29 June 2015

The most ‘patriotic’ cars and trucks ever

Independence Day seems like a logical time to focus on the cars that scream “American Exceptionalism.” Here are five exceptionally patriotic all-American vehicles:

  1. 1941-45 Willys MB “Jeep”: Synonymous with The Greatest Generation, the Willys Jeep spawned countless versions of the civilian CJ, but it’s the original WWII and Korea vintage military vehicles that are among the most patriotic vehicles of all-time.
  2. 1976 Cadillac Eldorado convertible: For 1976, the final year of the full-size GM convertible, the Eldosaurus was available in a special edition of just 200 cars that became known as “Bicentennial Eldorados” because of their Cotillion White paint and red accents (to which many dealers added blue pinstriping). It doesn’t get much more patriotic than a red, white and blue Cadillac.
  3. 1970 Plymouth AAR ‘Cuda: Dan Gurney is perhaps the most patriotic American to have competed in international motorsports. The AAR ‘Cuda (which stood for “All American Racers”) was the street version of the car that Gurney campaigned in the SCCA Trans Am road racing series. It was one of the most charismatic cars of the muscle car era.
  4. 1967 Gurney Eagle-Weslake Formula One car: Formula One has always been a European-dominated show. American drivers like Phil Hill, Peter Revson, Masten Gregory, Eddie Cheever and Brett Lunger were rare, but the above-mentioned Dan Gurney not only competed in Formula One but did so in a car of his own construction. While not particularly successful, it is generally regarded as one of the most beautiful race cars ever and its single victory at the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix in the hands of Dan Gurney himself remains the only Formula One win for a U.S.-built car.
  5. 1946-80 Dodge Power Wagon: The original Power Wagon was based on a WWII vintage ¾-ton pickup truck and in 1946 became the first civilian 4x4 vehicle. It’s the granddaddy of every serious 4x4 pickup today. That combined with its military lineage makes it one very patriotic truck.

