Home – Just American Automobiles

American Automobiles - 1957 Chevrolet

Welcome to Just American Automobiles a pictorial tribute to an American institution beloved as much as baseball, hotdogs and apple pie. What we have here is some of the most significant names in automotive history. Names like Chevrolet, Ford and Chrysler that mass produced automobiles. Then put the world on wheels creating the auto industry we know today. And to think it all started over a century ago by dreamers like Louis Chevrolet and Henry Ford. Plus David Dunbar Buick, Walter Percy Chrysler, James Ward Packard and William Crapo “Billy” Durant just to name a few. Countless millions have owned American Automobiles built by these men at one time or another. Men whose impressive success in the early 1900s built vehicles designed for American’s fast growing middle class. These automobiles were built in America by Americans and some are still running today.

Just American Automobiles Articles

America’s Strangest Automobiles
The American automobile industry grew in part from the development of answers to practical problems and from the vision of talented individuals.

Family Haulers and Family Favorites
Flashy hardtop coupes and convertibles may get all the glory. But sensible sedans and station wagons have historically been an automakers real bread and butter.

Convertibles – Sunshine Specials
In the early days of the American Automobile all were open models or touring cars and roadsters. Ford’s first closed body style arrived in 1908. However, all Chevrolets were touring cars or roadsters until about 1918.

Stylish Cruisers and Glamour Queens
General Motors invented the Hardtop Convertible body style with the 1949 Buick Roadmaster Riviera. In addition the Cadillac Series 62 Coupe de Ville and the Oldsmobile 98 Holiday.

Elegant Hood Ornaments
Elegant hood ornaments and radiator mascots once decorated the tops of radiators on early American automobiles. They were placed there to make the vehicle look good.

Small Packages and Budget Beauties
For the first 50 or 60 years Detroit only sold one size American automobile – large. Hence by the 1960s small compact cars sales were becoming too big a part of the market for Detroit to ignore.

Beginning of the Tail Fin
The 1948 Series 61 Cadillacs had new postwar styling with the first tail fin. At first Cadillac tail fins were just small bumps on the rear fenders.

Cadillac – The King of Tail Fins
Cadillac’s 1948 redesign included its trademark tail fin. The first of what would make Cadillac the King of the tail fins from 1948 to 1976.


Outrageous Tail Fins of the 1950s & 1960s

With all the stale looks of the late 1940s American automobiles consumers were literally crying out for something new. So in the 1950s the American automobile industry created the tail fin. Some say the P-38 Lightning aircraft was the greatest design influence for the chrome and fin era. See all the tail fins here from the seldom seen Allstate Tailfins to Studebaker tailfins.

A to Z – 26 Vintage American Automobiles You Never Knew Existed

Did you know that from the late 1800s to today over 1500 different makes of American automobile were produced in the United States. Find 26 vintage American automobiles you never knew existed from the American Underslung to the Zip Light Car.