Cars have always been about style, and in the fifties and early sixties that style was often derived from the Jet aircraft that were then the whiz-bang latest and greatest technological advancement, at least here in the U.S.. That resulted in wing-like fins, side swoops, and hood ornaments that looked like actual aircraft. On the inside, it meant cabins that emulated the cockpits of these modern aircraft, or at the very least, a look that car stylists thought would make you feel like you were piloting the latest jet fighter.
Chrome played a big part in both the exterior, and somewhat surprisingly considering its highly reflective nature, the interiors of these cars. Car makers of the era celebrated chrome as though it were a long-lost friend, which it had been having been banned from excessive use during the war in the previous decade. Also finding a place in these jet age cars were controls that seemed from the future, things like pushbutton transmission selectors, and self-seeking AM radio dials. It was a glorious age in which to live.
Few of us lived in that era, I know I didn’t, but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate it’s naiveté and sense of hope in the future. Lots of cars from this era had magnificent, baroque dashboards that were excessive endeavors in both venture and execution. Let’s look back and decide if we can find which one was the greatest.
Image: Curbside Classics