53 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Frank Trask Summering in Maine July 1, 2015 at 13:23
    I drove a 3/4 ton Dodge Power Wagon in the Korean War in 1952-53. Was used for transporting any material associated with the Artillery Battery Exec. Post for directing howitzer fire. C Btry. 158 FA Battalion 45 th Infantry Div.
  • 2
    Paul WI July 1, 2015 at 13:28
    I happen to own a Rambler American! I think that should be at the top of your list!
  • 3
    barry truckee ,ca. July 1, 2015 at 13:30
    I would have out a corvette in there. Also one of those amc red white and blue scarmblers
  • 4
    Craig North Carolina July 1, 2015 at 14:00
    What about the red, white, and blue AMC cars?
  • 5
    John Newell Canada July 1, 2015 at 14:09
    The 1970 American Motors Rebel Machine followed by the 1969 AMC SC/Rambler the most patriotic cars produced for mass production. No one has ever done it better than AMC. How that needs to be pointed out by a Canadian I cannot fathom. In addition go to any AMC Drag racing site and you'll see patriotism that blows your selections out of the water.
  • 6
    Joe michigan July 1, 2015 at 14:11
    Just wanted to add the 1969 AMC Hurst SC Rambler with it's very patriotic red white and blue paint scheme.
  • 7
    Scott Gammon California July 1, 2015 at 14:18
    What? No AMC Rebel!?
  • 8
    Robert Idaho July 1, 2015 at 14:33
    So, none of the red, white and blue AMC cars, including the Trans Am Javelin made the grade? Red, white and blue SC/ Ramblers, Rebel Machines and Javelins built by "American Motors" not patriotic?
  • 9
    Jim barsby Pennsylvania July 1, 2015 at 16:20
    Funny but the first cars to come to my mind are the red white n blue AMC's & the 63 split window vettes. From there its gotta be a 60's gasser like the immortal Stone , Woods & Cook care. And what could possibly scream American more than Hemi under glass?
  • 10
    Tom Johnson Mahomet, IL July 1, 2015 at 17:14
    What could possibly be more American than a Rambler American?
  • 11
    Ron Akerman Oregon July 1, 2015 at 17:25
    So "American" Motors is not patriotic enough? with OUR Red, White & Blue 1970 Trans AM Javelin and 1969 Hurst SS AMX? Cmon guys the world is made up of more then GM, Chrysler & Ford. Kinda makes me want to switch my Insurance from Hagerty to Grundy
  • 12
    Ed Doylestown, PA July 1, 2015 at 17:35
    I'm surprised that there is no mention of mom's apple pie and Chevrolet! Corvette is America's first sports car.
  • 13
    Chris Redding, CA July 1, 2015 at 18:10
    What? No AMC with the red/white/blue color scheme? Hard to get more patriotic than that!
  • 14
    Mark Davis Wyandotte Michigan July 1, 2015 at 18:49
    The 1972 red,white,and blue Sprint edition Mustangs should be in there. You don't get anymore All American then that. Includes the 50 convertibles that were made for the Cherry Festival in Washington D.C.
  • 15
    Sam North Carolina July 1, 2015 at 19:09
    My heavens! Where are the Nascar and racing AMC Matadors and Javelins that were painted red, white, and blue?? Wow! What an omission.
  • 16
    Rick Carignan Clarksville NH July 1, 2015 at 20:08
    I have NO idea where your criteria came from? There's NOTHING more Patriotic then American Motors Corporation first of all. First they made the "American", followed by the 1969 Rambler Scrambler in (2) different Red White and Blue paint schemes. Then followed by their 1970 Red White and Blue Rebel Machine! Lastly, the "Eagle" (kind of patriotic right?). You should submit a revision to your choices in my opinion!
  • 17
    John M Long Island July 1, 2015 at 10:00
    What about the GM Spirit of America Cars built in 1976, or the Chevrolet Monza Mirage with Red White and Blue paint scheme?
  • 18
    Rick Riley Middletown, OH July 1, 2015 at 10:35
    You forgot some great all-American themed cars: the 1970 AMC Rebel Machine and the 1969 AMC red, white and blue SS/AMX.
  • 19
    Bill Macon Ga July 1, 2015 at 10:35
    No Corvette??? No Mustang???
  • 20
    Joel Hoffman Cary, NC July 1, 2015 at 22:36
    When I saw the title of this article, the first vehicle I thought of was a WWII Jeep. That would be the Willys MB, and also the Ford GPW. If I recall correctly, Willys started production in 1941 and made about 360,000. Ford started production in 1942 and made about 280,000. The vehicles are about 98% identical with only minor differences. I have a 1944 Ford GPW that's totally authentic (even a few bullet holes) except for having seat belts. It's noisy, has a rough ride, is difficult to get in and out of, hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter. It's also a blast to drive and gets lots of attention, especially when there's a Garand in the rifle holder and an M1 Carbine on the passenger seat.
  • 21
    Jeff Omaha July 1, 2015 at 10:54
    Geez - I thought the AMC SC/Rambler would make this list with the "A" paint scheme. Nothing else yells RED, WHITE and BLUE better!! That and I keep waiting for a car I own to make one of Hagerty's lists.
  • 22
    MichaelBanahan Oceanside Newyork July 1, 2015 at 23:02
    My list for patriotic cars 1 57 Chevy 2 55 t bird 3 bow your head 63 lincoln convertible
  • 23
    Ramairthree uSA July 1, 2015 at 11:05
    Come on, the AMC Scrambler, Machine, or SCCA/TA championship Javelins with their full on red, white, and blue paint schemes are as patriotic as you can get.
  • 24
    Robert New York July 1, 2015 at 11:13
    How about the mid 70's sport sprint Mustangs that were Red White & Blue.. and nothing more American than the Mustang!!
  • 25
    Andrew Ray Las Vegas July 1, 2015 at 23:19
    How you guys could make a list like this and NOT include the 1969 Hurst SC/Rambler is beyond me.
  • 26
    Scott Doherty Illinois July 1, 2015 at 23:24
    The 1979 Chrysler 300 had a patriotic look
  • 27
    Robert New York July 1, 2015 at 11:32
    What about the mid 70's Sport Sprint Mustangs that were painted Red White & Blue?? There is nothing more American than a Mustang!!!
  • 28
    Steve Ferrante Windham, NH July 1, 2015 at 11:55
    Nothing wrong with these picks but I must admit I threw up a little in my mouth (not pleasant) seeing no Corvette on this most "patriotic" list. It is "America's sports car" after-all and certainly screams “American Exceptionalism.”
  • 29
    Scott Atlanta, GA July 1, 2015 at 12:20
    I'm a fan of some of these vehicles, but how could you leave out the red-white-blue AMC cars of the 1960's? They screamed AMERICAN.
  • 30
    Carl Jorgensen Chicago July 1, 2015 at 12:28
