1932: Ford V8
The look is a Duesenberg squashed down to mortal size and built to a Ford price tag. But the big reach of this machine is the available 3.6-liter "Flathead" V8 under its hood rated at a massive 65 horsepower. This was power a working man could afford — the first popularly priced V8 car in America — and it changed the country's expectations about what an inexpensive car could be.
Why it's uniquely American: Power in the hands of the people.