Hooniverse Asks- What's Your Favorite American Car?


Okay, so this week, we’ve been looking at America’s bread and butter car makers who have, over the years, put our great nation on the road, and which of each make was your nominee for history’s best.
Today, we’re going to both expand the field – opening it up to all comers, and get down to a more personal level, asking what car is your favorite.
The auto industry has been a major contributor to our nation’s economic roller coaster since before there were roller coasters, so there’s a plethora of potentials from which to choose.
It used to be, identifying an American car was easy, there pretty much wasn’t anything else on the road. But following WWII things changed, and funny little cars started showing up, wending through traffic and taking the parking spaces that drivers of normal cars deemed too small.
Eventually, many of those foreign makes began to be built here in the U.S., blurring the line between domestic and import.
Today, it’s possible to buy a car with a traditionally American name plate that has more foreign-sourced content than a car with a very alien-sounding name that’s actually almost all American.
So, it’s hard to say what’s an American car anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can’t set some guidelines – draw a line in the sand – and say a car is American “because”.
Let’s call a car American if its final point of assembly was somewhere within our proud 50 states. That would include late ’70s VW rabbits, but not Puebla-sourced New Beetles.  Canadian Camaros are right out, unfortunately. And out of those fifty state vehicles, which one – in your personal estimation – tops the pile?
I’m especially interested interested in the opinions of those who live outside of the U.S., and who have been exposed to American cars in a different milieu.
So, with all that in preface, what’s your favorite American car?
Image sources: [realityworld.ca, hillbilliesinc.net]

0 Comments

    1. That says it all. A pickup. Even with world class cities, America is still looked at as a wild west haul the lumber kind of place. A trusted dog as your co pilot would be perfect.

    2. Yeah, I've got to agree. There's nothing more iconic than the pickup truck. These are about as American as cowboy hats. The only vehicles that come close would be the classic rear-drive V8 Detroit barges of whatever flavor, but they're sadly becoming a thing of the past.

      1. My own, a '93 4×4 longbed in that very color scheme had a 351. Of the five pickups I've owned, it was hands down my favorite. I bought it from a guy who worked on the production line when it was built. He followed it down the line, making sure everyone knew who they were building it for. It was a great truck, at least 'til the tinworm got it.

  1. Corvette pretty much any of them from the 1953 Blue Flame 6 to the 2010 ZR1. About as American as you can get.
    But under you criteria, I like my current South Carolina built Z3 too.

      1. If I only had to pick one, money no object, I'd go with a '69 ZL-1 All aluminum version of the L-88 427 race motor. They only made 2. If cost is a consideration C5 Z06s are going for around $20k.

  2. I was never a fan of American cars.. but i've always fancied the Lumina SS (Holden Commodore something) all until a few months ago when i drove a corvette (not even the ZR1 or the Z06) and it blew my mind, i have never thought american cars could be that nimble (it's not as nimble as i'd like, but it blew my expectations to shreds)…
    so long story short.. Lumina SS (I dunno if that's even american, but close enough) at first.. but now definitely the Corvette..

    1. Really? The S Series was nowhere near as good as what Japan had to offer. What lit Saturn's fire wasn't as much about the car as it was about the ownership experience. The S Series was a crude little car with a reliable but rough powertrain. It wasn't anything to write home about. The best Saturn ever built was an Opel.

  3. I knew this was coming, but I still didn't prepare. Can I do a top 3?
    Shelby Daytona Coupe:
    <img src="http://pictures.topspeed.com/IMG/crop/200511/1964-shelby-daytona-coupe_460x0w.jpg"&gt;
    Corvette ZR-1:
    <img src="http://www.autoalerts.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/jeremy-clarkson-2009-corvette-zr11.jpg"&gt;
    And, my '97 F-150:
    <img src="http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=2&ik=2136fa322e&view=att&th=1279b30cec15ea09&attid=0.1&disp=inline&zw&quot; WIDTH=345 HEIGHT=460>

