It’s hard to imagine, but cars as a mode of transportation have been around for almost 140 years. Cars came to be in the late 19th century. But the first cars were slow, funny vehicles with diminutive engines, yet big potential. Over the years, cars evolved from toys of the rich to an obligatory possession of the common man.
The automobile shaped the world. It also changed the urban landscape and the vision of transport forever. Cars brought the freedom and ability to move fast and independently, influencing modern culture and the way of living. It’s easy to understand why the automobile is one of the most important inventions in the history of the world.
However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that cars evolved into the advanced, modern machines drivers use today. To learn more about them, here is a list of the top 20 cars of the 20th century. They defined 100 years of automobiles between 1900 and 2000.
1. Jeep Willys
Off-road vehicles were born out of necessity and the legendary Jeep Willys is the best example. They conceived it just before the Second World War as a light military vehicle. The Willys could go over any terrain. It was also durable enough to withstand bullets, explosions and harsh conditions. In fact, this Jeep was one of the weapons that helped win the biggest war in history.
Jeep began production of the original Willys in 1942 as the U.S. was entering the war. Production ended in 1946 after they built more than 600,000, exporting them to all parts of the world. Also called the Willys MB or Ford GPW, it was a simple machine, yet incredibly tough and dependable. It came with a diminutive 2.2-liter four-cylinder with 60 HP. It also used a simple four-wheel drive layout, which was an innovative concept for the 1940s.
Despite being a military vehicle, Jeep proved its worth after the war as a practical machine. Owners could equip them to do numerous things, from towing to plowing. They could even turn it into agricultural equipment. The unique concept of a rugged, compact and extremely capable off-road machine evolved with the Jeep brand. They are currently the biggest and most legendary producer of off-road vehicles and SUVs.