The Cadillac was the first automobile to use the pedal and gear shift configuration that's still used today.
American car manufacturers in the past catered to the American consumer, who were more interested in American Muscle than European luxury. The Luxury market appealed only to elderly Women and retirees.
Our manufacturers were building cars for the Blue collar workers, for Middle Income America.
I personally would take a 1970 Dodge Challenger, a 1955 Chevy Bel Air or a 1958 Plymouth Fury over any European luxury vehicle any day.