Car Culture in the 1950's

By: Kyle Ricks


In the 50's, cars were a huge part of everyday life for Americans. They allowed people to live outside the city, get places faster, as well as were used for entertainment purposes. During the 50's three major car companies were the source for most of these vehicles on the street and these are Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. They started heavily advertising cars and would set the standard of how cars were made and sold. The 1950's started lasting change through how America will get around and view cars for decades to come.

"The Impact on the Decade"

Car culture played an important role in the 1950's. With the new cars from this decade, the people where able to live where ever they wanted because they had a way to transport themselves where they needed to go. With all the new cars people were buying in the 50's, america also created highways, parking lots, and started making driveways and garages for people's houses. With all the cars came a lot of pollution which inspired making malls so that a lot of stores could be under one building could sell their products without being in all the pollution.

"Connection to Today and Solutions for the Future"

The popularity for cars led to making parking lots and highways which are very important to American's today for it provides a way to transport yourself across the country and large amounts of space for people to park their cars without being in the way of traffic. Another important thing we use today are driveways and garages, which were also made in the 50's as a way to store your car while at home. In the 50's, they also came up with and invented ways to reduce pollution from the cars. When it came to cars back in the 50's, people realized how important they where becoming and invented ways to increase their usefulness as well as protect, store, and make them more environment friendly and this shows america today that people should be looking for ways, like they did in the 50's, to increase the usefulness of cars as well as make them more environment friendly.


The Car Culture. (2001). In J. S. Baughman, V. Bondi, R. Layman, T. McConnell, & V. Tompkins (Eds.), American Decades (Vol. 6, pp. 266-269). Detroit: Gale. Retrieved from

Untied States Postal Service. (1998). Tail Fins and Chrome. Put Your Stamp on History.