The new Ambassador was one of AMC’s best attempts to attract their customer’s attention in 1969. The improved styling, comfort and air condition as standard were impressive features by the standards of the day. The engine lineup started with the modest 283 straight six unit. However, it went all the way up to the powerful 401 V8.
The early ’70s pushed those compact cars into the spotlight, so many American brands presented scaled down models. But one of the best and most influential was the Ford Maverick. Ford built it on the Pinto platform and the Maverick had cool styling. Also, it came with lots of options and dependable mechanics. And all that translated to fantastic sales success, spawning many competitors.
Although it started in the ’60s, the early ’70s marked the rise of Ford’s LTD model. The LTD was a typical formal sedan of the era with dependable mechanics and its signature vertical grille. Also, customers got lots of options at an affordable price. Ford sold the LTD in the millions. Interestingly, you may recognize this car from numerous old cop movies and TV series.
The 1975 Seville was shocking to Cadillac purists as the first downsized Caddy and an affordable luxury car. However, it was an extremely smart move by the company because it was one of the best U.S. sedans of the late ’70s. The 1975 Seville was the best car for the time, so sales went beyond their expectations. The Seville was elegant, perfectly sized, and reasonably powerful. And best of all, it came with a long list of options and trim choices.
Chevrolet Caprice Classic
Following the modernization throughout the range, in 1977, Chevrolet introduced the Caprice Classic, a full-size sedan. The combination of elegant looks, tough mechanics and all-around usability made this model one of the most popular, longest-lasting models on the market. With minimal changes, Chevy sold this sedan for 13 years, all the way to 1990. Also, many law enforcement agencies and the government used the Caprice Classic.
AMC conceived the Eagle in the late ’70s. It was their answer to the rising popularity of AWD vehicles and SUVs. To create it, AMC combined their compact sedan and wagon lineup with the tough and proven Jeep AWD system. The result was a surprisingly capable vehicle with the comfort and luxury of a sedan. Also, it came in compact dimensions, relatively low weights and extremely good off-road characteristics.
Ford Crown Victoria
The Ford Panther platform is one of the longest-serving platforms in the car industry. First presented in 1978, it served until 2011, underpinning models like the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis and Lincoln Town Car. This chassis was sturdy and durable in extreme conditions, so as it was the basis for many police cars and taxis. Even today, seven years after they discontinued it, millions of Panther-based models are still on the roads.
Back in the mid-80s, Ford caused a revolution with the introduction of the Taurus. This was the first truly modern American sedan that ditched the heavy ladder-type chassis and big engines. In fact, it went in a different direction with a sleek, aerodynamic body, new technology and front wheel drive. Ford sold the Taurus in high volumes, even featuring a performance SHO version.
Chevrolet Impala SS
The Impala SS is one of the most legendary names in the Chevrolet performance history. However, as the muscle car era came to an end, they discontinued the Impala SS. However, in 1994, Chevy resurrected it an option in the seventh generation of this legendary model. Most notably, the black 1994 to 1996 Impala SS is one of the coolest American four-door models of the ’90s.
Cadillac Seville STS
During the ’90s, the Seville had a major redesign including a new platform, Northstar V8 engines and a sleek, cool-looking design. It had 300 HP coming from a 4.6-liter V8 engine with a magnetic ride. In addition, it came with a plush interior and numerous other features. Also, it was a true competitor to the likes of Mercedes and BMW.
The legendary Roadmaster name returned to the Buick lineup in 1991 after a 33-year hiatus, gracing the freshly-styled luxurious sedan and station wagon models. The car was basically the same as other offerings from General Motors in the same class. However, the Roadmaster had more luxury options and one interesting engine that turned this comfy cruiser into a muscle car.
The early 2000s saw the return of the classic Chrysler sedan. It was the perfect homage to one of the quintessential American four-door cars – the 300 C. Chrysler built it on a modern platform with a range of powerful engines, including the 5.7 Hemi. The 300 C was big, strong, well-equipped and well-built. Also, it sold well and is still the car if you are looking for a classic style and feel.
Pontiac thought that a rear-wheel-drive sedan would help them fight their European competitors. With a Pontiac redesign and small-block V8 engine, the G8 was an effective performance sedan, too. The base engine was a solid 3.5-liter V6 producing 256 HP. But the real deal was the G8 GXP with a 6.2-liter V8 delivering 415 HP. Better yet, the G8 came with high levels of standard equipment, as well as a long list of optional extras.
The CTS is a mid-sized Cadillac sedan with the performance V option. However, the most successful was the second generation, which they produced between 2008 and 2014. Under the hood was a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 with 556 HP, making the CTS-V the most powerful performance sedan on the market. The suspension and drivetrain were so advanced, the CTS-V was the full package, making it one of the best cars available at that time.
Ford Taurus SHO
With its powerful EcoBoost V6 engine displacing 3.5-liters and delivering 355 HP to all four wheels, the new Taurus SHO can outhandle and outperform many current sports cars. The modern Taurus is the perfect evolution of an American sedan. Although it retains its classic proportion, design and feel, the SHO incorporates modern technology and performance.
Dodge Charger Hellcat
Using the old Chrysler 300 C architecture, 707 HP Hemi engine and modern technology Dodge created the ultimate American car. The Charger Hellcat is a muscle car, classic rear-wheel-drive sedan and an exotic car, all at the same time. However, the best part is that it is capable of beating any European exotic yet its still able to take your kids to school.
These are the 50 most iconic American four-door cars of all time. Have you chosen your favorite? While some are plentiful, others come in limited numbers. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find it in good condition at a reasonable price. Even so, all of these models have made their mark in automotive history.