America's Favorite Classic Cars

While some Americans might not share in the fervor, it is hard to deny that the country has a wide and deep affection for the automobile. Cars not only give us a way to discover the wonders of this great country but offer lots of choices of how to explore America in style.

With the development of the interstate highway system in the 1950s and 1960s, traveling around the country became safer and easier, and U.S. automakers began producing cars that people enjoyed driving. Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), and the predecessors of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE: FCAU) all contributed to the country’s car culture.

AutoNation Inc. (NYSE: AN) recently looked at data from Instagram to determine the U.S.-built cars that received the most mentions under the hashtags #ClassicCar and #CarShow, and then which of those were the most liked. All the results are posted here.

The most mentioned car was the Ford Mustang, which garnered 25% of some 198,000 Instagram posts examined in the study. Chevrolet’s Corvette ranked second with 13% of mentions, followed by the Chevy Camaro and Pontiac GTO with 11% of mentions each.

The 10 most-liked cars, listed here along with their average number of likes, were slightly different, however:

  1. Pontiac Grand Prix: 545 likes
  2. Dodge Charger: 381 likes
  3. Chevy Camaro: 292 likes
  4. Chevy Chevelle: 233 likes
  5. Plymouth Road Runner: 228 likes
  6. Ford Mustang: 217 likes
  7. Chevy Nova: 188 likes
  8. Pontiac GTO: 154 likes
  9. Pontiac Firebird: 151 likes
  10. Chevy Corvette: 138 likes

Of the 198,000 Instagram posts examined, the most liked car from the 1950s was the Chevy Impala. From the 1960s the top choice was the Dodge Charger, and from the 1970s the Chevy Chevelle was the most-liked model. The Chevelle was an interesting choice because it included models that were both aimed at a wider market and some limited-production models that were among the Detroit automakers’ most popular muscle cars.