Henry Ford put America on wheels but Detroit in the 1950's gave us style, splendor and even pizzazz! No decade in history was better parodied by the automobile. While the fashion and architecture of the day portrayed conformity the American car screamed out the Country's optimism and enthusiasm in a decade of hope. Detroit's car manufacturers looked at conformity as an alien concept and did everything in their power to excite buyers to flock to their new car showrooms. In 1950 there were 40 million cars on the road by the end of the decade that number would almost double. The car became the epicenter of our collective success. We wanted it bigger, taller, more powerful and dripping with chrome. Tailfins resembled deep sea monsters. As the Europeans were churning out sub-compact autos and sports cars the American car manufacturers would have no part of it. Heavy metal could have been the catch phrase for Detroit cars in the 1950s. While the "Big Three" (General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation) duked it out to keep their top spots there was still room for some pretty healthy competition. Crosley, Hudson, Kraiser-Frazer, Nash, Packard, Studebaker and Willys were all stiff competitors and managed to substantially water down market share for GM, Ford and Chrysler. More importantly however they brought important innovations and features to the car buying public.
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