Customs & Classics
As well as rocketship like fins and long voluptuous bodies, the US cars of the 50s had fascinating front ends.
Here's our Five Great Grilles of the 50s.
GM's Mom and Pop brand was nevertheless a style-builder, with bullets and chrome just like more stylish products and a unique three front wing porthole design on each side that it retains to this day.
Dodge, Chrysler, Plymouth, Desoto and even Imperial shared bodies unashamedly during the 50s to the extent that shaping and chroming the grille and bumpers was often the only way to tell them apart.
The Ford Fairlane borrowed much from its Thunderbird coupe range-mate in the late 50s and used its own rendering the more charismatic car’s grille as a kind of corporate connection and selling tool.
With the American industry's best designers and stylists, Cadillac could get away with more than other car companies in terms of fins and grilles and set trends that lesser brands looked awkward with.
By the end of the 50s, Pontiac started a split-grille design style it would refine in the 60s to great effect once it had shed the overwrought fins, and it became one of the American style leaders as a result.
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