The all-conquering Toyota marks its 50th birthday in November and while it is the undisputed best seller of all time, it will need to stay on sale another 40 years if it wants any chance of breaking the record for the oldest car nameplate still in production.
Here's a breakdown of the oldies but goodies in automobiles.
1. Chevrolet Suburban, launched in 1933 (83 years old)
The automobile may have been born in Europe, but the oldest car nameplate still in production is American. The Chevrolet Suburban first went on sale in 1933 as a commercial vehicle. Today, it is a beast of an SUV with eight seats and a V8 engine.
2. Morgan 4/4 launched in 1936 (80 years old)
Morgan has been building vehicles since 1909 and it took the Britisih company 27 years to move from three-wheelers to four-wheel car production. The first model, the 4/4, debuted in 1936 and apart from the outbreak of war, it has remained in production ever since – only ever receiving one exterior styling update (1955).
The chassis is now made from steel, but the handmade frame is still painstakingly cut and shaped from wood.
3. Ford F-Series launched in 1948 (68 years old)
No vehicle has had so much impact on the American way of life since the Ford Model T. The F-150 is as iconic as it is useful and the latest generation models are as technologically adept – 10-speed gearboxes, efficient V6 engines – as they are capable.
4. Toyota Land Cruiser launched in 1951 (65 years old)
Toyota's oldest car is actually an SUV and one that over its lifetime has slowly traded utilitarian looks for off-road luxury – without diluting its all-terrain capabilities.
5. Chevrolet Corvette launched in 1953 (63 years old)
Many times during its lifetime, the Corvette has run perilously close to being axed. But after decades of producing lightweight V8 sportscars that look phenomenal, Chevrolet now has a car that has the performance and poise to match – so much so that it now competes with the best the Germans or Italians can offer in terms of road-holding and driver involvement rather than simply price.
6. Mercedes SL launched in 1954 (62 years old)
Launched initially as the 190SL roadster and the 300SL coupe with gullwing doors, the SL started life by creating the idea of the supercar but quickly settled down to become a spritely open-top tourer. But that hasn't stopped Mercedes from fitting it with supercharged V8 and V12 engines in recent years.
7. The Mini launched in 1959 (57 years old)
The original Mini went without a discernable facelift for its first 40 years, but the argument was that sometimes everything's right the first time. It's true that the little car was a revolution in terms of design, packaging and technology and that to this day, it is still the blueprint for building a city car.
But if BMW hadn't bought the marque at the start of the millennium, the Mini would be no more.
8. Porsche 911 launched in 1963 (53 years old)
The Porsche 911 is not a supercar chiefly because it's reliable, but also because it seats four, has genuine trunk space and can be used as a daily driver.
9. Ford Mustang launched in 1964 (52 years old)
The original Pony Car is the fastest selling car in US history and 52 years on can also claim to be the fastest selling sportscar in Europe. The latest generation Mustang is the first to officially cross the Atlantic and demand is such that according to the latest data, a used V8 Mustang GT is losing just 0.1% of its value over its first year of ownership.
10. Toyota Corolla launched in 1966 (50 years old)
Despite being the youngest car on the list, the Corolla is by far the most popular in terms of sales. More surprising than its 43 million examples sold is that the car is still called the Corolla.
When VW replaced the Beetle, they called it the Golf (Rabbit in the US). The Ford Escort became the Focus, but Toyota has never needed to refresh the car's name to refresh interest. – AFP Relaxnews
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