American Cars, 1946–1959

Every Model, Year by Year


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About the Book

From the resumption of automobile production at the close of World War II through the 1950s, the American auto industry would see the births and deaths of several manufacturers, great technological advances, and an era of dramatic styling as a prospering nation asserted its growing mobility. Cars of this period are among the most iconic vehicles ever built in the United States: the 1949 Ford, the remarkable Studebaker designs of 1950 and 1953, the 1955–1957 Chevrolets, the “Forward Look” Chrysler products, the ill-fated Edsel and many others.
This comprehensive reference book details every model from each of the major manufacturers (including independents such as Kaiser-Frazer and Crosley but excluding very low-volume marques such as Tucker) from model years 1946 through 1959. Year by year, it provides an overview of the industry and market, followed by an individual report on each company: its main news for the year (introductions or cancellations of models, new engines and transmissions, advertising themes, sales trends etc.); its production figures and market status; and its powertrain offerings, paint colors and major options. The company’s models are then detailed individually with such information as body styles, prices, dimensions and weights, standard equipment and production figures. Nearly 1,000 photographs are included.

About the Author(s)

J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr., is a claim analyst and longtime car enthusiast. He lives in Lenexa, Kansas.

Bibliographic Details

J. “Kelly” Flory, Jr.
Format: hardcover (8.5 x 11)
Pages: 1047
Bibliographic Info: 948 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3229-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5230-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Abbreviations      ix

Preface      1

Introduction      5

1946      15

1947      69

1948      126

1949      184

1950      250

1951      318

1952      391

1953      469

1954      545

1955      621

1956      700

1957      777

1958      855

1959      938


I. Minor Makes from the Immediate Postwar Period      1011

II. Transmission Types      1016

III. Engine Types      1020

IV. 1950s Dream Cars      1021

V. Milestones      1030

Bibliography      1033

Index      1035

Book Reviews

“recommended”—Choice; “useful…a nice addition”—Booklist; “no library covering American-made automobiles is complete, much less comprehensive, without the three volumes of Kelly Flory’s American Cars…indispensable…a fascinating study”—SAH Journal; “comprehensive…detailed”—Antique Automobile Club of America; “invaluable reference”—SciTech Book News; “order this book, lift it out of the shipping carton, and you’ll immediately be struck by what must have gone into organizing and writing it…exceptionally useful…this Flory volume is one to which you’ll return many times…is vital to any committed student of cars in the Fifties…[4 Stars…absolute must]”—Hemmings Classic Car; “ready-reference…useful…extensive range of data…will appeal to any library supporting automotive interests”—ARBA.