The performance and styling of American vehicles have always historically reflected the feelings of the times that they were created and sold in. The really great cars of the 1930s represented beacons of optimism during the Great Depression. The land yachts of the 1950s with elevated tail fins symbolized post-WWII prosperity, and the powerful muscle cars of the 1960s with athletic appearances illustrated the fascination people in the United States were developing with pure performance. Here we have surveyed some examples of perfectly represented the feeling of the times. We hope you enjoy reading about this really interesting information we have stumbled upon!
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By the late 1940s, America wanted more than only basic transportation and in the a desire for sports cars began to come about. The problem was that no American automaker offered them. In 1953, Chevrolet jumped in the ring with Corvette, a six cylinder-powered roadster that was slow but very pretty. By 1955, Chevrolet had perfected their new 235 CI V-8 engine and this made the Corvette a serious sports machine.
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Born in 1953, the Cadillac Eldorado was an exclusive flagship model that attracted well healed buyers all over the planet. By the end of the 1950s, the redesigned four-door Eldorado was more expensive than a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and was considered one of the world’s most elegant cars. In 1967, the Eldorado became a two-door “personal luxury coupe,” and the second front-wheel drive car General Motors had built.
Sporty two-door cars came before Lee Iacocca’s Mustang, however,its been hard for any car to ever match its greatness. Introduced at 1964 World’s Fair, the Ford Mustang tapped into the youth market and kicked off the 1960s pony car battle. By 1967, the Mustang had been joined the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird and the Plymouth Barracuda but held its own. Ford sold 1.7 million Mustangs in the car’s first 36 months.
Plymouth built the Roadrunner Superbird for one reason, to compete at the 1970 NASCAR series. While its large rear wing and pointed beak made a difference on the track, the average car buyer thought its looks were strange and it did not sell very well. However, driven by Richard Petty at the 1970 NASCAR series, the vehicle won many races and firmly established Plymouth as a serious racecar manufacturer.
And now lets jump back to the 1940s. While most ’40s cars were versions of pre-war models, the 1948 Tucker provided futuristic features like a padded dash, rear mounted engine and third headlight to turn with the wheels. The brainchild of automotive visionary Preston Tucker, that company received national attention but only built 51 cars before it ran out of money. In 1950, Tucker’s collapse became a national scandal and the U.S government indicted the company’s executives for fraud. Due to their rarity, Tuckers have become one of the most valuable collector cars out there.
Thank you to the Sales Manager at Metro Kia, a full-service car dealership in Cartersville, GA, for sitting down with us to discuss these great vehicles!