Vintage Reviews: Motor Trend’s 1957 New Car Issue – Ads, Specifications And More


Though Motor Trend had been covering the new 1957 cars in several issues that released with 1956 cover dates, the January 1957 issue–out in December 1956, was the most comprehensive wrap-up of all the new model year news.  The issue was also chock-full of ads for new model year cars.  Have a look at some of the marketing that ran in Motor Trend’s Auto Show Issue, along with detailed comparison specification tables of all the domestics.  And as a bonus, there’s a tongue-in-cheek commentary that ran on the last page of the December 1956 issue, that gave a bit of perspective around the notion that “all of today’s cars look alike.”







In terms of true radical innovation, arguably the most advanced car available in the U.S. for 1957 came from France.  No color pictures or sweeping fins here, just function with quirky French flair.




Tom McCahill from Mechanix Illustrated could always be counted on for colorful comments.  No doubt FoMoCo was looking for that impact to promote their English Ford, though featuring a shot of McCahill’s disembodied head was rather a strange touch…


I’m sure many Motor Trend readers pored over this tiny print chart back in the day, making note of how their favorites stacked up.

MT1256cars look alike

This is proof positive that each and every era has critics who lament that too many cars are copying each other.  Of course, then as now, adopting successful ideas is good business strategy, so don’t expect this merry-go-round to stop anytime soon.