Question Of The Day: America's Finest Hour

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
question of the day america s finest hour

In honor of Independence Day, I’d like to pose a simple question to you all. What is America’s Finest Automotive Hour?

As many of you know, I have not lived that many years on this earth, and so I lack the context to properly look back upon America’s auto industry and judge for myself. A few things come to mind: the Ford Taurus, the Chrysler minivans and the LS1 V8 come to mind as beacons of innovation. The Ford Fiesta ST and Jeep Grand Cherokee stand out as “fun to drive” all-stars. I am constantly blown away by all three domestic pickup trucks, which I think represent the finest American-made vehicles at any price.

But I’m Canadian. And old enough to be your kid (in many cases). Tell us what you think stands out as a high point for the American automobile. The best answers submitted by the end of business will get highlighted in a separate post.

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4 of 148 comments
  • FreedMike FreedMike on Jul 06, 2014

    “So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.” -Hunter Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas In 1968, the high water mark reached Detroit. While one set of Chicago goons took on hippies, Steve McQueen took on another set in his ’68 Mustang GT on the streets of San Francisco. Young executives trolled about in powerful, classy Eldorados and Mark IIIs, while less-than-executives got Riviera and Toronados. Chevrolet rolled out a new Corvette shaped like a lingerie model and blessed with God-pounding speed and handling. All it took to turn an average family coupe into a future Barrett-Jackson GTO, 4-4-2, SS, Super Bee or Roadrunner was a few hundred bucks and a check mark on an order sheet. Engines had names like Hemi, or Cobra Jet. Ponycars reached a zenith of performance, style and power that wouldn’t come again for another three decades. Even basic family sedans came packed with style and power. This wasn’t a model year – it was a master class on automaking. In a few very short years, the EPA, OPEC, imports, the double-nickel, and a sudden, catastrophic loss of taste in Detroit’s styling studios would make all this into a distant, mocking memory, but in 1968, this was all in the future, and the American automobile reached a glorious, beautiful, high-octane peak.

  • DrGastro997 DrGastro997 on Jul 06, 2014

    I'll have to say it's FA (factory automation). America changed the world ever since the implementation of FA, resulting in mass production. It has been improved both here and globally, but the fundamentals will forever exist.

  • Riley Kestrel Riley Kestrel on Jul 07, 2014

    Greetings from Hungary! I was just wondering about that question today morning, and now I found that article. I think that 1955 was the best year in the history of automobile, not just in the US, but in the whole world. Just a few example: - First year of tri-five Chevy, and SBC engine too. - Packard's glorious swan song with Torsion-Level Ride, Twin-Ultramatic transmission, OHV V8 engine and redesigned bodies. I'm fond of senior Four-Hundred or three-tone Caribbean. - Chrysler introduced the Hundred Million Dollar Look - GM's four-door Hardtops went on sale. - First model year of Ford Thunderbird. - First V8 in Plymouth. - All-time record sales in domestic market. And you can find milestones in Europe, too: - Introducing of Citroen DS - Debute of first Wartburg (OK, that was not a big deal unless you lived behind the Iron Curtain - here it was a significant car.) - Pininfarina introduced the Lancia Florida, which became the most copied design in the sixties from England to East-Germany. - Peugeot launched the 403 series, Mercedes-Benz the beautiful 190SL (R121), Rolls the Silver Cloud, MG the legendary A roadster, etc. Maybe these facts make clear my point of view.

  • Tom Szechy Tom Szechy on Jul 07, 2014

    The Lincoln Continental of the sixties (4th gen I believe). The most understated beautiful car ever designed.