Episode 431 – Car of the Century: The Most Important Car

July 9th, 2010 at 12:00pm

Runtime 9:55

Today Autoline Daily wraps up its week-long review of the top five vehicle finalists from The Car of the Century. As we’ve seen, the panel of automotive experts who determined the winners chose an impressive list of important vehicles that have influenced designers, engineers and manufacturers alike. Today the winner, the top vehicle that wears the crown as “THE” Car of the Century.

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34 Comments to “Episode 431 – Car of the Century: The Most Important Car”

  1. Tony Gray Says:

    Once again the critics overlook my first car, the 1975 Cosworth Vega.

  2. Chuck Grenci Says:

    Cool car Tony (they just wasn’t asking the right questions for the right list) :-)

  3. Mike W Says:

    I think the Jeep should have had one of the top 5 spots. All the Jeep did was replace the horse in the american military and allow them to win WWII. It seems the international panel that picked these 5 cars has a short memory and you would think their memory of WWII would be even more vivid than ours. If it wasn’t for the Jeep, we might all be driving VWs, MBs or BMWs. I certainly would like to protest these “Top 5″. There is something wrong.

  4. davvi-ray langford Says:

    WHY will:Episode431 of,Car Of The Century, “NOT-Play” on this “T-Mobil myTouch3G-Slide Smart-Fone?” … All your other-videos PLAY w/NO-Problem :-) .’ ThankYou :-) ,’ from, _ _ _ davvi-ray

  5. Bo Says:

    God bless America and our auto industry…What a proud moment in American industrial history….Pure ingenuity, purely American

  6. davvi-ray langford Says:

    BTW,can’t as of now, view E’sode 431, but iCan-already sense that “iTotally Concur” with: Tony Gray, Chuck Grenci and Mike W. regarding you-guys’ Comments :-O.’ _ _ _ davvi-ray l.

  7. dave Says:

    I with you, the Jeep should have been 3rd behind the T and VW

  8. pedro fernandez Says:

    In retrospect, the original Jeep must have been included on this top 5 list, it was different things to different people, a reliable way to get around. It was as acceptable around the city as it was out in the country, It was cool and rough and appealed to both sexes just the same ; army transport, mail and general delivery, etc. Hell, I think I want one.

  9. G Berman Says:

    What no jeep? What were they thinking? If not the contribution to military action, how about the start of a whole new segment for the automotive industry. Its crazyness I tell you.

  10. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Jeep should have been number 4, after the Model T, Beetle, and Mini.

  11. Kit Gerhart Says:

    ” If it wasn’t for the Jeep, we might all be driving VWs, MBs or BMWs”

    …and Toyotas???

  12. David Duckworth Says:

    The list seems Eurocentric. I believe these two should bump others off the list.

    The 1912 Cadillac 30 had the first electrical starter. This negated the need for strength to crank over the engine, which opened the market to women.

    The 1954 Nash Ambassador introduced the first integrated air conditioning system.

  13. Rick Wakefield Says:

    I could have watched an hour long show about the Model T and the impact it had on the country.

    I think this exercise of showing what was the top 5 picks in 1999 was an excellent way to entertain us while the “Crew” was on vacation.
    Good work guys.

  14. Don MacConnel Says:

    The Model T was a great choice and also helped increase our population. It was, as a Tulane University history professor explained to us, a bedroom on wheels.
    Having rebuilt two of them I also learned some magic words when bolts dropped into the guts of the transmission. No problem, we slung the car and turned it upside down. Great memories of a truly wonderful car.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m sure a Model T was by far the best “used car” available for my dad’s 2500 mile road trip in 1932. It would have been the one car on the road that could have been fixed almost anywhere, if it had problems.

    As I heard the story from my dad, nothing broke on the car, except a couple flat tires, and one or two bands that needed to be replaced.

  16. B C Says:

    “Sherman tank” shaped the world over the last 100 yrs more than the T.

  17. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    1. The 5 most important Cars of the 21st Century will be done by a panel of American Automotive Journalists.

    2. This will be Hosted by an Indian or Chinese guy on his Show: Autoline Chennai or Autoline Chongquing.

    3. The 5 cars will be from some of these brands:

    Nissan, Hyundai/KIA, TATA, Chery, Geely, BYD, Proton/Lotus, and Ford.

    Like it or not, those will be the Dominant 21st century brands.

  18. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke: you forgot Fu-King Motors. I read somewhere that Kia may be closing, is that true?

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I think we already know one of the candidates for “car of the 21st century.” It is the Prius. It’s a practical, roomy hatchback that uses barely over half as much fuel as most of the competition, except for small-engine diesels.

