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 In the 1960s, muscle cars were what everybody
wanted; 1960s was the best decade for American car design ever and these cars
were so appealing everybody had to have one. Muscle cars were truly a big part
of the 1960s. In the 1960s, people began wanting smaller cars. After many
fatalities, safety became a primary concern in 1966 as the industry came up
with its second-best sales year ever, topped only by 1965.

            1960s was the best decade for American car design ever;
1960 models brought the first front- wheel drive car since 1937, people were
shocked that someone would make a car that would pull by its front wheels. Detroit
stated 1964 models were designed with serious consideration for the needs &
tastes of American women. Women represented over 1 million sales a year
(Retowaste). 1965 was called the “the year of the stylist.” Engineering changes
took place in overall appearance in all cars. The Ford Mustang became a
favorite to everybody, it began to dominate other car sales. Ford showed off a
lab model of a sodium- sulfur battery that was 15 times lighter than the
average battery. U.S retail buyers had more than 200 different models to choose
from, with a standard price spread of $1,795 for a Rambler American sedan to
$13,075 for the limited-edition Cadillac Eldorado Brougham. Prices began to
raise every year for new things to be put into cars to keep people safe or keep
customers around. These were the many reasons why 1960 was the best decade for
car designs.

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            In 1960, car buyers were demanding smaller vehicles.
Compact cars were marketed heavily by every automobile manufacturer because they
became so popular everyone had to have the brand-new stuff (Rob S). New models
included the Ford Falcon, the Chevrolet Corvair and the Plymouth Valiant. Soon
after, Lincoln-Mercury released the Comet and Dodge introduced the Dart. Midway
through 1960, because everyone was demanding smaller cars, general Motors
announced that it would offer three smaller cars, the Buick Special, the
Oldsmobile F-85 and the Pontiac Tempest. This focus on smaller cars
domestically caused a sharp drop in import sales. Engineering improvements became important to improve
the economy; car designers began to replace iron and steel with aluminum to
reduce weight in some models which helped with having a smaller car more people
wanted to have. There were adjustments made to combustion chamber design and
compression ratios that aided fuel economy as well. Mechanical advances were on
display as the first rear-engine car made in America, the Chevy Corvair. Also
in 1960, the first alternator was used in a production car. Although
alternators had been used astronomically in vehicles like taxis, police cars
and other vehicles with numerous gadgets and accessories, installing an
alternator in a family car like the Chrysler Variant was a first that everyone
was surprised to see. Some industry experts speculated industry-wide use of
alternators within a decade because they became such a popular thing to have.

            Safety was the primary concern in 1966 as the industry shook
up its second-best sales year ever, topped only by 1965. But with a nationwide
death came to about 1,000 road deaths per week, everyone’s focus was on safety
now due to fear of death. And 1966 was an unparalleled year for safety
requirements for car manufacturers. US companies offered 367 basic
1967 models. Two major sales themes were sportiness and safety, which was what
everybody wanted. Ford, with the hugely popular Mustang carrying the load for a
couple years, was finally getting some real challengers due to other car
companies making safer cars. One came from within: the Lincoln-Mercury Cougar.
Chevrolet released the Camaro and Chrysler-Plymouth beefed up its Barracuda
line, prices ranged from $2,000 for a Rambler to $10,000 for a Cadillac
Seventy-Five limo (RetoWaste). The design trend was toward a long hood, a short
deck and low, sleek profiles. For the first time, all four major auto
manufacturers guaranteed the power train for 5 years/50,000 miles. The electric
car emerged on the scene in 1966. Ford showed off a lab model of a
sodium-sulfur battery that was 15 times lighter than the average lead battery.
At the time, company engineers said they need at least two more years to
develop a prototype car. In October, GM showed off two experimental vehicles: a
Corvair and a small truck. Both could drive about 40 to 150 miles.

            In the 1960s, muscle cars were what everybody wanted;
1960s was the best decade for American car design ever and these cars were so
appealing everybody had to have one. Muscle cars were truly a big part of the
1960s. these were the most intense years of producing high- powered performance
muscle cars. Muscle cars didn’t change American culture as much as they became
a part of it.