There have been many important cars throughout history. Cars and other vehicles have shaped the environment that we live in, and the ways in which we live. Cars also influence popular culture and are synonymous with certain periods in time. The best cars last and become more valuable with the passage of time. They influence the cars that come after them. Yet not all important and influential cars have been flashy. Many of the most influential vehicles have been ordinary family vehicles that people have used to get themselves and their children where they need to go. Here then is a list of the 10 most influential cars over the past century.
10. Volkswagen Beetle
While known to many people as “The Love Bug” from the popular Disney Herbie movies, the Volkswagen Beetle was actually the brainchild of Adolph Hitler, whose Nazi party developed the car in the lead up to the Second World War with the help of Ferdinand Porsche. The full history of this car would make an exciting book or movie. The name “Volkswagen” translates from German to mean “people’s car,” and the Beetle, with its compact size, was meant to be an affordable car that everyone in Deutschland could own.
Constructed by Porsche under the personal supervision of Hitler, the first Beetle rolled off the assembly line in 1936. And the odd littler car boasted several innovations, including rear-wheel drive and an engine that was mounted in the rear. The Beetle was also the first car to have four-wheel independent suspension. Interestingly, the Volkswagen Beetle has largely remained the same since the 1930s. Of course, it has a more powerful engine today, but the basic structure of the car has remained identical. To date, more than 21 million Beetles have been built, making it one of the most produced cars in history.