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Classic Car Era Timeline: 1946 - 1972

This is a timeline of the history of the American automobile industry and vehicles along with a sample of noteworthy events that occurred between 1946 and 1972, during the Classic Car Era and you can see pictures of some of the best examples from our classified ads on our Classic Car & Truck Pinerest Board. This is intended as a sampling to give your a feel for the time period rather than a historical reference. We used a wide variety of resources that were often in conflict so you would foolish to copy or quote this information! The pictures are from our archive of past ads (with approval of the owners) but may not be reproduced.

Antique Car Era Timeline - Vintage Car Era Timeline

1946 (Return to Top)

Automobile Industry

New Classic Vehicles For Sale

World Wide Events

  • Approximately 2,155,900 cars were produced
  • Vehicle prices jumped as post war consumers flocked to dealerships
  • Steel shortages hampered production
  • The Kaiser- went into production
  • Nicholas Dreystadt became general manager of Chevrolet
  • Automatic transmissions became popular
  • Wood trim became popular
  • The Airphibian flying car was introduced

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 468,000
Chevrolet = 398,050
Plymouth = 264,650
Dodge = 163,500
Buick = 153,650

  • Buick Estate, Special, Roadmaster & Super
  • Cadillac Series 61, 62, 70 & Sixty Special
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chrysler Imperial, New Yorker, Royal, Saratoga & Country
  • DeSoto Custom, Deluxe & Suburban
  • Ford Super Deluxe
  • GMC Suburban
  • Hudson Commodore
  • Nash 600 & Ambassador
  • Willys Jeep Wagon
1946 Ford Super Deluxe

1946 Ford Super Deluxe *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: George Robson - Average speed: 114.820 mph
  • AT&T introduced the first car phone
  • Time magazine person of the year: James F. Byrnes
  • The beginning of the "Baby Boomer" generation
  • Alaskan 7.4 earthquake caused 60 foot tidal waves in Hawaii
  • U.S. troops seized control of U.S. railroads during a union strike
  • Bikini swimming suites promoted in Paris, France
  • Tupperware became available
  • Dean Martin, B.B. Kink and Bill Haley started music careers
  • Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Duke Ellington and the Andrews Sisters were popular
  • Baseball World Series was won by the St. Louis Cardinals
1947 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 3,555,800 cars were produced
  • Inflation continued to drive vehicle prices up
  • Kaiser-Frazer acquired Graham-Paige
  • Outside visors came back as an accessory
  • Most vehicles still resembled pre-war models
  • Packard introduced power seats
  • Tucker produced the "Tucker Torpedo"
  • Henry Ford senior died
  • The Taft-Hartley Labor Act ended the United Auto Workers strike against Ford, Chrysler and General Motors
  • Phillips Petroleum developed a new synthetic rubber
  • Goodyear Tire introduced a new low pressure "Supper Cushion" tire
  • Automatic transmissions became standard on some models
  • Lincoln introduced pull-type door handles
  • Ford created the Lincoln-Mercury division and dealer network
  • The Davis Motor Car Company introduced a three wheeled car
  • The Bobbi Company became the Keller Motors Corporation

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 671,550
Ford = 429,650
Plymouth = 382,300
Buick = 272,850
Dodge = 243,150

  • Cadillac Fleetwood & Fleetwood Brougham
  • Chevrolet Advance Design
  • Packard Custom
  • Studebaker Commander, Starlight & Champion
  • Willys Jeep Truck
1947 Packard Custom

1947 Packard Custom *

  • Saab produced their first automobile
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Mauri Rose - Average speed: 116.338 mph
  • Land speed record set in U.S. - internal combustion engine - 394.19 mph
  • B.F. Goodrich introduced the tubeless tire
  • Time magazine person of the year: George Marshall
  • The Polaroid camera was invented
  • Howard Hughes flew the "Spruce Goose"
  • Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball
  • Studebaker introduce a post-war automobile model
  • A UFO was reported in Roswell, New Mexico
  • An airplane broke the sound barrier for the first time
  • The "Cold War" began between Eastern and Western countries
  • The United Nations voted to create Israel
  • Jackie Robinson became the first negro to play Major League baseball
  • Walter Morrison invented the Frisbee
  • The first long playing record (LP) was produced
  • The transistor and Hologram were invented
  • A Miracle on 34th Street movie was released
  • The Diary of Anne Frank was published
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
1948 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 3,910,200 cars were produced
  • Material shortages and auto worker strikes continued and stymied production
  • Very few new models were introduced
  • Hudson introduced a new "Step-Down" series of cars
  • Cadillac introduced tail fins, modeled after the Lockheed P-38
  • Ford introduced a thermostatically controlled engine fan
  • Total American vehicle production exceeded 100 million
  • B.F. Goodrich introduced the tubeless tire
  • George Mason became president of Nash

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 696,450
Ford = 430,200
Plymouth = 412,550
Dodge = 243,340
Pontiac = 235,400

  • Dodge B Series & Route-Van
  • Ford Vanette & Pickup Truck F-Series
  • Oldsmobile Futuramic
  • Willys Jeepster Phaeton convertible
1948 Ford F1 Pickup Truck

1948 Ford F1 Pickup Truck *

  • NASCAR held its first modified stock car race at Daytona Beach
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Mauri Rose - Average speed: 119.814 mph
  • Texaco Star Theater began
  • Time magazine person of the year: Harry S. Truman
  • The Berlin Blockade started
  • Harry S. Truman desegregated the armed forces
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Cleveland Indians
  • The XIV Summer Olympics were held in London, UK
  • The V Winter Olympics were held in St. Moritz, Switzerland
  • Polio was emerging throughout the world
  • Velcro was invented
  • The transistor radio was invented
1949 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 6,253,650 vehicles were produced
  • Supplies and new models became more plentiful
  • Hardtop convertibles and station wagons were popular
  • The first Volkswagens were sold in the United States
  • Renault and other European auto makers entered the US market
  • Buick introduced "port-holes"
  • Ford flathead engines were popular with hot rodders
  • Crosley introduced 4-wheel disc brakes
  • Chrysler introduced keyed ignition-starting switches

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 1,118,300
Chevrolet = 1,010,000
Plymouth = 520,400
Buick = 409,150
Pontiac = 304,800

  • Cadillac Coupe de Ville
  • Chevrolet Special
  • Chrysler Newport
  • Dodge Meadowbrook
  • Ford Coronet
  • Kaiser Traveler & Vagabond
  • Muntz Jet
  • Nash Airflytes
  • Oldsmobile Holiday
  • Packard Twenty-Third Series
  • Pontiac Silver-Streak
1949 Dodge Meadowbrook Sedan

