On this day in auto history - November 23rd

Mon 23rd Nov 2020

It was on this day in 1954 that the 50 millionth car produced by General Motors rolled off Chevrolet’s assembly line in Flint, Michigan amid a day of national celebration. 

In honour of the occasion, the historic vehicle - a Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe - was plated gold inside and out. Following a brief ceremony, it was then loaded onto a float and towed through Flint, much to the delight of thousands of onlookers who packed the streets eager to get a glimpse of the special Chevy.

Eager to make the milestone a national event, GM also opened its doors to 114 factories and 11 centres across America in a day long ‘open house’. It was later estimated that this move attracted over 1 million visitors.

The historic milestone coincided with arguably the peak in General Motors’ history with the corporation having snared an astonishing 58% share of the US market. 

Though an influx of European imports and a revival from its great traditional rival, Ford, saw GM lose some of its stranglehold on the US market over the next decade, it took only a further 13 years for the company to hit the 100 millionth car produced milestone.