Cars for the decades

The 1950s: Chevy Bel- Air

the '57 Chevy Bel-Air was a product of post-World War II America. Its large size made it a car for comfort, while its V-8 engine gave it power for quick acceleration. Bold and exciting, it was emblematic of a society harboring boundless optimism.

The 1960s: Ford Mustang

A sports car for the common man, it gave consumers a chance to own an exciting vehicle at a reasonable price. As people began to challenge the social conventions of the '50s, it also marked a step toward fun and rebellion.

The 1970s: Honda CVCC

Small, economical, and reliable, it epitomized the fleet of Japanese cars that invaded America in the 1970s - reflecting a new pragmatism. With the oil crisis and the advent of mainstream environmentalism, it was a car for a decade of limits.

The 1980s: Dodge Caravan

It was morning in America, and families were driving minivans. More versatile than a stodgy station wagon, minivans became a symbol of suburban America in a decade of the ascendant middle class.

The 1990s: GMC Envoy

A class of sport-utility vehicles appealed to well-heeled Americans, lending an Eddie Bauer image to the pin-stripe suit set. Bad ride? Gas guzzlers? Yes, but this is the '90s.

The 2000s: Chevy Nomad

At the North American Auto Show in Detroit this week, hybrids like this are being touted as the vehicle for the next decade. They're more fuel-stingy and offer a smoother rides than SUVs, but still maintain some of the "roughing it" image.

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