American cars have a style all their own, and while China and Japan might pump out the generic cars that fill many of the world's roads, America is still king of innovation.The spirit of innovation continues to drive Americans stronger than ever. If it's been done before, we want to do it better. Whether it's engineering a single-wheeled motorcycle or creating a flying car, if it can (or can't) be done, some American will be trying hard to do it.
Here, we at GET.com pay tribute to that spirit of innovation by listing our pick of the 6 most iconic American cars of all time.
1. Ford Model T
Image source: Ford
Don't get us wrong, a whole lot of fantastic cars were manufactured in the U.S. before the Model T and at the same time. But we at GET.com love the idea of getting more for your money, and the Ford Model T epitomizes that concept. As the first really affordable American automobile, Ford's little flivver literally put America on wheels.
2. Tucker Torpedo
Image source: BarrettJackson.com
This is probably the rarest U.S. car of all time (only 51 were produced), but it's an icon just the same. This car embodies the very heart and soul of what it means to be American, delivering more innovations in a single model than most model lines deliver in a decade. Its curve-following lights (later to be adopted by Tesla), padded dashboard (an early take on the airbag) and pivoting fenders made it a huge safety improvement on cars of the time.
3. Cadillac Eldorado
Image source: CarGurus.com
The Model T was a good start, but once the depression was done and over with, Americans started to want more. The Eldorado embodies America's move towards wanting more luxury, more power and more in-your-face self assuredness. These desires still drive Americans today.
4. Chevrolet Corvette
Image source: Lebubu93 - Wikimedia Commons
If Cadillac's Eldorado was synonymous with luxury, Chevy's Corvette is known the world over as America's take on speed. From the multi-colored models you were likely to come across at some 1960s roadhouse to the stylized muscle machines that cruise today's freeways, the corvette is an American icon.
5. Hummer H1
Image source: ADV.1 Wheels
Hummer may have gone the way of other once-greats like Pontiac and AMC, but the civilian version of the Humvee will remain a legend for years to come. The king of the road brings together rugged good looks and a crazy amount of power. Forget finesse - the Hummer's gas-guzzling 7,000 pounds aren't something a Toyota Prius or Chevy Spark would want to mess with.
6. Tesla Model S
Image source: Tesla
Cars like the Chevy Bel Air, Ford Thunderbird, Pontiac Firebird, Ford Mustang and Dodge Viper created the visuals of what American style and creative design look like. But Tesla has joined the ranks of Tucker an scored through technological innovation.
As the first new auto manufacturer to actually successfully take a hold in the highly competitive vehicle market, Tesla did the unthinkable in actually managing to make electric vehicles that look fantastic and go like crazy. Innovations have been the basis of every model Tesla has released so far, making the Tesla S a new American icon in its own right.
We tend to think of iconic cars as those vintage models we keep in our garages or gawk at during auto shows. But the truth is, every generation has its iconic cars, and some of the cars in the showrooms right now may one day turn heads and awaken deeply buried nostalgia just like a Shelby Cobra or Packard Caribbean does today.
Chevrolet's upcoming Corvette Sport has all the makings of a modern classic and the Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid (coming soon to a dealership near you) rekindles the spirit of automotive innovation while taking Cadillac back to its glorious roots as the ultimate luxury car.
Pickup trucks like the 2016 GMC Sierra 1500 All-Terrain X and 2017 GMC Canyon Denali let you enjoy the rumble of thousands of explosions going off beneath your cars hood, taking you back to the glory days of Ford's V8 and Chevy's half-ton trucks.
The thought of revving a monster like the GMC Sierra on a the hybrid/electric, driverless automobile-filled roads some people predict for the near future is enough to make any automotive maniac smile (think reactions like Sandra Bullock's upon experiencing an Oldmobile 442 in the film "Demolition Man").