When most magazines talk about the oldest car models still in production, the obvious choices frequently appear: Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, the Corvette, and even the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, and Jaguar XJ foreign cars. For vintage car lovers and hot rod fans, none of these have the actual longevity of some Detroit steel and European iron that have been around decades. Way before any of the aforementioned vehicles were on the drawing board. Consider these true automotive stalwarts:
Chevrolet Surburban (1935-2018)
This 83-year-old vehicle model is the longest produced vehicle in the U.S. without interruption. The Suburban first rolled out of the factory as a station wagon built on a truck chasis. Twelve generations later, it is one of the largest passenger vehicles on the road today. The venerable
The vehicle was so popular and functional that the military employed them as transport vehicles in World War II. Since that time the Suburban has lived a complete life as one of the best selling extended-cab SUVs of all time.
Ford F-Series Trucks
The first of the Ford F-Series trucks rolled off the assembly line 69 years ago in 1948. The F-Series family line began with the F-1, F-2, and F-3 models. In 1953, the naming scheme changed to the F-100, F-250, and F-350. The F-100 continued until 1984 when the F-150 became the lightest F-Series truck available.
The F-Series truck remains Ford’s best selling product line, almost matching the total number of cars sold by the company. Now in its thirteenth generation, the revered F-Series haulers seemingly will continue to be produced for many more decades.
Morgan 4/4 Sportscar
The original Morgan sportscar was launched in 1936 by a company that made three-wheeled cars. The Morgan 4/4 was the first four-wheel vehicle from the manufacturer. The current model is actually descended from the Series II Morgan 4/4 from 1955. The car is still pretty much the same car from that period with mechanical upgrades through the years.
World War II ceased production of the auto which disturbs the “continuous” production years record, but the car has been built every year since 1955. The current version uses a Ford Sigma engine and Mazda-made manual transmission in the drivetrain. Experts in the field expect the car to continue being manufacturer for another two or three decades, largely out of tradition rather than economic reasons.
Honorable Mention: Volkswagen Beetle
The original and lovable Beetle that almost everyone has owned at some point, had one of the longest production runs of any car from 1938 through 2003. The model was discontinued in the U.S. in 1979 but continued to be built in Mexico until 2003, making the model run a full 66 years in production.
The modern Beetle was rolled out as a front wheel economy car that replaced the first “people’s car.” The Volkswagen New Beetle had another decent run for the nameplate from 1998 to 2011, giving the marquee another 13 model years to the nameplate. If you include the New Beetle’s production to the original model production run, the nameplate was made for 83 years. While they are no longer being produced, their long run deserves honorable mention.