1949 Dodge Meadowbrook Sedan *

  • Gasoline sold for 17 cents a gallon
  • The first Volkswagen "Beetle" was sold in the U.S.
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Bill Holland - Average speed: 121.327 mph
  • The average house sold for about $7,500
  • Time magazine person of the year: Winston Churchill
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Cadillac Motor Division
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was formed
  • The Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb
  • Germany was divided into East Germany and West Germany
  • Harry S. Truman started his second term
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
  • The first Polaroid camera went on sale
  • The first Emmy Awards ceremony aired on television
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) was started
  • RCA perfected the color television
  • Forty-Five rpm records were introduced
  • The "Ferranti Mark 1" was the first computer to go on sale
  • South Pacific opened on Broadway
1950 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Ransom E. Olds died
  • Fear of shortages due to the Korean War drive production and sales up
  • Some automobile manufacturers returned to making war products
  • There were almost 40 million passenger cars on the road
  • Most cars on the road were over seven years old
  • Pillarless hardtops were popular
  • Chevrolet introduced the two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission
  • More manufacturers offered disc brakes
  • An Oldsmobile Rocket 88 exceeded 100mph at Daytona racetrack
  • The first automatic carburetor chokes were introduced
  • The Studebaker "bullet nose" was introduced
  • Goodyear introduced a self-sealing tubeless tire

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,498,600
Ford = 1,208,900
Plymouth = 610,950
Buick = 588,450
Pontiac = 446,450

  • Chevrolet Bel Air
  • Ford Crestliner
  • Hudson Pacemaker series
  • Nash Rambler
  • Nash-Kelvinator NX1
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Johnnie Parsons - Average speed: 124.002 mph
  • The Korean War began
  • Time magazine person of the year: The American fighting-man
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: none
  • The comic strip Peanuts started
  • NBC launched first television show
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Giants
  • The first TV remote control was introduced
  • There were 8 million homes with televisions
  • Ralph Schneider invented the credit card
  • The "Great Brinks Robbery" occurred in Boston, MA
  • Senator McCarthy started the prosecution of Communists
  • U.S. troops seized control of U.S. railroads to prevent another strike
1950 Chevrolet Bel Air

1950 Chevrolet Bel Air *

1951 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 5,300,000 cars
  • Production was limited by Korean War needs and labor strikes
  • Over 100 million cars had been built in America
  • Chrysler introduced the hemispherical (Hemi) cylinder head
  • Hardtop cars without pillars were the trend
  • Chrysler introduced hydraulic power steering
  • Ford introduced the "Ford-O-Matic" automatic transmission
  • Mercury introduced the "Merc-O-Matic" automatic transmission
  • Kaiser introduced the padded dashboard and pop-out windshield for safety
  • Studebaker introduced Orlon convertible tops

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,230,000
Ford = 1,013,400
Plymouth = 611,000
Buick = 404,650
Pontiac = 370,150

  • Ford Country Squire
  • Fraiser Henry J
  • Hudson Hornet
  • Nash-Healey
  • Nash Rambler Country Club
  • Oldsmobile Super 88 series
  • Plymouth Belvedere hartop
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Lee Walland - Average speed: 126.244 mph
  • Gasoline sold for 19 cents/gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: Mohammad Mossadegh
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Chrysler Corporation
  • The Twenty-second Amendment, limiting the president to two terms, was passed
  • U.S. unemployment dropped to 3.3 percent
  • Harry S. Truman fired General Douglas MacArthur as commander of United Nations Forces
  • Japanese Peace Treaty Conference: The conference was broadcast live on television in San Francisco, California
  • The newsmagazine and documentary series See It Now, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, began to be broadcast
  • Luis Miramontes invented the contraceptive pill
  • Direct dialing from coast-to-coast occurred for the first time
  • The first color television picture was broadcast from the Empire State Building
  • The first nuclear bomb was tested in Nevada
  • The "Great Flood" occurred in the Midwest
  • Disc Jockey Alan Freed coined the term "Rock N Roll"
  • Dennis the Menace comic strip first appeared
  • Popular TV shoes: I Love Lucy and What's My Line?
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
1952 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 4,337,500 cars were produced
  • Ford was the only major company to produce completely new vehicles
  • Cadillac 190hp engine was the highest horsepower
  • Power steering became more popular
  • Ford introduced suspended brake and clutch pedals
  • Lincoln introduced ball-joint front suspension and 4-way power seats
  • Dashboards take on airplane cockpit looks
  • Packard introduced power brakes
  • James Nance became president of Packard
  • Chrysler introduced overdrive transmissions
  • Studebaker celebrated their 100th year
  • &Unibodies" were inrodced
  • Cadillac first put exhaust pipes in the rear bumper

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 818,150
Ford = 671,750
Plymouth = 396,000
Buick = 303,750
Pontiac = 271,350

  • Chrysler Imperial Parade Phaeton
  • DeSoto Firedome & Powermaster
  • Ford Ranch Wagon, Country Sedan, Courier, Crestline, Customline & Mainline
  • Hudson Wasp
  • Sears-Roebuck Allstate
  • Willys Aero
1952 Studebaker

1952 Studebaker *

  • Gasoline reached 20 cents/gallon
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Troy Ruttman - Average speed: 128.922 mph
  • Time magazine person of the year: Elizabeth II
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Cadillac Motor Division
  • The fear of Polio continued with 50,000 families affected
  • The Korean War continued
  • Rocky Marciano became the World Heavyweight Champion
  • Steel plants were placed under presidential control to prevent a strike
  • The Today Show debuted on NBC
  • The "Big Bang" theory about the creation of the universe was introduced
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) opened
  • MAD Magazine published their first issue
  • The first ""Don''t Walk" signal was installed in New York
  • The bar code was invented
  • Roll-on deodorant was invented
  • Baseball World Series was won by New York Yankees
  • The XV Summer Olympics were held in London, UK
  • The VI Winter Olympics were held in Oslo, Norway
1953 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 6,134,550 cars were produced
  • The end of the Korean War, limited supplies and restrictions brought prosperity to automakers
  • Style and engineering led the way
  • Ford tried everything to outsell Chevrolet - but didn't make it
  • The race for supremacy forced many independent automakers out of business
  • Ford and Buick celebrated 50 years in business
  • The average car was traveling 10,000 miles a year
  • The 12 volt electrical system was introduced
  • Most new cars came with automatic transmission and power steering
  • Many GM cars were given Dynaflow rather than Hydra-Matic transmissions due to a fire in the plant
  • Chrysler introduced PowerFlite automatic transmissions
  • It was the last year for the Ford flathead V-8 engine
  • Dual carburetors was a popular way to increase horsepower progressively
  • Plymouth introduced the "Hy-Drive" manual transmission with a torque converter
  • Several independent companies offered custom fiberglass bodies on GM, Ford and Chrysler chassis

