Throughout American automotive history, a select few cars have had the style, consistency, and staying power to qualify as true icons. While other models have come and gone, these iconic vehicles have been the choice of U.S. drivers for generations.
These cars have become legendary for their design and their performance. Their manufacturers have also made sure to continually update them to keep them fresh, all without losing the qualities that made them so iconic in the first place. In many cases, these cars have been cruising American roads for more than 40 years.
24/7 Wall St. scoured the production lineups of America’s most prominent automakers to determine the cars that Americans have been driving for at least four decades.
The vehicles on this list have managed to survive since at least the 1970s for one reason: people have kept buying them. Whether it is because they are cooler, safer, more dependable, or a better value, these vehicles had consistent demand over the years and helped keep the automakers afloat for decades — even as many other car brands have gone out of business. These are America’s oldest car brands.
The cars on this list likely predate many of the people driving them today, with their history stretching back to the 1970s, if not much earlier. These vehicles include sedans, trucks, hatchbacks, SUVs and more.
Yet the bulk of the vehicles that have survived the longest are in the luxury or sports car segment. Though these flashy autos may not outsell cheaper family cars, they create buzz and excitement and give their manufacturers an elevated status.
The designs of the sports cars that now feel iconic were once a huge gamble. In order to create a truly unique car, engineers and executives had to spend a long time devising innovative features and uncommon designs that would stand out from the crowd. While some of these designs panned out, American auto history is littered with unique concepts that drivers simply could not get on board with. These are history’s strangest car designs.