Model of the car: KDF-Wagen/Volkswagen, 1939

The beginnings of the best-selling single car design ever—21,529,464 were bought by the time manufacture ended in 2003—go further back than September 1939, when the car in its final form was revealed. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Mercedes-Benz T80, 1939

This car is the ultimate manifestation of speed as envisioned at the height of Nazi power in Germany.

The monstrous six-wheeler was a pet project of racing driver Hans Stuck, who wanted Germany to assert its engineering supremacy by grabbing the world land speed record. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Chrysler Thunderbolt, 1941

Even today, there’s something irresistibly futuristic about the Chrysler Thunderbolt. It’s also extremely evocative, its pontoon-like body having been the inspiration for millions of tin toy cars of the 1940–50s. Keep Reading

Model of the car: Toyota AA, 1936

Japanese giant Toyota had an unsteady introduction to the car world. The company specialized in making textile looms until 1935, when a windfall on the sale of some patents persuaded Kiichiro Toyoda, son of the founder, to consider entering the car business. Keep Reading