1956 Cadillac Dealer Promotional Model

In America’s expanding consumer culture of the 1950s, buying a new car symbolized increased purchasing power and a desire for beauty, comfort, horsepower, and mobility. Big luxury cars sold well. General Motors, like other manufacturers, kept supplies of model cars in showrooms as teasers and as a color selection guide. Sales representatives gave dealer promotional models to prospective customers, and the same models or similar models could be purchased in stores. This model, which the donor purchased in a toy store, highlighted the latest styles and fashions, including a new rear bumper and a redesigned Cadillac crest. Small but popular marketing tools, model cars accentuated the annual model change as auto makers discarded last year’s features in favor of this year’s novelties and advances.
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 2 1/4 in x 3 in x 8 1/2 in; 5.715 cm x 7.62 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Paul B. McCracken III
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
American Enterprise
Road Transportation
American Enterprise
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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