A group of historians from the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) named 10 of the most significant automobiles. The historians’ selections were based on the automobiles’ social, technical, and market contributions.
I would like to offer my selections for Indiana’s Top 10 Most Significant Automobiles in chronological order.
- 1902 Marmon, the first auto engine with a pressure lubrication.
- 1906 American Underslung, the first low-slung American sports car.
- 1911 Haynes, made by Haynes Automobile Company, the first company to equip an open car with a top, a windshield, headlamps, and a speedometer as standard equipment.
- 1922 Duesenberg, the first auto with hydraulic brakes and a straight-eight engine with overhead camshafts.
- 1926 Stutz, the first to introduce safety-glass windshields.
- 1929 The Cord L-29, the first series produced American front-wheel-drive car.
- 1929 Marmon, the first factory-installed radio.
- 1932 The Duesenberg SJ, the first auto engine with a centrifugal supercharger.
- 1936 The Cord 810, the first to introduce disappearing headlights, concealed door hinges, rheostat-controlled instrument lights, variable-speed windshield wipers, electric gear pre-selection units, and unit-body construction.
- 1937 Studebaker, the first to introduce windshield washers.
My selections are based on the criteria used by the AACA panel. Indiana’s contributions to automotive history have been numerous. Yet, we take these innovations increasingly for granted as part of today’s automobiles.
So, the next time you drive your car, you might wonder where you’d be without Indiana’s continuing automotive innovations and contributions.
For more about the history of automobile in Indiana check out our book Indiana Cars.