The 6 Coolest Antique Automobiles
Posted by: Lydia on 26/06/2019
Every era of cars brings with it an amazing story. Over the past century, we’ve seen the industry go through incredible change, from the arrival of innovations like the automatic transmission and power steering, to the recent emergence of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Yet while the progress has been monumental, it couldn’t have been achieved without the pioneers who started it all in the earliest days of the auto industry. And while antique automobiles have become rarer and rarer on our roads, they remain a crucial part of car history. Even today, we can draw inspiration from these pioneering vehicles and the creative spirit behind them. Here's a look at 6 of the coolest antique automobiles out there.
1. The Ford Model T
When it comes to antique cars, none have had an impact on the market quite like the Model T. Between 1913 and 1927 alone, over 15 million Model Ts were created for the masses. This car would come to fundamentally alter the landscape of the auto industry in the United States and around the world, forever shifting car ownership away from being accessible to only a rare few, to being truly accessible to all.
In addition to ushering in the automobile revolution around the world, the Model T also helped to drive a cultural revolution. As an affordable vehicle that liberated everyday citizens from having to utilise public transport to get around, the Model T’s arrival on the scene laid the foundation for the car to become the centre of Sunday drives, road trips, and cross-country holidays for generations to come.
2. Dodge’s Series 20 Touring Car
The Series 20 Touring car, also known as the Dodge 1920, was released on the market in competition with the Model T. Providing a more advanced sliding gear transmission compared to its Ford counterpart, this vehicle sought to make driving the open road a true pleasure. And it came out at a poignant time for this iconic car company.
Dodge’s co-founders, John and Horace, both died in 1920 due to flu and pneumonia. Sad as these untimely passings were, it meant this vehicle would always hold a special place in the hearts of Dodge fans as a living tribute to the innovation and engineering John and Horace created with their company.
3. Holden 48-215
This Holden was the first mass-produced Australian car. It was rolling off the production line at a time when Down Under was building a new sense of confidence and identity as a country. As a result, it was a lot like what the Model T Ford was to America – a new kind of car ready to travel a big continent.
These vehicles were great for the commute to work each day, or a coast-to-coast trek through the Great Southern Land. Sadly, today locally-made Holdens are no more, with the last Australian factory closing in October 2017, but new Holdens assembled abroad can still be acquired. The brand’s rich history of vehicles, beginning with this auto in 1948, ensures it will always be a big part of our country's story.
4. 1927 La Salle
This vehicle was a true game-changer in the world of automobiles. Prior to the La Salle's arrival on the scene, cars were primarily seen as simply machines. Important machines certainly – and, given the rarity and expense of early cars before the Ford revolution – also a status symbol. But at the end of the day, function over form was the priority in design and car marketing.
That all changed with this vehicle. It pioneered the promotion of a car’s design as a selling point, and in doing so, shifted them from merely functional machines to stylish accessories in the public eye. Manufacturers were suddenly able to design vehicles that would appeal to pure petrol heads and trendsetters alike.
5. 1939 Buick Special Sedan
This 1939 Buick is proof that what La Salle began in 1927 would create a pop culture revolution. Even today, this vehicle exudes real cool and timeless style. With its beautiful contrast of body color, chrome wheels, and sloping curves, this auto is a joy to look at.
And with the combination of its spacious interior and hydraulic brakes, it also offered a unique driving experience, with long flat seats and ample leg space to make every drive a real pleasure cruise.
6. The Bentley 4½ Litre
James Bond is best known today for his high-stakes adventures in Aston Martin. Astons are certainly outstanding cars, but they were actually not the first brand to feature in the series. The James Bond universe began with Ian Fleming’s release of Casino Royale in 1953, with this Bentley featuring.
With it, the eternal bond between the world’s most famous spy and the luxury car universe was created. While today the unsynchronised 4-speed transmission would give many secret agents pause, this vehicle still has the heart of a racer. The supercharged version known as the Bentley Blower even went on to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1928.
All car fans can agree the industry is better today. The cars themselves are not only safer, but so too are the roads on which we drive them, and the laws that govern driving and transportation.
Yet even though the glory days of antique cars have passed, they will always be a key part of the story of autos. And the fact that these classics were designed without the decades of progress and knowledge that car manufacturers have behind them today makes the achievements of early designers even more impressive.
For anyone in Australia who is keen to build a truly cool connection with an antique car, there are a number of ways you can get in on the fun. Organisations like the Vintage Vehicle Club of Australia offer you a way to connect with fellow vintage enthusiasts Down Under, and maybe score a seat in the next car club drive. And if you’re really keen to commit to the antique car community, websites like Collectible Classics offer a way to find a cool antique automobile of your own.
What other cool antique automobiles do you love? Let us know in the comments below:
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