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BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Newest “Quintessentially American” Car, In Your Eyes?

BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Newest “Quintessentially American” Car, In Your Eyes?

How many of you are old enough to remember the genuine anger that would be expressed if a foreign car showed up in the driveway? How many of you got an earful about how American cars were crap and that either Japanese or German cars were the only way to go? National pride has often played a part in the purchase of a vehicle, but that seems to have faded into history. Sure, people will buy nameplates that sound American, but it’s a dirty little secret that a lot of the newer cars aren’t American built. My Chrysler 300C is a Canadian import, like a significant amount of vehicles are. Buick Encores are either from Korea or China. Nissan Frontiers come from Tennessee. The world has jumbled up the origin story so much that it’s just about a moot point.

But do you hear a lot of pining for the past? What, as Uncle Tony has phrased, was the “last great traditional American car”? What car would actually qualify? I’d offer up my Chevy Cruze as an option, since it was built at the Lordstown, Ohio plant, but…I wouldn’t use “great” to describe it. Competent? Absolutely. But maybe not “great”. Could you claim that the Honda Accord qualifies, since many are produced in Marysville, Ohio? We can discuss this at length for quite some time, but this is where we want you to pitch in on the question.

Uncle Tony believes that the GM G-body was the last great American car. It’s hard to argue with his logic: two door, four door, wagon and ute, a range of engines from small basic six cylinders to V8s and the turbo-six, a mix of luxury and performance offered throughout the range, and reasonable prices when new. I’d like to offer up a different shot: the GM B-body. Proof that a big car didn’t have to be a Patton Tank, the 1977-96 GM fullsizers did just about the same things as the G-bodies, but in the trade for not having a ute bodystyle, let’s talk about the durability shown by decades of public service abuse. You could pitch the same argument for the Ford Panther platform cars just as well…or maybe you have a better idea?

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9 thoughts on “BangShift Question Of The Day: What’s The Newest “Quintessentially American” Car, In Your Eyes?

  1. ChopsawSurgeon

    Last generation Crown Vics. Everyone still knows them as the “American Police Car”, and have earned their way into that. It’s still a V8, RWD, and big enough to haul 5 people or 6 if you got a bench seat.

    1. Tom Childers

      I agree with the GM B-body. The 1996 Impala SS, with 350 LT1 and rear wheel drive was as all-american as it got.

  2. Matt Cramer

    The Dodge Viper would qualify for “quintessentially American” although maybe not “traditionally American”. What better sums up the American approach to excess than ten cylinders and over eight liters under the hood? It isn’t loaded with electronic controls like a Nissan GTR or the sort of German excess you’d see in a 911 GT3 – it’s uniquely American excess.

  3. Mopar or No Car

    American auto manufacturers have given up achieving supremacy in every market segment but one.

    The newest quintessentially American car is the Ford F-150.

    1. Just Gary

      Yeah- gotta admit the Mustang & F-150 are both red-blooded ‘Murican iron (or aluminum 😉 ) & still being produced.

  4. RK - no relation

    Chargers and Challengers, built in Canada. Camaros were built in Canada for at least two body styles. Crown Vic? St. Thomas Ontario Canada!
    We have built all the big American brands here including Rambler. Toyota and Honda build here too.
    We call them North American cars, (what they are). Lovingly built for our neighbours and the world. So don’t think of your Hellcat as ‘foreign’ whatever you do!

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