Hemmings Motor News Blog Blog

Hemmings Motor News Blog

Hemmings Motor News has been around since 1954. We're proud of our heritage, but we're also more than the Hemmings full of classifieds that your father subscribed to. Aside from new editorial content every month in Hemmings, we have three monthly magazines: Hemmings Muscle Machines, Hemmings Classic Car and Hemmings Sports and Exotic Car.

While our editors traverse the country to find the best content for those magazines, we find other oddities related to the old-car hobby that we really had no place for - until now. With this blog, we're giving you a behind-the-scenes look at what we see and what we do during the course of putting out some of the finest automotive magazines you'll ever read.

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The Fifties: a Decade of Rapid Automotive Evolution

Posted June 13, 2022 7:50 AM by dstrohl
Pathfinder Tags: classic cars

While pondering topics as we prepared this year’s "Nifty Fifties" themed issue, I had the opportunity to take a closer look at the progression of models that emerged during those years. This is an era I had not experienced firsthand, so viewing the period from start to finish, rather than just considering various models individually, made it very clear that grouping all cars of the ’50s together under the usual umbrella of wild tailfins and jet-age styling wasn’t an entirely accurate view of the decade.

When the 1950s kicked off and the postwar boom was just beginning to build steam, styling was still more of the bulbous, rounded trends that carried over from the ’40s, and technologies like OHV V-8 engines and automatic transmissions were just coming to market in high-end machines like Cadillacs and Oldsmobiles. For mid-market offerings, things were still a bit more sedate.

I had a chance to experience this some years ago, when I spontaneously purchased a 1951 Chevy Fleetline Deluxe with a friend and coworker while covering a big car show for the magazine we then served. The two-door Fleetline looked like something that might have turned up on a used car lot in the late ’50s — a little dulled, dinged, and worn, but mostly intact and functional. We were so moved by finding a Fleetline in true "driver" condition, with a very reasonable price tag, that we sprang for it on the spot.

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