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October 11, 2022

1956 National Automobile Show: Fascinating Pictures of the Dazzling New York Car Show For 1957 Models

In 1956, LIFE photographer Walter Sanders attended a New York car show previewing the new models for 1957—historically recognized a great year for cars. There he witnessed and captured the glamour of the event, which could tell us plenty about Americans' imagination about their cars in that age. 

The story, published in the December 17, 1956 issue, was headlined “Car Makers Sound a Mighty Toot for 1957.” 

“Staged at the New York Coliseum at a cost of $12 million, the extravaganza displayed 66 trucks and buses and 124 passenger cars that ranged from low-cost conventional models to an ultra-luxurious white convertible upholstered with 200 ermine skins. A 30-minute musical revue went on six times daily, depicting the theme, “American on the Move.”

“The color motif of turquoise, gold and red-orange mirrored the jaunty mood of the U.S. automobile industry.” LIFE magazine declared in its report. The 1956 National Automobile Show was a big enough of a cultural moment that Richard Nixon, then vice president of the United States, showed up and gave a speech.

(via LIFE)


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