Photo Album: The Golden Age of American Motoring

November 9, 2011

My parents often talk of, reminisce and relate amusing tales of their younger years (specifically, their teenage driving years in the 1950’s) when almost everything was cloaked in a veil of ‘fun times ahead’ sprinkled with an overall dash of ‘everything’s-gonna-be-juuust-fine’… You know – gleaming post-war stuff, when times were far simpler, less crowded and complicated (I’d be down for that) and opportunities were embellished with an open-wide feeling of hope and (at times, manufactured) happiness.

Fridges for every home. A garage for every man. Nylons for every woman. A baseball mitt for every little Jimmy. A dolly for every little Susie…

Ok, so maybe that’s grabbing into the catalogue of 1950’s societal stereotypes with slightly naive eyes and ears, but I’ve always found it fascinating to look back at the outlandish automotive styling efforts (and ads) of this ‘carefree’ era when only a high-school science exam would induce any sort of maniacal co2 concerns and rear wings on cars were, well… actual wings.

Here’s a glance back to that unforgettable Golden Age of American motoring…

1955 Ford Thunderbird - dogs and jolly milkmen-approved

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air Convert

1960 Plymouth Fury

1959 Chevrolet Impala 2Dr hardtop - inspiration for the Shelby Tuatara supercar..?!

1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria

1958 Cadillac Series 62 Sedan - could you imagine encountering moments of oversteer...?

1960 Lincoln Continental Mark V Four Door Landau

1957 Buick Roadmaster 2 Door Hardtop

1957 Lincoln Premiere four-door Landau - nice.

1959 Buick 2 Door Convertible - plus room for 6 in the trunk

1959 Edsel Citation - Ford lost $350 million ($1.55 billion in 2011 money) on this monger

1958 De Soto

1959 Mercury Colony Park Country Cruiser - bring back real wood panelling..!!

1958 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special - the Daddy

1958 Dodge Custom Sierra - for Mommy...?

1949 Oldsmobile 88

1959 Ford Thunderbird Convertible - "Oh look, someone has fallen down over there..."

1949 Kaiser Virginian

1960 Imperial Crown Convertible - "Oh, y'know... was just going for a drive around the pool"

1953 Studebaker Commander

1949 Pontiac Four Door

1960 Chevrolet Impala Four Door Hardtop - innocently classy-looking woman...about to do donuts

1959 Mercury Four Door Hardtop - "Sweetheart, really..? Up the stairs even...?"

1955 Oldsmobile Super 88 Two-Door Sedan

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

1954 Mercury Sun Valley

1960 Chrysler Valiant - Drive-thru 'Motor Banking'... someone looks paranoid

1960 De Soto Fireflite

1960 Chevrolet Corvair - "What, fire issues..? Pfft... looking away..."

1957 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz - The behemoth...

1960 Mercury Colony Park Country Cruiser - I'd be just as jubilent with that awesome wood panelling...

1956 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville - she has that look of being smugly impressed

1957 Dodge Royal Lancer

1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer - Now there's a rear-end inspired by Jet-engines of the day... holy cow!

1957 Lincoln Premiere

1960 Dodge Polara Matador - gettin' a bit greedy with the wings methinks...

1950 Studebaker Starlight - loving the rear window layout...

1956 Chevrolet Bel Air Convertible - ah, the elegant classic

-Blake J.
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