Look at 1959 General Motors, Ford, MoPar and compare

Nahhh, I have been a fan of the back-half Pro Street cars long before Road Kill came out… But yes I like some of the Motor Trend TV stuff…

If everyone one had the same need and taste in cars, there would only be one car model to choose from.
I like most post-war to mid 60s domestic styling, with, obviously some exceptions. As far as Ford, by 59 they got most of the problems corrected on the Skyliner (last year) but I preferred the proportions of the Sunliner.
Like that era of British sports cars and upper tier British sedans styling, though I doubt I could fit in a Bugeye Sprite.
Liked all of the Hawks, including the Packard Hawk.


I was a senior in high school when the 1959 models hit the showrooms. I didn’t like the looks of most of the offerings. The best of the 1959 models were the Ford and the Studebaker Lark.
At the time, my family had a 1954 Buick with 85,000 on the odometer. We went for a road test in a 1959 Buick Invicta 4 door hard top demonstrator. Neither my dad nor I liked the driving position. Because of the driveshaft hump, the seats were hard in the middle. My Dad said he thought $3400 for a 4 passenger car was ridiculous. We thought our 1954’Buick was much more comfortable.
The summer that I graduated, I had an occasion to drive a 1959 Ford in the job I had. I found it much more comfortable to drive than than the 1959 Buick. The trunk of the Ford was much better laid out than the 1959 Buick. Later, our family road tested s 1959 Studebaker Lark V-8. It had much better accomodations for passengers than the 1959 Buick.
In 1959, the nation was in a recession. The Rambler and Studebaker sales increased while GM, Ford, and Chrysler sales plummeted. The Volkswagen Beetle became popular. In 1960, GM brought out the Corvair, Ford introduced the Falcon and Chrysler’s Valiant hit the showrooms. Motorists began buying transportation as opposed to styling.
I bought the 1954 Buick from my Dad in 1963 when I was in graduate school. When I sold the Buick in 1965, it had over 160.000 miles on the odometer. The heads and pan had never been off the engine block and the engine did not use oil. Those “nail head” V8 engines were great.

In those days, there was a slogan “you are what you drive”. It was very true. In the 50’s, when I grew up, folks were judged by the car they owned, what kind of house they lived in, etc. To a great degree, this influenced what job opportunities you had, what clubs you could join, who your friends were. Sure, it was wrong, but that was simply the way things were. My father, for example, only drove about 2,000 miles per year, but got a new Chrysler New Yorker every 3 years.

1 Like

That still holds true to this day for the most part…
I have even seen it on here in some ways… :wink:

They have a Jaguar XJ that they put a blown SBC with a high rise in. I immediately thought of that when I read your post.

The Draguar is pretty cool… lol

The inline 8 that preceded the V8 was possibly an even better engine. Certainly smoother.

1 Like

A friend of my sisters showed up one night with her moms new 1960 Buick. Yeah it was a little big but all of us kids gathered around amazed at power windows and seats and all of the other doo dads that were missing on the ole Chevy biscayne wagon with a six and manual transmission.

As 12 year olds, I don’t think anyone was interested in impressing the “right people” or a country club membership. The country club was just a place where you climbed the fence at night to use the pool. It just made our mouth water to own and drive a car like that. We knew about the big houses a few miles away I guess but just didn’t fixate on it as a way to demonstrate anything to the world. We just wondered what we would have to do to be able to own stuff like that. Did we have to go to school and get a job at a bank like her mom? Young minds a workn on a career path.

Then there was an older neighbor kid who was always trying to impress. He bought a red mercury covertible. Got a job at a men’s store to wear a suit to work. Then became a radio announcer and still to this day drives a new red caddy. We just thought how sad he is so insecure. Gave up drinking a couple years ago and just goes to the bars and drinks sodas.

Most of us weren’t interested with status though but just wanted nicer stuff. Then the 61s came out while the cars from Europe still had running boards and fenders. I guess Detroit gobbled up all the designers.

Speaking of “over the top” car designs of the early '60s, here is Bobby Darrin’s Dream Car:

They got the fins a little too far forward. And the shoulda just used fiberglass instead… of course not much done in fiberglass then

European designers were also capable of some over-the-top designs in the '50s, and today these Alfa Romeo concept cars are worth a whole heap of money:

Yeah, but in 1959 $100 was serious money (on a car that probably cost about $1,500).

Cars have been a reflection of the owner’s taste from the very beginning. Rich folks buying chassis with engines sent straight to their favorite coachbuilder.

The market now has many options for whatever personal style or image the owner wants to project. Greenies would buy the Prius, now a Tesla. People buy Corvettes as their retirement car because they lusted for one for decades. They buy big trucks to play cowboy, trucker or mud-runner.

Back in the 50s the veterans would drive MGs or Triumphs or other cars they saw in Europe. College professors would drive Saabs, VWs, Humbers or other oddities. The “keeping up with the Joneses” crowd would buy big new American cars every other year.

Different strokes for different folks


Maybe I mentioned it before but a couple months ago hemmings had an article on the Gm olds valiants. They were packaged for disabled veterans from ww2. You could order one or the dealer could install the package. Different packages for missing leg or arm etc. I think ford also came up with something. Interesting.

Just saw this picture, cross a BMW with a Volkswagen you get a Toyota.

1 Like

What model year is that Toyota? Suicide doors and semaphore turn signals, must be ancient.

Introduced in 1947, the Toyopet SA was Toyota’s first all-new post-war passenger car design. It was advanced for a Japanese car of its time, but due to limitations on automobile production and Japan’s market conditions at the time, only 215 were built. The Toyota Automobile Museum has probably the nicest remaining example in existence, and it actually runs

Thanks. I found pictures of the Toyopet Crown, but not that version.