A Guide to 1955 Cars

From Bel Airs to Thunderbirds, these are the best cars of 1955.
Written by Brad Marley
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The mid-1950s were a boom time for automotive manufacturers. The American consumer had buying power like never before, and people used that spending money to buy the most cars ever seen in the 1950s, like the
Bel Air, the C5 Corvette, and the
Mercedes Benz
190SL and
Mark I also made their debuts, competing against American products that have remained favorable with car collectors ever since.
To help you find the used car of your dreams—or to help you remember your driving heyday—we've compiled a guide to 1955 cars. From contemporary to full-bodied, these cars represented the glory days of car manufacturing.
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The best cars of 1955

From hardtops to early sports cars, these seven vehicles are the best of the best from 1955.

The best car of 1955: Chevrolet Bel Air

Hemmings market range: $39,900-$249,900
Powertrain: 4.3-liter V8 with manual transmission 
What makes it special: 
The Chevrolet Bel Air got revamped styling for the 1955 model year and received the name “Hot One” in a GM advertising campaign. One of the new design updates was a Ferrari-inspired front grille that gave off the impression of speed.
Motor Trend piled on the accolades, giving it top marks for handling, and Popular Mechanics reported that the car could go from 0-60 in 12.9 seconds, combined with a comfy ride and nice visibility.
The Bel Air remains highly sought after to this day, thanks to a design masterpiece that represents the glory days of American car ingenuity.

The best luxury car of 1955: Chrysler Imperial

Autotrader range: $4,995 to $34,000
Powertrain: Hemi 5.4-liter V8
What makes it special: 
’s answer to
, the Imperial reigned in 180 horsepower under the hood, which made it a pretty efficient luxury vehicle for its time. 
World-renowned automotive designer Virgil Exner put his flair for the dramatic on this vehicle as Chrysler began to separate the Imperial from the brand to make it stand out in a sea of cars that were starting to target high-end buyers. This car had a wheelbase of four inches, giving it extra legroom, which stood out from its competitors.

The best family car of 1955: Chrysler Town & Country

Price range: Varies
Powertrain: 5.4-liter V8 or 6.8-liter V8
What makes it special: 
Fitting right in with Chrysler’s “100-Million Dollar Look” that designer Virgil Exner was going for, the Town & Country had split-folding second-row seats to squeeze in an entire family for long road trips or quick jaunts to the drive-in movie theater.
In order to give the drivers the vista they needed on longer trips, Chrysler introduced the “Super-Scenic” wraparound windshield to improve visibility so the driver could see all that America has to offer.

The best sports car of 1955: C5 Corvette

Fair market range: $54,600-$112,600
Powertrain: V8 engine with three-speed manual transmission
What makes it special: 
The 1955 version of the
Chevrolet Corvette
gained the muscle its audience had been wanting for some time via a V8 that carried 195 horsepower—a 40 horsepower increase over its predecessor. 
The ‘55 version also came in eye-popping colors like Corvette Copper and Gypsy Red, which were sure to turn heads and capture attention cruising down the main drag or flying down the highway. This version of the Corvette was just the beginning of what would become one of the most popular sports cars in American history.

The best truck of 1955: Chevy Pickup

Fair market range: $35,000-$179,900
Powertrain: Small block V8 with 180 horsepower
What makes it special
Chevrolet had a stranglehold on the American car market in the ’50s, and it was partly due to the popularity of the Chevrolet pickup that marked a turning point for the company with the introduction of the small-block V8. It was one of the most powerful engines ever produced and hot rodders and drag racers started to take notice.
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What cars came out in 1955? 

1955 was a banner year for cars as manufacturers came into their own as far as vehicle design went. And American consumers had money to spend after decades of watching their expenses, so they visited dealerships in droves to get the best car money could buy. Check out the table below to see some of the best cars that came out in 1955.
Vehicle type
Fair market range
4.3-liter V8 with manual transmission
First of three “Tri-Fives”
Sports car
292-cubic inch OHV 292 Y-block V8
Ford’s answer to Chevy Corvette
$14,350 to $47,500
Jaguar’s first modern midsize sedan
Convertible hardtop
1.9-liter four I
$64,100 to $283,600
1.3- liter
$31,200 to $83,700
Alfa’s first post-war convertible
Sports car
Type 547/1 Flat-4 engine
$194,000 to $444,300
First regular production Carrera Speedster
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How to save money on used car insurance

You will pay less for insurance on a used car, and, surprisingly, you will also pay less on insurance for a classic car than you would for your regular car. 
You can also lower your rates if you
drop full coverage on an older car
. Since
comprehensive coverage
are not mandatory, you're not obligated to carry them. 
Whether you want to insure a classic Chevrolet Bel Air, or you want to pull the trigger on buying a classic Ford Thunderbird, you can review your cheapest
car insurance
options with the
app. Just download the
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It’s widely believed that the
Bel Air was the most popular car produced in 1955 as it ushered in the heyday of Chevrolet vehicles at a time when the general population was yearning for stylish cars.
300SL Gullwing was the fastest car in 1955, with a top speed of 150.7 mph.
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