One of the most significant cars to come out of the 1950s were the so-called tri-five Chevys - the 1955 through 1957 models which are still cherished today as collector's items. Oddly enough, they weren't the best selling cars of the era, often being outsold by the more dowdy-looking Ford Fairlane.
Of course, it is the 1957 model that most people remember. With its starkly angular fins, wide side moldings, and jukebox-like grill, as well as the enormous amounts of chrome, the '57 has come to symbolize the excesses of the 1950's, even though the Virgil Exner "Forward look" Chryslers were arguably are a better example of this. The '57 was still a small lightweight looking car compared to the Chrysler products which appeared to be bloated and huge.
As a kid, I would probably was more drawn to the 1957 as my favorite of the three. And I think most people are drawn to that model because of its iconic status, particularly the pointy fins. However, the front end has a very heavy bloated chrome look to it which is a love/hate affair. I think over time as my tastes have matured, I have gravitated away from the 1957 and toward the cleaner, simpler look of the 1955, which is less chrome-heavy.
My brother-in-law is a fan of the 1956, but I don't see it. It has too much of a "me too" look trying to ape the Fairlane. The oval egg-crate grill with the sculpted styling of the 1955 seems to be all of one piece or one thought. The later "full width" grill of the 1956 seems tacked on, and the bloated whale-mouth of the 1957 and stiletto fins also seem "me too" to the Plymouth Fury - detracting from the central theme of the design.