The History of the American Automobile for 100 Plus Years

1900’s – Cars during this time used steam for everything from trains to other vehicles of mass transport. One of the first cars were steam Engine Cars which were being mass produced in the U.S and France. The Ford Model T was produced by Henry Ford in 1908 as a steam engine car that the Average American can afford and became a powerful symbol of the modernization of America.

1920’s- By the end of World War I, oil was competing with electric and steam engines in cars. The economic boost after the war allowed car production to explode. Cars were much more affordable and widely used on the road for automobile transportation.

1930’s – By the thirties, the great depression was in full effect which slowed down car making and closed many car manufacturers. For the start of World War II in 1939, the production of cars came to a halt in order to produce tanks and other vehicles for the army.

1950’s – By the 1950’s, the focus in America was on cars once again once fuel and rubber were not needed to mass produce vehicles for the war. Cars were being made in different colors from pinks to blues and even striking metallic hues. They were also going much faster on the road than ever before, and speed in a car was a popular feature that many Americans desired. Standard features in cars included automatic transmission, chrome trim and air conditioning.

1960’s – Foreign cars were now becoming the competitors to the American cars. Since both the U.S. and Western European’s economy benefited from the war, they were able to compete by building cars. Foreign countries like Japan and Germany built smaller, more economical cars for families on a budget. This gave Americans time to focus on more elaborate muscle cars, which were desired during the time. Their focus was primarily on performance, creating the top cars – Chevy Camaro and the Ford Mustang. Many of these classic cars are still sought after by vintage car enthusiasts today, who rely on top auto shipper companies like Direct Connect Auto to ship their vehicles from point A to point B.

1970’s – Cars during the beginning of the 1970’s were larger, lower to the ground and consumed a lot of fuel. By the late 1970’s, fuel was no longer an affordable commodity from the oil crisis. Since the price of fuel often quadrupled, people were now looking for more fuel efficient and smaller vehicles. This is where American cars were no longer becoming affordable and foreign cars like Toyota were becoming dominant in America.

1980’s – In the 1980’s and 90’s, cars were becoming more aerodynamic and fuel efficient with from computer simulations. Cars were able to use crash tests to ensure car and airbag safety.

2000’s to Today – Changes in cars from the 2000’s to today include many more safety and technological features. From all-wheel drive to automatic braking and lane change assist, cars are always improving. Electric and hybrid cars are moving focus from gas-powered cars back to electric and alternative fuel run cars as seen in the late 1800s. Cars from over a century ago have undergone many changes and will continue to see more changes in technology as we progress into the future.