The 1950s was an interesting decade for car styling. Once the “three box” styling of the ’49 Fords caught on, things were very conventional, but the mid ’50s saw the flowering of American style, with the Corvette, Thunderbird and tri-five Chevys leading the way. So cars from the early 1950s tend to look a bit mundane, at least compared to what came later in the decade. While most early ’50s cars might be a bit boring, some of them undoubtedly deserve the appellation “handsome”. The Chevrolet Bel Air and Chrysler New Yorker were targeted at different ends of the market, with Chevrolet being one of the “low price three” (along with Ford and Plymouth nameplates), and the New Yorker being one of Chrysler’s upscale brands. Chevy would not yet introduce the small block V8 for another year so this Bel Air has the venerable inline Chevy six, while the New Yorker has a first generation Hemi. Still, they’re both good looking automobiles, even if they aren’t as flashy as the tri-five and “forward look” cars that were to come. Both cars are survivors, still mostly original. I love the thermos rack that hangs on the back of the Chevy’s front seat. I can easily imagine a 1950s era mom saying, on a long trip, “Kids, can you hand me the thermos so your father can have some coffee?”.
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