Saturday, October 12, 2013

1955 Chevrolet Two-Ten Townsman



"You can have your cake and eat it, too — with Chevrolet's spanking-new line of Station Wagons. For here is sophisticated big-city style (and the longest look of any Chevrolet)  . . .  plus pack-horse performance and astonishing new utility features. Now, both the rear seat cushion and the backrest fold flush with the floor to give almost 11 inches more cargo space. Curved rear quarter windows combine with the deep Sweep-Sight Windshield to give visibility unlimited. With this two-in-one versatility you get all of Chevrolet's great engineering advances."

The most utilitarian version in Chevrolet's passenger car lineup for 1955 is surprisingly classy and long looking, indeed. And if that car wasn't stylish enough for you, you still could choose between a similarly sized two-door version and the lavishly equipped sporty Chevrolet Nomad two-door "hardtop" wagon. Considering that Chevrolet never really fostered station wagons, this impressive array of different body versions demonstrates the economic power of GM as the biggest car company in the world.

Between 1955 and 1957, Chevrolets iconic "Tri-five" generation featured power and a glamorous styling that was previously unseen in the "economic" car segment, and the look of the station wagons benefitted from this paradigm change, too. Despite being merely "practical" cars in the public perception, Chevrolet's designers under Harley Earl took great effort to push the boundaries of contemporary design. Case in point: the curved rear quarter windows that create the nimble look were a challenging technical solution that was expensive and difficult to produce. No other company would invest in such detail on their budget car line, even if station wagons became increasingly popular throughout the 50s.

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