the ones sitting at the rear were within the wheelbase.

73. Chrysler 300 Letter Series 1955–1965 (United States)

A muscle car ancestor, the Chrysler 300 L-Series was produced in very low numbers but were the front-runners in NASCAR. It was a response to the trend during World War for high-performance vehicles.

74. Chevrolet Nova SS 1968–1972 (United States)

The Chevy Ii or the Nova was produced for five generations by General Motors. Its Super Sport or SS was the real star. It featured 295 hp (220kW) 350 cu. in (5.7L) V8 engine along with a heavy-duty suspension and other performance hardware.

75. Chevrolet El Camino 1959–1960, 1964–1987 (United States)

Conceptualized as a sporty coupe with a bed for man stuff, the El Camino was inspired by the success of the Ford Ranchero. In Latin America, the El Camino became a big hit that owning one of it wasn’t just a choice, it was a subculture. Though its production ceased in 1987, the El Camino continues to be a famous model until today.

76. Chevrolet Corvette 1953–1967 (United States)


Famous for its small, easy-to-maneuver warship, the Corvette is said to be Chevy’s most popular model. The famed Stingray design appeared with a short rear-end and long, curve nose. It won numerous performance-based awards, a concrete proof that as the Corvette enters its seventh generation, it remains to be one of the most wanted model in car history.

77. Chevrolet Camaro

Produced by General Motors under the Chevrolet name, the Camaro was originally a pony car but came out as a muscle car later on. Because of its high performance, affordability, and power, it became popular in America. It became available in 230 cu in (3.8 L), 250 cu in (4.1 L) inline-6 or 302 cu in (4.9 L), 307 cu in (5.0 L), 327 cu in (5.4 L), 350 cu in (5.7 L), 396 cu in (6.5 L) or 427 cu in (7.0 L) V8 powerplants. The Camaro was Chevy’s response to the then very famous Ford Mustang.

78. Cadillac V-16 1930–1940 (United States)

Also known as the Caddie Sixteen, the Cadillac V-16 was Cadillac’s flagship car from 1930 to 1940 when production came to a halt. It was the first V16-powered car to reach production in United States. It was made out of Cadillac’s desire for a new multi-cylinder car that is both more powerful and offers a smoother ride. When World War II started, it stopped the demand for the Caddie Sixteen.

79. Cadillac Fleetwood Eldorado 1953–2002 (United States)

Produced for six decades or six generations, the Fleetwood was Caddie’s second highest-priced vehicle. It showed off elegance, high quality, prestige, and precision at once. It became a symbol for American engineering. When Cadillac ceased production in 2002, the Eldorados went down, but because of its historic features, it remains a must-have even today.

80. Cadillac 1908 (United States)

The Cadillac 1908 was the first-ever fully closed car, a symbol of precise craftsmanship and luxury. It won the Dewar Trophy for having the most important advancement of the year in automobiles. It was the first one to feature truly interchangeable parts.

81. Buick Regal 1973–2004, 2011–Present (United States)

Introduced in 1973 by General Motors, the Buick Regal line was popularized by the release of the Grand National in 1982. When Buick was looking for ways to win the Manufacturer’s Cup in 1981 and 1982, they formed the motto “What wins on Sunday, Sells on Monday.” With features like a naturally aspirated 4.1L V6 engine and 125 hp, the Grand National was a real deal. When the production was put to a halt in 2004, it returned in 2012.

82. Bugatti Veyron 2005–Present (France)

Bugatti Veyron - Front Angle, 2005, 800x600, 1 of 40

 Bugatti Veyron 2005

It was designed and developed by the Volkswagen group and came out as a mid-engined supercar manufactured in Molsheim, France. The famous British show Top Gear named Bugatti Veyron as the Car of the Decade (2000-2009). It holds the Guinness Book of World Record for being the fastest street-legal production car, with a speed of 268mph. The company also allows its cutomers to customize the exterior and interior colors through its Web site. The Veyron is a 1,001 hp, 8.0 L, quad-turbo W16 powering an all-wheel-drive supercar priced at $1 million.

83. Bugatti Type 57 1934–1940 (France)

Designed by Ettore Bugatti‘s son, Jean Bugatti, the Type 57 was considered one of the most gorgeous cars ever built. Because of its sleek, stylish grand tourer that combined class and aesthetic appeal in an unparalleled fashionable way, the Type 57 remains to be a sought-after model until today. A rediscovered unit in 2009 sold for 3.4 million euros.

84. Bugatti T35 1926–1930 (France)

Said to be Bugatti’s most successful racing car ever, the T35 won a thousand races between 1926 and 1930. It won the Grand Prix Championship in 1926, after setting forty-seven records for the preceding two years. It won an average of fourteen races every week.

85. BMW 7 Series 1977–Present (Germany)

Tagged as BMW’s flagship car in 1977, the 7 Series came available as a sedan or an extend limousine. All Series 7s had a six-cylinder engine.

86. BMW 3 Series 1975–Present (Germany)

The 3 Series was produced in six different variations with five different body styles. It was considered as BMW’s most popular selling car of all time. It dominated the luxury markets and became one of the highest-selling luxury lines of all time, making up 30% of BMW’s overall sales. Its combined luxury and gas mileage of a compact car made it a star in its time.

