Other 1950s Classic Car Manufacturers

The 1955 Willys Bermuda and the 1951 Frazer Standard are among the interesting and perhaps under-appreciated cars of the '50s. Learn more about these unsung classics.


The early 1950s were strange times in the U.S. auto industry. The industry had hit a sales slump, and the Korean War was forcing new rationing policies for steel and rubber. Learn how Willys-Overland and Kaiser-Frazer weathered the 1950s slump.

The 1954 Alfa Romeo 1900 was one of the mass-produced sedans developed by Alfa Romeo to survive in the postwar European market. The 1900 was recognized as one of the most beautiful cars at the time. Learn more about this fine European classic.

The Fury began as a speedy, limited-edition 1956 hardtop, and continued as such for the next two years. Though never a big seller, it cast a performance image over the entire Plymouth line with obvious sales implications. Learn more and see pictures.

Anyone born after 1960 may find this hard to believe, but there was a time when hardtops like the 1950-1952 Pontiac Catalina were quite exotic. They also stood as elegant symbols of Pontiac's postwar turn toward a more luxurious car. Read more.

The 1952-1953 Allstate was an odd car that is remembered today (if it's remembered at all) for being Sears, Roebuck & Company's misguided attempt at entering the auto market. Get the story behind the Allstate and get specs for this odd classic.

Sterling H. Edwards was a dreamer in San Francisco who envisioned an exclusive, low-production personal-luxury car -- what would become the 1953-1955 Edwards America. Learn why only six were built, get specs and see pictures of this classic car.

The 1950 Frazer Manhattan convertible was the most luxurious model of the company. However, it wasn't easy to build, fraught with design expense and multiple engineering hurdles. See the successes, challenges and specs of this classic convertible.

The Gaylord was designed by two brothers whose father was the inventor of the bobby However, their goal in building the ultimate production sports car fell short. Learn why only four cars were built and get more specifications of this classic sports car.

The 1959 Fiat Abarth 750 Zagato Coupe resulted from a collaboration between Abarth and Fiat. It's estimated that at least 600 were made with a price tag of $3,460. Read more about the classic Fiat Abarth 750.

The 1954-1964 Facel Vega is a handsome, haute couture collectible coveted for its rarity. It featured American power and French bodywork making it one of history's most memorable hybrids. Learn more about this classic sports car.

The 1950 Morris Minor Series MM Two-Door Sedan was the first British car to reach a million in production. The Minor was highly praised for its gas conserving abilities. Learn more about the Morris Minor MM.

The 1955 Alfa Romeo Bertone BAT 9 featured a futuristic design that was quite capable of being driven in everyday traffic and delivered good fuel economy. To learn more about this one-off model, read on.

The 1957-1987 Pontiac Bonneville had its roots in the famous race course of the same name. The initial 1957 Pontiac Bonneville didn't make money, but it was only intended to be an image builder. Find out how the Bonneville transformed Pontiac's image.

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 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 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.

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.

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.

Since their inception in France in 1889, Peugeot automobiles -- like the 1957 Peugeot 203C Four-Door Sedan -- have fanned out around the globe. Read about the 1957 Peugeot 203C Four-Door Sedan, Peugeot's first new design after World War II.

In the 1950s, GM's British subsidiary, Vauxhall, introduced a small car, the 1957-1961 Vauxhall Victor. Meanwhile, GM saw that cost-conscious U.S. drivers had interest in imports. Learn whether the 1957-1961 Vauxhall Victor could serve both markets.

The GM Motorama Firebirds generated excitement about General Motor’s automotive future. The gas-turbine cars were called Firebird I, II, and III, and were obviously 'cars of the future.' Learn about the GM Motorama Firebirds here.

The 1957 Pontiac Chieftain Two-door Sedan was created as the answer to an age-old problem facing car-lovers: how to get maximum go with minimum dough. Read about the 1957 Pontiac Chieftain and see photos of this muscle car.

The 1951 General Motors LeSabre not only showcased Earl's latest thinking about the look of cars, but it served as a symbol of his -- and GM's -- place in the auto industry. Check out the 1951 General Motors LeSabre and its jet-aircraft design cues.

#}