The Most Expensive Cars of the 1950s


The cars in the 1950s were some of the most powerful, classic, and unsafe. With every passing year, the acceleration abilities and modern designs are getting more and more astounding. The 1050s were the years that saw significant changes in the automotive industry.

Following World War II, automakers brought up new and improved technology and designs and made a few of their brands exclusively luxury. Some of these expensive car brands can stand the test of time until this period. Carmakers worked on the missing earlier car concepts and brought a variety of styles in the market.

For example, the automakers of 1950 determined to produce convertibles without dismissing the hardtop style. Moreover, in 1951, several car makers concentrated on manufacturing four-door sedans with automatic transmission introduction. Every year, new technologies and features were coming into the market. It was a decade of luxurious and expensive cars.

1953 came with the introduction of power braking accompanying the conditioning systems and power steering in the cars. The majority of the auto manufacturers of 1954 to 1956 concentrated on making cars safer. The late 1950s saw Volkswagen becoming the world’s most well-known car and Chevrolet making noticeable development in the rear-end styling.

Oldsmobile entirely redesigned its body while the Ford came up in the market with its luxurious Continentals. Let’s now check out some of the most expensive cars of the 1950s:

1. 1950 Jaguar XK120

Originally, this car was intended to be a limited run only, but its high demand led to its higher production. At all of its four corners, Jaguar had large hydraulic drum brakes. Moreover, it had an immensely speedy and well-built four-speed manual gearbox, capable of running from 0 to 60 miles per hour in under ten seconds. The price of this classic vehicle was $4,000.

2. 1951 Studebaker Champion

It was a part of Studebaker Champions’ third generation, and as compared to the previous year’s models, this was much more affordable. Moreover, compared to its 1950 counterpart, the 1951 Studebaker Champion boasted better gas mileage. Another prime feature of the Studebaker body style was a wraparound rear window, offering substantial visibility.

Moreover, in 1951, the cost of a brand new Studebaker was a little over $1,600. You can buy the same car today for $11,000.

3. 1952 Bentley R-Type Continental

In the postwar era, this car remained one of the most well-liked and well-known luxury vehicles. Its speed, lightweight, and flashy style made it instantly admired. Bentley Continental attained 101 miles per hour top speed and was powered by a 4.6-liter V6 engine, capable of producing 130 horsepower.

To provide a better driving experience, the engine of Continental matted with a 4-speed manual transmission. The estimated price of this car is $18,000.

4. 1953 Porsche 550 Spyder

Porsche 550 Spyder was the first of the many racing cars built by Porsche, and its prototype was handmade. Because of its revolutionary design, the Spyder won its first race in 1953. The Spyder, build so low to the ground, gained victory after victory. It proved itself one of the most versatile cars by delivering an impressive racing record.  It’s also one of the best cars made in the 1950s.

5. 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark

This vehicle was built to mark the 50th birthday of Buick. In 1953, the selling price of this General Motors’ high-end convertible was $5,000. In 1951, the production of Buick Roadmaster Skylark began. And it came with two doors and shared its drive train with the Roadmaster.

Moreover, this car had a selectronic AM radio, power windows, white interior, power brakes, and full carpeting. The car had an attractive shade of Reef blue against the two-tone red. The Skylark had most of its exterior handmade, including convertible tub, trunk lid, a hood that housed the 12V electrical system, and 5.3-liter Nailhead V8 engine.

The steering column and seat frames of Skylark lowered a bit to deliver proper headroom. Furthermore, this luxurious car came with the Skylark center symbol.

6. 1955 Chrysler Imperial

Chrysler Imperial, selling at $15,075, comes with an internal combustion V8 engine. Moreover, it introduced the hemispherical head chamber design as well. The Hemi 5.4 liter V8 engine, capable of producing 180 horsepower, made this car an exceptionally efficient luxury vehicle during that period. Standard power steering and power brakes were incorporated into it.

With a wheelbase of 4.0 inches, the Chrysler Imperial provided more legroom. The front egg crate grill of Imperial was widely spaced and with the installed free-standing ‘gunsight’ taillightson the top of the rear section.

7. 1956 Continental Mark II

Between 1956 and 1957, this car made headlines as one of the most luxurious vehicles at that period. As of June 1956, Continental Mark II was selling for a staggering $10,000. The four-place coupe made America’s wealthiest people into buying this unit of Ford Motor Company. Its interior had air conditioning and standard leather upholstery.

Continental Mark II 6.0-liter V8 engine producing 285 horsepower powered its rear and front wheels. However, the marker of this classic changed its name to Lincoln Umbrella in late 1957.

8. 1956 BMW 503 Cabriolet

The first post-war sports car of BMW was the 503 Cabriolet. The 3.2-liter V8 engine of 503 Cabriolet was able to speed up to or even more than 190 kilometers per hour. Moreover, the vehicle had its parts made from aluminum.

It was an icon of luxury and indulgence, thanks to its excellent driving experience. 503 Cabriolet also had a gearbox and brake servo. Its estimated original price was $17,000.

9. 1957 Chevy Bel Air


Also known as the ’57 Chevy, it is a two-door convertible vehicle that saw upgrades from 1950, the year it was made available for the first time. However, General Motors, in 1957, made many striking modifications to the design. The company also advertised it as the ‘Hot One’ and at that time the car had a worth price of $1,800.

Moreover, General Motors also incorporated a chrome spear on the front fenders, wheel covers, a Ferrari inspired grill, stainless steel window moldings, and an interior carpet. The car had a super turbo fire 4.6-liter V8 petrol engine and a two power glide automatic transmission along with a pattern known as ‘P RN D Gr.’

At that time, ’57 Chevy was the most recognizable car in America. Moreover, it was the number one car for the enthusiasts and affluent people back then.

10. 1959 Cadillac Coupe DeVille

Cadillac Coupe DeVille is one of the most classic luxurious vehicles that have ever existed. In the 1950s, the iconic shape of this car took the world by storm. The V8 engine of Cadillac provides a power of 325 horsepower. Moreover, it preserved its traditional wraparound, smooth decline, with the original listed price of $4,600.


Several automakers introduced expensive, luxurious cars in the market that readily became well-known among the wealthy and car lovers. Some of the models mentioned in this article are considered classic even today. In the 1950s, each year, the auto market introduced its admirers with something new and innovative with enhanced technology and features.

You can still buy 1950s luxurious and expensive cars at an affordable range and add them to your vintage car collection.

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