CCOTY 1959: Pontiac, Mini, Or?

Motor Trend recognized the Pontiac Division in 1959 for…its Wide Track? I’m not exactly sure what else would have distinguished the Pontiacs from the rest of GM’s wild winged wonders that year. Meanwhile, in Great Britain, its polar opposite made quite a little splash. The Mini (actually called Austin Seven and Morris Mini-Minor initially) pretty much set a template for the modern small car, even if it was a size too small for the heart of the market. Needless to say, it made almost no immediate direct impact on the US market, although eventually its basic format (transverse engine FWD) would be adopted almost universally. Let’s see, what lasting impact did the ’59 Pontiac make? Well, along with the rest of the ’59 GM line they did introduce the low-set headlight front end, which was universally adopted too, and a lot faster than the transverse FWD configuration.