3 February 2017

Answer of the Week: No, the Toyota Camry isn’t the most iconic car, but neither is the Tucker

Perhaps the image led you astray? We asked our Facebook community, “What’s the most iconic, immediately recognizable car of all time?” And we included a photo of a 1948 Tucker 48 to help get your juices flowing. While the shot is pretty, it wasn’t meant to guide you. This was no open-book test.

And thus the Tucker received the majority of votes. Yet, I can’t help but wonder which way the responses would have skewed if the image featured was, say, a Volkswagen Beetle, 1965 Ford Mustang or 1957 Chevy Bel Air. This wasn’t exactly a scientific poll, and many folks mentioned those cars, too.

It seems like there was some confusion as well about whether we were asking you to identify the pictured car or simply answer the question. Scot Clements replied, “Looks like a… Tucker.” Justin Morris answered similarly, “That’s a 1948 Tucker. I can’t tell which one from this pic.” So for clarity’s sake, the question, regardless of the image, was: What’s the most iconic car?

For Jim Davis the answer was obvious: “You picked it right! The Tucker!” David Deaton and Bob Franasiak kept their agreement simple: “Tucker.” And we hate to say it, but they’re wrong. Before you start dialing my office, though, allow me to explain.

The Tucker was an impressive, technologically advanced car. And it remains recognizable and easily distinguishable from many of its contemporaries. But could you tell a Tucker from 100 feet away? How about 500 feet? Because in profile, a Tucker looks a lot like a stretched ’49 Oldsmobile Futuramic Club Sedan. Perhaps even a bit like the 1948 Cadillac Series 62, no?

I’m inclined to agree with Dave Demmin, who said, “Not everyone knows what a Tucker is. Either the VW Beetle or ’57 Chevy would have to be the most recognizable — most likely the Beetle.” Fred Marks drove the point further by uprooting us from our provincial inclinations: “VW Beetle. Instant recognition, globally.” And Tony Hagerty (no relation to our company) nailed it: “The most recognizable would have to be the Volkswagen Beetle, because even little kids recognize a Slug Bug.”

Tough arguing with that. But if you must, just be happy you’re not the wiseguy who replied, “Toyota Camry.”

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