AUTOS: The Cellini of Chrome

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For the nation's 77.9 million drivers, it was the week to do their Christmas window-shopping early. Detroit rolled its 1958 models and began to croon its annual siren sales song to the U.S. public. Out came a whole fleet of new cars in a blizzard of announcements promising "jet intakes," "bubble windshields," "flight-pitch transmissions," "Marauder engines"—even an ICBM look. There were downswept snouts, upswept fins and outswept taillights ; all were ablaze with dazzling colors and gleaming chrome brighter than any Christmas tree. Sighed a Detroit secretary, rapturously examining a...

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