1. Home
  2. blog
  3. On the road in the Roaring Twenties
On the road in the Roaring Twenties

On the road in the Roaring Twenties


As we step back in time and gaze through the rearview mirror of automotive history, the 1920s hold a prominent position, often referred to as the Roaring Twenties. The Roaring Twenties were a period of economic prosperity in the USA and Europe. In France, the decade was known as “les années folles” (“crazy years”) and in Germany as “die goldenen Zwanziger” (“the golden twenties”). The era exhibited remarkable social, artistic and cultural dynamism. Let’s explore the iconic cars that defined this period.

Inhalte Verbergen

Style, decadence… and cars!

A feeling of novelty associated with modernity and a break with tradition was conveyed through modern technologies such as automobiles. The Roaring Twenties witnessed the introduction of cars still considered today as the most beautifully designed. They symbolize a regained prosperity after a difficult period.

The two flagship models from European manufacturers are emblematic of this era: Isotta Fraschini’s Tipo 8 and Hispano-Suiza’s Type H6. These are two exceptionally large vehicles with enormous engine capacities. The Bugatti famous “Royale” got produced in 1926 in six units. The British Rolls-Royce brand reached its full potential in the 1920s producing cars that were “the most expensive, but also the best in the world.”

For people with money, the Roaring Twenties were a time of style and decadence. Traditional wealthy families found themselves in the minority compared to newly rich individuals, film stars, industrial magnates, and gangsters. Their glamorous, exciting lifestyle is reflected in their cars in Europe and the USA, with elaborate bodywork, shiny nickel or chrome decorations, and bright colours.

Flawless Bugatti

The Bugatti Type 35 B was the symbol of France’s prowess in motorsport during the 1920s. It stood as the French counterpart to the legendary British Bentley. The Bugatti was the creation of an engineer hailing from an artistic family. Ettore Bugatti valued aesthetic perfection as much as technical flair, resulting in a car of extraordinary beauty in every detail. It was, in some respects, conservative but proved its worth on the racetrack. The sleek lines of the Bugatti were flawless.

1924 Bugatti Type 35

1924 Bugatti Typ 23 Brescia

1927 Bugatti 35 C

1927 – 1930 Bugatti T 44 Cabrio

1929 Bugatti Type 44

Legendary Hispano-Suiza

The Spanish company Hispano-Suiza manufactured some of the finest cars of the 1920s at its French branch. The models designed by Swiss engineer Marc Birkigt were equipped with the first power-assisted brakes.

1920 Hispano-Suiza H6

1922 Hispano-Suiza H6

1924 Hispano-Suiza H6B Torpedo

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6C

1925 Hispano-Suiza H6B

1926 Hispano-Suiza Boulogne H6

Luxurious Rolls-Royce Phantom I

The distinguished Rolls-Royce Phantom I lived up to its reputation as the finest car in the world. Often adorned with a luxurious limousine body, it consistently embodied elegance and excellence in the realm of automotive craftsmanship.

1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Sedanca

1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

1927 Rolls-Royce Phantom I

1929 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Springfield

The “Twenty” Rolls-Royce 20 HP

Compared to its more powerful and larger counterparts, the 20 HP Rolls-Royce was underpowered, a response to the frugal post-war era. Despite its limitations, it sold well.

1924 Rolls-Royce 20 HP

Attractive Stutz

In addition to the highly successful Bearcat sports cars, Stutz also produced attractive touring cars featuring the same engines. In 1921, these vehicles were equipped with detachable cylinder heads.

1920 Stutz Bearcat

1925 Stutz 8

Opulent Packard

As one of the leading U.S. luxury brands of the 1920s, Packard manufactured opulent models characterized by remarkably long chassis.

