How Many 1950s Cars Can You Identify?

By: Kennita Leon

The legendary Corvette was introduced in 1953 and only 300 units were made in a customer delivery garage in Flint, Michigan. All 300 units were painted ‘Polo White,' and the interior was red. The sports car was outfitted with a six-cylinder ‘Blue Flame' engine capable of 150 horsepower. To enter the car, one had to reach inside to open the door.

The Golden Hawk's poor handling reputation stemmed from its heavy engine, but it could still outrun champions like the Corvette and Thunderbird, with the ability to complete a quarter mile in 7.8 seconds.

Features of the LeSabre included a chrome square grille, slanted headlights and delta-wing rear fins with round tail lights. Configured with a V8 engine that managed 250 horsepower with a two-barrel carburetor, the Buick Le Sabre was General Motors' most affordable car in their lineup. A 3-speed manual transmission was standard and buyers could choose an optional four-barrel engine that offered 300 horsepower.

A unique chrome strip above the front wheel, curving downward near the rear wheel then around it and ending at the tail light, gave the 1950 Buick Roadmaster a distinct appearance.

The 1960 Chrysler New Yorker was outfitted with swivel seats that swung outward when the front door opened. The lighter 375 horsepower, ram induction engine of the New Yorker contributed to it being branded as a luxury vehicle.

The Plymouth Fury was equipped with a gold anodized grille with a matching under-bumper stone shield, quad headlamps and smaller ‘lollipop' taillights. A 1958 Fury made its movie debut in "Christine" a movie based on a novel by Stephen King.

Style, class and timelessness characterized the Aston Martin DB4. Powered by a 3.7-liter engine, the DB4 could reach a top speed of 250 km/h. Nineteen cars were produced and all have survived to this day.

The instant success of this BMW can be attributed to its cute look and affordable price. The egg-shaped Isetta was seen as a gap filler between luxury vehicles and motorcycles. The ‘Bubble car' was only 7.5 ft long and 4.5 ft wide, with enough room for two passengers to sit comfortably.

This lovable sports car has a streamlined body that's powered by a 1,498 cc pushrod engine. The MGA convertible did not come with exterior door handles, but the coupe did. The MGA suspension was also independent with coil springs and a wishbone at the front and rigid axle at the rear, with semi-elliptic springs. It was available with either steel-disc road wheels or spoked wire wheels.

The revolutionary Citroen DS saved French president Charles de Gaulle from an assassination attempt in 1962. In 1959 & 1966 The Citroen DS won the Monte Carlo Rally. The DS was a technological first with features that included all-around disc brakes and a semi-automatic gearbox.

The traverse engine and traverse front wheel drive layout of the original Austin Mini MK 1 revolutionized the motor industry. The space-efficient design of this model vehicle offered seating for four and also included luggage space

The sporty convertible flaunts beautiful lines and advanced engineering, and customers were lured by its exceptionally well-balanced handling. Only 252 cars were produced because of its expensive cost to export.

This speedy, lightweight roadster won its first race at the prestigious Nurburgring Eifel Race in 1953 and would go on to claim 95 victories and 75 class wins within 370 races.

Ford Motors stylish masterpiece that was mostly hand-built in 1956-57 was a limited production two-door coupe. Powering this outstanding car was a large 368-cubic-inch V8 able to generate 285 horsepower. The interior of the Continental Mark II was elegantly fashioned after aircraft and locomotive design, with thick fabrics and lavish carpeting.

This very successful car marked Dodge's entry into tailfin design, the Lancer was prepared with a Hemi V8, heavy duty shock absorbers, Torsion Air-Ride front suspension and offered a cozy ride.

The boxy design of the Bonneville achieved 310 horsepower, with a 370 block V8 engine. This vehicle was also one of the largest Pontiacs ever built, coming in at two tons and fully loaded with chrome.

Four body styles were available, with 3-speed manual or 4–speed automatic transmission in the Oldsmobile 76. With one of the hottest engines on the market, the overhead valve Rocket V8, this vehicle focused more on excellence rather than speed

The handling of the 1954 Chevrolet 315 Del Ray was said to be without comparison, and its ability to remain balanced when cornering at high speeds made drivers consider it as a fantastic vehicle to drive.

The Hornet could reach speeds of 112 mph, this unit had the biggest L- head six-cylinder engine in its time and it could be furnished with racing parts to boost its performance.

This 1950 hardtop coupe distinguished itself with a door design without pillars. Powered by a V8 engine, the trimmed to convertible standard De Soto Custom came with an extra-long wheelbase of 139.5 inches. The automobile included standard two-speed electric windshield wipers, full carpeting and a trunk light.

Its flamboyant and gaudy design was a miss with consumers, but the Edsel Pacer had some neat features that made it endure. This vehicle included automatic transmission, push buttons in the steering wheel hub and also a rotating drum speedometer that variated in color as the speed rose. Only 76 Edsel Pacer convertibles were built before production ended in 1960.

