Can You Burn Rubber Through This '50s Car Quiz!


By: Steven Symes

6 Min Quiz

Image: Cartype

About This Quiz

Grab a cheeseburger from the carhop and fire up the turbine engine in your wagon, it's time to dive into 1950s car culture.

With World War II in the the rearview mirror, car culture started to evolve quickly in the 1950s, right along with fashion, food, and music. Some people believe the decade was automotive culture's golden era, with all other time periods paling in comparison. While that may be a matter of opinion, there's no denying that automakers got pretty bold with designs. Large tail fins, lights that looked like something that belonged on an aircraft, huge interiors with white upholstery, and many other trends soared as people once again had hope for the future.

Quite a few vehicles now considered classics came out of the decade, namely the venerable Chevy Corvette. Of course, the car population in general exploded during that time, since economic resources were no longer being directed toward a huge war effort. By some estimates, the vehicle population in the United States almost tripled from the beginning of the 1950s to the end. That popularity spawned restaurants and movie theaters that were friendly toward cars, reshaping the cultural landscape.

Just how much do you know about 1950s car culture? Take the quiz and find out!

What sports car did Chevrolet release in 1953?

GM made the Corvette to prove that the Chevy brand could compete against an onslaught of European sports cars, and the result did not disappoint.


In what year did the U.S. government begin expanding the National Highway System?

To accommodate the influx of new cars on the road and people wanting to take them on long trips, the government began building wider highways with multiple lanes and higher speed limits.


What model was the '57 Chevy?

Chevy called this car the "Hot One" after it made a number of upgrades for the 1957 model year, including a grille design that was inspired by Ferrari, full wheel covers, and carpeting.


To what did Lincoln change the name of the Mark II in the late 1950s?

The Lincoln Mark II was one of the luxury vehicles to be seen driving in 1956 and 1957, and it carried a steep price at $10,000 each.


What kind of transmission did the 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental use?

Today, this Bentley is highly collectible thanks to a combination of factors, like its iconic design, thrilling performance for the era, and prestigious image.


What was the first postwar sports car BMW made?

BMW made a strong statement with this car's simple styling, plus a 3.2-liter V-8 , and a stick shifter located in the floor, a first for the brand.


What coachbuilder made the Lincoln Futura concept car?

Ghia was a popular resource in the 1950s, and the 1954 Lincoln Futura played a prominent role, before being transformed into the Batmobile for the "Batman" TV series in the 1960s.


For how much did the luxurious 1955 Chrysler Imperial sell?

This luxury sedan packed a serious punch with a 5.4-liter Hemi V-8 under the hood, plus it came with standard power breaks and power steering.


What two major components were bolted to the Corvette's frame for the first time in 1958?

Before 1958, the Corvette's bumpers were attached to the front and rear body panels, but that design was changed, allowing racers to unbolt the bumpers when competing.


What were the body panels on the 1950 Jaguar XK120 made of?

This high-class British roadster had dramatic looks and 160 horsepower from the 3.4-liter inline six-cylinder engine, making it highly popular with consumers from the beginning.


What model was built to mark the 50th anniversary of Buick?

This car, which was released in 1953, sold for $5,000 and featured handmade body panels, plus a 5.3-liter Nailhead V-8.


What was the design inspiration for the 1955 Ford Mystere concept?

Among the interesting design details was the full glass roof canopy, which was hinged so people could get in and out of the car, plus a place for a gas-turbine engine that was never installed.


When the LeSabre badge was first used on a concept, for what brand was it?

In 1951, the GM LeSabre concept really turned heads, thanks to details like hidden headlights, a jet-inspired design, and big tailfins.


What was the fastest car in the world in 1955?

The top speed of this car is estimated to be about 120 mph, which was pretty fast for the time.


What Chevrolet that launched in the 1950s was named after a beach in Florida?

Debuting in 1954, the Delray was an optional trim level for the coupe version of the 210 series midsize car, until eventually it was spun off as a separate line, replacing the 150.


Which of the following luxuries weren't included in the 1950 Pontiac Chieftain Catalina Coupe?

This uber-luxurious car carried a price tag of about $6,000 and had a 116-horsepower V-8 under the hood.


Where did the Ferrari 250 Europa GT make its debut?

In 1954, Ferrari unveiled this version of the 250 series, which packed a serious punch with a 250 V-12 under the shapely hood.


What size engine did the Porsche 550 use?

The 1.5-liter air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine had a configuration that included four camshafts and two valves per cylinder, producing a peak 108 horsepower.


What Ford vehicle became its most infamous of the decade?

The Edsel line was supposed to be the car of the future, but the Edsel was a tremendous failure when it launched in 1958, and by 1960, it went defunct.


What company made the Henry J?

Kaiser launched the Henry J as a compact car that could achieve 25 mpg in 1951. Unfortunately, Americans who wanted such vehicles preferred Volkswagens, and the Henry J line folded in 1954.


How tall were the fins on the 1959 Cadillac Series 62?

That crazy rear styling involved more than just tail fins, thanks to twin bullet taillight lenses that protruded rearward, adding to the aviation-inspired looks.


What kind of a car was the second-gen Nash Rambler?

The second generation of the Nash Rambler was made from 1953 to 1955, with a coupe, four-door sedan, convertible, two-door wagon, and a four-door wagon all in the lineup.


What year was the Buick Limited offered?

Buick made a truly limited, brash, and unabashedly kitsch land yacht with the 1958 Buick Limited, which today is considered a true classic.


What company did Chrysler team up with to create the Dart/Diablo concept car?

Ghia and Chrysler worked together quite a bit in the 1950s, although many consider the Dart/Diablo concept car to be the best product of that collaboration.


What wasn't different about the Allard Palm Beach versus the brand's other roadsters?

Shoppers rejected this new approach by Allard, which featured British Ford four- and six-cylinder engines, but it lasted from 1952 to 1959.


For what did GM bring back the Futurliners in the 1950s?

The Parade of Progress wasn't a real parade, but instead was a technology show GM took on the road to plenty of cities as a way to flex its muscles.


What version of its pickup did Dodge debut in 1957 to compete with the Chevy Cameo Carrier?

The Dodge Pickup Sweptside was a prestige truck, complete with dual flanks that mimicked the styling of station wagons from the era.


What powered the GM XP-21 Firebird concept car?

This crazy concept vehicle essentially was a small jet on wheels, taking the airplane-inspired theme to new levels.


By the end of the 1950s, how many drive-in theaters were in the United States?

With the explosion of cars on the road, everything car-related became popular, including these open-air theaters where you could enjoy a movie from your own vehicle.


What did people call the front end of the 1952 Studebaker Commander State Starliner?

While some liked to call it a shovel snout, others preferred the term clam digger, but Studebaker didn't like to use that one.


What design element from the Oldsmobile Golden Rocket concept was later used in the Corvette?

Even though the Golden Rocket debuted in 1956, its unique back window was used for the 1963 Chevy Corvette.


What was the real reason Fiat made the 8V?

While Fiat was and still is known for making four-cylinder economy cars, the 8V packed a serious punch with a 70-degree V-8 that wasn't ever used by Fiat again.


To what car was the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud I almost identical?

Made from 1955 to 1959, this car very prominently featured the Rolls-Royce radiator and flying lady mascot on the front, differentiating it from the Bentley.


What was the first year of production for the Ford F-100 pickup?

To mark its gold anniversary, Ford released the F-100 in 1953, and it was a modern take on the pickup truck for the time.


What was a carhop back in the 1950s?

Some carhops wore roller skates as a way to serve people in their vehicles faster, while others would simply walk from the restaurant to the cars.


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