"We pay no attention to Romney"...Ernest Breech, Chairman of the board, Ford Motor Company
commenting on American Motors and George Romney, President of AMC, 1957
1955 Rambler. Total production 91,469. Ranked 12th in Sales. IN '55, Rambler became a separate
make at American Motors. AMC's other makes, the larger Nash and Hudson, had begun to fail in the marketplace. The Rambler
however, had found a solid niche in the market; those who were just beginning to look toward toward smaller, more economical
cars. But it was 1955, and bigger was still better. As the decade wore on (and the 1957 recession hit buyers), the Rambler
became more and more successful, became a real best seller.
1956 Buick. Total production 635,158. Ranked 3rd in sales. In '56, for the second year
in a row, Buick kept Plymouth out of third place. 1956 Buicks were the most powerful yet, with the Century series racing ftom
0 to 60 in 10.5 seconds! Every '56 model could do at least 100 mph, right out of the showroom. Buick also sponsored
"The Honeymooners" tv show starring Jackie Gleason on the DuMont network. Thats Jackie (shedding his Ralph Kramden character)
talking about the 1956 Buick on the audio portion of this page.
1957 Desoto. Total production 117,514. Ranked 11th in sales. True to the times, '57 Desotos
were long, low and wide, with plenty of chrome and stainless steel. Just as Chevrolet used Dinah Shore to help sell Chevys,
Desoto hired the great Groucho Marx as their pitchman. The company sponsored Groucho's hugely successful "You Bet You Life"
tv program through most of the fifties. The coming recession hurt Desoto sales however, which ultimately led to Chrysler corporation's
descision to drop the line in 1960.
1956 Pontiac. Total Production 405,429. Ranked 6th in sales. Something new was called
for in the '55 Pontiac line, and the company delivered. In fact, Pontiac claimed to have 109 new features and did have up
to date styling. Included in the "new features" catagory was a modern, over-head valve V8, they called the Strato-Streak.
It was simliar to Chevy's "Turbo-Fire V8", but not quite as advanced. That basic engine however, would serve the Pontiac line
admirably for the next 25 years.