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The Greatest American Cars of All Time - Our Editors and Writers Make Their Selections
A great American car needs to have a few attributes to make any list, and those are almost entirely in the eye of the beholder. Does the car have to feature drag strip prowess? Staggering sales numbers? Fins and chrome worthy of the 1950’s Rat Pack? Does it need a racetrack pedigree? Does making the list require Steve McQueen having owned and drove the tires off one?

The Greatest American Cars of All Time - Our Editors and Writers Make Their Selections

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While you could argue that Henry Ford’s Model T is easily the most influential car for the changes it brought to the manufacturing and marketing processes, it doesn’t make my list because, well, it was slow and made for the careful masses.

Also from the Ford lineup, you could easily argue that the venerable F-150 line has the staggering sales numbers and blue-collar cred to make any list, but again, I just can’t add it to my list, as for me it lacks that special something to make it on the roster of ‘great’ American wheels. Some of our contributors will say I’m just wrong in the head, and in general, I am. And the Mustang? It makes the list.

You might like one of the various Jeep models to make the list for their contribution to a few World Wars and their ability to keep selling despite a complete lack of innovation over the years, but again, I say not one chance, Citizen. Just too darn pedestrian, uncomfortable and utilitarian for my taste.

So here you go, the choices of our Editors and Contributors for the title of The Greatest American Car of All Time:

Bogdan Popa, Staff Writer, Technology: For me, it’s the 1961 Impala SS - the first Impala SS - those were just plain sexy AF! So now, who do I have to kill to get one?

Mircea Panait, Senior Contributor: I'd pick the F-Series pickup because year over year, the F-Series is just a universally good buy.

Ciprian Florea, Contributing Writer: From the "step-down" design to the perimeter frame, the Hudson Hornet was one of the most innovative cars of its era. The low center of gravity provided precise handling and a ride smoother than a Cadillac, while its inline-six was just as powerful as most V8s from the competition. As if that wasn't enough, the Hudson dominated stock car racing when NASCAR racers were actually driving stock cars. All that while wearing the sleekest, sexiest (production) design of the 1950s.

Benny Kirk, Contributing Writer: My vote would have to be the 1969 Mustang GT500. Well, it's the ultimate version of pound-for-pound the most famous car in American history. That’s if the argument is among a large group of people. But I can’t say I’d give you that as a straight answer tomorrow as my personal opinion changes daily.

Vlad Mitrache, Senior Contributor: I'm going to be the hipster here and say it’s GM's EV1, a car so ahead of its time that people got scared and did the automotive equivalent of killing it with fire. The fact that, if successful, it would have spared the automotive industry from Elon Musk is a bonus that earns extra points.

Dragos Chitulescu, Contributing Writer: I would go for a 2016 ACR Viper. Why? Because I grew up with Vipers as my desktop wallpaper. Because I love a car that feels scary to drive. And let's not forget you can do 7-minute Nordschleife lap times in one - if you're skilled and committed enough. Last but not least, why choose a V8 when you can have two more cylinders to play with?

Tudor Serban,Vehicles Editor and Staff Writer: The 1969 Camaro. I think it's the epitome of the muscle car era, even though I know it wasn't the best of all, but that Coca-cola shape and the masked headlights made it look so mean…

Alex Oagana, Editor-at-Large: No love for the 1969 Charger with the 426 Hemi yet? Fine, then it’s my pick. Why? Because it’s the epitome of badassery on wheels in black. Plus, not even Tesla drivers will be mad when you park it at a Supercharger station if they see that you have a huge blower popping out of the hood.

Silvian Secara, Contributing Writer: Like most of us, I'd say the Mustang, but since it's taken, I’m going with the 1969 Dodge Charger R/T because it's the meanest-looking car from the golden age of muscle cars.

Cristian Curmei, Contributing Writer: Just one word - "Eleanor." Sweet, simple, and to the point.

Todd Halterman, Senior Contributing Editor: I'm partial to all the various makes and models of Cabover trucks, and the work people are doing with customs and restomods of those is stunning, but my all-time favorite and one I'd love to own? Gotta be the Oldsmobile "Rocket" 88. And yes, not because it was the greatest American car, but almost entirely for the name - and the Ike Turner song.

Sebastian Toma, Staff writer: Since the Viper and the Charger are already taken, I would like to go for the Corvette. Its look is iconic, it was never diluted with a four-cylinder engine, and its shape is easy to recognize anywhere. It's also quick around the ‘Ring' - as tests have shown - and it won't embarrass itself on the track.

So there you have it, our various picks for The Greatest American Car of All Time. Please feel free to excoriate us for our lack of imagination, deride us for overlooking the obvious winner, and above all, offer your pick in the comments below...

 
 
 
 
 

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