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,346,450
Ford = 1,247,550
Plymouth = 650,450
Buick = 488,750
Pontiac = 418,600

  • Buick Skylark
  • Cadillac Eldorado
  • Chevrolet 150, 210, Bel Air, Townsman & Corvette
  • Hudson Jet
  • Kaiser Dragon
  • Packard Caribbean
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Bill Vukovich - Average speed: 128.740 mph
  • There were twice as many motels as hotels
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower became the 34th President
  • Time magazine person of the year: Konrad Adenauer
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: non
  • Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed
  • An armistice was reached in Korea
  • Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to climb Mount Everest
  • Jonas Salk created a vaccine for Polio
  • Ian Fleming published the first James Bond novel
  • Playboy Magazine published their first issue
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
  • Disney released the movie Peter Pan
  • The first color television sets went on sale for over $1,000
  • The first three color traffic lights were used in New York
  • Cigarette smoking was first reported to cause lung cancer
1953 Ford Customline

1953 Ford Customline *

1954 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • The horsepower war was on
  • Nash-Kelvinator and Hudson became the American Motors Corporation, with George Romney as president
  • Studebaker and Packard became the Studebaker-Packard Corporation
  • henry Kaiser bought Willys-Overland
  • Oldsmobile and Cadillac came out with wraparound windshields
  • Ford and Mercury came out with sun roofs
  • Hudson built the &Italia& out of aluminum in Italy
  • Packard offered tubeless tires and air conditioning for the first time
  • Chrysler tested a gas turbine engine in a Plymouth Belvedere
  • Ford took back the lead in sales

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 1,165,950
Chevrolet = 1,143,560
Plymouth = 463,150
Buick = 444,600
Oldsmobile = 354,000

  • Am-Motors-Corp Metropolitan
  • Buick Century
  • Dodge C Series, Dodge Town Panel & Town Wagon
  • Hudson Italia
  • Nash and Hudson merged to form the American Motors Corporation (AMC)
  • General Motors built it's 50 millionth car
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Bill Vukovich - Average speed: 130.840 mph
  • Time magazine person of the year: John Foster Dulles
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: none
  • Polio vaccinations for children began
  • The first organ transplant occurred
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of 382.74
  • NBC debuted The Tonight Show
  • Gasoline was 22 cents/gallon and a ticket to the movies was 70 cents
  • The hydrogen bomb was successfully tested
  • The first issue of Sports Illustrated was published
  • Segregation in public schools became illegal
  • Armistice Day was renamed Veteran's Day
  • Social Security started
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at an all-time high of 382.74
  • "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance
  • "The Tonight Show" aired for the first time
  • Popular films: White Christmas and The Caine Mutiny
  • The Lord of the Rings was published
  • The Boeing 707 was the first commercial jet airplane
  • Swanson TV Dinners were first sold
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Giants
  • Robots and solar cells were invented
1954 Plymouth Belvedere

1954 Plymouth Belvedere *

1955 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 7,920,200 cars and 1,249,100 trucks were produced
  • Automobile production increased by 44 percent
  • Chevrolet returned to first place and Buick took third place in sales from Chrysler
  • The average car sold for $2,300 and the average worker made $3,850 a year
  • About 75% of all new cars had V-8 engines and automatic transmissions
  • Air conditioning was becoming a popular option
  • Most buyers borrowed the money
  • Chrysler introduced three-tone paint color schemes
  • The Chevrolet Corvette came out with its first V-8 engine
  • Chrysler made the "Imperial" an independent brand
  • Ford introduced the "Thunderbird"
  • Packard introduced "Tortion-Level" ride
  • Most all new cars were sold with tubeless tires

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,704,650
Ford = 1,451,150
Buick = 738,800
Plymouth = 705,450
Oldsmobile = 583,200

  • Chevrolet Beauville station wagon, Nomad, Task Force, 300 & Imperial
  • DeSoto Fireflite
  • Dodge Royal, Royal Lancer, Custom Royal Lancer, La Femme, Sierra & Suburban
  • Ford Crown Victoria, Fairlane & Thunderbird
  • Hudson Rambler & Metropolitan
  • Jeep DJ
  • Nash Rambler and Metropolitan
  • There were almost eight million cars in the U.S.
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Bob Sweikert - Average speed: 128.213 mph
  • Gasoline sold for 23 cents a gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: Harlow Curtice
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Chevrolet Motor Division
  • McDonald's restaurant opened
  • Coca-Cola went on sale
  • Rosa Parks incited a bus boycott
  • The AFL and the CIO merged into America's largest labor union
  • Disneyland opened at Anaheim, California
  • Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine
  • Rock Around the Clock topped the charts
  • Actor James Dean was killed in a car crash
  • "In God We Trust" was added to U.S. paper money
  • Rosa Parks was arrested in Alabama for refusing to give her seat to a white woman
  • Bird's Eye introduced "fish sticks"
  • Legos and Velcro were invented
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Brooklyn Dodgers
  • The first Guinness Book of world Records was published
  • The Mickey Mouse Club was started
1955 Dodge Lancer

1955 Dodge Lancer *

1956 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 6,300,000 cars were produced
  • 4-door hardtops were becoming popular
  • Leather interiors became a popular option
  • 80 percent of new cars had a V-8 engine
  • Chrysler introduced the push button transmission selector and Hi-Ri record players
  • Ford introduced seat belts
  • The Ford Thunderbird got a porthole roof option
  • Packard introduced electric door locks and limited slip differentials

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,571,100
Ford = 1,408,500
Buick = 572,000
Plymouth = 571,650
Oldsmobile = 485,450

  • Am-Motors-Corp Six
  • Cadillac Sedan deVille
  • DeSoto Adventurer
  • Dodge D-500
  • Ford Parklane
  • Jeep Forward Control
  • Packard Patrician
  • Studebaker Hawk series
1956 Ford Thunderbird

