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The Automotive Chronicles

Monthly newsletter published by McLellan's Automotive History. Dedicated to literature collectors, restorers, museums, publishers, manufacturers and investors who collect and preserve automotive literature
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June 2010 Issue
 
ARTICLE
GM in the 1950s
By Robert McLellan
 

Our memories are selective and those of us new to the old car hobby or too young to remember the 1950s, it is easy to become fixated on one particular car. Are you longing for a 1957 Chevrolet Bellaire Convertible and find yourself priced out of the market? Consider a '57 Pontiac or Oldsmobile. Or maybe a Chevy hard top as opposed to the convertible. Cars like most possessions may vary significantly and have advantages and disadvantages. Why not evaluate other makes and models before giving up?

Twenty years ago there was a lot of interest in the 1930s cars. But as the years wore on, and younger hobbyists entered the scene, the span of years they were nostalgic about moved along. The 1950s makes are very popular now. From the aerodynamic "torpedo" lines of the early 1950s to the sculptured fins at the end of the decade, American car design evolved quickly giving character to transportation transforming it into an art form. At a time when hot rods, custom cars, dragsters and sports cars were popular, Detroit was making its own statement with brightly colored metallic exteriors, two and three tone paint schemes, excessive chrome, white wall tires, ornate hub caps, flashy interiors, high performance engines and airplane styled rear ends. Each year the cars got longer, lower and wider. Radios belted our rock and roll and driving was an expression of who we were.

General Motors make five distinctive brands not including their GMC truck line. Each costs a little more as you go up the status latter. Each offered a little more luxury and more options. GM was the king, out-selling Ford, Chrysler, Nash/AMC, Studebaker-Packard, Hudson, Kaiser-Frazer and the foreign makes.

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Chevrolet

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Pontiac

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Oldsmobile

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Buick

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Cadillac

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The Automotive Chronicles, June 2010
 
 
 
 
 
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