87. BMW 328 1936–1940 (Germany)

This BMW featured a straight-6 OHV engine and four speed transmission, paving its way to winning hundreds of races, including the Le Mans in 1938. It was designed by Fritz Fiedler and Peter Szymanowski.

88. Bentley Continental GT

The reason behind the world fame of Bentley, the Continental was the first ever Bentley to be mass-produced. The brand was always described as a producer of cars for the wealthy. It changed in 2003 after Volkswagen AG acquired the company and built the Continental. The car received a number of accolades.

89. Austin 7 1922–1939 (United Kingdom)


Nicknamed the “Baby Austin,” the Austin 7 was produced by the Austin Motor Company. It was so popular it was copied by other manufacturers from all around the world. Even Nissan based its first few cars on the Austin 7. The first race car built by Bruce McLaren, a famous car designer who established a name in Formula One racing, was an Austin 7.

90. Austin Mini 1959–2000 (United Kingdom)

With a car designed that inspired the next generations of car makers, the Austin Mini was UK’s response to the Italian Fiat and Germany’s Volkswagen. It was designed by Greek-British auto designer Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine. Eighty percent of the car can be utilized by people or for their luggage, making it very convenient for its users. The Mini Cooper and Cooper S were big names in car rallies too.

91. Audi R8 2007–2014 (Germany)

Audi R8 - Front Angle, 2007, 800x600, 1 of 96

A mid-sized two-seater sports car, the Audi R8’s design was based from the Lamborghini Gallardo platform. It was constructed on an Audi Space Frame and used aluminum monocoque, built with the use of space frame principles. Some of these cars are also used as police vehicles.

92. Audi Quattro 1980–1991 (Germany)

Built to withstand bad driving conditions, the Audi Quattro was conceptualized from the idea of Audi’s chassis engineer Jörg Bensinger of a high-performance four-wheel drive car. The car’s namecame from the Italian word for “four” because of its four-wheel drive. It became Audi’s most popular car in the 1980s. It was a victor in car racing and was the first one to take advantage of the newly implemented law allowing four-wheel drive cars to compete.

93. Audi A4 1994–Present (Germany)

Came at an affordable price yet with a luxurious style, the Audi A4 was the car that saved Audi when it faced issues since the beginning of 1980s. It was originally a sedan or a wagon but later came out as a convertible. With the Audi A4, Audi became the first European car manufacturer to put a hybrid vehicle into series production. The Audi A4 was the first VW-produced car to have the new 1.8 L 20v engine with a five-valve cylinder.

94. Aston Martin DB5 1963–1965 (United Kingdom)

It is Aston Matin’s most famous car and was immortalized when it was used as James Bond’s car. It was featured in a total of six Bond films and is considered the most famous car in cinematic history because of it. It was upgraded to a five-speed transmission from the previous four-speed.

95. Alfa Romeo Spider 1966–1994 (Italy)

Its name was derived from the word “speeder,” which is an open-horse two-person carriage. All the four series of production of the Spider was designed by Pininfarina. When actor Dustin Hoffman drove a Spider in the movie The Graduate, the car was tied to American pop culture history. Next year, a new generation of Spider is set to be released.

96. Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Coupe 1954–1968 (Italy)

This series of cars were very successful racers, winning FIA Sports Championship in 1962 and 1963. It was also a finalist for the Car of the Century award. It came out in many variations including an open two-seater Spider with convertible body work designed by Italy automaker Pininfarina.

97. Acura NSX 1990–2005, 2015 (Japan)

It is amid-engine, rear-wheel drive, sports car powered by a light-weight all-aluminum V6. It was named as Honda’s proof that it could make a sports car that can compete with Italy’s or Germany’s cars. It is expectd to hit the market again next year.

98. Acura Integra 1985–2006 (Japan)


It made Car and Driver’s ten best again and again, and its Type R is named the best handling front-wheel drive chassis and ultimate driver’s car. The most popular model of it is the RSX DC5 for being quick and responsive.

99. Acura Legend 1986–1990 (Japan)

Japan’s proof that it could parallel the cars in the American luxury market, the Legend was the first sedan sold under the Acura name. It inspired other Japan-based manufacturers to launch luxury cars. After that, Toyota released Lexus and Nissan released Infinity. This car could run from 0-60 mph in 8 seconds, with a top speed of 135mph.

100. AC Cobra 1965–1967 (United Kingdom/United States)

An icon of racing cars and a real collector’s car, the AC Cobra was a real wild catch. It was an American-engined British sports care launched in 1965. Designer Carroll Shelby proposed the idea of a V8-engined car, and approached AC to build one. Ac agreed, and Shelby asked help from Chevrolet, but Chevy didn’t want to make a rival for Corvette, it was Ford who accepted the challenge because they were eager to compete with the Corvette. Ford provided their small-block V8, 260 cu. in. engine for the Cobra. The Cobra remains a representation of the British and American craftsmanship.

You might not be a history buff, but you don’t need to be one to know the existence of these cars. While we are already caught with the elegance of the ones we see on the road today, it pays to know where they all started, their ancestors. These cars did not only give rise to new features and the like, some of them also took part in historic events like the first and second world war. Nevertheless. creating a legacy doesn’t have any rule, and these cars just proved it.

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