Are '50s Cars Your Thing? Let's See How Much You Really Know!


About This Quiz

The 1950’s ushered in a car culture where a powerful engine with a sleek body and absolutely no concern for safety was considered a great idea by just about everyone. It was post-WWII across the world, and Studebaker had just unveiled their completely newly designed third generation models in 1947. In fact, those were the first new cars after WWII. Suddenly, the race for the best car was on, and Elvis was uplifting the masses as he blared through car radios while parents grumbled about the re-emergence of hot rod culture into pop culture.

It seems that the post-war United States was ready to live loud; and fast, powerful, sexy cars was the way to do it. If you know ‘50s cars, then you know what we mean by a love of not just cruising, but speeding! In case you don’t, the quiz will test you on it.

With a thirst for a life fully lived, the United States was suddenly ready to buy, buy, and buy! This motto led to three out of every five families owning a car by 1950, a 40 percent increase from 1941!

To keep up with the demand, car manufacturers were extravagantly unveiling new models every year with such unique designs that eventually you, as a car buyer, could personalize just about anything in the vehicle! You wanted everything green? And we mean everything? No problem! By 1959 even tail fins had grown to such proportions as to mimic the equally strong drive to go into space with rockets. The 1950’s wanted it all and depending on where and who you were, you very well felt like you could get it, or, at least next years' model might have what you want.

Now before we start to give the answers away, it's time for you to see just how much about this iconic time in car history you actually know!

Who went out of business in the '50s?

Small auto makers were a thing of the past. Large manufacturers literally swallowed up the whole industry.

What became commonplace in 1950s cars?

The super powerful V-8 engine had been around for some time, but it became common in the '50s. Due to how large the cars were, it just fit, literally and figuratively​.

Who did the U.S. out-produce in terms of car production?

The U.S. out-produced all these countries several times over in terms of car production. In fact, they were the world leaders at the time.

Which car manufacturers were casualties in the '50s?

RIP to these car manufacturers. The list also includes Hudson, Packard, and Kaiser-Frazer.

What was "planned obsolescence"?

GM designer Harley Earl thought that by introducing something new every three years or so, it would induce people to buy the new model. This was "planned obsolescence."

Which car manufacturers blossomed in the '50s?

These three car manufacturers were at the top of their game. They made innovations in both design and technology.

What stopped motor production in 1952?

There was a nation-wide steel strike in 1952. This seriously hindered automotive production.

Which car was a status-lifter?

If you owned a Cadillac, you got a boost in status. I mean, Elvis owned one, so that says everything right there.

Which of these describes design innovations in the '50s?

'50s cars were longer, lower and wider in general. Today, these cars seem more like ships than automobiles.

What was the most popular foreign car company​ in the '50s?

Volkswagen was the most popular foreign car at the time. And the U.S. was importing more cars that it exported!

What kept growing in size in the '50s?

The fins kept growing! They started out as modest, but by 1959 cars like Cadillacs had flamboyant fins, to say the least.

Which of these was popular in the '50s?

Hardtop convertibles were quite popular in the '50s. The first power hardtop was the Ford Skyliner.

In what year was the Ford Edsel introduced?

The Ford Edsel was named for Henry Ford's only son, Edsel, who died in 1943. Discontinued in 1959, the Edsel was Ford's biggest failure.

What was there a huge increase of in 1951?

There was a huge increase in automatic transmissions in 1951. 1.5 million fully automatic cars were made that year.

What did the automotive industry think about the one-car family?

The automotive industry wanted the one-car family to be a thing of the past. They imagined a world where families had different cars for various uses.

Why did Crosley Motors fail in the '50s?

Crosley Motors banked on consumers purchasing their compact cars. The company folded in 1952.

Which of these was popular in the 1950s?

All of these cars were big winners during the '50s. They would define the decade in terms of automobiles.

What was created in the '50s?

The '50s marked the birth of the sports car. In fact, it was when the Corvette was born.

What was the Chrysler engine that was an innovation in power?

The Hemi engine was a huge step forward in terms of power. Chrysler was seriously leading the way in terms of what cars would eventually be capable of.

What had a revolution in 1957?

There was a huge boom in station wagon sales in 1957. Before that, it was considered a luxury for most people, but on this year it turned into a family car.

The 1950s auto boom helped to do what?

Cars in the '50s literally made the U.S. the superpower that it is today. Manufacturing led to incredible prosperity for this country.

What company merged with Packard Motor Company in 1954?

Studebaker merged with Packard in 1954. They were hoping to compete with the "Big Three" manufacturers.

Why did car ownership become ubiquitous in the '50s?

Simply put, everyone moved to the suburbs. This meant that folks had to have a car to get around.

When did the Chrysler 300 letter series come out?

The Chrysler 300 letter series definitely broke with the past. It was the answer to the old pre-WWII​ style and presented a great design innovation.

Which museum houses many 1950s dream cars?

The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan is home to some of the most amazing '50s cars. This includes the famous 1951 GM LeSabre.

When was air conditioning introduced?

In 1953, a few car models featured air conditioning. This was definitely optional equipment.

Who created the aerodynamic look?

Chrysler really went for the aerodynamic look thanks to Virgil Exner. Dodge and Plymouth went the same route.

What was the predominant style of cars in the '50s?

Cars in the '50s were down for being flamboyant. There were some serious chrome-laden body designs.

How many vehicles were made in 1950?

Almost 8 million cars were made in 1950. In fact, the number was 7,987,000 to be exact.

When did automatic power windows become commonplace?

In the 1950s, automatic windows were no longer for luxury cars only. The design feature became widespread.

Who made a rocket-like fantasy car?

In 1959, Cadillac came out with the Cyclone, a car that seriously looked like a rocket. It had a clear plastic "bubble" top.

Which of these was a '50s innovation?

Chrysler introduced power steering in 1951. It was known as Hydraguide.

What was the automotive industry's best year in the '50s?

1953 was the automotive industry's best year. This followed two years of shortages and restrictions.

Who sold the most cars in the '50s?

Chevrolet was the top seller in the '50s! They sold 13,419,048 vehicles in total! Go Chevy!

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