  20. Chuck Grenci Says:

    With barely 10 years into the new century, there will be no sure things. The Prius will only earn candidacy if the hybrid movement continues and electrics go main stream. If the automobile continues as an internal combustion conveyance (admittingly having to move to an alternate fuel), the Prius may only be a footnote. Still, on the other hand, you could be exactly correct Kit.

    And commenting more on the, now, completed list, I find it probably/possibley too polictically correct for my liking. Remaining p.c., maybe the 911 should have been struck in favor of a Ferrari (an Italian winner), but really, the French entry had little influence beyond France and the 911 never had a real place on the list to begin with. IMO

  21. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I’m just considering the Prius a very likely candidate for the “first round” of voting, not necessarily the top five. Still, I think that, as long as burning fuel of some type remains the predominant way to power cars, some form of energy recovery from braking will become mainstream. Prius does the best job of that now in a “do everything” car, and will probably keep that status a few more years.

    To me, if a French car was on the list, it should have been the 2CV. It had a very long production run, and, like the Beetle, helped bring a country back from the devastation of WWII.

  22. Mouhamad A. Naboulsi Says:

    Model T was predictable, and so was the Jeep, the Corvette. I can understand the Mini, but it is no Jeep or a Corvette. Inspite of my francophone bias, I still do not understand Ciroen.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I thought the Jeep belonged in the top 5, but the Corvette, no way, IMHO. Until the C4, Corvette was pretty close to being a factory built kit car. They were fast, and most of them looked good, but the bodies tended to crack and fall apart if used as a daily driver, at least if your daily drive included any bumpy roads or railroad crossings.

    The Mini very much belonged there. It’s powertrain was the prototype for a majority of today’s passenger cars, starting the front drive, transverse engine revolution and the packaging efficiency it provides.

  24. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Pedro, KIA Closing lmao? Not going to happen. In fact in many countires in the world KIA Sales are starting to surpass Hyundai’s, which is good because that’s the goal for KIA to outsell Hyundai. Like I said before New KIA=ultra high volume brand 700K Sales or more in the US. New Hyundai= 300K-400K sales a year. Essentially, Hyundai has already acheived its objective. Now they are diversifying their customer base and making their cars fit that new “Upmarket” image.

    They plan on making HKAG as important to America and Asia as VWAG is to Europe. VWAG really never took off here, but the Koreans see their mistakes and plan to have HKAG take off like the way VWAG did in Europe.

    You may think its proposertrous, but HKAG will sell 1 Million cars a year here in 10-15 years easy. Everything will be produced right here in America too soon enough. It’s easier and cheaper just to make it in America.

    Hyundai Workers are paid an average of $23 an hour in Korea, which of course is significantly higher than what UAW agreed to here for the US car makers. Of Course Hyundai in Korea doesnt have burdens such as 20th Century Rellics like Privatized Healthcare, etc…

    Privatized Healthcare, what a joke and a job killer LMAO!!!

    If you saw an article of KIA closing, yeah its closing its Sohari plant where they make Rio and Sedona. Rio Production will move with Accent production, which will be great for that car. That alone would move KIAs JD Power VDS up sharply.

  25. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    That Yahoo Autos Article is just absolutely Crap Pedro. Yahoo Autos is done. They have been going downhill over the years, and this is the stake in their heart that could kill them.

    I hear KIA people already talking about defamation liability on this one.

    Wall Street like many journals is written by a bunch of German car driving elitists who think KIA still makes Sephias.

    LMAO, what a crock of an article!!!

    I hope KIA sues them for defamation.


    By the way, the local Radio Shacks have seen a pickup in business as Radio Shack now has gone to niche products selling obscure electronics many people now would have to special order by internet and wait days for shipping and processing to get what they need.

  26. pedro fernandez Says:

    Smoke: while Hyundai has been receiving praise and increased sales with their new products, I just don’t see the same enthusiasm for Kia. Hyundai has to decide what to do with it. Selling rebadged Hyundais will not work,they need their own products to stand out and that costs a lot of money. Perhaps the article is not that way off.

  27. XA351GT Says:

    Smoke : I have to agree with yoou here. Kia is on the up. They are following the same path as Hyundai 20 years ago. Hyundai is now going up market and leaving the inexpensive car market to them. I really like the Koup and when I can afford a new car I am giving that serious look. I would see Suzuki cars or Mitsubishi or Isuzu disappear before Kia does. At least here in the States I believe Isuzu already has since GM stopped partnering them a few years back. John has been saying that Suzuki is circling the bowl even with the new impressive Kizashi. Mitsu really has been off since their pairing with Chrysler. My sister had 99 Eclipse she loved and a 01 she lemon lawwed it was such a POS . Came to find out it had the Chrysler engine in it. At least that is what the dealership told her.

