29 June 2015

The most ‘patriotic’ cars and trucks ever

Independence Day seems like a logical time to focus on the cars that scream “American Exceptionalism.” Here are five exceptionally patriotic all-American vehicles:

  1. 1941-45 Willys MB “Jeep”: Synonymous with The Greatest Generation, the Willys Jeep spawned countless versions of the civilian CJ, but it’s the original WWII and Korea vintage military vehicles that are among the most patriotic vehicles of all-time.
  2. 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible: For 1976, the final year of the full-size GM convertible, the Eldosaurus was available in a special edition of just 200 cars that became known as “Bicentennial Eldorados” because of their Cotillion White paint and red accents (to which many dealers added blue pinstriping). It doesn’t get much more patriotic than a red, white and blue Cadillac.
  3. 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda: Dan Gurney is perhaps the most patriotic American to have competed in international motorsports. The AAR ‘Cuda (which stood for “All American Racers”) was the street version of the car that Gurney campaigned in the SCCA Trans Am road racing series. It was one of the most charismatic cars of the muscle car era.
  4. 1967 Gurney Eagle-Weslake Formula One car: Formula One has always been a European-dominated show. American drivers like Phil Hill, Peter Revson, Masten Gregory, Eddie Cheever and Brett Lunger were rare, but the above-mentioned Dan Gurney not only competed in Formula One but did so in a car of his own construction. While not particularly successful, it is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful race cars ever and its single victory at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix in the hands of Dan Gurney himself remains the only Formula One win for a U.S.-built car.
  5. 1946-80 Dodge Power Wagon: The original Power Wagon was based on a WWII vintage ¾-ton pickup truck and in 1946 became the first civilian 4x4 vehicle. It’s the granddaddy of every serious 4x4 pickup today. That combined with its military lineage makes it one very patriotic truck.
 

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