Top 10 Most Important Cars of All Time

Top 10 Most Important Cars of All Time

Chrysler Airflow

The Chrysler Airflow is an Art Deco blast from the Great Depression. As its name suggests, this car’s biggest claim to fame is an aerodynamic body.

Slippery shapes are taken for granted today with automakers pushing to reduce the aerodynamic drag of their vehicles to improve fuel efficiency.  Every new car sold today has been specially massaged to slice through the wind, but that wasn’t the case back in the ’30s.

Unlike its contemporary competition, the Airflow’s shape was actually proven in the wind tunnel. Chrysler wasn’t necessarily the first to do this, but at the time it was seriously innovative for a mass-produced passenger car.

Beyond aero, the Airflow was pioneering in other ways as well. Its structure was built out of tubular steel, which made it light and strong. The engine was positioned directly over the front axle, a move that helped increase interior spaciousness. It also came standard with hydraulic brakes, which were safer than their mechanical counterparts, and it delivered a velvety-smooth ride for its time. Chrysler had “cab-forward design” long before it started pushing the idea with its LH cars in the 1990s.

Airflows were sold under the Chrysler, De Soto and Imperial brands but sadly the whole idea was a commercial failure. They were expensive and the buying public wasn’t fond of the futuristic design.

Airflows rolled onto the market in 1934 but the party was over by ‘37, a painfully short run for such a distinctive and innovative auto.

  • The Veyron was included as one of the 10 most important cars? I don’t understand that. It is such a limited production vehicle, and the technologies used in it are nowhere near usable on any other vehicle. If you want an important sports car that has had significant influence on the cars of today, how about the Lamborghini Muira, the first mid-engined volume production car? Its influence can be seen in cars from any number of manufacturers from Ferrari (many), Audi (R8), Pontiac (Fiero), Ford (Pantera and GT40), almost all Lamborghinis since the Muira), Maserati (Bora and Merak), and on and on. The Veyron itself uses the same layout.


  • Urbanwheelman

    How can the title have the most obvious of spelling errors. Importat?  Tsk. Tsk.

  • Rod

    “The Bugatti Veyron is none of this…”
    Yeah, and it’s damn ugly, too.

  • Guest

    Most disappointing list ever.

  • prius04

    The $250 price you quote for the Model T has no context.   In 1927 the average weekly wage was $30 a week or so.  Thus it took about 8 weeks to afford the car.  Today the average weekly wage is about $800 so after 8 weeks you would have about $6500.  This shows it would still be quite cheap but you would have better context.

  • Calvin_guest

    Worst list of anything that Ive ever seen ever. die. die slowly.

  • Op Industries_1

    How did the Volvo 240 “brick” not make this list??

  • Mick

    To add to the Airflow’s importance, the first car Toyota ever made was basically a copy of the Chrysler: the Toyota AA.

  • acronus

    You’re kidding me, where is the Citroen DS on this list?