A Guide to 1953 Cars

From the Chevrolet Corvette to the now-defunct Hudson Hornet, these are the best cars from 1953.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The best vehicles of 1953 include the
Chevrolet Corvette
, the
Buick Roadmaster
, and the
Ford F100
.
Most of the cars that were registered at the beginning of the 1950s were built prior to World War II. With the country just about a decade removed from the end of the war, car production was ramping up—and bringing with it some of the best designs from the middle of the 20th century. 
To help you take a stroll down memory lane,
Jerry
, the
car insurance
comparison
super app
, has compiled a guide to 1953 cars. From sports cars to long-lost favorites, these are the best picks.
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The best cars of 1953

From the first edition of an iconic sports car to a new-defunct favorite, these are the best vehicles from 1953.

The best car of 1953: Hudson Hornet

Fair market range: $44,000 to $165,000
Powertrain: Hudson high compression straight 6-cylinder engine
What makes it special: 
The Hudson Hornet was built and produced in Detroit for the now-defunct Hudson Motor Car Company. These cars were powered by engines that could get up to 112 mph when tuned properly, which is a big reason why the car was NASCAR-certified. The cars found their home on the racetracks and were darned near unbeatable with their combination of ability on the road and the fact they were over-built.
The last Hornet rolled off the assembly line in June of 1957, when the Hudson brand was discontinued.

The best luxury car of 1953: Buick Roadmaster

Fair market range: $19,100 to $100,300
Powertrain: 322 ci Fireball V8
What makes it special: 
The redesigned
Buick Roadmaster
burst onto the scene in 1953 with an engine never before seen by the general car-buying public. The Fireball was shorter, lower, and lighter than similar engines, but it was up to 11% more powerful. And this luxurious vehicle had the lowest weight per cubic inch displacement and the highest compression ratio in automotive history.
For a brand that’s still known today for its luxury, the Roadmaster was ahead of its time, with enough room for six passengers, while still boasting a smaller wheelbase than previous years. If you so chose, you could also find enough space for a family to store their luggage for a trip into the countryside.

The best SUV of 1953: Chevrolet Suburban 

Fair market range: $15,000 to $67,500
Powertrain: Hydra-matic 4-speed automatic transmission
What makes it special: 
It might not be what you think of when you think of an SUV, but the
Chevrolet Suburban
was the precursor to the modern SUV and is what passed for a sport utility vehicle back in the day. It came with a split front bench seat that had two seats on the driver’s side and a single seat on the passenger side.
This was also the last generation to feature “Canopy express” models which were quite popular back in the day. These panel trucks were used for advertising, marketing, or as a vehicle from which local merchants could sell their goods.

The best family car of 1953: Chevrolet Bel Air

Fair market range: $3,200 to $17,500
Powertrain: 216.5 cu in (3.5 L) "Thriftmaster" 1-bbl. valve-in-head 92 hp I6 235.5 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6 
What makes it special: 
Named after the wealthy neighborhood near Los Angeles, this model featured a design change from previous models. Gone were the knee-action suspension and split windshields, and a new platform was laid as Chevrolet rolled its first modern passenger car of the post-war era.
While some enthusiasts will buy it to rebuild as a hot rod, this passenger vehicle was built to house a family in comfort. And that’s exactly what the interior of this dream car accomplished, with its pops of chrome on the outside and matching color set on the inside.

The best sports car of 1953: Chevrolet Corvette

Edmunds fair market range: $160,300 to $321,700
Powertrain: 235 cu in (3.9 L) Blue Flame I6 265 cu in (4.3 L) Small-block V8 283 cu in (4.6 L) Small-block V8 327 cu in (5.4 L) Small-block V8
What makes it special: 
Was there any doubt the first iteration of this American classic wouldn’t make the list as the best sports car of 1953? This car has inspired movies, songs, and television shows since its inception, and the accolades just keep on going. It’s truly a car that represents America.
With a unique all-fiberglass body, the
Chevrolet Corvette
was named after a small maneuverable warship suggested by General Motors PR department. Due to a lack of steel available thanks to the Korean War, that material made sense for the body. The car was a wild enough departure from what was already available that it grabbed headlines and never let go.

The best truck of 1953: Ford F-Series

Fair market value: $17,200 to $88,300
Powertrain: 215 cu in Straight-6, 239 cu in Flathead V8, 223 cu in Mileage Maker I6, 239 cu in Y-block V8
What makes it special: 
We can’t leave off the precursor to the rugged
Ford
F-Series that are ubiquitous on today’s roads. This version was the first generation that would use the numbering system we are familiar with today.
This truck, compared to previous versions, was given new cab doors, a redesigned dashboard, and a panoramic rear window. And in keeping with Ford cars, the 1953 version of the F-Series offered seat belts as an option.
MORE: How to get cheap truck insurance

What cars came out in 1953? 

The cars that came out in 1953 were ready to meet a hungry consumer population’s appetite, and they delivered. Here are some of the best cars from that year.
Model
Vehicle type
Engine
Fair market range
Convertible
Fireball 322-cu.in. V-8
$85,500 to $174,400
Convertible
331 cu in (5.4 L) OHV V8 365 cu in (6.0 L) OHV V8
$121,800 to $241,600
Sedan
3.3-liter
$5,475 to $20,500
Coupe
317 cu in (5.2 L) Lincoln Y-block V8 341 cu in (5.6 L) Lincoln Y-block V8 (1955)
$7,025 to $47,900
Sedan
4.2-liter V8 L-head
$6,350 to $33,200
Sedan
5-liter V8
$7,075 to $34,000
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FAQs

The Hudson Hornet was the most popular car in 1953.
The Jaguar XK 120 was the fastest car in 1953. It broke the land speed record at 172 mph.
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