1928 Packard 533 Phaeton

1929 Packard 645 Phaeton

1929 Packard 645 Deluxe 8 Sport Phaeton

1921 Packard Single Six

1929 Packard 640 Series Custom Eight Coupé

Progressive Lancia

The sporty Lancia Lambda, reaching speeds of 112 kilometers per hour, embodied the splendor and boldness of its time with its advanced design. Featuring a self-supporting body, a V4 engine with overhead camshaft, and front independent suspension, the long Lambda, with its low center of gravity, stood out as one of the most progressive cars of its era.

1924 Lancia Lambda

1928 Lancia Lambda Serie 8 224 Torpedo

1929 Lancia Lambda Spider

Performant Bentley

Derived from the 1924 Standard Six, this two-time Le Mans winner was the most successful racing car. Designed by W.O. Bentley, it not only achieved effortless performance on the racetrack but also proved to be a sensational road vehicle.

1928 Bentley 6.5 Speed Six Le Mans

1924 Bentley 3L SP Red Label

Outstanding Chevrolet

With the 1925 Chevrolet Superior Coupe, William Durant aimed to outshine the Ford Model T. Although it couldn’t match the price, this excellent car significantly boosted Chevrolet’s sales by 70%.

1923 Chevrolet Superior Model B

1923 Chevrolet Superior Model B

1924 Chevrolet Serie F

1927 Chevrolet Capitol AA

1929 Chevrolet International Coach

1929 Chevrolet International A Convertible

Popular Ford Model A

The Ford Model A was designed for the mass motorization of the middle class but also popularized the style of a gangster car. It featured bold colours.

1928 Ford Model A Roadster

1929 Ford Model A Roadster

1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Improved Ford Model T

In 1923, Ford commenced improvements to the Model T in response to competition from Chevrolet. New design features included a sloping windshield and detachable wheels.

1923 Ford Model T Speedster

1924 – Ford Model T ForDor Sedan

1924 Ford Model T

1925 Ford Model T

1926 Ford Model T Speedster

1926 Ford Model T Runabout

1927 Ford Model T


In 1926, Cadillac, the American luxury car manufacturer, responded to its customers’ demand for more power and sophistication by developing an entirely new type of multi-cylinder engines. The result, the exceptional V-16, aimed to surpass the V-12 of its main competitor, Packard.

1926 Cadillac 314 Sedan

The Roaring Twenties: an overview

The blossoming of Jazz

In the 1920s, jazz blossomed, introducing new musical styles to the cultural mainstream, particularly in avant-garde cities. Jazz quickly became the favoured music genre for the youth, with influential figures such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Sidney Bechet leading the way. The era witnessed a surge in the popularity of dance clubs, making them vibrant hubs of social activity during the 1920s.

The peak of Art Deco

Reaching its zenith, Art Deco drew inspiration from the dynamic geometric shapes of Cubism and the Vienna Secession, the vivid hues associated with Fauvism and the Ballets Russes, as well as the refined craftsmanship seen in the furniture styles of Louis XVI and Louis Philippe I eras. The movement also embraced exotic influences from the artistic traditions of China, Japan, India, Persia, ancient Egypt, and Maya. During its pinnacle, Art Deco embodied notions of opulence, allure, enthusiasm, and a steadfast confidence in both social and technological advancements.

Movie time: palaces & cinema

The cinema experienced a boom, giving rise to a new form of entertainment that effectively marked the decline of the traditional vaudeville theatrical genre. The affordability and accessibility of watching films led to large crowds flocking to newly established downtown movie palaces and neighborhood theaters.

Social movements

The Roaring Twenties witnessed a notable expansion of women’s voting rights across several countries, marking a pivotal era for gender equality. In the United States, Canada, Great Britain, India and various European nations, strides were made to empower women politically. Advocacy efforts, social movements and the aftermath of World War I played a crucial role in reshaping societal attitudes towards gender roles. During this transformative period, many nations recognized the importance of granting women the right to vote, contributing to a broader global movement towards greater inclusivity in democratic processes. The Roaring Twenties thus became a milestone in the ongoing journey towards achieving women’s suffrage on an international scale.

WordPress Cookie Hinweis von Real Cookie Banner