If you are of a certain age you lived through, and experienced the "golden age" of the automobile in North America...agreed you have to be a little older.
Lets set the stage:
Prior to WWII automobiles were becoming popular, and when the entire North American auto industry turned to wartime production. Yes it was what we know today as the Detroit 3. Auto production ceased for a few years, and when production resumed it was of old pre WWII models, engineering, and technology of the time.
By the mid 1950's yes almost 10 years after the end of WWII, the golden age was emerging in North America, there was no competition, 6 cylinders were being replaced by V8's, cars had a frame, were big, heavy, gas was cheap, roads were being built to accommodate the increase in cars.
Should we mention that the Detroit 3 had a license to print money, and GM was at the top of the Fortune 500. The auto industry was the economic miracle of North America. New assembly plants, more dealers, roads, gas stations, the emerging suburbia.
The momentum that started in the mid 50's continued too gather strength, if you were in one form or another of the auto business you could do no wrong, accompanied by commensurate financial rewards. Think of this Chevrolet would sell 1,000,000 cars a year...
The momentum was so strong that it endured in the mid 70's, by now the Detroit 3 enjoyed printing money so much, they were getting increasingly creative on saving money to print more money.
The gas crisis, safety regulations, emission regulations were taking a toll on the product, profits, while Japanese competition was establishing a beach head in North America.
The winds of change were blowing, and you could sense that the golden age was becoming a done deal.