The 1950s was exciting era for car manufacturers. America’s post-war designs became sleeker and models like the Ferrari gained popularity overseas. Learn about models from Bentleys and Rolls Royce to the 1950s Jeep models.
Gullwing doors and a sleek body made the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL one of the most coveted of all cars. It was one of the most expensive cars of its time -- more than twice that of the Corvette. See pictures and learn about this classic car.
This remarkable transatlantic hybrid, the 1951-1955 Nash-Healey, has been called one of the most improbable cars ever built -- perhaps because the idea for it was hatched on the Atlantic. Read about the internationally designed 1951-1955 Nash-Healey.
Italy's design maestro, Pinin Farina, changed the shape of automotive design while drumming up new business for his expanding carrozzeria. Read the story of the show car, the 1955 Lancia Florida, that touched off a worldwide styling revolution.
By 1955, Pontiac tried to change its dull-but-dependable image with the 1955-1957 Pontiac Star Chief Safari. What better way to do it than with a "dream car"? Read about the 1955-1957 Pontiac Star Chief Safari, GM's attempt at a fancy, sporty wagon.
The first Muntz Jet automobile was quick, capable, cushy, and a full seven years ahead of the first four-seat Thunderbird. Read about America's first performance luxury car -- the 1951-1954 Muntz Jet -- and the irrepressible "Madman" who made it.
The 1959 Cadillac Cyclone was the last of a short-lived genre of 'dream cars.' Compact but flamboyant, the Cyclone marked the end of an era and capped Harley Earl's career that started in Detroit in 1926. Read more about this futuristic car.
The 1956-1958 Plymouth Fury revived a Plymouth company that had fallen on difficult times. The first Furys were the plushest and most potent Plymouths of the decade. See pictures and learn about the 1956-1958 Plymouth Fury.
The 1956-1957 Lincoln Continental Mark II redefined luxury for American cars, but it was too expensive to endure. The Lincoln Continental Mark II had a short, brilliant, doomed existence. Learn about the Continental Mark II.
The 1956-1957 Chevrolet El Morocco was a Chevrolet customized to look like a Cadillac El Biarritz. At $7,500 in the U.S., it cost more than twice as much as a Chevrolet Corvette. See pictures and learn about the El Morocco.
During the 1950s, exotic new body styles were the order of the day at Ford. Among them was the Ranchero, a novel car-pickup that was inspired at least in part by Ford's Australian "Ute." Learn the design and influence of the 1957-1959 Ford Ranchero.
ï¿½Over the years, "Eldorado" thus came to represent the best of everything: opulence, wealth, the good life. It was also a completely logical name for a stunning new convertible from Cadillac. Read about the prestigious 1953-1966 Cadillac Eldorado.
The two-seat 1954-1962 Metropolitan made inroads in the U.S. car market despite its size. For millions of people a second car was no longer a luxury but a necessity, making the Metropolitan a candidate for success. Read about the 1954-1962 Metropolitan.
The 1950 Oldsmobile Series 76 would be gone after that year due to lagging sales. However, the standard club coupe is a worthy keeper because it's rarity and status of holding down the bottom rung of the Olds ladder. Check out this classic car.
Soon after two English automaking rivals joined forces to become the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in the early 1950s, the combine released a new type of small sedan -- the 1953-1958 Magnette. Read about its history and see pictures.
What upstart Kaiser needed was a full car line. What it had was a single four-door sedan. What it got - the Traveler and Vagabond - was as much as could be expected under the circumstances. Check out the 1949-1953 Kaiser Traveler and Vagabond.
The 1956 Buick Special Riviera coupe was not as expensive as other Buicks, but today it is just as desirable. It is a good value for collectors on a budget. See pictures and learn about the Buick Special.
The 1955 Lincoln Futura was a popular concept car design by Bill Schmidt that found a new life as the Batmobile. It's regularly seen on tour by thousands of people around the world. Learn about the 1955 Lincoln Futura.
The 1954 Oldsmobile F-88 had a long, strange trip filled with mystery, myth, and motoramas. Once out of the spotlight,the General Motors "dream cars" were supposed to be destroyed. Read the story of one that beat the odds -- the 1954 Oldsmobile F-88.
The 1954 Kaiser-Darrin was the vision of American builder Howard 'Dutch' Darrin. Darrin was a legendary custom coach-builder and the only U.S. designer to get his name on a postwar production car. Read about Darrin's obstacles see pictures of the rare car.
There really was an American car that left the factory with a purse as standard equipment -- the 1955-1956 Dodge La Femme. Learn the story of this car designed specifically for "Her Royal Highness The American Woman," the 1955-1956 Dodge La Femme.
The AMX Palm Beach was a one-off sporty car that was American Motors' first experimental model. Despite recent rumors to the contrary, only one example of this intriguing car was ever built. Learn the history of the AMX Palm Beach.
In the 1950s, Americans were more prosperous than they had ever been. So were America's automakers. In a burst of mid-century enthusiasm, they fielded a fleet of glitzy flagship models for 1953. Buick reached high with the 1953-1954 Buick Skylark.
Despite its good looks, the 1950 Ford Custom Crestliner was a slow seller. It was a trimmed-up Tudor with vinyl roof, sweeping two-tone paint treatment, rear fender skirts, and a luxury interior. Read about the 1950 the Ford Custom Crestliner.
Depending on whom you ask, the 1956-1961 Studebaker Hawk was either a clumsy, cluttered version of the breathtaking "Loewy coupe" or a remarkably clever repackaging job. Read about the 1956-1961 Studebaker Hawk, one of the early sporty personal cars.
The 1951-1958 Plymouth Belvedere was a low-cost hardtop to compete with Ford and Chevy. The first Belvedere was a two-door hardtop arriving a year behind Chevrolet's Bel Air. See pictures and learn about the 1951-1958 Plymouth Belvedere.