How Our Ancestors Would View Modern Vehicles Today

Have you ever sat back and thought about what our ancestors would think of us today?  

From smartphone addictions to electric cars, we can only imagine their jaws would be dropping. 

At least, that’s where my head was at when I first started thinking about this. But then I remembered watching the Jetsons as a kid. That cartoon takes place in 2062. And while we’re not quite there yet, I think our ancestors probably thought our cars would be zipping around in the air by now. 

The first car

The first modern car was born in 1886 when inventor Karl Benz patented the Benz Patent-Motorwagen. And by the 20th century, people were driving to work. Famously, the first car that was widely available was the model T.  

And, if you really think about it, things haven’t changed that much since the early days. Yes, we’ve streamlined the process and there are some mind-blowing technological advancements. But when you consider that over a century has passed since the first production vehicles hit the road, it’s kind of to be expected. 


I would love to say that our ancestors would be impressed with the beautiful cars we have available today. Just wait till they set their sights on the Tesla Y. 

But as “futuristic” as they might find it, I don’t think they’d actually like the design. It simply doesn’t fit the aesthetics of their time. They’d probably find the hood too short and the trunk way too large. And they’d probably struggle to understand why our cars are so low to the ground. Most of our cars wouldn’t last very long on their dirt roads.  

Our ancestors would be extremely disappointed with the interior space of most modern cars. Even a spaciousluxury sedan of today probably wouldn’t have enough room for our ancestors’ liking.  


It’s safe to say that our ancestors wouldn’t have been able to imagine the level of technology that we have available in even entry-level cars today. We can imagine they would have expected some wild things. After all, where’s the rocket gun that delivers transatlantic travel? That was just one of many predictions our ancestors may have seen at the 1939 World Fair. 


Probably one of the biggest disappointments for our ancestors would be our lack of passion for the drive. Today, we’re seeing more and more autonomous features emerge. And it won’t be long before most cars are driving themselves. 

But for our ancestors, cars were more than a means to get from point A to B. They signified freedom and independence. They offered people a way to go to places that were previously near impossible for them to reach. And all of that came with some personal power and control. Driving was an exciting new endeavor, and a car was something to be proud of.  

We can only imagine how they’d feel about having a car that drove itself. Some may welcome the convenience, but I’d imagine a large majority of our ancestors would be uncomfortable with the concept. 

Our ancestors were about as passionate about their cars as we are about our smartphones. Most of us follow the tech industry much more closely than we follow what’s happening in the automotive world.  

It may or may not be a bad thing, but we definitely do take car ownership for granted today. Some people own multiple cars they rarely drive just for fun. 

Our ancestors may show some level of disappointment in the disposable nature of something that was so coveted in their time. Our ancestors would have to work hard to get one vehicle for their household. And having that vehicle would be a great source of status and pride. 


The idea that it’s normal for a family to become buried in debt for a vehicle (or multiple vehicles) would probably seem like a step in the wrong direction, and rightfully so. The first official car loan program began in 1918, 10 years after the first production cars hit the market. And although the programs escalated quickly, it wasn’t until around 1923 with the launch of the Ford Motor Credit Company that auto financing really became popular.  

Ultimately, I think our ancestors would be impressed with some of the new technology available, but they may be underwhelmed by the fact that our cars aren’t flying in the air. 

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