Carmakers Enter the Space Race
In the 1960s, the United States and Russia were caught up in the space race. This meant that everything from high ball glasses and furniture to women’s hats and automobiles were designed with outerspace in mind. Some of the most exciting cars from the 1960s were designed and named to invoke images of satellites, planets, and rocket ships.
One of the most memorable ‘space race’ cars with the 1960-1961 Ford Galaxie Starline. This car evokes not only the ultimate goal to explore the galaxy, but to do it in a stylish car that zips through the stars.
In the race to compete with the popular Ford Galaxie, Dodge released the Polara. Inspired by the North Star, Polaris, this high-end Dodge was produced from 1960-1973 until it was replaced by the Dodge Charger. Interestingly, the Dodge Charger also took over another top model, the Coronet. Sadly, this ended the space race names for Dodge, until the Dart recently resurfaced.
Plymouth decided their space race car did not need any spelling changes or plural effects; the Plymouth Satellite needed no fixing. From 1964-1974, in the heat of the space race, the Plymouth Satellite was a fun and affordable car. When the space race ended in the 1970s, the Satellite was rebranded as the Plymouth Fury.
Even in the space race, families need to get from Point A to Point B; the Pontiac Star Chief was the perfect car for the time. As it evolved through its production years in 1954-1966, it underwent several design changes adding space themed trim, headlights, and tail lights, too. Even the side panels looked like they were designed to get to the moon and back.
One of oldest names in production cars was the Oldsmobile 88, which was produced from 1949 until 1999. In order to not only differentiate the model years, but the culture of the day, Oldsmobile gave some of the model years unique names. Several of them were taken right from the headlines of the day. In the 1950s and 1960s, some of the commonly seen names included Futuramic, Golden Rocket, Dynamic, Jetstar, Starfire, and Rocket. Oldsmobile even used the rocket ship on their logos, too.