A Look Back at the History of the American Automobile
With the American Auto Industry in a crisis like it has never faced before, I thought we could take a look back at the past 100 years of American Vehicles to see the highlights (and lowlights) of an industry on the edge of collapse.
This is a new feature that will become a regular segment for this blog.
Key Developments 1956:
• The Chrysler group starts to use push button automatics and Hi-Fi record players in their cars.
• AMC produces two new engines, their own V8 and an air-cooled V4 weighing 200lbs.
• The V8 is king with the majority of vehicles sold in North America featuring one.
• Quad lighting up front is finally approved. It will be featured on vehicles by 1958.
• The last of the Nash Metropolitan Series 54’s were sold this year.
Top 5 New Models:
• Cadillac Sedan de Ville Hard Top – First four door hardtop from Cadillac, has the standard Cadillac 6.0L V8.
• Chevrolet Corvette – Restyled this year, power was 210HP or 225HP depending on options.
• Continental Mark II – 6.0L V8 making 285HP. Cost an astonishing $10 000.
• Desoto Adventurer – Top of the line model featured a very powerful 320HP V8.
• Studebaker Golden Hawk – Top of the line in the Hawk sports car family, powered by a V8.
Top 5 ‘Hottest’ Models:
• Chevrolet Bel Air – face lifted in 1956, sporting a powerful V8.
• Chrysler 300-B – 5.8L V8 making 355HP made this one fast car.
• Ford Thunderbird – Continued to sell well, still packing a V8.
• Packard Caribbean – Featured a 310HP V8 with a limited slip differential.
• Plymouth Fury – 240HP V8 and special paint made this car stand out.