1956 Ford Thunderbird *

  • The Federal Highway Act, creating 41,000 miles of Interstate Highways was enacted
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Pat Flaherty - Average speed: 128.490 mph
  • Time magazine person of the year: The Hungarian freedom fighter
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Ford Motor Company
  • Elvis Presley released his first hit, first movie and appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show
  • Marilyn Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller
  • The Supreme Court declared bus segregation to be illegal
  • As the Wold Turns became the first TV soap
  • Popular movies: The King and I and Trapeze
  • IBM invented the first computer hard disc
  • Portable black and white TV sets were introduced
  • The first transatlantic telephone cable was used
  • Sony's first exported product was the transistor radio
  • Video tape and recorders were invented
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
  • The XVI Summer Olympics were held in Melbourne, Australia and Stockholm, Sweeden
  • The VII Winter Olympics were held in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy
1957 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • The National Automobile Show returned after 17 year break
  • The Automobile Manufacturers Association banned factory sponsored racing
  • Ford recaptured the lead and Plymouth returned to second place in sales
  • Chrysler cars adopted torsion bar front suspension
  • Chevrolet introduced fuel injection as an option
  • Dual headlights were introduced
  • Ford introduced the retractable hardtop
  • Curved front windshields and station wagons were common
  • Pontiac introduced "Tri-Power" (triple) carburation system
  • Toyota entered the U.S. market
  • Limited slip differentials were common
  • Speedometer speed warning devices were introduced

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 1,676,450
Chevrolet = 1,505,900
Plymouth = 726,000
Buick = 405,100
Oldsmobile = 384,400

  • Am-Motors-Corp Rebel & V-8
  • Chrysler Saratoga
  • DeSoto Firesweep
  • Ford C-Series, Custom 300, Del Rio, Ranchero & Skyliner
  • Studebaker-Packard Packard Clipper
  • Toyota Toyopet Crown
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Sam Hanks - Average speed: 135.601 mph
  • Portable radar devices were first used to enforce speed limits
  • Time magazine person of the year: Nikita Khrushchev
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Chrysler Corporation
  • The Soviet Union put "Sputnik", the first satellite, in orbit
  • The first U.S. nuclear power plant went online in Shippingport, PA
  • Schools were desegregated in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower began his second term as President
  • Federal troops were sent to Alabama to enforce anti segregation laws
  • Elvis Presley bought Graceland
  • The "American Bandstand" first aired
  • popular movies: The Ten Commandments and The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Dr. Seuss books because popular
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Milwaukee Braves
  • The first nuclear power plant went on line in Pennsylvania
1957 Chevrolet Belair

1957 Chevrolet Belair *

1958 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • A recession caused a 34 percent drop in vehicle sales
  • Chevrolet retook the lead and Oldsmobile moved to fourth place, overtaking Buick in sales for the first time
  • About eight percent of sales were imports
  • The Ford Edsel was introduced
  • The Packard Motor Car Company went out of business
  • Datsun entered the U.S. market
  • The Automobile Information Disclosure Act was adopted, requiring posted make, model, serial number and suggested retail price
  • Most cars had four headlights
  • Pontiac dealers sold the British Vauxhall
  • Unibody construction was becoming popular
  • General Motors offered air suspension systems
  • Remote control rearview mirrors, speed control and paper air filter elements were introduced
  • Ford introduced the German-built Ford "Taunus"

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,142,450
Ford = 987,950
Plymouth = 443,800
Oldsmobile = 294,350
Buick = 241,900

  • Am-Motors-Corp Ambassador & American
  • Buick Limited
  • Chevrolet Brookwood, Biscayne, Delray, Impala & Yeoman
  • Dodge Regal Lancer
  • Ford Edsel
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Jimmy Bryan - Average speed: 133.791 mph
  • A gallon of gasoline cost 25 cents
  • Time magazine person of the year: Charles de Gaulle
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Ford Thunderbird
  • NASA was formed
  • The integrated circuit was invented
  • A recession caused U.S. unemployment to rise to 7.0 percent
  • The North American Space Agency (NASA) was formed
  • Bobby Fischer because the U.S. chess champion at 14 years old
  • U.S. passenger jet service started with the Boeing 707
  • Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the South Pole
  • elvis Presley was inducted into the Army
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
  • The microchip, computer modems and remote controls were invented
  • Popular TV: Candid Camera and Panorama
1958 Cadillac

1958 Cadillac *

1959 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 5.5 million cars were produced
  • General Motors introduced the fully synchronized four-speed manual transmission
  • Bucket seats were introduced
  • The rotary engine was introduced
  • Chrysler introduced automatic anti-glare review mirrors
  • Oldsmobile introduced flanged brake drums for better cooling

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,462,150
Ford = 1,450,950
Plymouth = 458,250
Pontiac = 383,300
Oldsmobile = 382,850

  • Buick Electra, Invicta & LeSabre
  • Cadillac Coupe deVille & Sedan deVille
  • Checker Superba taxicab
  • Chevrolet El Camino, Parkwood & Kingswood
  • Ford Galaxie
  • Studebaker Silver Hawk
  • Studebaker-Packard Lark
  • Willys Maverick Special
1959 Edsel Coupe

1959 Edsel Coupe *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Roger Ward - Average speed: 135.857 mph
  • Federal gasoline tax increased from three to four cents per gallon
  • Bonanza debuted in color on NBC
  • U.S. unemployment dropped to 5.5 percent
  • Time magazine person of the year: Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Pontiac Motor Division
  • The beginning of the Cuban Revolution
  • Alaska became the 49th state
  • Hawaii became the 50th state
  • Fidel Castro became the president of Cuba
  • Mattel Toys introduced the Barbie Doll
  • Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper were killed in a plane crash
  • Popular movies: Ben-Hur and Some Like It Hot
  • Popular singers: Doris Day, connie Francis and Ella Fitzgerald
  • Popular TV programs: Bonanza and Huckleberry Hound
  • The first transpacific airline service to Sydney, Australia started
  • The Etch-A-Sketch was invented
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • The first U.S. ATM machine was installed in Ohio
1960 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately six million cars were produced
  • Consumers wanted more horsepower but were enamored by the fuel economy of the new imports
  • Lee Iacocca became president of Ford
  • 80 percent of families owned two or more vehicles
  • All Chrysler vehicles adopted unibody construction
  • Buick introduced an adjustable instrument panel and rear seat heat controls
  • Cadillac introduced self-adjusting brakes
  • The Chevrolet Corvair was introduced with an air cooled, six-cyclinder rear engine
  • Manual transmissions were offered as an option
  • Alternators began to replace generators
  • Fully adjustable bucket seats and sliding metal sunroofs were becoming popular
  • This was the last year for the Ford Edsel
  • Rambler introduced the side-hinged rear door
  • Oldsmobile introduced a vacuum operated remote truck opener
  • Most Chryslers adopted vacuum operated door locks
  • Rambler moved into the number four position for sales

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,653,150
Ford = 1,439,350
Plymouth = 483,950
Rambler = 458,850
Pontiac = 396,700

  • Chevrolet Corvair & C/K
  • Dodge Dart, LCF Series, Matador & Polara
  • Ford Falcon & Starliner
  • GMC Carryall, C/K & L-Series
  • Mercury Comet
  • Plymouth Valiant
  • White PDQ Delivery
1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer

1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Jim Rathmann - Average speed: 138.767 mph
  • U.S. U-2 spy plane was shot down in Soviet airspace
  • Time magazine person of the year: American Scientists
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Chevrolet Corvair
  • The average house costs less than $3,000
  • The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was formed
  • The U.S. entered the Vietnam war
  • Cassius Clay won his first professional fight
  • The XVII Summer Olympic Games were held in Rome, Italy
  • The VIII Winter Olympic Games were held in Squaw Valley, CA
  • Popular movies: Psycho and Can Can
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Aluminum cans were used for the first time
  • Xerox sold the first commercial copier
  • A U.S. launched their first weather station satellite
  • The telephone answering machine, laser and heart pacemaker were invented
1961 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 5.4 million cars were produced
  • Ford retook the lead and Rambler moved into the number three position for sales
  • The 12 months or 12,000 mile warrantee was standard
  • Lincoln offered a 24 month or 24,000 mile warantee
  • Two-ply tires were introduced
  • The Chevrolet Corvette adopted the "ducktail"
  • This was the last year for DeSoto vehicles
  • Thunderbird introduced the "Swing-Away" steering wheel
  • Lifetime chassis lubrication was introduced

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 1,338,800
Chevrolet = 1,318,000
Rambler = 377,900
Plymouth = 483,950
Pontiac = 340,650

  • Am-Motors-Corp Classic
  • Buick Skylark & Special
  • Checker Marathon
  • Chevrolet Lakewood & Greenbrier van
  • Chrysler Newport
  • DeSoto
  • Dodge Lancer, 770 Lancer Sports Coupe & D Series
  • Ford Falcon Futura, E & H Series
  • Jeep Van & FJ-3 Fleetvan
  • Mercury Comet S-22
  • Oldsmobile Starfire convertible & F-85 station wagon
  • Pontiac Tempest & Tempest LeMans
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: A.J. Foyt - Average speed: 139.130 mph
  • Gasoline cost 27 cents/gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: John F. Kennedy
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Pontiac Tempest
  • The United States broke diplomatic relations with Cuba
  • John F. Kennedy became the 35th President
  • The Twenty-third Amendment, granting electors to the District of Columbia, passed
  • The Peace Corps was established
  • The Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba occurred
  • Alan Shepard became the first American in space
  • The Berlin Crisis took place
  • The Vietnam War began
  • OPEC was formed
  • Pampers introduced the first disposable diaper
  • Popular TV programs: Wagon Train, Gunsmoke and Perry Mason
  • Squibb introduced the first electric toothbrush
  • Alan Shepard made the first U.S. space flight
  • TWA introduced the first inflight movie
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
1961 Chrysler Imperial

1961 Chrysler Imperial *

1962 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 6.7 million cars produced
  • Chevrolet returned to number one and Oldsmobile displaced Plymouth in sales
  • Bucket seats became a standard
  • The Plymouth Fury did 190mph at Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Ford came out against the American Manufacturers Association ban on factory-sponsored racing
  • Dual braking systems were introduced
  • Studebaker dropped the Packard name
  • More cars came with seat belts
  • Turbochargers were common
  • The Rambler American had the best fuel economy at 31mpg
  • Shelby-American introduced the Ford-based AC Cobra roadster
  • Chrysler introduced a turbine powered car

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,061,700
Ford = 1,476,500
Pontiac = 521,950
Rambler = 442,350
Oldsmobile = 428,850

  • Buick Wildcat & Skylark
  • Checker Aerobus
  • Chevrolet Chevy II, Corvair Spider & Corvair Monza
  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Custom 880
  • Ford Fairlane & Galazie 500
  • Pontiac Grand Prix
  • Jeep Gladiator
  • Mercury Meteor & S-55
  • Oldsmobile Jetfire
  • Plymouth Sport Fury
  • Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk
1962 Ford Falcon

1962 Ford Falcon *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Roger Ward - Average speed: 140.293 mph
  • John Glenn orbited the Earth
  • Time magazine person of the year: Pope John XXIII
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Buick Special
  • The Cuban Missile Crisis occurred
  • Marilyn Monroe died from an overdose
  • Sam Walton opened the first Wal-Mart store
  • The first Kmart store opened
  • The Sabin oral Polio vaccine was given to millions of children
  • The Beatles released their first song
  • Ninety percent of homes had a TV
  • The first silicone breast implant was used
  • The first U.S. communications satellite was put in orbit
  • Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) were invented
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Yankees
1963 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 7.3 million cars were produced
  • Plymouth returned to the number four position in sales
  • The focus was on speed and comfort
  • Chrysler introduced the five year, 50,000 mile powertrain warranty
  • The average car sold for $2,310
  • Goodyear introduced the safety tire
  • Most cars were sold with V-8 engines and automatic transmissions, and half had power steering
  • Most cars had self-adjusting brakes and power front disc brakes were an option
  • Amber front turn signal lights became standard equipment
  • Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) systems were first required
  • Tilt steering wheels and transistorized ignition systems were introduced
  • Ford introduced the first fully synchronized two-speed manual transmission

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,237,200
Ford = 1,525,400
Pontiac = 590,100
Plymouth = 488,450
Oldsmobile = 476,750

  • Buick Riviera & Wildcat
  • Chrysler 300-J & New Yorker
  • Dodge 330, 440 & Dart
  • Ford 300
  • Jeep Wagoneer
  • Mercury Marauder & Comet Sportster
  • Studebaker Avanti, Super-Lark & Super-Hawk
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Parnelli Jones - Average speed: 143.137 mph
  • Gasoline cost 29 cents/gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: American Motors
  • Land speed record set in the U.S. - turbojet engine - 407.447 mph
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the I have a dream speech
  • John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon B. Johnson became the 36th President
  • Alcatraz federal penitentiary was closed
  • The Ku Klux Klan burnt down a church in Birmingham, AL
  • The USS Thresher submarine sunk in the Atlantic Ocean
  • The first U.S. state lottery was held in New Hampshire
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his I have a dream speach
  • Touch tone phones, pull tab cans and Lave Lamps were introduced
  • Zip codes were implemented in the U.S.
  • Popular movies: Cleopatra and To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Los Angeles Dodgers
1963 Chevrolet Corvette

1963 Chevrolet Corvette *

1964 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 7.9 million cars were produced
  • This was the beginning of the Muscle Car Era
  • Two-door hardtops, bucket seats and V-8 engines continued to grow in popularity
  • Cadillac introduced an integrated heating and air conditioning system
  • A strike at General Motors put 275,000 employees out of work for 45 days

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,318,600
Ford = 1,594,050
Pontiac = 715,250
Plymouth = 551,650
Buick = 510,500

  • Buick Sport Wagon
  • Chevrolet El Camino, Chevelle & Vans
  • Dodge A100 & 500
  • Ford Custom 500, Mustang & GT40
  • GMC Handi-Van & Handi-Bus
  • Plymouth Barracuda
  • Pontiac GTO
  • Rambler Typhoon
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: A.J. Foyt - Average speed: 147.350 mph
  • Land speed record set in the U.S. - turboshaft engine - 434.03 mph
  • The Beatles arrived in the United States
  • Time magazine person of the year: Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Ford Motor Company
  • Land speed record set by Tom Green - 413.2 mph
  • Land speed record set by Art Arfons - 434.03 mph
  • The Twenty-fourth Amendment, prohibiting any kind of tax on voting, was passed
  • U.W. involvement in the Vietnam war dominated dominated the news
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing segregation, was passed
  • Riots occurred in the Panama Canal Zone
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was became the 36 President
  • Albert DeSalvo, the Boston Strangler, was captured
  • Cassius Clay won the World Heavyweight Championship in boxing
  • The most powerful earthquake in U.S. history, 9.2, occurred in Alaska
  • Race riots occurred in several cities between black Americans and local police
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. received the Nobel Peace Prize
  • James "Jimmy" Hoffa was convicted of bribery
  • The Worlds Fair was held in New York
  • The U.S. Surgeon General stated that smoking could lead to lung cancer
  • Jack Ruby was convicted of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, who shot JFK
  • The XVIII Summer Olympics were held in Tokyo, Japan
  • The IX Winter Olympics were held in Innsbruck Austria
  • Baseball World Series was won by the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Sidney Poitier was the first black American to win an Oscar for Best Actor
  • Buffalo Wings were introduced at a bar in Buffalo, NY
  • Sony introduced the VCR home video recorder
  • The computer mouse and bubble wrap were invented
1964 Ford Mustang

1964 Ford Mustang *

1965 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 8.8 million cars were produced
  • Front disc brakes became standard on many cars
  • Ralph Nader published Unsafe at Any Speed, effectively killing Chevrolet Corvair sales
  • Chrysler quit using push button controls for automatic transmissions
  • Chevrolet introduced FM stereo radios
  • Cadillac introduced a telescoping steering wheel
  • Corvettes got 4-wheel disc brakes
  • V-8 engines in mid-sized cars became very popular
  • Ford Thunderbirds introduced sequential turn signals

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,375,100
Ford = 2,170,800
Pontiac = 802,000
Plymouth = 728,250
Buick = 600,150

  • Am-Motors-Corp Marlin
  • Buick Riviera & Skylark Gran Sport
  • Cadillac Calais
  • Chevrolet Sportvan & Caprice Custom Sedan
  • Chrysler 33-L
  • Dodge Coronet & Monaco
  • Ford LTD
  • GMC Commercial Truck HM 9500
1965 Chevrolet Corvair

1965 Chevrolet Corvair *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Jim Clark - Average speed: 150.686 mph
  • Land speed record set in U.S. - turbojet engine - 600.601mph
  • President Johnson escalated the war in Vietnam and started Medicare
  • Time magazine person of the year: William Westmoreland
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Pontiac Motor Division
  • Medicaid and Medicare were established
  • Malcolm X was assassinated
  • The Watts Riot lasted six days in Los Angeles, CA
  • The St. Louis Arch was completed
  • Black Americans were guaranteed the right to vote
  • Warren Buffet took over Berkshire-Hathaway at $18/share, now worth over $150,000/share
  • James Russell invented the compact disk
  • Respirators were invented to replace the iron lung
  • Baseball World Series was one by the Los Angeles Dodgers
  • The mini skirt first appeared
  • Popular films: Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music
  • Popular musicians: The Rolling Stones, Beatles and Moody Blues
1966 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 8.6 million cars were produced
  • Ford resumed first place and Dodge moved up to number five in sales
  • The Oldsmobile "Toronado" was the first American front-wheel drive car
  • Rear seat belts became standard on all models
  • The Department of Transportation was created
  • The Highway Safety Act was enacted
  • The National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act was enacted
  • The Rambler "Marlin" and "Ambassador" were rebadged under AMC
  • Cadillac introduced variable-ratio power steering
  • Chrysler introduced a 425hp "Street Hemi"
  • A variety of electric cars and experimental batteries were introduced

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 2,212,400
Chevrolet = 2,206,650
Pontiac = 831,350
Plymouth = 687,500
Dodge = 632,650

  • Am-Motors-Corp Ambassador DPL, American Rogue, Marlin & Rambler Rebel
  • Chevrolet Caprice
  • Dodge Charger
  • Ford Bronco, Fairlane 500, & W-Series
  • Jeep Commando
  • Mercury Comet Capri
  • Oldsmobile Toronado
  • Plymouth Fury VIP
1966 Oldsmobile 98

1966 Oldsmobile 98 *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Graham Hill - Average speed: 144.317 mph
  • There were 78 million registered cars in the U.S.
  • Time magazine person of the year: Baby Boomers
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Oldsmobile Toronado
  • Miranda Rights were established
  • NBC, CBS and ABC introduce full color lineups
  • Muhammad Ali refused to go to fight in Vietnam
  • Black Americans became a part of American politics
  • The U.S. population exceeded 195 million
  • The Black Panthers were formed
  • The 100th anniversary of the Salvation Army
  • Cigarette packages began carrying health warnings
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Baltimore Orioles
  • Star Trek first aired on TV
  • Simon and Garfunkel released the Sounds of Silence
  • Popular movies: Thunderball and Dr. Zhivago
  • Popular music groups: The Mamas & Papas, Beach Boys and Monkees
  • Color TV sets became popular
  • kevlar and Fiber Optics were invented
1967 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 7.6 million cars were produced
  • Chevrolet retook the lead from Ford and Buick displaced Dodge in the fifth position of sales volume
  • Most cars received undercoating
  • 38 percent of new cars came with air conditioning
  • All cars came with dual braking systems
  • Collapsible steering wheels, mini spare tires and hidden windshield wippers were introduced
  • General Motors introduce ignition switch buzzers
  • GM and AMC adopted 5 year, 50,000 mile powertrain warranties
  • 57 percent of the Interstate Highway System was in use
  • General Motors began work on a navigation system
  • 159,000 Ford works were on strike for 65 days

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 1,948,400
Ford = 1,730,200
Pontiac = 782,750
Plymouth = 638,100
Buick = 562,500

  • Buick GS 340, GS 400 & California GS
  • Cadillac Eldorado front wheel drive
  • Chevrolet Camaro & Chevelle Concours
  • GMC Suburban
  • Dodge A108 & Coronet R/T
  • Mercury Marquis, Brougham & Cougar
  • Pontiac Firebird
  • Shelby GT-500
1967 Chevy Chevelle

1967 Chevrolet Chevelle *

  • Carol Shelby introduced his Mustang GT-500 Fastback
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: A.J. Foyt - Average speed: 151.207 mph
  • Gasoline cost 33 cents/gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Mercury Cougar
  • Super Bowl I was won by the Green Bay Packards
  • The Detroit race riot occurred
  • The Twenty-fifth Amendment, procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of Vice President, was passed
  • The first issue of Rolling Stone Magazine was published
  • Interracial marriage was declared constitutional by the Supreme Court
  • The first Super Bowl game was won by the Green Bay Packers
  • Baseball World Series was won by the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Muhammad Ali lost heavyweight title for refusing to join the U.S. Army
  • Hundreds of thousands protested against the Vietnam War
  • Evel Knievel made his first noteworthy jump, 16 cars
  • Elvis Presley married Priscilla
  • Popular musicians: The Doors, The Supremes and The Bee Gees
  • Popular TV shows: Hogan's Heroes, Jeopardy! and General Hospital
  • The Concorde and Boeing 737 were introduced
  • Apollo I was destroyed on the launch pad
  • Texas Instruments invented the Pocket Calculator
  • The U.S. had 74 nuclear submarines in operation
1968 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 8.4 million cars were produced
  • Over one million imports were sold
  • Federal pollution regulations required exhaust emission control systems on all new passenger vehicles
  • The average new car cost $3,000
  • Front shoulder harnesses, rear seat belts, padded interiors and side marker lights were required on all new cars
  • A variety of energy absorbing components were introduced
  • Chevrolet Corvettes incorporated hidden headlights

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,139,300
Ford = 1,753,350
Pontiac = 911,000
Plymouth = 790,250
Buick = 651,800

  • Am-Motors-Corp AMX, Javelin & Rebel
  • Buick GS 350
  • Chevrolet Nomad & Titan 90
  • Dodge Super Bee
  • Ford Torino
  • GMC Astro 95
  • Lincoln Continental Mark III
  • Mercury Montego
  • Plymouth Road Runner
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Bobby Unser - Average speed: 152.882 mph
  • Henry Ford was featured on the 12 cent postage stamp
  • Allen Breed invented the Air Bag
  • Marten Luther King was assassinated
  • Time magazine person of the year: Apollo 8 Astronauts
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Pontiac GTO
  • Chicago anti-war riots Chicago
  • Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles, CA
  • Anti Vietnam War protests occurred around the world
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray
  • Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan
  • The "Zodiac" serial killer was at large in California
  • NASA launched Apollo 7, the first manned mission
  • NASA launched Apollo 8, the first manned craft to orbit the moon
  • Emergency 911 phone service began
  • Dr. Christian Barnard performed the first successful heart transplant in the U.S.
  • McDonalds introduced the "Big Mac" for 49 cents
  • Popular movies: The Graduate and Rosemary's Baby
  • popular musicians: Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd and Aretha Franklin
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Detroit Tigers
  • Superbowl II was won by the Green Bay Packers
  • The XIX Summer Olympics were held in Mexico City, Mexico
  • The X Winter Olympics were held in Grenoble, France
1968 Pontiac Firebird

1968 Pontiac Firebird *

1969 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 8.4 million cars were produced
  • The "Rambler" badge was retired
  • The last Corvair was sold
  • Front seat headrests were required on all new cars
  • Most manufacturers adopted the 12 month, 12,000 mile warranty for the entire car and 5 years or 50,000 miles on the power train
  • General Motors introduced a "tell-tail" odometer to prevent tampering
  • A new Truth-in-Lending Law forced dealers to show cost, terms and condition in a consistent way
  • Recreational vehicles became popular
  • Anti-skid brakes were introduced
  • Concealed windshield wipers were widely used
  • The use of energy absorbing components continued to grow
  • Antennas imbedded in the front windshield and sealed cooling systems were introduced
  • Chevrolet Corvettes adopted headlight washers
  • Station wagons adopted rear spoilers to keep the rear window clean

Number of Cars Produced
Chevrolet = 2,092,950
Ford = 1,826,800
Pontiac = 870,100
Plymouth = 751,150
Buick = 665,400

  • Chevrolet Brookwood, Camaro, Corvette Stingray, Greenbrier, K5 Blazer, Kingswood, Kingswood Estate, Nova & Townsman
  • Dodge Charger Daytona
  • Ford Ranchero Rio Grande
  • Mercury Marauder & Cyclone Spoiler
  • Pontiac Firebird Trans Am & Grand Prix
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Mario Andretti - Average speed: 156.867 mph
  • Gasoline cost 35 cents/gallon
  • The average house cost $27,500
  • Time magazine person of the year: Middle Americans
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Plymouth Road Runner
  • Richard M. Nixon became the 37th President
  • Stonewall gay rights riots occurred in New York, NY
  • NASA Apollo 11 put Neil Armstrong Buzz Aldrin on the moon
  • NASA Apollo 12 put Pete Conrad and Alan Bean on the moon
  • Sesame Street premiered on National Educational Television
  • Woodstock music festival drew 350,000 to New York
  • The Atlanta International Pop Festival drew 100,000 to Georgia
  • Vietnam protests continued
  • Robin Knox-Johnston became the first to sail around the world solo
  • The U.S. began the draft lottery
  • Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) was established
  • The Charles Manson cult killed five people
  • The first human eye was transplanted
  • The Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight
  • The microprocessor was invented
  • The Internet was created for military use
  • The battery powered smoke detector was invented
  • Popular TV: Sesame Street and Monty Python
  • Popular movies: True Grit and Midnight Cowboy
  • Popular musicians: James Brown, Johnny Cash and John Denver
  • Baseball World Series was won by the New York Mets
  • Superbowl III was won by the New York Jets
1969 Buick Skylark

1969 Buick Skylark *

1970 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 7.6 million cars were produced
  • Import sales rose to 14.6 percent
  • Ford returned to number one and Plymouth moved up to number three in sales
  • Chrysler began importing the Dodge "Colt"
  • 75 percent of new cars came with air conditioning
  • Anti-theft steering column locks and rear side markers were required on all new cars
  • The adoption of Anti-skid systems and tamper-proof odometers increased
  • Plastic front grills were introduced
  • Ford adopted a 12 month warranty without a mileage limitation
  • General Motors bought a license to produce Wankel rotary engines
  • American Motors acquired kaiser-Jeep Corporation
  • Cadillac introduced a power sunroof and signal-seeking radio
  • The Chevrolet "Chevy II" became the "Nova"
  • There was a 67 day strike at General Motors
  • This was the last year for the Ford "Falcon"

