All the cars we drive can be traced back to certain vehicles that developed and changed the outlook of the major design traits of every car we drive. Designers and cars put their heart and soul into certain vehicles that then change the market. Not every car is poured over and spoiled in the design phases as the, Amphicar, or the Willys Jeep.
First on the list is the car that made ownership possible for the masses. The Ford Model T combated the Dusenbergs of the era that were un affordable to most people. Mass production saved the auto industry from being only a luxury.
A floating car meant for short pleasure trips in, While there was never again a car that could swim and drive made for the public, the design of the hull slash frame was influential in cars that came after it. Being very stiff for the hull allowed it to handle turns very well, for a car that was underpowered.
The image of the jeep im most minds is a small suv made for being off the road. It started with the military needing a go anywhere kind of vehicle that was reliable, easy to service, small and most importantly cheap. The jeep spawned another first for Chrysler and AMC, the Cherokee. Its now standard design is the base for modern suvs. Beating land rover by only a few years.
Every soccer mom, hockey mom, softball mom and stay at home dad can thank Dodges invention of the Caravan. The now standard image of the minivan in suburban America is all thanks to the strides and chances that Dodge took when they created the first Caravan.
It has been the flag ship for the green auto movement for year, the Toyota Prius. Electric vehicles are nothing new to the auto industry; successful green vehicles are now a commonplace item thanks to the Prius. Beating the Honda Insight by just a year to the mainstream market the latest generation of Prius is a far cry from the first off the assembly line.
Not everyone can drive an Amiphicar, and not everyone can drive a Willys. But driving your minivan, and Jeep you are continuing to support new ideas.