The general conditions of economy of this time has been responsible for the rise and fall in popularity of the automobile and the one time when it waned drastically was during the Great Depression as well as the World War after which, the automobile industry enjoyed a great deal of popularity. This period encouraged the car manufacturers to a great extent and they concentrated on providing the maximum possible benefits through their vehicles. Accordingly, they built cars not just to suit the whims and fancies of the ultra rich, but also to cater to the common man who had to save up pretty hard to own a car.
Car Production Over The World
Till the end of 1950s, car manufacture was monopolized by a few countries like England, France, Italy, America, etc. But 1960s saw a drastic change in the market as European manufacturers started adopting better technology that resulted in innovative models. Meanwhile, Japan too started successfully manufacturing automobiles in a major way, starting with its Keicar.
It was during the sixties that the use of steel unibodies came to be used extensively by the European car industry. The newer models also experimented with alternate materials suitable for the body like fiberglass. 1962 saw the birth of the Elan by Lotus, which had a fiberglass body panel which was fitted with a central load bearing hollow element made of steel. Called the Backbone chassis, this supported the engine and the suspension and also contained the transmission. Fiberglass reinforced plastics were also used in Italy for several of the cars manufactured in this period. USA too adopted this ‘body on frame’ structure for cars produced there.
Muscle Cars In America – Ford Mustang And Chevrolet Camaro Z28
The 1960s also saw the emergence of pony cars and muscle cars in America, where performance of vehicles mattered the most. The Ford Mustang was another popular car of this period and enjoyed a great deal of fanfare till Chevrolet released its Camaro Z28 in 1967, to compete with it. Ford in turn accepted the challenge and brought forth the Mustang Boss 302 and the Mustang Boss 429 in 1969, which again was lapped up by people in general.
Important Car Models After World War II.
Some of the other post-war cars of this period include the Morris Minor (1948-1971), the Chevrolet Impala, the Mini (1959-2000), , the Jaguar E type (1961-1975), the BMC ADO16 (1962-1977), the Ferrari 250 GTO (1962-1964), the Dodge Charger (1966-1972), the Pontiac GTO (1964-1974), and the Pontiac Trans Am (1969-1980).
Chevrolet came out with its Corvette in 1954, which signified the American icon of being a true sports car.
Oil Crisis And Impact On Car History
Japan emerged as a great force in the automobile industry with its first sports car, the Datsun 240Z, which was very popular in North America. This proved to be a booster for the Japanese automobile industry in general and paved the way for many such cars in the future. The 1970s also was a period of major changes for the American Automobile industry due to the 1973 oil crisis as well as the automobile emissions control act. Moreover, the small imported cars like BMW, Toyota, and Nissan were preferred to the large American ones and combined with the stagnancy in any type of innovation in this field, the American automobile industry began to experience a fall.