MOTOR takes a look at 10 striking examples of American automotive glamour
1951 Studebaker Starlight Coupé
The Starlight was a distinctive two-door derivative of Studebaker’s mainstream model lines. Its pointed ‘bullet nose’ was matched by an exceptionally long, tapered rear section with a huge wraparound window. In profile, which way was it going…?
1952 Nash Ambassador Custom
Nash celebrated its 50th anniversary with a completely new body style. With design input from Pininfarina, the boxy ‘envelope’ styling featured partially enclosed wheels and a distinctive ‘toothy’ grille. Its looks won several design awards.
1953 Hudson Hornet
An unusual ‘perimeter frame’ floorpan helped give the Hornet an unusually low stance that accentuated its rounded shape. Made famous as ‘Doc’ in the animated movie Cars, the Hornet was the first manufactured-entered car to race in NASCAR.
1954 Lincoln Capri
When compared with the rather angular designs that emerged from 1956, the first-generation Lincoln Capris were relatively understated stylish models that, prior to the introduction of the Continental, were the flagships of the range.
1955 Packard Caribbean Convertible
A V8 replaced Packard’s venerable straight-8 engine in 1955 and the Caribbean was made a premium model in the company’s line-up. Finned headlight housings helped denote its status and it was offered with two- and three-colour paintwork.
1956 DeSoto Adventurer
Introduced as a sub-series of the range-topping Fireflite model range, the limited-production Adventurer two-door hardtop was only available with a high-output 5,6 litre Hemi V8 with dual exhausts, a white/black/gold colour scheme and custom specification.
1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser
Mercury’s flagship model, it was named after America’s newly-introduced interstate highway system. It was one of the most gadget-laden cars ever built. Among numerous special features, the hardtop’s ‘Breezaway’ rear window could be lowered to improve ventilation.
1958 Oldsmobile Super 88
To celebrate GM’s 50 years of vehicle manufacture, anniversary models of each brand were introduced and the ‘ChromeMobile’ styling was used on Oldsmobile’s top variants. The Super 88 was offered with 17 standard colours and five optional metallics.
1959 Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz Convertible
The Series 6200 Eldorado boasted the tallest fins ever produced during the Fifties styling craze, and they were adorned with dual bullet-shaped tail lights. Dual headlights and bumper over-riders complemented the complex full-width chrome-encrusted grille.