From guttural muscle cars to quiet and airy EVs, a variety of cars have dotted the automotive landscape over the years. The OneRequest team compiled a list of iconic models through the decades.
1950s– Chevrolet Corvette
A legend is born! The fifties marked the birth of the Chevrolet Corvette, perhaps the first American sports car icon. Chevrolet designed the Corvette for sports-loving, fun-seeking drivers. Though initially the Corvette’s performance was rocky, by the end of the decade, several redesigns helped the Corvette come into its own. Its agility, style, and comfort built its 60-year legacy and led other manufacturers to follow Chevrolet’s lead.
1960s- Volkswagen Beetle
Known by many as the VW Bug, the Volkswagen Beetle, officially named the Type 1, is still one of the best-selling cars in history. The Bug was affordable, fuel-efficient, and easy to repair. In 1963, Sports Illustrated called the Beetle the “most easily recognized car on earth.” For a generation that wanted something different, the Bug was the perfect personification of freedom and uniqueness. Though the Bug technically first hit American markets in 1949, the success of VW’s unique advertising in the sixties and the Bug’s starring roles in both The Love Bug and the hippie movement made it a beloved part of sixties culture.
1970s- Oldsmobile Cutlass
You may be wondering why a Cutlass is on this list. Known as one of America’s “Most Popular Cars,” Oldsmobile sold over one million Cutlass models just from 1978-1979. Though the Cutlass was first introduced in the sixties, the seventies were when it began to thrive. By the end of 1972, the Cutlass was ranked third in its industry. The Cutlass appealed to buyers looking for comfort, reliability, and affordability. Its size, luxury features, and middle-of-the-road price made it popular with a wide audience.
1980s- DeLorean DMC-12
Great Scott! Thanks to Back to the Future, the DMC-12 will always be an iconic representation of 1980s pop culture. Its gull-wing doors, rear-mounted engine, and steel, unpainted body gave it a uniqueness among the cars of the time. With only about 9,000 in production, the DMC-12 is a coveted model with an active enthusiast community. The DMC-12 remains a 1980s legend. There are rumors that DeLorean is bringing back the DMC-12 in the fall of 2021. We hope the revamp comes with a Flux Capacitor!
1990s- Honda Accord
As if the Cutlass wasn’t surprise enough, we selected the Honda Accord as an iconic nineties car. Over 816,000 Honda Accords were sold between 1990 and 1991. Though it was only the best-selling car for two years of the decade, the Accord was featured in Car and Driver’s “10 Best Cars” list 6 times throughout the nineties. The Accord was (and still is) an affordable, reliable mid-size sedan that you can’t go wrong with. It may not be the sleekest car on this list, but the Accord is strongly representative of the nineties automotive scene: buttoned down and sensible.
2000s- Toyota Prius
The Prius is synonymous with the word “hybrid.” The Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid passenger vehicle and paved the way for other manufacturers to offer their own hybrids. The first Prius was a sedan, but the second-generation hatchback released in 2004 defined the look of the Prius from then on. Its impressive fuel efficiency and comfortable size made the Prius a hit with both environmental conscious and non-green buyers alike. Without the Prius, would we be on the verge of an electric revolution in 2021? Who knows!
2010s- Tesla Model S
The Tesla Model S entered the automotive scene in 2013. Unlike some other manufacturers who are electrifying existing models, the Model S was designed to be electric from the start. Named “the best car ever tested” by Consumer Reports after its 99 out of 100 score, the Model S represents Tesla’s pioneering efforts in the electric market. The Model S is a luxurious, high-performance electric vehicle that is strongly representative of the 2010s and the heightened focus on the electrification of the automotive landscape.
Which models do you think will define the automotive scene of the 2020s? Let us know in the comments or on our socials!
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