The Top Cars Named for the Space Race
In the 1950s and 1960s, automakers jumped on the Space Race bandwagon. They not only designed their cars to look space-age and cutting edge, but they gave their cars names that were taken right from the skies as well. It was almost impossible to buy a car in the mid-centuries that did not have a name taken from outer space or from the aircraft that would take pilots and astronauts there. These are a few of the most memorable:
Ford Galaxie: Don’t let the spelling distract you; this car is all about looking and feeling futuristic. It was Ford’s way of simplifying car design after the decorative beasts from the 1950s. The 1959 Ford Galaxie was about as streamlined and clean in style as they came. Even the Ford Galaxie Sunliner was all about worshipping the skies, especially when the convertible top was removed.
Mercury Comet: Paying homage to the speedy Roman messenger god with wings on his shoes, Mercury occasionally took the flying concept to new heights. The Mercury Comet and Mercury Meteor were two cars that took the automaker to the skies and back. The Meteor was not a well-known vehicle, even though the mid-sized sedan was produced for a few years. The Comet was produced for nearly 20 years and went through several body changes. What started as a car that looked similar to the Ford Falcon eventually turned into a vehicle that was designed to compete with the Ford Maverick and the Chevy Vega. Eventually, NASA used the name Mercury for their rockets that were used to usher in the actual Space Race.
Willys Aero Eagle: In the spirit of flight and freedom, the Aero Eagle is a little known car with a great name. There were three different Aero models, the Eagle, Ace, and Wing, all showing respect to the race to the stars. The small cars were designed to compete with the Ford Falcon and the earliest Aero models were built by Willys in Toledo, Ohio.