1950s

Concepts from Future Past: 1958 Ford Nucleon

Concepts from Future Past: 1958 Ford Nucleon
These days, the use of nuclear energy is pretty much limited to power plants and submarines, but there was a time when it was thought the controversial power source could be used to drive our cars.
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Concepts from Future Past: Cadillac Cyclone

Concepts from Future Past: Cadillac Cyclone
Let’s take a trip back to the 1950s, a time when aviation was on the rise, and rocket ships were the future. This set the perfect stage for the design of sleek and streamlined vehicles, some of which looked like they could launch into space.
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Concepts from Future Past: 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II

Concepts from Future Past: 1954 DeSoto Adventurer II
Having operated from 1928 to 1961, Chrysler’s DeSoto nameplate is but a distant memory, though the company did manage to turn out quite a few cars during its lifetime. One of the more impressive designs to emerge from DeSoto was the Adventurer II, a concept car shown in 1954.
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Jay Leno vs. Tim Allen in a “Stock” Sleeper Drag Race

Jay Leno vs. Tim Allen in a “Stock” Sleeper Drag Race
Jay Leno and Tim Allen are both certified car nuts. The two have faced off on Jay Leno’s Garage on several occasions, and they are back at it again in a sleeper drag race. Leno is racing his 1966 Dodge Coronet with a 426 Hemi under the hood.
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The Ghia That Didn’t Win Back Rita Hayworth’s Heart

The Ghia That Didn’t Win Back Rita Hayworth’s Heart
Love stinks. Especially when you get your ex a custom built Cadillac Ghia, she keeps the car but doesn’t get back together with you. Playboy prince Aly Khan endured such a fate in the 1950s, when he tried to win back the love of movie star Rita Hayworth by purchasing one of two custom Cadillacs constructed by Italian coachbuilder Ghia.
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Concepts from Future Past: 1956 Buick Centurion

Concepts from Future Past: 1956 Buick Centurion
The Buick Centurion concept car was seen at the 1956 General Motors Motorama auto show (alongside the Pontiac Club de Mer). Although the car was never meant to be driven, it had a 325 V8 engine under the hood.
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Concepts from Future Past: 1957 Chrysler Diablo

Concepts from Future Past: 1957 Chrysler Diablo
One of the standout design concepts of the 1950s was the ’57 Chrysler Diablo. The Diablo was a two-door convertible that measured in at a whopping 22-feet long. In an era filled with tall family cars with tons of ornate chrome work, the Diablo was much cleaner in line, prognosticating the kinds of design elements that wouldn’t find their way to production cars until the 1960s. The car was built on the chassis of a 1956 Chrysler Imperial, but it sure looked nothing like that car. Initially shown as the 1956 Dart concept by Virgil Exner, it was later modified by Italy’s Carrozzeria Ghia to become the car shown here, adding the convertible top, chopping off the giant fins, and adding the gleaming red paint and trim. Under the hood, the car had a powerful 392 HEMI engine that could push out 375 horsepower.
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Concepts from Future Past: 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer

Concepts from Future Past: 1956 Pontiac Club de Mer
Pontiac followed along with many other carmakers in the 1950s with this jet age-inspired concept car: the Pontiac Club de Mer. The car was first unveiled at the 1956 General Motors Motorama (our current favorite name for a car show).
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Concepts from Future Past: 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne

Concepts from Future Past: 1955 Chevrolet Biscayne
While the Chevrolet Biscayne might not be a name that most people know, this 1955 design study was actually highly influential in some of Chevy’s most popular cars. The ’55 Biscayne marked a move away from the large tailfins and massive amounts of chrome trim, and was more compact and minimal than its contemporaries.
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