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Classics Livestream: 13 of our favorite ‘50s cars

22:17  18 august  2020
22:17  18 august  2020 Source:   hagerty.com

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a close up of a car © Provided by Hagerty Mike Drilling

The fabulous ’50s have an enduring appeal, which made it a perfect topic for our latest livestream chat. Hagerty’s Brad Phillips got the conversation going with Wade Kawasaki, President and CEO of Legendary Companies which includes Coker Tire, Wheel Vintiques, and The Great Race. Those companies are all about keeping classic cars on the road and looking good, and Wade has lots of experience with ‘50s machines. Brad and Wade each picked a selection of their favorite cars from the 1950s to highlight, and the list is as diverse as it is desirable.

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If you missed the live stream you can watch it here:

Bocar XP4

a car parked in a parking lot: Bocar XP-4 © Provided by Hagerty Bocar XP-4 a car on display: Bocar XP-4 © Provided by Hagerty Bocar XP-4

This beautiful roadster came from a small company in Colorado that built just a few dozen cars. The XP4 rode on short wheelbases and were usually powered by Chevrolet V-8s, although some were built with Pontiac V-8 power. The small, lightweight car (less than 2000 pounds) had around 300 horsepower for plenty of punch to go with its racy looks.

Triumph TR3A

a car parked on the side of a road: 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster © Provided by Hagerty 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster a close up of a car: 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster-interior © Provided by Hagerty 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster-interior 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster-engine © Provided by Hagerty 1958-Triumph-TR3A-Roadster-engine

Brad has owned a couple of TR3As, and even though they are low on power—and his weren’t the best examples—they’re always fun. The stylish British roadsters have a lot of personality and put their 100 horsepower to good use. They’re a prime example of British open-air motoring and pretty affordable, too, with #3 (Good) examples valued at $17,600 on average.

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1957 Ford Thunderbird

a car parked on the side of a road: Bocar XP-4 © Provided by Hagerty Bocar XP-4 a close up of a car: 1957-Ford-Thunderbird interior © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Ford-Thunderbird interior

Ford countered Chevrolet’s Corvette with the more luxurious Thunderbird and still brought plenty of performance to the table. Wade specifically noted the F-code Thunderbird and it’s 300-horsepower supercharged Y-block V-8 powerplant that made the personal luxury convertible a serious contender at Daytona.

1954–55 Nash Metropolitan

a car parked on the side of a road: 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-front-three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-front-three-quarter a car parked in a field: 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-rear-three-quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-rear-three-quarter a bag of luggage sitting on top of a car: 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-interior © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-interior a blue boat sitting on top of a car: 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-engine © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Nash-Metropolitan-engine

Brad admits that the Nash Metropolitan isn’t a performance powerhouse and it isn’t particularly sleek, yet it has a unique appeal. The aptly named Metropolitan was marketed as a small runabout and was a collaboration between Nash and Austin. Austin supplied the powertrain, Fisher-Ludlow stamped the body, and it was all assembled by Austin in England before being shipped stateside.

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1959 Ford Skyliner

a blue truck parked on the side of a road © Provided by Hagerty a bicycle is parked next to a car: 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyliner-interior © Provided by Hagerty 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyliner-interior a blue motorcycle engine: 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyliner engine © Provided by Hagerty 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyliner engine a blue car parked in a parking lot: 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyline profile © Provided by Hagerty 1959-Ford-Fairlane-500-Galaxie-Skyline profile

At first glance, there’s no way you’d even think it would be possible that this big four-seater offers a retractable hardtop. The complex top mechanism executes a symphony of movements to stow the top under the reverse-hinging trunk. Sure, the luggage capacity takes a hit, but that’s a small price to pay for that style.

1957 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

a car parked in a parking lot: 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan front three quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan front three quarter a small truck parked on the side of a road: 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan rear three quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan rear three quarter a close up of a car © Provided by Hagerty a group of items on a motorcycle: 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Mercury-Turnpike-Cruiser-Four-Door-Sedan

This big four-door has one of Brad’s favorite car names of all times. The long-stretching roof created a cove around the back window. You could even roll the back window down for highway airflow, permitting none of that buffeting that we’re so used to in modern cars.

