With over a century under its belt, the auto industry has marched through many an expressive era. The earliest cars evoked the memory of their nag-drawn predecessors, even so far as being anointed horseless carriages. Some eras – like the ’30s and ’80s have expressed societal proclivities for streamlined shapes, made real in metal with the appearance of worn bars of soap.
However, no era expressed in automotive design has been more noteworthy than the post-war jet age. Predominantly the mid ’50s to early ’60s, car design of this era attempted to replicate the speed-defining shapes and imagery of the emerging jet aircraft that at the time were the most prominent examples of progress and innovation. Motor show cars took this to the extreme, featuring every aspect of then-modern aircraft design, from bubble canopies to stabilizing fins and even turbine engines. Production cars never took the look quite so far.
Fins, jet exhaust tail lamps, and chrome in the shape of contrails did still adorned many of the industry’s products of this time – mostly from American manufacturers, but also trickling across the oceans to that of a number of import brands. The question for today is what car is the greatest exemplar of the jet age? Which car looks most like that era’s aircraft, or has the most emblematic features that have been translated from aircraft to road craft? What in your mind is the Jet Age’s most evocative production car?