    Why no Corvettes in the top five?
  • 31
    Chris Utah July 1, 2015 at 12:31
    I think the Power Wagon is an excellent choice, but I'd use a photo of the earlier WDX or B-1 thru 3 body styles... in my mind the more "iconic" Power Wagon with the open fenders and Weapon's Carrier lineage showing.
  • 32
    Charles Morey Colorado July 1, 2015 at 12:40
    I think you should have included the Corvette. Not just American, but still being made some 62 years later!
  • 33
    Michael Kelso, WA July 1, 2015 at 12:53
    Wow, what a disappointing list! Not one red white and blue AMC? 70 Trans Am Javelin, 70 Rebel Machine, and 69 Hurst SC/Rambler all would have been better than a Power Wagon or a blue Cadillac. And if we're including race cars like the Gurney Eagle, then where is the USA-1 Camaro funny car?
  • 34
    Randy Carlson Elkhorn, Ne. July 2, 2015 at 13:29
    Def. should have been a Vette and a Stang in the group!
  • 35
    Dan Seattle July 2, 2015 at 13:37
    The 1967 Corvette L88 that won it's class at leMans (8th overall)… Red, White & Blue!
  • 36
    Charles Altemose Pa July 2, 2015 at 01:38
    Did you forget the 1969 AMC SC/Rambler, or the 1970 AMC Rebel Machine?
  • 37
    Tom mason Sacramento Cal. July 2, 2015 at 14:48
    Either I did something wrong or why couldn't I do your survey? Also every time I clicked on a car I could not get back to the rest of the story without canceling the page and going back the beginning. Sad use of a website.
  • 38
    Calvin Fox Vancouver Canada July 2, 2015 at 16:47
    Did you just pull those names out of a hat? How can you miss the AMC. SC Rambler. All American I'd say.
  • 39
    george jones new england July 2, 2015 at 06:40
    American exceptionalism is a democratic party quip to express Americas "arrogance" to the rest of the world. We built great products and a great Country thru hard work and pride, not exceptionalism.
  • 40
    Martin F Maney Pensacola July 2, 2015 at 19:12
    You owe us a follow-up on this topic. Get some American Motors cars, a Vette or two, and a Mustang or Shelby in the list.
  • 41
    Todd Stroudsburg, PA July 2, 2015 at 19:59
    Surprised no Corvette, GTO, Mustang or Woodies.
  • 42
    Dennis Tesch Oak Creek, WI. July 2, 2015 at 20:01
    I agree with what's been said by many already. What about the AMC cars? Rebel Machine, Rambler S/C. Can't get more patriotic than a car that's made by American Motors painted red, white and blue!!!
  • 43
    Frank Southc Carolina July 2, 2015 at 08:27
    So I guess the red-white-blue AMC race cars and 69 SC/Rambler and 70 Rebel Machine, from a company called "American Motors" isn't patriotic enough to make the list? They made a bicentennial edition Pacer and Gremlin as well, just stripe/decal kits.
  • 44
    Dennis Gronan Hillsborough, NJ July 2, 2015 at 23:11
    Please allow me to expound on why the Dodge Power is the most patriotic vehicle. It's because it helped build this country. During WWII, Dodge built almost 400,000 4X4 and 6X6 trucks in many configurations including weapon and troop carriers, ambulances, and command cars. In 1946, Dodge responded to the demands of returning GIs for the truck they drove during the war. With such a heavy duty chassis and off road capability, the one ton Power Wagon was popular with farmers,miners, and construction and utility companies, and fire departments. They were used for almost anything including rescue and fire trucks, tow trucks,drill rigs, tractors, and even school buses. The Power Wagon could be outfitted for an amazing variety of uses including: - Standard 5.86 ratio differentials and two speed transfer case for low speed, high torque towing. - Rear PTO and three point hitch or belt pulley and constant speed governor for pulling and powering farm implements or powering elevators and saw mills, etc. A Power Wagon could be a single unit power plant, tractor and road transporter for the farm. - Front PTO and winch for auger and pole setting equipment. Many Power Wagons were used as a one truck rural electrification fleet, especially in mountainous areas. - Pumps, tanks, and equipment to fight fires. The Power Wagon "brush truck" could carry 200 gallons of water to fight fires where nothing else could. The military style, (flat fender) Power Wagon continued in production for domestic sale through 1968 and for export only through 1978, making the Power Wagon one of the worlds longest-produced vehicle models. During the Korean and Vietnam conflicts, Dodge also built 90,000 M37 versions of this legendary truck. This post is part of the placard that sits in front of my 1949 PW when I show it. It was a brush truck for one of the local fire departments and was a minor legend in its time for where it was able to go to fight fires.
  • 45
    Frank Wichita, Ks July 2, 2015 at 12:26
    Someone did not put much thought;/research into this article
  • 46
    Michael Banahan Oceanside Newyork July 2, 2015 at 00:52
    1963 Lincoln we should bow our head in prayer most patriotic car
  • 47
    Steve Barusso Gloucester Ma. 01930 July 3, 2015 at 07:59
    The above are all good choices, but the 1953 Corvette in my opinion will always be Americas number one sports car. Having said that I am sure there are also many other great american made.
  • 48
    THOMAS WYNKOOP BALTIMORE,MD July 3, 2015 at 09:46
    I had a 1966 triple blue Chrysler 300 Convertible. They also produced a triple white and triple red for their Red White and Blue Series.
  • 49
    Richard NJ July 3, 2015 at 11:55
    I have a pristine, all original 1976 Eldorado Convertible. That it's so "American" is one of the things that drew me to it. It draws patriotic comments frequently. One Russian immigrant told me, " I love your car. It reminds me of why I came to America!"
  • 50
    Daniel Sessoms Sacramento, CA July 4, 2015 at 07:53
    You dropped the ball on this one Hagerty. Big time.
  • 51
    John Mechanicsville, MD July 4, 2015 at 08:57
    Agree with Frank/most comments -- You really should have done a poll on this one. Looks like the Rambler American and the corvette would come out on top... AMC Rebel?? Seriously?? Are you not paying attention to current events??
  • 52
    Rick Carignan Clarksville NH July 9, 2015 at 07:37
    American Motors?
  • 53
    RW Seattle July 10, 2015 at 01:02
    Hagerty, I think you missed the boat on this one. Based on the responses, red,white, and blue is the common denominator, and I agree! How about the 76 Dodge Dart, spirit of 76

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