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Monday, February 25, 2013

Top 10 Most Beautiful 1950s Cars (Part-2)

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.

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.

5. 1953 Chevrolet Corvette
As introduced in 1953, the Corvette was mostly a thrown together experiment. Production was limited to 300 units total, so sales of the entirely new model was not a problem. The first Chevrolet Corvettes were fibre-glass bodied two-seaters in white with a red interior and black canvas tp. Still looking good.

All 1953 Corvettes were Polo White with a red interior and a black canvas top. There were two options offered: a signal seeking AM radio and a heater. Although listed as options, all 1953 Corvettes were equipped with both items. The radio had an interesting feature: since fiberglass is electrically inert, the antenna was simply incorporated in the trunk lid. This would not be possible with a conventional steel body.
1953 Chevrolet Corvette. (Picture from: http://www.gminsidenews.com/)
When introduced in 1953, the Corvette featured the "Blue Flame" six cylinder engine. Although other GM marques featured V8 motors they were not willing to share; a very different situation compared to years later when various divisions would feature the same powerplants. It was renowned for reliability but with a rating of 105 HP, performance and sportiness was not included. A more radical camshaft rubbing on solid lifters, dual valve springs, and a higher compression ratio cylinder head (8.0:1; previous was 7.5:1) all contributed to the effort. The largest gain was achieved via an upgrade to the induction system (right). Three Carter type YH sidedraft carburetors featuring "bullet" air cleaners with an aluminum manifold were incorporated and the output soared to 150 bhp at 4,500 rpm.

4. 1956 Continental Mark II
Technically not a Lincoln, this car was produced by Ford to compete with Chrysler and Cadillac models. What they came up with was something more understated than either and far more European in styling. Who doesn't love an American with a European education? Seems synonymous with a time in America, when everyone wore a hat

The 1956 Mark II came with four way power seat, power window, power steering and brakes and twin exhausts. The Mark II offered here has the very desirable factory air conditioning system that incorporates unique headliner venting. This stunning automobile is finished in its original Starmist White color with a high grade vinyl interior in the correct two-tone blue combination replacing the original leather. It is believed that the 12,000 plus miles showing on the odometer results from the odometer being reset to zero during the car’s mechanical and cosmetic restoration. Major service work has been done to the Mark II including completely replacing the brake hydraulics.
1956 Continental Mark II. (Picture from: http://www.lsjclassics.com/)
One of the very strong points of this Mark II is the remarkable fit around the doors, fenders, hood and deck lid. With only 450 produced in 1956, this Lincoln Continental Mark II is an exceptionally rare example of one of the highest quality low-production American cars ever built. The combination of driving pleasure, rarity and historical value makes the Continental Mark II a solid investment that can be enjoyed for years to come.

3. 1958 Maserati 3500 GT
Once upon a time Maserati cars were built for racing and only available to the filthy-rich in custom built adaptations. But in 1958 when Maserati was at the pinnacle of its powers having just captured the Formula 1 World Championship, that was all about to change. Ing. Giulio Alfieri, Maserati's chief engineer was given the task of creating a granturismo that could be produced in large numbers. The result was a modified Maserati 3500 GT that borrowed components from numerous European manufacturers. It thus became the car of Italian playboys in tight trousers and cashmere sweaters up and down the country. This car is a symbol of La Bella Vita.
1958 Maserati 3500 GT. (Picture from: http://www.vlamboyant.com/)
In March of 1957, the 3500 GT was shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show. Two prototypes were shown; one was designed by Touring and the other by Allemano. The Touring design was a 2+2 coupe, which was later selected by Omer Orsi selected for production. There were minor modifications of the production design. The headlamps, radiator grille, and the dashboard were slightly modified but remained mostly unchanged.

Under the hood was a 3.5 liter DOHC inline-six cylinder power-plant equipped with three side-draft two-barrel carburetors achieving 240 horsepower. The engine was an evolution of the Tipo 250F Formula 1 car. Top speed with the 3500 GT was achieved at 145 mph.

2. 1954 Cadillac Eldorado
The Eldorado model was part of the Cadillac line from 1953 to 2002. The Cadillac Eldorado was the longest running American personal luxury car as it was the only one sold after the 1998 model year. Its main competitors included the Mark Series and the lower-priced Buick Riviera. The name Eldorado was derived from the Spanish words "el dorado", the "gilded one"; the name was given originally to the legendary chief or "cacique" of a S. American Indian tribe.

Legend has it that his followers would sprinkle his body with gold dust on ceremonial occasions and he would wash it off again by diving into a lake. The name more frequently refers to a legendary city of fabulous riches, somewhere in S. America, that inspired many European expeditions, including one to the Orinoco by England's Sir Walter Raleigh.
1954 Cadillac Eldorado. (Picture from: http://auto.howstuffworks.com/)
The name was proposed for a special show car built in 1952 to mark Cadillac's Golden Anniversary; it was the result of an in-house competition won by Mary-Ann Zukosky (married name = Marini), a secretary in the company's merchandising department. Another source, Palm Springs Life magazine, attributes the name to a resort destination in California's Coachella Valley that was a favorite of General Motors executives, the Eldorado Country Club. In any case, the name was adopted by the company for a new, limited-edition convertible that was added to the line in 1953.
Interior of 1954 Cadillac Eldorado. (Picture from: http://www.cartype.com/)
Although cars bearing the name varied considerably in bodystyle and mechanical layout during this long period, the Eldorado models were always near the top of the Cadillac line. Nevertheless, and except for the Eldorado Brougham models of 1957-1960, the most expensive models were always the opulent, long wheel-based "Series 75" sedans and limousines.

1. 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air
The '57 Chevy is one of the most recognized icons in the Automotive industry. Stylish and Sporty the there’s no doubt that it’s one of America’s best and most loved cars. The 1957 Chevrolet a few different trim levels; the base-model "150" series, the mid-range "210" series, and the upscale Bel Air series.

An upscale trim option called the "Del Ray" was also available for 210 2-door sedans, and there was a limited production two-door station wagon called the "Nomad" and also even scarcer was the "El Morocco", a custom hand-built series that mimicked the Cadillac.

Under the hood Chevrolet had achieved an engineering milestone, Ed Cole worked magic developing Chevy’s small-block V8 engine. The original edition was enlarged to 283 cu, with several optional power packages available, pushing it up to 283 hp. The Super Turbo-Fire 283, a $550 option, produced the advertised 283 horsepower with the help of Ramjet continuous-flow fuel injection.
1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. (Picture from: http://www.seriouswheels.com/)
On the outside the Bel Air was distinguished with more chrome and featured a golden grille set off with a heavy chrome bar that included parking lights. The rear fins were capped with chrome moldings and highlighted with anodized aluminum side trim panels.
Interior view of 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. (Picture from: http://www.flickriver.com/)
The fuel-filler door was concealed in the left rear chrome fin trim, a small but convenient detail that helped clean up exterior lines. (Jump to Previous-Part.) *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | SUPANET | SWIDE]
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