Here is our video taken at the 2016 London Classic Car Show, held at the ExCel, London on 19th February 2016. Here we see all the American Cars on show in their head to head with Japan, in the events six nations head-to-head. It’s one of those great pub debates: ‘which is the world’s greatest car building nation?’.
On the American Cars team were the:
Ford Model T – generally regarded as the first affordable people’s car and supposedly the first to be mass-produced. Between 1908 and 1927, 15,007,034 Model Ts were build, a production record that would stand until surpassed by the VW Beetle in 1972. It was named the most influential car of the 20th century in the 1999 Car of the Century competition.
Willys Jeep – One of the first military vehicles mass-produced in the USA, the Jeep is the culmination of war-time ingenuity, standardisation and strategic personalisation for transport of personnel and cargo. Manufacturers wer only given 49 days to submit their first prototype and 75 days for completion of 70 test vehicles. The Godfather of 4x4s, the Landrover and Landcruiser, took their inspiration from the Jeep.
Ford Thunderbird – was the first two-seater Ford had produced since 1938, developed at nearly the same time as the Cherolet Corvette. Rather than becoming a rival to the European sports cars imported into the USA, Ford created a completely new market segment around the Thunderbird – the personal luxury car. While a capable performance car in its own right, the Thunderbird focused more on comfort than speed.
Chevrolet Corvette – designed as a show car for the 1953 Motorama display at the New York Auto Show, the C1 generated enough interest to induce GM to make a production version to sell to the public. Although launched back in the last 1953, this C1 is the later 1958 model. You can spot the difference as the ’58 model came with quad-highlights, fake louvres on the hood (bonnet) and chrome strips on the trunk (boot) lid. It also came with nine teeth in the grille rather than 13.
Cadillac Coupe Series 62 – is one of America’s most iconic cars. Although hard to believe for 1959, the options list included cruise control, air suspension, electric door locks, automatic headlight dimmer, power windows and seats, air conditioning, E-Z Eye glass and electric power trunk with pull-down.
Ford Shelby Mustang – the 1965 Ford Shelby Mustang finished in Wimbledon White with Guardsman Blue Le Mans racing stripes is a higher performance version of the everyday Mustang modified in America by the company founded by legendary racer Carroll Shelby. Just 562 were produced in 1965.
Chevrolet Camaro SS – the first generation Chevrolet Camaro appeared in Chevrolet dealerships in September 1966 as an attempt to meet the challenge presented by the incredibly successful Ford Mustang. The SS performance package consisted of a 350 or 396 cu in V8 engine and chassis upgrades for better handling, and to deal with the additional power. The SS featured non-functional air inlets on the hood, special striping, and SS badging.
Ford GT40 – made its debut at Nurburgring in My 1964 and followed up the appearance with 24 Hours of Le Mans, but the cars failed to finish both races – a blow to Team Ford. Ford were not deterred and, although unsuccessful at Le Mans in ’64 and ’65, their obvious potential led Ford to continue racing them and in 1966 Ford and the MKII made American racing history with a dominating one, two and three finish over Ferrari at Le Mans.
Dodge V8 Charger – immortalised by General lee in ‘The Dukes of Hazzard’ meant business from the day it arrived in 1966. It was the dramatic redesign in 1968, however, that really caught the imagination, not least as with it came a new high-performance R/T package. This came with a roaring 440 Magnum powe plant plus heavy duty suspension and brakes. More obvious were the rear bumblebee stripes – a deletable option.
Chevrolet Corvette L88 Roadster – a thinly disguised race car sold straight from select GM dealers, with the most powerful engine offered in a production Corvette until the ZR1 of 2009. The L88 package included many competition components like an M22 ‘Rock Cluster’ transmission, large disc brakes, upgraded suspension and an aluminium head 427. Other changes to the car included a complete removal of all luxuries. This meant the heater, radio, air conditioning and choke were removed.
What do you think USA or Japan. Watch our Japan video before you make your decision: