Hooniverse Asks: ‘50s Edition- What Car Company Had The Best 1950s Concept Car?

In the 1950s America was on the move. Suburban sprawl, an expanding highway system, and fast food franchises springing up across the nation fed the wanderlust of the burgeoning middle class. Domestic auto makers fought tooth and nail to fill driveways, while at the same time foreign makes sought to gain a foothold in the lucrative American market.
So competitive was the auto market that car makers sought an edge not just on the sales floor but on the car show circuit as well. No other era of the automotive age has seen more, or more wild, show cars than did the nineteen fifties.
This week we’re feting the fifties in our morning question of the day, and today we want your opinion on which concept car from the decade was the most amazing. It might have been the most beautiful, the most prescient, or just the most audacious. Whatever the reason, which car company do you think had the best concept of the fifties, and what was that concept?
Image: Luxuo

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34 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: ‘50s Edition- What Car Company Had The Best 1950s Concept Car?”

  1. Kiefmo Avatar

    Ba-na-na-na-na-na na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na

  2. Maymar Avatar

    I think if we want to discuss “None more 50s,” the nadir of jet age was absolutely the trio of Firebird concepts.

  3. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

    1958 Ford Nucleon. Internal Combustion Engine? No, that’s the old way Jim. We’re using clean, safe and reliable nuclear power! That’s right a steam-powered uranium fission powerplant. Swell.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Ford’s Advanced Studio must have had some sort of collective overhang fetish.

      1. PotbellyJoe★★★★★ Avatar

        An interview from the time:
        PBJ: Your designs have massive overhangs, what is inspiring this look?
        Ford Designer: Jets have massive overhangs from their landing gear, everyone likes how they look.
        PBJ: Yes but jets don’t have to corner on a track.
        FD: And?
        Also it wasn’t just overhangs that were greatly exaggerated Lincoln’s Indianapolis Concept went for the “I have a longer hood than you” treatment.

    2. Citric Avatar

      While the Gyron isn’t the answer to today’s question, because it was from 1961, I enjoy how totally insane Ford’s concepts could get.

  4. mzszsm Avatar

    I really like the Cadillac LaSalle II, especially the convertible. It also had a very high tech engine for ’55, which never actually worked, so they tried to put an electric motor in the back, and that did not work either, so they pushed it. Still, what a looker!

  5. Alff Avatar

    I like them furrin’ cars…

    1. Batshitbox Avatar


      1. Texlenin Avatar

        We can’t stop here! This is goddamn bat country!!

    2. William Robinson Avatar
      William Robinson

      +1 some of my favorites from any time.

  6. dimpl09 Avatar

    definitely FORD.

    1. Tanshanomi Avatar

      Except that the X-2000 didn’t exist as functional, full-sized car until Andy Saunders built it 1994.
      The concept “car” of 1958 was only a 3/8 scale model that was Alex Tremulis’s spit-ball prediction of what cars would look like in the year 2000.

      1. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        I spy two sets of Renault 25 hatchback glass, repurposed as front and rear screens.

  7. Tanshanomi Avatar

    I’ll see your Diablo and raise you an Adventurer. One of my all-time favorites.

  8. CruisinTime Avatar

    I always liked this Buick.

  9. Citric Avatar

    I’ve got a couple. One, the Alfa Romeo SuperFlow, because transparent fenders are cool I don’t care who you are.
    The other is the Cadillac Coupe from Ghia. It’s not over the top like a lot of ’50s concepts, but it’s gorgeous. I’ve loved it ever since I saw a photo of it for the first time back as a little kid.

  10. Vavon Avatar

    The 1959 Renault Studio 900… No, look again, that’s not the front of the car!

    1. irishzombieman Avatar

      I learned about this car from you, and ever since it’s been one of my favorite daydreams. Merci, amigo.

    2. Guest Avatar

      I see your Renault and raise you a Ghia, a Selene to be exact. I plan on recreating the interior in my 1977 Chevy Van. (I actually don’t own one, but if I did, I would).

      1. Tanshanomi Avatar

        Kind of reminds me of the SARB Start Van, with all the Eastern Bloc removed.

  11. abzman2000 Avatar

    none of you, really? Shame on you for not mentioning the 1956 Buick Centurion: http://www.carstyling.ru/ru/car/1956_buick_centurion/

  12. salguod Avatar

    I’d have to say the 1951 LeSabre. It’s one of the best known GM concepts for good reason. It manages to balance the 50s extravagance and jet styling with clean, purposeful lines. Simply beautiful. And, it was Harley Earl’s personal car for a time, so this is a real, usable car.

    1. salguod Avatar

      I have somehow managed to break the idiot proof image embedding. Let’s try again.

      1. hubba Avatar

        Correct answer.

  13. DClan Avatar

    Studebaker….The Car of the Future.

  14. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    The British were a little more conservative about appearance, but were technically quite advanced.
    The 1950 Rover Turbine car Jet 1. A P4 Speedster with what became the Rolls Royce Welland Jet Engine.
    The world’s first gas turbine car