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Tri-Five Chevys

a small truck parked on the side of a road: 1955-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Coupe © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Coupe a car parked on the side of a road: 1955-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Coupe © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Coupe a truck parked on the side of a road: 1956-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Nomad front three quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1956-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Nomad front three quarter a small truck parked on the side of a road: 1956-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Nomad © Provided by Hagerty 1956-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Nomad a blue car parked in a parking lot: 1957-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Convertible front three quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Convertible front three quarter a blue car parked in a parking lot: 1957-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Convertible-rear © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Chevrolet-Bel-Air-Convertible-rear

You knew these cars had to be here. The 1955 Chevy had an all-new design that also debuted the legendary small-block Chevy V-8. These cars were stylish, powerful, and the coupe, convertible, and Nomad wagon are among the most iconic cars of the 1950s, especially the 1957 Bel Air and its immediately recognizable fins.

1957 Chrysler 300C

a close up of a car: 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible front © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible front a close up of a car: 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible rear © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible rear a motorcycle parked next to a car engine: 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible 392 Hemi © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Chrysler-300C-Convertible 392 Hemi

Brad chose this Hemi-powered beauty because he has a personal connection to these cars, but you don’t need to drive one to appreciate its finned loveliness. Under the hood is just as impressive, as a pair of huge air cleaners feed air to twin four-barrel carbs on top of Chrysler’s 392 Hemi V-8. That’s the same engine that was the basis of Top Fuel dragsters until the 426 Hemi took over. Even in street trim, the Chrysler’s 392 Hemi produced 375 horsepower, making it one of the fastest cars of its day.

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1956 Jaguar D-Type

a car parked on the side of a road: 1955-Jaguar-D-Type front three quarter © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Jaguar-D-Type front three quarter a car parked on the side of a road: 1955-Jaguar-D-Type rear © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Jaguar-D-Type rear a close up of a motorcycle: 1955-Jaguar-D-Type engine © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Jaguar-D-Type engine

E-Types get all the love thanks to their timeless design, but the smaller, racier D-Types have a charm all their own. They’re all curves, and the street-going version, the XKSS, is just as beautiful. Any car with a stabilizing fin gets bonus points in our book. So does any car that wins LeMans.

1949–54 Jaguar XK 120

a car parked in a parking lot: 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster © Provided by Hagerty 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster a car parked in a parking lot: 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster rear © Provided by Hagerty 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster rear a car parked in front of a mirror: 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster interior © Provided by Hagerty 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster interior a car engine: 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster engine © Provided by Hagerty 1950-Jaguar-XK120-Roadster engine

Brad’s Jaguar pick actually debuted in the 40s, but we’ll let it slide. The inline six-cylinder engine that debuted in the XK 120 powered Jaguar models for decades. The low, sleek lines are elegant in their simplicity and the drop-top, in particular, offers gorgeous British style with the proper purr of an inline-six.

1954–63 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL

a car parked on the side of a road: 1955-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Gullwing © Provided by Hagerty 1955-Mercedes-Benz-300SL-Gullwing a car engine: 1957-Mercedes-Benz-300-SL-Roadster engine © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Mercedes-Benz-300-SL-Roadster engine a car parked on the side of a road: 1957-Mercedes-Benz-300-SL-Roadster © Provided by Hagerty 1957-Mercedes-Benz-300-SL-Roadster

Sporting a high-performance, fuel-injected engine and a rigid chassis with high sills that required an interesting solution to ingress and egress, the 300SL is a head-turner of the highest order. The signature gullwing doors are a styling masterpiece, although the roadsters are striking in their own right. These cars were a technological tour de force—the fastest production vehicle in the world when new—and proved Mercedes-Benz was committed to putting racing technology on the street.

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Willys-Jeep CJ-5

a car parked in front of a blue truck: Jeep CJ5 front © Provided by Hagerty Jeep CJ5 front a truck is parked in front of a blue car: Jeep CJ5 Profile © Provided by Hagerty Jeep CJ5 Profile

With a short wheelbase and rugged four-wheel-drive, the CJ-5 continued to be a true workhorse in the same vein as the CJ-3 models that evolved from military Jeeps.  The basic style set by the CJ-5, including the sculpted fenders and signature grille shape, would continue in the CJ-7, CJ-8, and even into the YJ Wrangler, making the CJ-5 a pioneer for Jeep.

Of course, Wade and Brad were pressed for time, and there are plenty of memorable ’50s cars that are worth mentioning. Let us know your favorite ’50s car from your past, present, or dream collection.

The post Livestream: 13 of our favorite ‘50s cars appeared first on Hagerty Media.

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