The automotive market is a strange place. On one hand, there are armies of purists, those who appreciate tradition in both design and engineering, and tend to stick with what they know when making purchases. Then there are the early adopters, those who recognize new and innovative vehicles for what they are, or could be: the next big thing.
Automakers typically find that sweet spot when they can meld the two with one enterprising new vehicle. By successfully blending what purists love and appreciate with the latest in technology and design innovation, the auto industry as a whole takes another step forward. That is how we have progressed to where we are today, and we can still see it happening right before our eyes. A modern example would be the 2015 Ford F-150 — a classic, beloved pickup truck, now being built using aluminum to increase fuel economy. The only question is whether it will be a hit with consumers.
Looking back through the automotive timeline, there are other models that definitely stick out for having pushed the envelope or being ahead of their time. Popular Mechanics dug through the dirt to select 10 of the best examples, each leaving a lasting mark on the industry as a whole.
So what are they? Read on to see 10 examples of unlikely vehicles that permanently changed the industry. This list was curated by Popular Mechanics.