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Tyres  /  Tyre NewsMotoring  / Car Brand and Model Anniversaries of 2024

Car Brand and Model Anniversaries of 2024

Car Brand and Model Anniversaries of 2024

As the new year is now underway, it is sometimes good to reflect back on some historic, important, or personal anniversaries of the year of 2024. Personal celebrations could be a wedding anniversary, a special birthday of a loved one, or even when you first started your current job.

2024 will have various historically important anniversaries that can be heralded – Facebook will be 20 years old this year, NATO celebrates 75 years of existence, as well as the Euro coming to many European nations 25 years ago – and that’s just naming a few!

As much as I would enjoy covering such historic bookmarks in time as I just mentioned, it is only right to focus on the automotive industry today.

Last year, we covered what car brands and models had anniversaries in 2023, so why not outline what car brands and model are celebrating anniversaries in 2024.

Mazda MX-5 – 35 years

Over the years, French car manufacturers Mazda have been innovators in smaller vehicle manufacturing and have become a top car brand globally.

One car model that has been significantly important to Mazda is the MX-5 – a small convertible sports car that was born in 1989, meaning the vehicle turns 35 this year.

The Mazda MX-5 was first revealed to the public in February 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. This unveiling has been credited with beginning a roadster revival, with the MX-5 having outstanding modern features for the time.

First gen Mazda MX-5

Since then, the MX-5 has been a staple in Mazda’s model line-up, so much so that the Mazda MX-5 has gone on to be the highest-selling convertible car in history, with over one million units sold since its release.

The Mazda roadster has now seen four generations, with the fourth and current inception of the MX-5 duration lasting from 2015 to present day.

An instant classic still going strong – I can speak for all fans of Mazda in saying this particular model is a special one for the brand!

Volkswagen Golf – 50 years

Now for the most popular car amongst this list today, the iconic Volkswagen Golf.

March 1974 marked the birth of the Golf within VW’s production line, as the German car brand geared up for the release of what was soon to be arguably their most iconic model of all time.

Only three months later, the Volkswagen Golf was available in dealerships, kicking off a new era for VW along with models such as the Passat and the Scirocco.

Success of a model is never a given, but everyone, including Volkswagen, had high expectations for the Mk1 Golf, as it was positioned as the successor to Volkswagen’s (and the world’s) most successful car of all time as of the 1970s – the Volkswagen Beetle.

But success did follow the Golf, as by 1976, just two years after production started, one million Volkswagen Golfs were manufactured by VW, making the now iconic car model an instant hit. So much so that the Golf became runner-up for the European Car of the Year award in 1975, just narrowly missing out to the Citroen CX.

Fast-forward five decades, Volkswagen are celebrating 50 years of the most successful European car of all time. The company are planning to timestamp this important year for the model with a facelift for the fourth, and current generation of the Volkswagen Golf.

With over 39 million units of the Golf sold to date and no signs of those figures slowing down, it cannot be understated how important this model has been to the brand and the automotive industry in general.

Ford Mustang – 60 years

The Ford Mustang has been an icon in the motoring world since the 1960s, with this year marking 60 years of the cult classic.

When you think muscle cars, one of the first car models you may think about is the Mustang. This has been the case for decades, especially when Ford revealed the Mustang to the world in April of 1964.

Ford had noticed the youthful audience that started taking over the car industry in the 1960s, so decided to cater their next vehicle design and functionality to the new look market.

Ford then started rolling out the Mustang in late 1964, followed by mass productions commencing the following year.

First Ford Mustang

Since then, the Ford Mustang has seen six generations, along with an EV variant of the muscle car named the Mustang Mach-E.

So, what has made the Mustang such a classic and mainstay for Ford buyers? That’s simple; iconic design innovations, and most importantly, the incredibly high performance and driving experience of this vehicle.

