So, you think you can cruise with the collectors? Prove it by acing this quiz.
1950s cars are among the most collectible in the world. The 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible still ranks as among the most popular collector's cars. '50s Chevys, in general, remain popular. So how do we know that '50s Chevys are still popular? Well, Don McLean drove his Chevy to the levy in "American Pie," Eric Clapton got off on '57 Chevys in the classic "Rock and Roll Heart," and Elton John remembered having "an old gold Chevy" and a place of his own in the iconic "Crocodile Rock." These are but a sampling of the songs that have memorialized '50s Chevys.
But what made Chevys and other '50s vehicles so popular? Style, craftsmanship and culture, baby. Unlike many cars of today, '50s cars were... well...gorgeous. We've certainly lost something in today's models by paring them down in size. Who couldn't help but be impressed as a 1957 red Ford Thunderbird convertible rolled by? It's hard to feel the same about most of today's cars. And, the craftsmanship was impeccable. We've all heard aficionados lament that "they just don't build them like that anymore."
So, if you long for the days when cars where a bigger part of American culture, take this quiz and show your friends just how much you know.
Volkswagen was the most popular foreign car at the time. And the U.S. was importing more cars that it exported!
The Hemi engine was a huge step forward in terms of power. Chrysler was seriously leading the way in terms of what cars would eventually be capable of.
Chevrolet was the top seller in the '50s! They sold 13,419,048 vehicles in total! Go Chevy!
Small auto makers were a thing of the past. Large manufacturers literally swallowed up the whole industry.
'50s cars were longer, lower and wider in general. Today, these cars seem more like ships than automobiles.
The fins kept growing! They started out as modest, but by 1959 cars like Cadillacs had flamboyant fins, to say the least.
There was a nation-wide steel strike in 1952. This seriously hindered automotive production.
The super powerful V-8 engine had been around for some time, but it became common in the '50s. Due to how large the cars were, it just fit, literally and figuratively.
The U.S. out-produced all these countries several times over in terms of car production. In fact, they were the world leaders at the time.
Hardtop convertibles were quite popular in the '50s. The first power hardtop was the Ford Skyliner.
The Ford Edsel was named for Henry Ford's only son, Edsel, who died in 1943. Discontinued in 1959, the Edsel was Ford's biggest failure.
GM designer Harley Earl thought that by introducing something new every three years or so, it would induce people to buy the new model. This was "planned obsolescence."
These three car manufacturers were at the top of their game. They made innovations in both design and technology.
Cars in the '50s were down for being flamboyant. There were some serious chrome-laden body designs.
The Chrysler 300 letter series definitely broke with the past. It was the answer to the old pre-WWII style and presented a great design innovation.
Chrysler really went for the aerodynamic look thanks to Virgil Exner. Dodge and Plymouth went the same route.
All of these cars were big winners during the '50s. They would define the decade in terms of automobiles.
Although quite beautiful, '50s cars were incredibly unsafe! That being said, they were still very innovative.
There was a huge boom in station wagon sales in 1957. Before that, it was considered a luxury for most people, but on this year it turned into a family car.
The automotive industry wanted the one-car family to be a thing of the past. They imagined a world where families had different cars for various uses.
If you owned a Cadillac, you got a boost in status. I mean, Elvis owned one, so that says everything right there.
RIP to these car manufacturers. The list also includes Hudson and Packard.
The '50s marked the birth of the sports car. In fact, it was when the Corvette was born.
There was a huge increase in automatic transmissions in 1951. 1.5 million fully automatic cars were made that year.
1953 was the automotive industry's best year. This followed two years of shortages and restrictions.
Almost 8 million cars were made in 1950. In fact, the number was 7,987,000 to be exact.
In 1953, a few car models featured air conditioning. This was definitely optional equipment.
Chrysler introduced power steering in 1951. It was known as Hydraguide.
In 1959, Cadillac came out with the Cyclone, a car that seriously looked like a rocket. It had a clear plastic "bubble" top.
The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan is home to some of the most amazing '50s cars. This includes the famous 1951 GM LeSabre.
Studebaker merged with Packard in 1954. They were hoping to compete with the "Big Three" manufacturers.
Cars in the '50s literally made the U.S. the superpower that it is today. Manufacturing led to incredible prosperity for this country.
Crosley Motors banked on consumers purchasing their compact cars. The company folded in 1952.
Simply put, everyone moved to the suburbs. This meant that folks had to have a car to get around.
In the 1950s, automatic windows were no longer for luxury cars only. The design feature became widespread.