Car and Driver recently printed an article about the percentages of domestic content in cars nominally built within our nation’s borders. And while it turns out that the vast majority have enough foreign-sourced content to require a green card just to drive here, most people show by nameplate, and are most likely oblivious to where much of their car was built.
That means that most folks consider Fords to be made in America – even if they really come from places like Mexico – and Toyotas to be ‘furrin’ despite being assembled by guys named Scooter and Jim-bob down Tennessee way. The biggest indicator to most people of where their car came from, is how it looks and feels, as American cars have a rather unique characteristic that could best be described as expansive baroque. Whether it’s size, Novocain steering, or the application of chrome where chrome should not be, our cars speak volumes about our nation.
Except when they don’t. Some U.S.-assembled cars are virtually indistinguishable from their cousins sold overseas. Usually smaller, typically more efficient in the use of space, both on the road and in the cabin, these Parent Trap twins also usually share one factor- they were designed elsewhere. Other cars have been designed here, but have been purposefully made to look like a foreigner – Pontiac’s 6000 STE falls readily to mind. But what about other cars? What car designed and built here in the states is the most un-American?
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