You can imagine that the market for Ford regarding the Mustang is pretty niche, but over the years they have developed and designed the Mustang into generally one of the most recognizable performance cars of all time.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta – 70 years

In terms of Italian car brands, Alfa Romeo stand amongst the very best when talking design and performance.

A car that made Alfa Romeo take the brass ring of Italian innovation in the mid-20th century is the Giulietta, which first hit the roads in 1954.

The first Giulietta variant arrived as a coupé that debuted at the 1954 Turin Motor Show. The Giulietta had the typical lavish exterior design of an Alfa Romeo car, along with a sleek, yet simple interior design.

Alfa Romeo Giulietta Mk1

Along with the Guilia, the Giulietta pushed the narrative to Europe that Alfa Romeo were real specialists in building small, yet sporty cars that gave great levels of performance throughout the 20th century, given that most brands around that time were not attempting these types of car designs.

Now in its fifth iteration, the generations of Giuliettas has paved the way for that noticeable design of Alfa Romeo vehicles – the model was amongst the first in Alfa Romeo’s line-up to feature the famous triangular grille.

Happy 70th anniversary to one of the sleekest Alfa cars out there!

Dodge (Start of Car Production) – 110 years

Earlier when speaking on the iconic Mustang, it was mentioned that when you think muscle car, one of the first models that come to mind is the Ford vehicle. But when it comes to muscle car brands, very few come close to the high-performance specialists Dodge.

This anniversary is a little different to most, as it is not an anniversary to be celebrating Dodge as a company – it is 110 years ago where Dodge decided to venture into car manufacturing.

Dodge were actually founded in 1900, when Brothers Horace and John Dodge decided to open a mechanic shop in Detroit, Michigan.

The brothers were both engine builders for Ford at the time of the Dodge brand establishing, so eventually they decided to use their expertise to car production.

By 1914, the first Dodge car was born – the Dodge 30-35 touring car. Production of this car lasted two years, with over 116,000 of the touring cars produced by Dodge in that timeframe.

Dodge 30-35 model

Fast-forward a century later, Dodge has been developed into one of the world’s leading muscle car brands, with recognisable models in their line-up such as the Challenger, Charger, and Durango.

The Dodge 30-35 was such an important model not just for Dodge, but the performance vehicle market in general, as it paved the way for performance vehicle production.

With the brand still going strong, I’d like to say the Dodge brothers made the right call when they ventured into car manufacturing all those years ago.

Maserati – 110 years

1914 marked the year that Italian giants Maserati were founded.

The brand was first established by brothers Alfieri, Ettore, and Ernesto Maserati in Bologna, Italy. At this time of course, the first World War was happening, in which Maserati embarked on creating aircraft engines and spark plugs.

After years of manufacturing spark plugs and engines, Maserati eventually made an entrance into the world of motorsport. In 1926, their first racing car was launched, the Tipo 26. The Tipo 26 was officially the brand’s first ever car.

Once the second World War had come and gone, Maserati started branching out to manufacturing road cars, as well as racing cars – this is when the Maserati A6 was born. The Gran Turismo vehicle had impressive performance for its time, being equipped with a 2-litre, 120hp engine, highlighting their skills and knowledge of motorsport production and how it can be translated to road vehicles.

After decades of luxury car manufacturing, Maserati have cemented themselves to be a greatly respected brand within the automotive industry.

Maserati GranTurismo 2024

Now under the Fiat umbrella alongside car brands such as Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, and Jeep, Maserati are seen to be a leading luxury car brand for Italy’s leading motoring company.

Having produced some fantastic modern luxury cars such as the Ghibli and Quattroporte, Maserati have also entered the electric vehicle market, unveiling the GranTurismo Folgore in late 2023.

High performance being paired with luxury designs, it’s fair to say that one of the world's oldest car brands have earned their great reputation from petrolheads worldwide.

Image Credits

MotorTrend (First generation MX-5)

Volkswagen (Golf 50 years)

History Channel (First generation Mustang)

Auto Evolution (First generation Giulietta)

FavCars (Dodge 30-35)

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