The automotive industry is a mixed bag of successes and failures. Some car models don’t sell well and are quickly discontinued, while others have great appeal for car buyers and stick around for a long time. In some cases, the success of car models spans many decades. Find out the five longest-running car models of all time.
What car model has been around for the longest number of years?
For this list of longest-running cars, we only include models that have never been discontinued, even if temporarily. For example, as detailed by The Street, the Volkswagen Beetle, which made its debut in 1938, had an impressive run. However, it had periods of discontinuation, including since 2019.
Here are the five car models that have been around for the longest number of years:
- Chevrolet Suburban
- Ford F-Series
- Volkswagen Transporter
- Toyota Land Cruiser
- Chevrolet Corvette
Chevrolet Suburban, the longest-running car model: 1935 – present (86 years)
If you reach the ripe old age of 86 years, you’ll surpass the average lifespan of a human. In car years, though, 86 years is an eternity. The Chevrolet Suburban SUV takes the top spot as the longest-running car of all time. It made its debut in 1935 and continues to be a popular model. While SUVs are all the rage these days, the Suburban helped pioneer the segment decades ago.
Ford F-Series: 1947 – present (74 years)
The legendary Ford F-Series pickup truck takes the second spot on this list of longest-running car models. At 74 years, the F-Series is still going strong. It’s been the best-selling truck in the United States for 40 years and the best-selling vehicle overall for 35 years. Earlier in its history, the F-100 was the marque F-Series truck. Now, the highly-capable F-150 carries the mantle of success.
Volkswagen Transporter: 1950 – present (71 years)
The Volkswagen Transporter is the third longest-running vehicle of all time. Popularly known as the VW Bus, the Transporter has an important place in automotive history, especially with its strong association with the counterculture movement of the 1960s. While the Transporter is currently discontinued in the U.S., Volkswagen has sold it worldwide since 1950.
Toyota Land Cruiser: 1951 – present (70 years)
With its off-road capabilities and premium interior, the Toyota Land Cruiser has provided luxurious adventures all over the world since 1951. Like the Chevy Suburban, the Land Cruiser helped pioneer the SUV segment. While Toyota discontinued the Land Cruiser in the U.S. in 2021, the automaker will continue to sell it in international markets.
Chevrolet Corvette: 1953 – present (68 years)
The Chevrolet Corvette burst onto the scene in 1953, and it hasn’t looked back. In some respects, the Corvette is the sports car for the masses, for it provides supercar-like performance but at a relatively affordable price. With the debut of the critically acclaimed C8 Corvette in 2019 and continued sky-high demand, the future looks bright for this iconic sports car.
Some car models die an early death. However, in the case of the Chevy Suburban, Ford F-Series, VW Transporter, Toyota Land Cruiser, and Chevy Corvette, sometimes, a car model can last a very long time.