An automobile! To some, simply a hunk of metal, to others, a machine that gives freedom. The modern car was first created in the late 19th century. Since then, countless of improvement and millions of units sold. From Model T to Tesla, these cars shaped our automotive landscape, these are the world changing cars.
Cars are just like any other consumer product. Some cars were bad while other revolutionized how we as humans interact with the world. Who could imagine that that in the 21st century you would be capable to have a video chat with your friends right from your car? But then again who would imagine a video chat!
When you think of cars, you might be thinking about the one you want most, or the one you currently have. You don’t always think about how they can change the world. In this article we’ll take a look at 20 cars that changed the world in different ways, and their original features.
1. 1886 Motorwagen
The Motorwagen was first patented in 1886 by Karl Benz. First built in 1885 the motorwagen may have been the first ever car. It may not have been the first car, but it was one of the first commercially available vehicle that resembles the four wheeled cars we see today. It looked like a chariot with an engine, without a doubt a car that changed the world of transportation allowing the driver to sit down while operating.
2. 1908 Ford Model T
The Ford Model T was first produced in 1908 by Ford Motor Company. The Car was a world renowned favorite and the first ever mass produced vehicle. The Model T, invented by Henry Ford, changed the world because of how it was manufactured. The design used interchangeable parts, and an assembly line. Thus increasing productivity while driving down costs. The Ford Model T is often known as the first affordable car.
3. 1951 Chrysler Imperial
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The 1951 Chrysler Imperial is a car that changed the world via mechanical intuition. It was the first ever commercially available car with power steering. The system was originally called “hydroglide” and was first introduced in the 1951 Imperial. Power steering was a big game changer for automobiles, allowing just about anyone to operate the car, regardless of forearm strength.
4. 1921 Duesenberg
Fred Duesenberg first used hydraulic brakes on his 1921 Duesenberg after testing Lockheed’s system on racing cars. That’s right, people were racing cars before they had hydraulic brakes. The design worked so well it was put into production in 1921 and popularity spread from there. Without a doubt the hydraulic braking technology of the Duesenberg changed the world of cars forever.
5. 1958 Saab GT-750
The 1958 Saab GT-750 definitely changed the world being the first production car to offer seat belts as a standard option. Until this vehicle was introduced, other card did not consider seat belts to be a standard option.
6. 1987 Lincoln Town Car
The Town Car, by Lincoln, was the first commercial car to offer a CD player standard in 1987. Undoubtedly changing the world, this car allowed you to play CDs and listen to music on demand without the use of tapes. Compact Disks were the first age of digital media and were widely utilized into the 2000’s.
7. 1966 Porsche 911s
In 1966 Porsche began fitting their 911s model with alloy wheels as a standard. This car helped change the world because of these wheels. Today alloy wheels are standard on almost all cars. Compared to steel wheels, they are lighter, more corrosion resistant, and allow for better handling.
8. 1940 Packard 180 Series
The 1940 Packard 180 Series was the first car to utilize power windows. Believe it or not this funny car actually utilized a hydro-electric system of mechanisms to deliver the power window experience. Today designs are much simpler utilizing only electric motors and mechanical means.
9. 1956 Buick Centurion
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The first ever backup camera was presented in 1956 at the General Motors Motorama, fitted in a Buick Centurion. The Car changed the world by utilizing a television camera and a screen similar to the backup cameras we have in vehicles now. Actually, exactly the same way, just with larger components.
10. 1912 Cadillac
In 1912 Caddilack was the first company to offer an alternative to the hand crank starting mechanisms of other cars. Their solution was an electric motor and a switch that allowed the engine to spin up before ignition. This became known as the electric starter and definitely played a hand in changing the automotive world.
11. 1949 Chrysler
Chrysler has a lot of spots on this list, perhaps because of their genius engineering and problem solving abilities. In 1949 they were the first company to combine the cars ignition (start button) with the turning movement of the key. Before this, you would unlock the car with a key and push a button to start. Funny how now we’ve gone in the reverse direction back to push button start. This idea however, kept cars safer for a long time.
12. 1938 Citroen 11CV
The 1938 Citroen 11CV was the first ever hatchback car of its bodystyle. The hatchback included a large fifth rear door and a compact overall design. This car changed the world of compact cars forever because hatchbacks are still very popular. Today you can check out the Honda Fit and the Mini Cooper if you’d like to see a modern hatchback.
13. 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88
The 1949 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 was the fastest car in all the land at one time. The true origins of muscle cars are highly debated but most can agree this was the first true muscle car. Designed for power, style and speed, this car was anything but practical, but highly impressive in its day. In 1949 the car boasted 135 hp from its powerful V8 engine and went on to win 8/10 races in the 1950 NASCAR season.
14. 1955 Citroen DS
In 1955 the Citroen DS was the first car to feature front disc brakes using the disk and caliper setup that is standard today. The system utilized a caliper to squeeze the brake pads around a central spinning disk. This greatly improved the stopping power of this car, ad quickly changed the world of automotive brakes.
15. 1973 Oldsmobile Toronado
The first car available commercially to the public with airbags equipped standard was the 197e Oldsmobile Toronado. This allowed for great improvements to come and overall increased driver safety. Since then the airbag has saved countless lives and injuries. Could you imagine not having airbags today?
16. 1934 Peugeot
The very first car with a powered retractable convertible top was the 1934 Peugeot. To take the top down or up was now a simple endeavour and soon after this, Chrysler started making their own for the US. This feature changed the world of convertibles for sure. Now days, cars have very elegant designs for their powered roofs.
17. 2017 Koenigsegg Agera RS
The 2017 KoenigseggAgera RS is the world’s fastest production car to date. Designed for one thing: speed. This beast of a car can reach top speeds of up to 277 miles per hour. Way more than is needed, but definitely has changed the world. If you love speed you’ll love this car.
18. Pele P50
In 1962 The Peel Engineering company invented the Peel P50. The smallest production car ever made. Perhaps the company was inspired by their location: an island called the Isle of Man. In 2010 it won the Guiness World Record for smallest production car ever made. It sure looks funny.
19. Volkswagen Passat
Since it came out in 1973 the Volkswagen Passat has sold over 16 million times and has gone through 7 generations. That makes this car one of the best selling of all time. Perhaps there’s something to this car, it has changed the world in sheer volume of production alone.
20. 2017 Tesla Roadster
In 2017 was the first mass produced, commercially available and legal electric car. Today the company has sold hundreds of thousands of units. When it was first introduced the vehicle had a range of over 200 miles on a single charge this vehicle has changed the world and opened up many opportunities for alternative propulsion systems in cars.Next