Never actually being built, this concept car was designed in the 1950s and was detailed to be powered by a small nuclear reactor contained in the rear of the vehicle.

Touted as the smartest and safest convertible available, the Nash Rambler found its foothold in the hearts of drivers looking for dependability and safety in an economical package.

This compact vehicle was reliable and featured an iconic design, originally marketed to city drivers as a practical and inexpensive option. The Fiat 500 stored a rear engine and had four seats.

This iconic 1950s car set the tone for widebody cars throughout the 50s and 60s. The Bel Air look was comprised of a wide strip chrome molding between the rear fender and rear bumper, full chrome horn ring and an interior decked out with chrome accents. Under the hood, it boasted anything from a long six or 265 cubic inch V8 to a fuel injected V8 allowing for 283 horsepower.

This Volkswagen was designed to transport a group of people at a speed of 62 mph while preserving good fuel economy of 32 mpg. The Beetle Type 1 was based on Porsche's original ‘prototype 1' vehicle.

With only 750 models produced between 1953 and 1956, the Packard Caribbean had a unique body style. This highly sought after collectible goes for more than $100,000

Luxury wrapped up in a massive body characterized the 1957 Turnpike Cruiser, which made its debut at the 1956 Detroit Auto Show. It was dubbed as ‘The Car of the Future,' the Cruiser was outfitted with a powerful V8 engine and retracting rear windshields.

Making its debut in 1952, this top-of-the-line two-door coupe consisted of a choice of canvas vinyl top, wool carpeting and leather seats. Buyers had the option of Turquoise Blue with dark blue top or Metallic Cortaro Red with a black top as their color scheme.

This racing car comprised of a 3.0-liter engine sported fuel injection and reached top speeds surpassing 160mph. Aesthetically the design included futuristic gull-wing doors and propelled the 300SL to become an instant classic.

This four-door saloon-bodied car had a front-located engine with an eight-cylinder motor and two valves per cylinder helping to power the vehicle to 3100 rpm. The clean styling of the 1961 Lincoln Continental compelled it to win ‘Car Lifes,' Engineering Excellence Award.

A pioneer at using fiberglass, the Kaiser Darrin is a roadster that also had a distinct design element called the ‘Darrin Dip,' which is a fender line swept back along the car and descends until it reaches the rear fender.

In 1957, two versions of this car were available; a drop-head coupe and a fixed head coupe. The Jaguar XK150 was available in an array of flashy colors like racing green and Carmen red.

The 1955 Ford Thunderbird was a two-seater convertible that housed massive V8s; this iconic vehicle was immortalized into pop culture. It has been put into movies, print advertisements, shows and pictured on a U.S postage stamp.

The rugged durability of the 1950 Ford F100 can still be seen in present Ford models. This model housed a two-engine configuration, including a 215 CID straight –six that allowed for 101 horsepower. The classic truck featured wraparound windshield, double grip latch doors and a set-back front axle that gave it a heavy look in the nose area, as though it was crouching down.

Power signified the strongest attribute of this vehicle. The Chrysler Imperial had a massive Hemi engine to thank for this. In the 1950s, the Imperial featured no Chrysler badging.

Safety features are abundant in the Ford Fairlane, which is named after Henry Ford's Estate. The Fairlane had an energy absorbing steering wheel, optional padding on the dash and safety belts; this was considered the most significant advancement of the year for the auto industry by Motor Trend magazine

The exquisite classic Cadillac Eldorado was lavishly built and had one of the highest price tags attached to an American automobile. The four-door hardtop had no center roof posts and only 400 were made in 1957 and 304 in 1958.

With a price tag of $5000, the Skylark cost a lot but was able to outsell two other GM cars collectively. It also set the standard for future mass-produced Buicks with wraparound windshields and full wheel opening.

The quintessential sports car of the 1950s, the Alfa Romeo Giulietta was manufactured between 1954-1965. 35th president of the United States of America John Fitzgerald Kennedy owned an Alfa Romeo Giulietta.

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Image: Wiki Commons by F. D. Richards

About This Quiz

The cars or the 1950s were quite a sight to see. Their designs forever changed the automobile world for many reasons. The designs were sleeker, the engines were better and a multitude of advancements were made, partially because automakers were free to let their creative juices flow, after the destruction of the Second World War. It was a time in the automobile industry where changes were happening rapidly, so much so that smaller independent manufacturers were having a hard time keeping up. 

Some of the things that were invented and/or perfect include air conditioning, power steering and braking, automatic transmissions, the ever-popular V8 engines and of course, the seatbelt. But these advancements would not be as amazing if they were not placed in vehicles that were equally so.

So, we want you to think back. In fact, we'll show you pictures of some of the best that the decade had to offer. It'll be your job to correctly match the vehicle to its correct name. If this sounds easy enough for you, let's rev up our engines and get started!  You won't have to put up your pink slip to race this quiz to the finish!

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