Some point to the imaginative cars of the second half of the Fifties—with their swooping decorative fins and sparkling chrome accessories—as classic examples of automobile design. Others are more critical of all the waste involved. Cars were becoming more aerodynamic before the 1950s, but with the advent of fins and lavish grilles, most cars of the decade only appeared streamlined; as cars became heavier and their engines more powerful, they required more and more gas to operate. Safety, efficiency, and durability were all sacrificed on the altar of automobile fashion.
Source: Schmoop – Society in the 1950s