x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Top Five: Cars built to go the distance

These cars were manufactured to last and withstand the rigours of the road.

Honda Accord automobiles roll off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.
Honda Accord automobiles roll off the assembly line in Marysville, Ohio.

Ford Model T

Widely regarded as the most influential car of the 20th century, the Model T was the first car produced on a production line, with interchangeable parts. It was the simplicity of the car that made it so reliable. By 1918, half of all cars in the United States were said to be Model Ts. The vehicle was also produced simultaneously across the world in the North and South America, Europe and Asia. With more than 15 million built, production of the Model T was surpassed only in 1972 by the Volkswagen Beetle.

Volkswagen Beetle

In 1933, the new German chancellor, a certain Adolf Hitler, implored Ferdinand Porsche to create a "people's car" - Volkswagen. The car was to open up the ability to drive on the new autobahns to all citizens, and the car was to be able to transport two adults and three children at 100kph. The Beetle went on to become an iconic car, built in factories around the world, used in races from drag to rally to off road. It became a popular culture hero in the Herbie films because of its cute looks.


The origins of the moniker are disputed; either a slurring of the designation GP (general pupose or government purpose) or named after the Popeye character Eugene the Jeep (who had the ability to solve seemingly impossible problems). Either way, the vehicle was a huge hit with the military personnel the Willys-Overland company created it for, becoming famous for going anywhere. Its basic architecture meant it was durable and tough, but could be stripped down and rebuilt within hours.

Honda Accord

The Accord was the best-selling Japanese car in the United States for 15 years, between 1982 and 1997, a position it was able to hold as the vehicle became synonymous with reliability. And reliability is exactly what a consumer wants in a family vehicle. The company chose the name Accord to reflect "Honda's desire for accord and harmony between people, society and the automobile". The Accord became the first Japanese car built in the US - at a plant in Maryville, Ohio.

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla, getting its name from Latin for small crown, is the biggest-selling nameplate in the world. The Corolla followed the Ford ideal of keeping it simple to keep it reliable. Japanese cars had a reputation for being "shoddy" when they first launched in the United States in 1968, two years after the first production in Japan, and the Corolla did much to disband that myth. In fact, shortly after his election win Barack Obama asked of the Detroit Big Three: "Why can't they make a Corolla?."