1958 - Trouble in space, bumps in the road

1958 - Trouble in space, bumps in the road

The explosive optimism that was the signature of the 1950s came to a sudden and abrupt end as USSR launched Sputnik, the first satellite to orbit the earth. Partially to help quell this malaise, Detroit went into overtime layering chrome on their giant beasts like eye shadow on a hooker - and with much the same effect. What went wrong in this year? Jim Cherry has some insights in our time machine back to the 1950s. 

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The Landmark Cord 810/812

The Landmark Cord 810/812

As the Great Depression ground on, car companies started dropping like flies. Many historic brands like Pierce-Arrow disappeared forever, but innovative automaker E.L. Cord decided the time was right for a radical new approach. Company designer Gordon Buehrig was assigned to design a car that would come to be recognized as one of the most beautiful automobiles ever produced. And Cord was serious about innovation; that gorgeous sheet metal would rest atop an innovative, front-wheel drive chassis.

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The Classic Auto Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center

The Classic Auto Show at the Los Angeles Convention Center

Described by its promoters as “everything automotive” the first Classic Auto Show fulfilled that promise with a bewildering variety of over six hundred vintage rides at L.A. Convention Center’s South Hall. The word eclectic seemed unavoidable while strolling past a mighty Duesenberg with a hood longer than the presidential campaign season, an ultra-rare coachbuilt Volkswagen, rows of fresh looking, restored Mustangs and Datsun 340Zs, and the original 1964 Meyers Manx dune buggy prototype

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