Car Culture & Entertainment

The Best Decade in Automotive History is…

 
old and new cars

Vintage style or modern performance? Retro chic or state-of-the-art? It’s totally your call—which automotive decade was the “best?” (Image/Summit Racing)

Beginning with the 1950s, which decade in automotive history was (or is) the best?

For this exercise, we’re looking only at postwar decades despite all that the first 50 years of the 20th century meant to vehicle innovation and manufacturing.

Before you insta-answer, please take a moment to consider how you want to define the word “best.”

Which automotive decade has made the greatest impact on the industry as a whole? Or, which decade had the greatest impact on you?

Maybe technology is your thing. Today we have radically advanced self-tuning computers, self-parking and self-driving vehicles, and battery-powered electric vehicles redefining both daily drivers and performance vehicles.

But there are other factors too.

The price of a gallon of fuel—gas or diesel. Heated seats. Memories of handing tools to your father in the garage. Attending your first drag or circle track race. The ability to order new parts by hitting a few buttons on your smartphone and having them arrive at your doorstep in two days. Driving your first car. GoPro cameras. Fuel injection. Prom night. GPS-powered navigation systems. That poster on your childhood bedroom wall.

There are good reasons to choose ANY decade because of what it might mean to you.

We’re going to make the case for each of the following decades, one article at a time, starting next week:

You can submit your vote in the comments below, or be part of the conversation on OnAllCylinders’ and/or Summit Racing’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

There are no right or wrong answers, just a bunch of people being really nice to one another in Facebook comments (*ahem*), while sharing their opinions.

Only one decade can win. You can help decide which one that will be.

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25 Comments

  1. In my opinion the 60s were the best years, when you look at the variety of body styles all 3 makes were bringing out and their popularity still today, not to mention the engines that where brought out in that decade, especially to me the big block chevy. My opinion may be a bit biased since I own a 67 Chevelle I have had since high school, (purchased in 74) but the Fords and Mopars of that decade were great too.

  2. John deutchman says:

    1960s went from builder cars to high performance cars speeds increased and safety increaded

  3. jennings Sturgeon says:

    I’d say 1960 is the best, specially high end Buick that even inside is full of chrome pieces.

  4. Raymond Goshorn says:

    I have to say the ’60’s were the best cause I grew up in that time period. Because of Felix Chevy, Allen Gwynn Chevrolet’s parts department, and Blair’s Speed with Steve Bovan and the help he gave me, I had a high 9 second 1968 Camaro from late 1969 to 1972.

  5. Roland schaeffer says:

    I HAVE TO SAY THE 60’S I HAD A1957 CHEVY WITH A 270 VET MOTER WITH 2X4 I have a 1961 corvette now with 600 hp and 5 speed trans

  6. Larry Siers says:

    I say the 50’s, I turned 16 in 58 and got my first car (1957 Ford)

    • rick wallace says:

      Thee most beautiful body lines ever …57 Ford any body style. The world is FINALLy waking up to that fact, and the rarity of them as the prices of 57 Fords pus that of 57 (exp*) ing chevys (no capital c)

  7. The 60’s. brought us the Mustang,Barracuda,Camero, Chevell ss,Road Runner, Dodge Daytona,Thunder Bolt, the real Shellby Cobra,etc:etc; Not to mention the horsepower wars between mamufactures. Also not forgetting the prices. For Example–A 383 RoadRunner for under $3,000,A 289 Cobra or a 70 Hemi Cuda for around $ 5,000 I will say, the early 70’s were just the cherry on the top of the winning 60’s.

  8. I say the ‘60s. A wide variety of different cars from the air cooled Corvair, the front wheel drive toranodo, the muscle cars and some great and diverse styling.

  9. yeah you guys say the 60’s but remember the 50’s brought you the overhead valve V8. The first motor that produced as mant HP as cubic inches(283).
    50’s also brought you the 1950 Olds convertible with V 8 and the 55-56-57 Chev that is on most TV auto shows even to day.
    Have you seen the 57 Pontiac 2 dr sedan that ran 144 MPH off showroom floor?
    Very true we didnt have 4 speed except for Vette, but speaking of the Vette, can you name another iconic car better in its time. Yeah Mustang and Camaro are nice but remember what started it all.

  10. I’m cheating! I redefined a decade to include the 11 years from 1958 to 1969. Who can ignore the 58 Corvette or the 69 Camaro?

  11. Definitely the 60’s

  12. Steve duBois says:

    It was the 60’s where body styling changed every year and the mussel car’s cam into the picture… BUT….the 50’s also were very good with the best body styling with best being the 57’s when fins cam into play….late 50′, the fins got out of control and were given the boot by 1961.

    Steve duBois

  13. Zeppo Jaworski says:

    I think present day cars are far better than the rust bucket/gas guzzlers of the 50s and 60s and that was my era. Today you can buy a car for your mother that is faster than any production car from the 50 and 60s, and it has 4 doors and can haul the grandkids around town.

    • rick wallace says:

      ,,,Blows cold air in your face, tells where you are with in a foot on planet Earth , spuees out almost NO polutants, get 30 mpg, stop on a dime and give you nine cents change and its ocupants can survive a 50 mph roll over and walk away without a scratch. for less than 2 grand…and drive it a year and never open the hood.

  14. Bill Hunter says:

    If this question was based solely on cars I would say the 60’s since I had a ’67 Chevelle…although the ’70’s were when I “discovered” cars…working all hours so I could head to the local speed shop on payday to get my next required part…talking about cars…pulling wrenches…getting dirty…bragging rights…burnouts…so mark me down for the ’70’s…most nostalgic automotive time for me.

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