  4. First off I'm not American. That said, there's plenty about American culture I like and cars are foremost. There are so many choices, so much good stuff it's hard to point it out, but if I must pick I'd be torn among the sports cars: Daytona Coupé, Viper (preferably a '96 Coupé, double-bubble roof and all, but I'd happily take any) or a Corvette. I love Corvettes and Clarkson is a jerk for disagreeing with me (top on my list would be a C6 Z06. Just the best looking and best balance. And the interior isn't as crappy as we're led to believe). People who don't like American cars, just don't get the thinking behind them and the setting in which they live, the way of life they represent. I just wish the next Caddy XDS would be a modern '59 Biarritz or a '61, I don't care, but something along that line and how they "feel".

  5. Dang, and I had my answer all prepared for "What's History's Greatest Studebaker?" too!
    Hrmph.

          1. Show anyone a '68 – '82 Corvette and I bet every bit as many (if not more) would recognize it as would recognize a '65 – '67 Mustang.

          2. Yeah, you've got a point. But to show how iconic the original Mustang remains, d'you think they'd bring back a retro Corvette shaped like a '68? Well, that'd be amazing if they did, I'll grant that.
            I guess my point is that when you say 'Mustang', people picture one Mustang in particular. When you say 'Corvette', who knows what you'll get? Probably either a Sting Ray or a Stingray. Probably.

  6. Ummm…wow.
    This is like a divide by zero error for me.
    In hopes of actually coming up with an answer, I'm processing this like we get to pick one car from each country, so I've already got my e9 BMW, my Ariel Atom, and my 240Z.
    To capture something quintessentially American, you have to go with classic muscle or a truck.
    For classic muscle, it's a toss-up between a 62-64 Galaxie (406 or 427, please)
    <img src="http://www.fordmuscle.com/forums/attachments/galaxie-pages/8860d1247549273-another-convict-spawn-stolen-galaxie-1963-gal-crop.jpg"&gt;
    …or a '65-67 Chevelle SS
    <img src="http://www.miamimuscle.ca/images/66_chevelle_bg.gif"&gt;
    When it comes to trucks, it's gotta be a 3/4 ton Cummins-powered Dodge. About like this:
    <img src="http://pics.hoobly.com/full/SDFNOC3DCXF6PKOUTF.jpg"&gt;

      1. That's what I was going to put, but I thought I'd mix it up a bit. I figured you'd be along shortly to provide the gratuitous, yet oh-so-lovely Ford GT pr0n. And nice, patriotic pr0n it is!

  7. I think big impalas are very american. My dad let me drive our 81 family car when I was little. He put dual exhaust on it and put the thrush sticker on the back door quarter window. It was gold with wire hub caps and white walls.

  8. The original Stingray was the first and last example of Americans drawing up something absolutely incredible. I have no fucking idea why they dropped that badass out-there shape for all sorts of retarded designs (like its uber-blah current design, or the at least somewhat visually appealing RX7 ripoff that came before that design).

  9. My 1998 4 cyl, 5 speed 2wd Nissan Frontier. Built at the New Smyrna Tennessee Nissan plant,with it’s KA24DE engine Hencho en Mexico, it is easily the best vehicle I have ever owned, or could ever hope to own. It’s not fast, but it takes a beating like nothing I have ever seen. 342k miles, used for pizza delivery since day one, and the compression test still comes back within Nissan spec. Redlined to the fuel cut 20x a day, every day, and it still doesn’t give up. It needs some work now, but it is still about as reliable as the day I drove it off the dealer’s lot back in 1998. Hell, even when it does have a problem, it usually gives me about a year’s notice before it actually fails. Truly amazing. I would put it up against anything else for reliability, including the vaunted W123 with the OM-617. It is just that good.

  10. In northern Ohio, we can only drive great cars six months a year. The other six months, all we can do is look at them. My favorite American car to drive would be the Ford GT. My favorite to look at would be a Deusenberg Brunn Riviera. I think I need to move.

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