Saturday, August 21, 2010

Futuristic Space Cars

Space Car, Wannatoy, USA, 1950's

Space Car, Wannatoy, USA, 1950's
Space Car, Wannatoy, USA, 1950's
Cars have, since the 20th century, been the vehicle used by millions to get from one place to another. Nothing changes in the future, or will it ? The vision that the past had about future transportation came from reactors and jets from the early sci-fi movies like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon. Bubble tops were all the mode (you had to see stars, right ?) and streamline design at its peak.

Streamlined Car, Ideal, USA, 1950's

Other futuristic element of the times... fins. Not only Cadillacs had them... The space toys of the baby boomers also. 

Futuristic Car, Hubley, USA, 1950's
Futuristic Car (detail), Hubley, USA, 1950's
Rocket Car, Ideal, USA, 1950's
Some of these vehicles of tomorrow did in fact exist, styling concepts of another age, or specially built for Hollywood. One of the most striking examples is the Lincoln Futura, a Ford concept model that soon would become the TV series Batmobile with some work of George Barris' Kustom shop.

Lincoln Futura (built model), Monogram-Revell, USA,
1950s (1980s reissue)

Cars became more automated... Why need a steering wheel, when computers and gauges can do all the work for you ? And turbines, YES ! Out goes the combustion engine... cars of the future need power trains of the future. Atomic, jet, neutrons and the like are some of the names characterizing the vehicles of that time.

Futuristic Car Blizzard, Germany, 1960's

They sit facing each other and chatting ! The car drives
itelf, or so it seems !

Other tip, if you want something to sound out of the tomorrow-land, apply the X-factor. The army did it (Nasa renamed all supersonic jets in the 50s X-something) and of course toy industry stepped right in.

X-91, General Moldings & Plastics Corp., USA, 1950's

Non-Fall Roundabout Car, USA, 1950's

And yes, Bubble-tops and more bubbles... Discretion was never an issue... Full visibility, cockpit look was the important thing.

Futuristic Car, Tuffy Toys, USA, 1950's

And when really, really, no bubble tops were allowed, well, than yes, astronauts could go convertible ! Don't forget your helmet though !

Futuristic Car, Plasticraft, USA, 1950's

Futuristic Car, Mattel, USA, 1950's

And the Russians ? Well, they got Gagarine going around in this futuristic version of the Lada :

Futuristic car, unknown, CCCP, 1950's

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