The lateral motion of ground vehicles is characterized by the rolling contact between wheels and guideway. Railway vehicles feature passive lateral guidance by wheelsets while road vehicles handling is operated by steering devices. Lateral dynamics is an extremely complex problem but the fundamental behavior can already understood by simplified mechanical models. In this paper the historical development of modeling approaches for lateral vehicle dynamics is reviewed and presented by multibody dynamics techniques. It is shown that simplified models are very useful as benchmarks for checking more complex systems. Applying the same assumptions for modeling and simulation, the fundamental results have to tally with each other.