Four Car Designs That Reflect America

You can tell a lot about the past if you look at the styling of the objects made. The styling of American automobiles is a good example. Automobile designs reflect the mode and culture of the different eras they were designed in. For example, the rounded bodies of 1940s cars were a deliberate rejection of the antiquated angular designs of the 1930s cars; the elevated tail fins of the 1950s cars reflected America’s fascination with aircraft and space travel; and the beefy muscle cars of the 1960s illustrated the passion that car buyers were developing for raw performance. With help from Hoffman Automotive of Hagerstown, a local Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealer in Hagerstown, MD, we survey a few interesting examples of cars that really represent the feelings of the times.

1948 Tucker – In the 1930s, cars were becoming faster and more powerful, and this led to more people were being hurt and killed in car accidents. Detroit’s car makers did little to make their vehicles safer because, frankly, there weren’t federal regulations and car buyers weren’t demanding it. Then in the early ’40s, a forward-thinking automotive designer named Preston Tucker decided that he could build “a safer car” and had a hunch that it was what car buyers wanted.

In 1945, Tucker founded Tucker Motors to make his safety cars. The first step was to secure funding, and he used some rather creative techniques to do so. For example, he sold dealerships to those who wanted to carry the Tucker line, and it came with promises of tremendous profits. After monitoring this interesting sales technique for a while, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) jumped in and shut Tucker down in 1948. The result was that Tucker built just 51 cars before the company went silent.

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The Ultimate Car Show at Pebble Beach

I knew I was in for a treat when I traveled to Pebble Beach this past weekend with Infiniti. Any trip to the beautiful Bay Area that included a visit to the iconic Pebble Beach golf course would be memorable. But visiting during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance provided a completely unique experience. The Concours ranks as the most prestigious classic car show in the world. I was stunned by the number of beautiful cars that were on display. It’s a car enthusiast’s dream event, but anyone who appreciates great cars would have an unforgettable experience.

Infiniti took the opportunity around this event to introduce two impressive concept vehicles, including the JX Concept crossover which made its debut at an elegant evening event and the Etherea concept which was introduced for the first time in North America. The Etherea was introduced on Saturday morning on the 18th green at Pebble Beach, which would be the location for the Concours on Sunday (see photo below).

The Concours is the signature event for car enthusiasts, so all weekend we saw a virtual parade of amazing vehicles. Everywhere you turned you could spot old and new Ferraris, Bugattis, Rolls Royces, Aston Martins, Lambos and more, along with classic American cars as well. In the days leading up to Sunday, tons of vehicles we on display. One of my favorites was this 1968 Dodge Charger R/T:

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Scenes from the 2011 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance

We were thrilled to be guests of Infiniti for this year’s Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which is one of the most prestigious classic car shows in the world. We were in Pebble Beach the entire weekend as Infiniti unveiled its JX Concept crossover and also introduced the Etherea concept for the first time in North America.

The Concours d’Elegance culminated on Sunday, and above we have a slideshow of some of the scenes from the event. It’s stunning how many rare collectibles are on display at this event, and all the cars are displayed on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. The day starts early, as guests and media are on hand to watch as each classic car is driven onto the course as you can see in the second photo above. You can spend the entire day there admiring all the cars. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Ferrari 250 GTO so you’ll see several photos of the Ferraris above.

We’ll be posting more photos from the weekend here and on Dashboard News and we’ll be publishing a recap of the event as well so check back soon.