The styling of American automobiles typically reflect the eras they were designed in. For example, the rounded fenders and bodies of the 1940s cars were a sharp contrast to the angular features of the 1930s cars.  The heavily chromed grills and elevated tail fins of the 1950s cars reflected the fascination that America was developing for aircraft and air travel. The beefy muscle cars of the 1960s illustrated the fascination that was developing in fast cars and raw performance. With the help from Patrick Volvo of Schaumburg, IL, a factory-authorized Volvo dealer, we survey some examples of cars that perfectly represented the feelings of the times.

  • The Tucker

Most post-war automobile designs were rehashes of pre-war designs. The reason for this isn’t obscure: During the war virtually all of the car manufacturers switched over to building war machinery and car designing was put on the back burner.  Preston Tucker, a brilliant automotive visionary, however, kept at it. During the war, he fleshed out his design for a radical new kind of car and as soon as the war was over. he founded Tucker Motors. With a new company and a cutting-edge car design, he hit the road to secure funding.   Unfortunately, this was via questionable methods and the Securities and Exchange Commission began to take notice. Not only that, he failed to raise enough to keep operations going. The result was that Tucker built just 51 cars before he ran out of money and the company collapsed. By 1950, Tucker Motors became national headlines and the SEC indicted the company’s executives for fraud.

  • Cadillac Eldorado

General Motor’s Cadillac Division launched the Eldorado in 1953. It was General Motor’s exclusive flagship model built to attract premium buyers worldwide. Standard equipment in the 1953 Eldorado included GMs’s Hydra-Matic drive, electric windows, a wraparound windshield, leather upholstery, chrome wire wheels, fog lamps, white sidewall tires, and a “high-tech” signal-seeking radio. By the end of the 1950s, the four-door Eldorado cost more than a Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud and was considered one of the most elegant cars in the world.

  • Ford Mustang

The legendary Lee Iacocca was the man behind the Ford Mustang. Introduced at 1964 World’s Fair, the 2 door Mustang perfectly tapped into the youth market and was an immediate success. Ford sold 1.7 million Mustangs in its first 36 months. In fact, the Ford Mustang has been credited for kicking off the great pony car battle of the 1960s. The other pony cars were models like the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird and the Plymouth Barracuda.  Today, original Mustangs command impressive prices in the collector car marketplace.

  • Dodge Daytona

The Dodge Daytona was a Charger outfitted with a pointed beak and large, almost comical, rear wing. Many wondered why this car was designed so flamboyantly. As it turns out, the Dodge Daytona was built for one reason - to compete at NASCAR races. Back in those days, winning at NASCAR meant increased car sales. However, as far as sales were concerned, its looks were considered goofy by the car buying public. Today original Dodge Charger Daytonas are rare birds indeed and command a great deal of money from collectors.

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