  28. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Mitsu had been partnering with Chrysler way before they shared any manufacturing or parts. Chrysler sold Mitsu cars as Dodge Colts in the late 70′s. Mitusbishi bought Chrysler’s part of the Illinois “Diamondstar” plant a few years ago.

    Mitsu has gone downhill even more in the US market since reducing their partnering with Chrysler. It’s hard to know why they stay here.

    There was recently a sharing of engine design and production between Chrysler, Mitsubishi, and Hyundai, which has also ended.

  29. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If Hyundai continues to grow as it has the last few years, they probably need two “brands.” I suspect Hyundai will be to Kia as Audi is to VW, or something along those lines.

    Question for Smoke… Is Kia getting out of the minivan business, or are they going to build them at a different location from the plant that is closing?

  30. Nick Stevens Says:

    1. The Jeep is not a car, it’s a truck.

    2. Even if it was not made, we would sure not all be driving VWs, MBS and BMWs. But even if we were, I am sure we would wastre much less oil, and gas prices would be FAR FAR lower if the damned SUV unsafe automotive atrocities bredavans on stilts did not exist.

    3. Hundai-Kia’s success will be very temporary. Right now there is a HUGE vacuum where most of their rivals have OLD models. Wise up.

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Is the Renault Espace a truck? It was the only other vehicle on the list of 26 that would seem not to be a car.

  32. HyundaiSmoke Says:

    Kit, KIA is supposedly redesigning the Sedona as a 2013 MY or a 2014 MY. Its supposed to be very dynamic, fun to drive, and a stunning looking vehicle. Rio, Picanto, Sedona, and KIAs RWD sedan and coupe is what they are focused on developing right now.

    It seems like a long time. Personally, I think KIA should put Sedona on a 2-3 year hiatus. Do a stop sale at the end of 2010.

    They will build it somewhere else, the question is where. I actually think they should build it at West Point, GA.

    Nick that’s why I will cover models from other brands on my site, and trust me Toyota’s new lineup=so unimpressive it will be ok for the diehards, but with hungry companies like HKAG, FoMoCo, GM, and Nissan around they have ZERO chance of attracting new customers.

    Im not a Yaris or Toyota fan, and even I am dissappointed by the New Yaris that will debut in Paris.

    Nissan’s new products are the most impressive Im seeing from Japan, and with the way things are going they will emerge as the dominant Japanese company for awhile.

    Rememeber, how everybody was scared that Hyundai would become this new Toyota and just destory Toyota Pedro, Kit, and XA351GT? Well that’s KIAs job now. They have taken Hyundai’s place in that ultra low cost bracket. 2010s will be Hyundai’s coming out party, and KIAs insurgence. Hyundai is like younger Gen Xers and Older Gen Ys like myself, and KIA is like 18-25 Gen Y and Gen Zs if you put it into that context. The Chinese/Indians are Gen As in 5th grade just learning Algebra.

    Think about it, how is KIA going to really stand out? Believe it or not Next Gen KIA Picanto A-Segment will have 3 engines, and one of those 3 engines will be a 1.0 GDI Turbo that will have Over 100 HP. In fact, close to or the same power as current Gen Accent. I am trying to advocate to get KIA to bring that to America with that powertrain and sell it at $7500-$9K. Its time for A-Segments in America, they just need 100 HP or more though, and not built to Euro Spec.

    In essence the article was true- 5 years ago, but KIA survived and since they survived they have just gotten so much better. The article holds no water today, however.

    If you Grow KIA like you did Hyundai in the past while upmarketing Hyundai. The Hyundai name will grow into prominence, and since KIAs will be cheapened Hyundai’s people will realize that and say “Hey well I cant afford the Hyundai right now, but I can get a KIA. Yeah, Ill try a KIA as its mechanically a Hyundai and Hyundai’s are great cars.”

    Its all progress the Kids have to grow up sometime you know.

  33. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Whatever is wrong with Toyota right now, they have one, really appealing car, the Prius. It is so appealing that I bought one a couple days ago. I figure it is safe to assume that my Malibu Maxx would never be worth more, or much more, and that a Prius will never be cheaper and the price more negotiable than now. It might have made more sense to keep my Malibu a few more years, but if gas gets a lot more expensive, as is likely, I’ll be glad I have the Prius.

    So far, I really like the Prius. It drives decently, has almost as much space as my Malibu had, and uses barely over half as much gas. My favorite part of is knowing that, when I let off the “gas” or step on the brake, I am recovering energy, rather than just converting to to heat.

  34. titrain Says:

    So far, I really like the Prius