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Classic Cars We Love
by Lyndon Conrad Bell

We Americans love our cars, and some of our cars are more beloved than others. Whether its sports cars, luxury cars or even SUVs, some sort of vehicle has found its way into every American's heart. These nine American cars (in no particular order) are universally revered.

1. 1908 Ford Model T. This is the car that put America on wheels in 1908 and forever enshrined Henry Ford in the annals of mankind. The first mass-produced car, the Model T was priced so every working person could afford one.

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2. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette. America's only mass produced sports car has captured the imagination since it was first shown in 1953 as one of GM's "Dream Cars" in the Motorama.

3. 1964 Pontiac GTO. The first muscle car. For 1964 Pontiac engineers hit on an idea that has become the model for fast cars everywhere. Take your biggest motor, put it in your smallest car, and get out of the way of the hordes of buyers that will follow.

4. 1984 Jeep Cherokee. This vehicle is credited with starting the current SUV craze that refuses to die. In fact the vehicle is still in production today, largely unchanged.

5. 1964 Ford Mustang. After witnessing the tremendous success European manufacturers were having with sport coupes, Ford decided to do one of their own. The '64 Mustang started a whole new class of caró the pony caró when it was immediately copied by GM with the Camaro (Chrysler followed with the Barracuda).

6. 1955 Ford Thunderbird. Originally built in 1955 as Ford's answer to the Corvette, it never had the true sports car edge of the `Vette. Instead the T-Bird was more the tour-in-luxury kind of car. Currently about to be revived, the 2001 Thunderbird is true to the original concept.

7. 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible. If any car was ever an icon of its era the '57 Chevy is the one. The fins on its rear end say `50s like nothing else does. Built during an era of American optimism and prosperity, it's the one Chevy everybody wants to own.

8. 1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible. Nothing says excess like the '59 Eldo. A two-door coupe, the car is longer and wider than any four-door sedan on the road today. If you think the '57 Chevy had fins, you don't know fins until you've seen the back end of this Caddy.

9. 1970 Plymouth Road Runner Superbird. It's a Daytona 500 racecar for the street. The Superbird was king of the roost during Chrysler's heady Mopar era, when Chrysler cars laid down more rubber and smoked everybody in the quarter mile. The towering wing and the sloped nose on the Superbird said "meepmeep" more powerfully than the Road Runner ever could.


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