Quiz 1950s Car Culture

Approved & Edited by ProProfs Editorial Team
The editorial team at ProProfs Quizzes consists of a select group of subject experts, trivia writers, and quiz masters who have authored over 10,000 quizzes taken by more than 100 million users. This team includes our in-house seasoned quiz moderators and subject matter experts. Our editorial experts, spread across the world, are rigorously trained using our comprehensive guidelines to ensure that you receive the highest quality quizzes.
Learn about Our Editorial Process
| By Meredithbrowne
M
Meredithbrowne
Community Contributor
Quizzes Created: 4 | Total Attempts: 2,760
Questions: 18 | Attempts: 178

SettingsSettingsSettings
Quiz 1950s Car Culture - Quiz

.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    While real life families flocked to the suburbs, this was not reflected in America's fictional television families who stayed in more elegant and sophisticated urban settings.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Marling even explains that many shows (like I Love Lucy) made the move to the suburbs part of their story!

    Rate this question:

  • 2. 

    Which car manufacturer spent the most on advertising in the 1950s?

    • A.

      GM

    • B.

      Ford

    • C.

      Chrysler

    • D.

      Volkswagon

    Correct Answer
    A. GM
    Explanation
    GM made Chevrolets or "Chevies" and spent millions every year on advertising

    Rate this question:

  • 3. 

    What proportion of all the cars in the world did Americans own in this period?

    • A.

      10%

    • B.

      Half

    • C.

      99%

    • D.

      75%

    Correct Answer
    A. 10%
    Explanation
    150,697,361 million people lived in the U.S. in 1950 out of a global population of 2,556,000,053. This is not quite 6%.

    Rate this question:

  • 4. 

    Why were Europe and Great Britain so far behind America in car ownership?

    • A.

      They were concerned about the environment and preferred train travel

    • B.

      They lived in cute little places where it was easier to walk

    • C.

      They chose to spend their money on building zeppelins instead.

    • D.

      They were using a lot of their resources to rebuild after the destruction of the war

    Correct Answer
    A. They were concerned about the environment and preferred train travel
    Explanation
    Recovery from wartime took a lot longer in the parts of the world where the war actually took place. Britain was still rationing food until 1954! See what that looked like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9wNJ78S2GY

    Rate this question:

  • 5. 

    When the Russians beat the Americans to space with the launch of Sputnik in 1958

    • A.

      Cadillac began designing cars that looked like they were from outer space!

    • B.

      Oldsmobile began collaborating with the government to make space vessels like the Rocket 88

    • C.

      There was a recession. Consumers felt queasy about buying the latest model car when the Russians were actually building rockets.

    • D.

      Americans began building cars full of gadgets and features to make their cars seem futuristic to show that they too had advanced engineering

    Correct Answer
    C. There was a recession. Consumers felt queasy about buying the latest model car when the Russians were actually building rockets.
    Explanation
    During the time when the Russians launched Sputnik and beat the Americans to space, there was a recession. This economic downturn made consumers hesitant to purchase the latest model cars as they were concerned about the advancements being made by the Russians in rocket technology. This explains why Cadillac and other American car manufacturers started designing cars that looked futuristic and filled them with gadgets and features, to assure consumers that they too had advanced engineering capabilities.

    Rate this question:

  • 6. 

    Ads for cars and popular songs made connections between cars and 

    • A.

      Masculinity 

    • B.

      Romance

    • C.

      Male sexual prowess

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    Hear the "Rocket 88" song here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbfnh1oVTk0

    Rate this question:

  • 7. 

    What could not have existed without the massive increase in automobile ownership?

    • A.

      Suburbs

    • B.

      City life

    • C.

      Romance

    • D.

      Space travel

    Correct Answer
    A. Suburbs
    Explanation
    Marling says that due to the car, suburbs were created "where new houses sprouted like dandelions after rain".

    Rate this question:

  • 8. 

    Which of the following terms described the idea that there should be a new stylish model of car each year?

    • A.

      Fordism

    • B.

      Communism

    • C.

      Sloanism

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    C. Sloanism
    Explanation
    By 1926 everyone who could afford a car already had one and sales dropped off. Why would someone buy a new one, when they already had one that worked just fine? Alfred Sloan came up with an answer: make it fashionable to have the latest style or colour!

    Rate this question:

  • 9. 

    What was something that General Motors and Ford used to try to make cars more appealing to female buyers?

