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Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Top 10 Most Beautiful 1950s Cars (Part-1)

Beautiful ONES - The aftermath of World War II was a fertile breeding ground for the sports cars of the 1950s. Everyone needs money, and Americans had plenty to spend after World War II. That in a nutshell explains the parade of new sports cars that charmed Americans in the 1950s.
1955 Ford Thunderbird. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
By the time the 1950s came around, car designers started to experiment with more innovative ideas. Not only did cars became lower, longer and wider, but chrome on cars was a popular fashion. Many car designers during this time got their ideas from the transport industry, such as from planes, jets and trains, and turned ordinary family cars into cars that had wings, turbines and after-burner tail lights. The 1950s was a time when people saw some of the most beautiful as well as the most outlandish cars ever made.

10. 1955 Ford Thunderbird
The 1955 Ford Thunderbird, manufactured by the US-based Ford Motor Company, was a two-seater vehicle with a detachable fiberglass roof, launched in that same year. The Thunderbird was marketed not as a sports car but as a 'personal luxury car' with the emphasis on comfort rather than performance. It is the great granddaddy of all American low-riders and cruising cars and is thus revered by Americans.
1955 Ford Thunderbird. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
The car had a 193 to 212 horsepower, 292 cubic inch V8 engine. Twin exhausts were provided at the rear of the car above the bumper as was the style in those days. The transmission was either manual or automatic. The car had a 150 mph speedometer, a tachometer, roll-up windows, and an adjustable steering wheel. The interiors of the car also gave the vehicle an elegant appeal, with comfortable seats and adequate leg-room for even a tall person. The boot of the car was spacious, enabling storage of a large amount of luggage for long trips.
As there were no port hole windows, the car had an air functional scoop on the hood. The size and shape of the car was designed to get it noticed. However, despite this large size, the car offered a smooth ride with the use of a ball-joint front suspension, the V8 engine too minimizing vibrations. The steering was smooth which made the car maneuverable even on busy roads. Signifying the genesis of the Ford Thunderbirds, which were to have a long successful run in the decades after its launch, the car has been hailed as a collector's vehicle.

9. 1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Cabriolet
Much of Europe was devastated by bombing and attacks during World War II and factories that had been producing vehicles switched to producing materials and vehicles in support of the war efforts. The war ended in 1947 and by 1950 Alfa Romeo had a new vehicle ready for serious production. It was designed by Dr. Orazio Satta Puliga and was the first Alfa Romeo to use unitary construction.
1955 Alfa Romeo 1900 SS Cabriolet. (Picture from: Goodingco)
This Alfa' first car entirely built on a production line and the first ever offered with left hand drive. It was this good timing in switching to the mass-market automobile philosophy that ensured the company’s survival as many of its rivals of the time failed. This car became a blueprint for more than a generation of sports cars. A true original.
The car is powered by a twin-overhead-cam, in-line 4-cylinder, 1,975 cc engine developing 115 horsepower couple to a 5-speed manual transmission. The chassis consists of coil-spring suspension, independent in front, worm-and-roller steering and hydraulic drum brakes. The car weighs 2,205 pounds and has a top speed of 112 mph. The suspension was also sporty with an Independent front suspension with wishbones and coil springs. In the rear was a live rear axle.

8. 1955 Porsche 356 Speedster
It’s hard to believe, but Porsche design (and the Germans in general) were able to reboot and go from thinking about Tiger tanks to sports cars in the span of just three years. In 1948, the first Porsche 356 emerged from a converted sawmill in Gmund, Austria (the Allied occupation forces were the new residents of Porsche’s Stuttgart, Germany offices).
1955 Porsche 356 Speedster. (Picture from: Classic)
In developing the 356, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche created the cornerstone of the Porsche empire and the patriarch of a race-winning model lineage. Production began in the late 1940s, and the first 50 cars were built almost entirely by hand. The 356 had an integral body and chassis utilizing unitary construction techniques. By 1955 it had developed into one of the world’s most respected sports cars, a remarkable feat when considering that Porsche had yet to celebrate its tenth anniversary.
Porsche family friend and sole importer Max Hoffman first introduced the Porsche 356 to the American market in 1952. The Speedster arrived two years later and owed its existence to Hoffman, who recognized the needs of a youthful, performance-minded Stateside market, particularly on the West Coast. Spartan in its appearance, it was devoid of luxurious outfitting, with a tiny top, small seats, side curtains and, of course, a chopped one-piece windshield. From the outset, it attracted the attention of the weekend warrior, amassing an enviable string of road-race victories and establishing a young, performance-oriented image for Porsche in the process.

7. 1954 Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta
Styled by Pininfarina, the A6GCS Berlinetta was one of the prettiest Maseratis and its racing pedigree was only trumped by its flowing lines and taught proportions. Underneath the skin of this car is a race-bred chassis built by Gilco that was intended for events such as the prestigious Mille Miglia.
1954 Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta. (Picture from: Supercars.net)
With classic styled bodyline and the full cage under the bonnet. This was no toy grantourismo but for serious race car enthusiasts. Fewer embellishments saw a raw, streamlined shape that became the prototype for many a sports car after. All this car's mettle was in the front with the pilot's 'cockpit' allowing just enough space to get into and no more. Not a comfortable ride but one for Italian speed obsessed petrol heads to lose their heads over on the autostrade.
The A6GCS chassis was a derivative of the A6 Sportscar that was powered by a short-stroke, double ignition, inline-6 that was one of the last units designed by the Maserati brothers before their departure. Developed initially for Formula 2, the A6 could rev freely up to 7,300 rpm and produce 170 bhp.

6. 1955 Mercedez-Benz 300SL
The Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing is a rare enough car, as there were only 3,258 examples ever built. Of those, only 1,400 were coupes. So, when you start talking about special edition models, you are getting into some of the rarest cars in the world. When the SL300 was busy kicking ass at venues like the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and 24 Hours of Le Mans, it was not the standard road-going model that you saw. 
1954 Mercedez-Benz 300SL. (Picture from: Kidston)
In fact, the car you saw boasted a completely different body. All of the road-going cars, prior to the car’s retirement from racing boasted a steel body and the racing models featured a lighter allot body. After the 300SL’s retirement from racing, the alloy body became a 5,000 Deutsche Marks option on the already pricey base 300SL.
Because of this massive markup, only 29 models were ever built and sold to the general public, thus making it one of the rarest Mercedes-Benz’s available today. This car could run at maximum 140 mph of speed. (Jump to Next-Part.)  *** [EKA [23022013] | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | GOODINGCO | BRINGATRAILER | CLASSIC | SUPERCARS.NET | KIDSTON ]
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