American Roads 1955
As much as I’ve been pining about the American cars of 1955, I’m equally in love with that specific time (the mid 50s) in that place (the good ol’ USA) as well. If I could hop in a time machine and go back to 1955 at El Mirage, Bonneville, or any Speed Shop in SoCal, it would be many a dream come true. Those of you who were young men in 1950s know what a great time it truly was in America for a car guy- More open roads, less people (and nicer ones too), and beautiful cars everywhere you look. This country embraced the personal automobile as part of city infrastructure in a way we’ll never see again- Drive In movie theaters, Drive through stores, curbside mailboxes & book drops… You get the idea. I’ve dug up two period films worth sharing about driving (both the good and the bad) in America back then. The first film is color 8mm footage of a road trip covering lots of California, and bits of a cross country trek back to Colorado. There are some brief Bonneville area shots in there, but it’s filmed from Highway 80. The second movie is a GM Jam Handy special called “Give Yourself the Green Light” about the need for better freeway infrastructure to open up the heavy traffic our growing cities. President Eisenhower was drumming up support for the Federal Aid Highway Act, and the boys at General Motors were all to happy to get behind him in anticipation of more car sales!