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 2,096,200
Chevrolet = 1,456,300
Pontiac = 690,950
Plymouth = 685,000
Buick = 666,500

  • Am-Motors-Corp Gremlin, Hornet & Rebel Machine
  • Buick Estate, GS 455 & GSX
  • Chevrolet Monte Carlo
  • Chrysler 300
  • Dodge Challenger, Tradesman & Sportsman
  • Ford Maverick & Commercial Truck L-Series
  • GMC Jimmy
  • Plymouth Duster
1970 Dodge Challenger

1970 Dodge Challenger *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Al Unser - Average speed: 155.749 mph
  • Land speed record set in the U.S. - turbojet engine - 622.407 mph
  • Kent State shootings occurred
  • The first Earth Day was observed
  • Time magazine person of the year: Willy Brandt
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Ford Torino
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was created
  • American Top 40 radio show premiered
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) became law
  • The world population was 3.6 billion
  • The U.S. population was 205 million
  • The voting age was lowered to 18 years old
  • The U.S. National Guard killed four protesters at Kent State University
  • Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin died of overdoses
  • The first New York marathon was run
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Baltimore Orioles
  • Superbowl IV was won by the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Popular movies: MASH, Woodstock and Patton
  • The first Jumbo Jet and Concorde went into service
  • The Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) was invented
1971 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Ford remained number one and Plymouth recaptured third place in sales
  • Available horsepower dropped due to emission control requirements
  • All new cars came with closed fuel systems to control evaporation
  • Most new cars would run on regular grade gasoline
  • The Ford "Pinto" and Chevrolet "Vega" marked the beginning of the sub-compact car
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) required that claims in auto ads be documented
  • Chrysler invested in Mitsubishi Motors Corporation and General Motors bought part of Isuzu
  • Lincoln-Mercury dealers sold the Ford-powered DeTomaso Pantera
  • Chrysler introduced the first four-wheel anti-skid brake system
  • Ford introduced automatic temperature control systems and rear window wipers and washer
  • More front-wheel drive cars appeared
  • General Motors introduced the maintenance free battery
  • The first catalytic converters were tested

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 2,054,350
Chevrolet = 1,830,300
Plymouth = 702,100
Pontiac = 586,850
Oldsmobile = 567,900

  • Am-Motors-Corp Matador
  • Buick Centurion
  • Chevrolet Beauville van & Vega
  • Dodge Colt, Demon & Ram van
  • Ford Pinto
  • GMC Sprint & Vandura
  • Plymouth Cricket & Duster
  • Pontiac Ventura II
1971 Jeep CJ5

1971 Jeep CJ5 *

  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Al Unser - Average speed: 157.735 mph
  • Gasoline cost 40 cents/gallon
  • The Federal Highway Commission (FHC) adopted standardized road signs and symbols
  • President Nixon ended the United States gold standard
  • Time magazine person of the year: Richard M. Nixon
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: Chevrolet Vega
  • The ban on radio and television cigarette advertisements began
  • All in the Family premiered on CBS
  • The Twenty-sixth Amendment, allowing eighteen-year-olds to vote, was passed
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Pittsburg Pirates
  • Superbowl V was won by the Baltimore Colts
  • The Nasdaq stock market index was started
  • The "Sylmar" earthquake hit California
  • A Riot in Attica Prison in New York killed 39 people
  • Amtrak passenger train service started
  • Walt Disney World opened in florida
  • Fred Smith started Federal Express
  • Cigarette advertising was banned on TV
  • The New York Times published the Pentagon Papers
  • Popular movies: Love Story and The French Connection
  • Popular musicians: The Jackson 5, The Who, Rod Stewart and The Osmonds
  • Popular TV: McCloud, Mary Tyler Moore and All My Children
  • Intel sold the first microprocessor
  • The first Internet chat room went online
  • NASA Apollo 14 landed on the moon
  • NASA Apollo 15 put the first lunar rover on the moon
  • Soft contact lenses went on the market in the U.S.
  • Texas Instruments sold the first pocket calculator
  • Ray Tomlinson created E-Mail
  • IBM created the first floppy disc
1972 (Return to Top)
Automobile Industry New Vehicles World Wide Events
  • Approximately 8.6 million cars were produced
  • Ford continued to lead and Oldsmobile moved up to number three in sales
  • Safety and emissions were forefront
  • Buzzers were adopted to encourage passengers to use their seat belts
  • Most new engines ran on lead-free gasoline
  • Transistorized ignition systems and power sunroofs were popular
  • Digital clocks were introduced
  • Air bags were introduced
  • Big block engines were no longer commonly available
  • Four-wheel disc and four-wheel anti-lock brakes were adopted
  • Prestolite introduced their maintenance-free battery
  • Fiberglass radial-ply tires were introduced
  • General Motors introduced energy-absorbing bumpers

Number of Cars Produced
Ford = 2,246,550
Chevrolet = 2,420,550
Oldsmobile = 762,200
Plymouth = 756,600
Pontiac = 707,000

  • Chevrolet LUV truck
  • Ford Torino, Thunderbird Mark IV & Courier truck
  • Jeep Commando
  • The Volkswagen Beetle became the most popular vehicle ever sold, over 15 million
  • Indianapolis 500 winner: Mark Donohue - Average speed: 162.962 mph
  • Gasoline jumped to 55 cents/gallon
  • Time magazine person of the year: Richard Nixon & Henry kissinger
  • Motor Trend magazine American Car of the Year award: none
  • Richard Nixon was reelected President
  • Richard Nixon was first President to visit to China
  • The Watergate scandal occurred
  • Apollo 17 went to the Moon
  • The XX Summer Olympics were held in Munich, West Germany
  • Arab Gunman killed 11 Israel athletes at the Summer Olympics
  • Mark Spitz won a record seven gold medals in swimming at the Summer Olympics
  • The XI Winter Olympics were held in Sapporo, Japan
  • Baseball World Series was won by the Oakland Athletics
  • Superbowl VI was won by the Dallas Cowboys
  • The Equal Rights Amendment for men and women was passed
  • The U.S. withdrew from Vietnam but protesting continued
  • Alabama Governor George Wallace was shot and paralyzed
  • Popular movies: The Godfather and Dirty Harry
  • HBO TV was launched
  • Apollo 16 and 17 landed on the moon
  • Digital watches were introduced
  • Atari released the Pong video game
1972 Mercury Cougar

1972 Mercury Cougar *


* Pictures are from ads on AntiqueCar.com and may not be used without the vehicle owner's permission.