Driving Through Time— How American Cars Have Changed Over the Years

Taking a look at how different American car companies have progressed throughout time can be an exciting way to study automotive history. You may be surprised at how little some cars have changed from their very first models.


Ford was the very first car manufacturer to build cars on an assembly line. This revolutionary process started in 1913, and it drastically lowered the cost of automobiles. The company also put its first four-cylinder engine in the Model T, and they are still putting four-cylinder engines in vehicles today. Even older, Ford put their first straight-six-cylinder engine in the Model K, which was a precursor to the Model T. Despite taking a break from 1906 to 1941, you can still get Ford vehicles with straight-six-cylinder engines in them today. However, the assembly line process is much different today. According to Han’s Laser, much of the process is now automated and uses things like laser processing technology.


The first Jeep was introduced at the request of the U.S. military during World War II. Willys-Overland produced this legendary vehicle, but that company later became known as Jeep. According to Avis, Jeeps were originally used in World War II, but modern versions still have similar war-time design and power. If you carefully examine a Jeep the “T” latches used to hold down the hood has never been changed. Additionally, Jeep’s logo design of a single piece stamped slotted grille with round headlights was taken from those first military vehicles. Willys-Overland’s l CJ-2A I model was the first full-production model made with four-by-four drive. The same idea still powers Jeeps through tough off-roading adventures today. If you need to use a four-by-four vehicle, then consider renting one if you do not have your own.


Many people love to drive their Chevrolet Suburban today, but you have to go back in time to 1936 to find the very first one. It is the longest nameplate vehicle on the market today. Called the Suburban Carryall, according to Auto Influence, this rugged vehicle was designed to carry eight passengers. The company has updated the look of the Suburban many times before it became the luxury vehicle you see today. Even though Martin Lockheed had invented hydraulic brakes in 1926, the 1936 Suburban was one of the first to offer them on a passenger vehicle.

Automobiles made by American companies have changed over time, but refinements of some early inventions can still be seen on the vehicles that may be sitting in your driveway today. Those same features may be seen on vehicles for many years to come.

Here’s another article you might like: How Advancements in Technology Can Make Our Roadways Safer

Related Posts

No Responses