    Correct Answer
    color, colour, colours, colors, distinctive colours, distinctive colors, distinctive colour, distinctive color, designer color, designer colour, fur, fur lap robes, luggage, matching luggage, cosmetics cases, built-in cosmetics cases, built-in cases for cosmetics, carpet, floor coverings, floor covering, lipstick, hair dye, drinking glasses, tissue box, vanity case, drinking cups, hair color, hair colour, hair color kits, hair colours kits
    Explanation
    You think Ford and GM were crazy? Look at the list of things that came with the Cadillac el Dorado on page 141!

    Rate this question:

  • 10. 

    Why might a member of a minority group buy a luxury car?

    • A.

      They were not allowed to buy property in "nice" neighbourhoods

    • B.

      Because those with enough income could, so why not?

    • C.

      To show their success

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    Some of the new suburbs in American had clauses written into the contracts that owners could not sell their homes to non-white or Jewish families. So if you were not allowed to buy a nice home, you could at least have a nice car. https://www.nytimes.com/1997/12/28/nyregion/at-50-levittown-contends-with-its-legacy-of-bias.html

    Rate this question:

  • 11. 

    Cadillac tail fins were 

    • A.

      Inspired by naval vessels used after Pearl Harbour

    • B.

      Functional for making the car more aerodynamic and better on gas

    • C.

      Ridiculed by a small body of critics who called the cars luxurious loungemobiles

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    C. Ridiculed by a small body of critics who called the cars luxurious loungemobiles
    Explanation
    They called the extra chrome added to cars "gorp" and by the late fifties the average car had 44 pounds of purely decorative "gorp". Automakers sometimes claimed the fins improved aerodynamics, but really, their main function was as a metaphor. http://www.59-60cadillacs.com/

    Rate this question:

  • 12. 

    Cars were seen as feminine

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Psychologists like Dichter described men as buying two different kinds of cars: the mistress (convertible and sexy) and the wife (reliable and gets the job done)!!

    Rate this question:

  • 13. 

    Dagmars

    • A.

      Were the German designers hired by Ford to make cars more futuristic

    • B.

      Part of a car's bumper named after a starlet's breasts

    • C.

      Early safety features which were regarded as something only for sissies or women

    • D.

      All the cool extras that came with a new car, like matching lipstick, 

    Correct Answer
    B. Part of a car's bumper named after a starlet's breasts
    Explanation
    https://www.curbsideclassic.com/design-3/design-history-cadillacs-dagmars-an-intimate-look-at-their-origins-development-and-namesake/

    Rate this question:

  • 14. 

    People in the 1950s seem to have really wanted decorated surfaces with lots of embellisment

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Harley Earl thought people liked all these rococo extras because it visibly demonstrated prestige and showed your neighbours you had spent a lot of money and were successful.

    Rate this question:

  • 15. 

    Art and design critics loved the playfulness of car design 

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Nope. They hardly articulate how awful they found it. See page 153.

    Rate this question:

  • 16. 

    The lady driver

    • A.

      Was commonly seen in advertising with her hat and gloves

    • B.

      Was a way for a man to justify power brakes or steering (it's for the little lady!)

    • C.

      Was often the butt of jokes

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "All of the above". This means that all the statements mentioned in the question are true. The lady driver was commonly seen in advertising with her hat and gloves, which suggests a certain image or stereotype associated with female drivers. Additionally, the idea of a lady driver was sometimes used as a way for men to justify power brakes or steering, implying that women needed assistance or special features in their cars. Lastly, female drivers were often the subject of jokes, indicating a widespread social perception or bias.

    Rate this question:

  • 17. 

    The Edsel was a huge failure. Its grill was described as

    • A.

      An egg

    • B.

      A toilet seat

    • C.

      An unmentionable portion of the female anatomy

    • D.

      A and b

    • E.

      All of the above

    Correct Answer
    E. All of the above
    Explanation
    The Edsel was a notorious failure in the automotive industry. Its grill was widely criticized and described using various derogatory terms, including "an egg," "a toilet seat," and "an unmentionable portion of the female anatomy." The phrase "All of the above" indicates that all of these descriptions were used to refer to the Edsel's grill.

    Rate this question:

  • 18. 

    Why did Elvis trade in one of his cars after only three weeks?

    • A.

      He wanted the new model

    • B.

      He felt effeminate driving a pink car

    • C.

      It had been entirely covered in lipstick messages from his fans

    • D.

      All of the above

    • E.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    C. It had been entirely covered in lipstick messages from his fans
    Explanation
    Elvis had nothing against pastel coloured cars and owned many of them

    Rate this question:

Related Topics

Back to Top Back to top
Advertisement
×

Wait!
Here's an interesting quiz for you.

We have other quizzes matching your interest.