America's Greatest Cars

10 American cars, without which our world would cease to be the same.

The Americans gave the world powerful «eights», oil cars, luxury «winged» sedans, huge coupes and convertibles… But which American cars are the most-the most in history? We have selected the top ten.

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Hennessey Venom GT

Let this car appeared not without the help of British experts from Lotus Cars, it is definitely the most outstanding American supercar (or hypercar?) of the last millennium. And this is so not only because it is one of the fastest cars of our time (a top speed is 435 km/h) but also because the Hennessey is well managed with its huge power: this is at least what those journalists who had the opportunity to test the car say.

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The hypertrophied Lotus Exige is built on the basis of a tubular frame, inside which there is an LS9 engine manufactured by General Motors. A power output of the 7-liter biturbo engine exceeds 1,400 hp. The gearbox, capable of digesting 1,745 Nm, was borrowed from the Ford GT. The Hennessey Venom F5, which will be even faster than the GT, is due to appear very soon. It seems that we are waiting for a new wave of confrontation between America and France for the title of the fastest car.

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Cadillac Eldorado

In the late ‘50s in the United States, on the wave of popularization of the cosmic theme, «space» design came into fashion; it featured abundance of fins, complex surfaces and, according to the old American tradition, kilograms of chrome. Most of all, Cadillac succeeded in this business, which made the image of the Eldorado model of 1959 and 1960 a real classic.

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The length of the third-generation Eldorado coupe and convertible exceeded 5.7 meters! They were equipped with a 6.4-liter 325-hp V8 engine paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Since the Eldorado was positioned as an executive car, it had everything you need for a long and comfortable trip: air conditioning, cruise control, fog lights, and power windows.

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Ford Model 18

Against the background of other iconic Ford cars, the compact Model 18 is much less well known, but it became the point after which the American auto industry became strongly associated with eight-cylinder engines. Yes, the first mass-produced V8 car in the United States was the Ford Model 18 released since 1932.

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In the first year of production, a power output of the V8 was 65 hp. But in 1933, due to a more high-performance carburetor, its output was increased to 75 hp. The car was produced up to and including 1934. Now untouched copies of the Model 18 are very rare, as many of these cars have been turned into hot rods.

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Ford GT40

The romantic history of the Ford GT40 is known to every motorist: it was born only to deal a crushing blow to the reputation of Ferrari and to win the «24 Hours of Le Mans». Even if not from the first time, but the Americans managed to cope with this task, and the GT40 inspired fear on rivals and dominated the Sarte circuit full four years, from 1966 to 1969.

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The name GT40 was given to the car due to the abbreviation «Gran Turismo», as well as the height of the car in inches (40 inches – about 1.03 meters). Conceptually, the GT40 was an alliance of the American and British automobile schools: a powerful eight-cylinder engine and extremely light chassis with a body made of complex materials. Now, Ford is producing the third generation of this car; it has already won the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans.

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Duesenberg J

In 1929, in the US, the so-called «Great depression» began; it occurred due to the stock market crash on Wall Street. At the same time, Duesenberg began selling its new car – the model J, which then became a challenge to a difficult time. The Duesenberg J was indescribably luxurious, powerful, and terribly expensive by the standards of those times. In the 30s, this car was a model of luxury and style, ahead of even Rolls-Royce.

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For this reason, all Duesenberg cars (not just the J) now cost from a million dollars and more. As for the model J, in the first year of sales, in 1929, 200 cars were sold, and in the next, after the stock market crisis, one hundred were sold. Starting in 1932, a turbo I8 for Duesenberg J was available.

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Willys MB

One of the cars that forged victory in World War II was the Willys MB, a light commander's reconnaissance SUV built on a tight schedule, but which became a true symbol of its era. In total, almost 700,000 Willys MBs were produced during the war.

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They were equipped with 60-hp I4 engines. Add to it a small curb weight (about 1.2 tons) and a three – speed manual transmission and get a passable car that can accelerate up to 105 km/h. Many of the Willys models are still alive today.

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Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette is one of the unshakable symbols of post-war America; it is definitely the most American sports car of all existing. Until recently, it was the simplest car in technical terms, which used a transverse spring in the rear suspension, but the current Corvette has made a big step forward and has become much more modern. Although the emphasis on the time-tested multi-liter V8 is still being made, and turbocharges remain the prerogative of only the most powerful versions.

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You can choose from the Stingray, Grand Sport and flagship Z06 versions. The most affordable is the 466-hp Stingray. Well, for the 659-hp Z06, which can accelerate to 96 km / h in less than 3 seconds, you will need to pay a lot.

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Ford Mustang

If you arrange a survey on the most famous American car, the winner will definitely be the Mustang. The inexpensive sports car that appeared in the mid-60s has become a truly iconic model, winning the hearts of millions of fans around the world. Of course, it is not the pinnacle of engineering (remember at least that a rear suspension of the Mustang became independent only in the last generation), but it is definitely an icon of style.

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The sixth-generation Mustang was the first model to be officially sold outside the United States: on the one hand, this decision made the Mustang much more practical (including for countries with left-hand traffic); on the other, lost some of the charm of the «forbidden fruit» of previous models. Unlike many muscle and pony cars, the Mustang has been produced since the 60s without interruption. Perhaps, this also partly influenced it cult status.

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Tesla Model S

During its 14-year history, Tesla has managed to transform itself from a manufacturer of electric analogues of the Lotus Elise to one of the most expensive automakers in the United States. Now, Tesla cars are known all over the world, and the Model S can be considered the main personification of the XXI century electric vehicle. It is possible that years will pass and the Model S will be talked about as the greatest car in the United States of this millennium.

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After all, before the advent of Tesla, electric vehicles were extremely rare and were impractical compact cars with a meager drive range, cheap interior and sky-high price tags for their capabilities. Now, all major car companies have entered the EV race, and it is not known who will win it.

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Ford Model T

No surprises, the Lizzie Tin was and remains the most important car in both American and world history. It had the honor of becoming the first truly popular car: the Model T, which appeared in 1908, cost only $825 (significantly cheaper than any of its competitors).

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The Model T was available in several body styles. Contrary to the expression of Henry Ford, the car was painted not only in black (the color was uncontested only the first few years). Production of the Model T continued until 1927. It will be difficult for a modern driver to immediately get used to driving this car: the opening of the throttle valves is regulated by the steering levers, and the clutch, reverse and brake pedals are located on the floor. But it doesn't make the Model T any less great.