Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Jet or Space-Related Car Name?

The announcement last week of Mercury’s impending demise got me thinking about the loss of that venerated name from the new car lexicon.  While that brand was named after a Roman messenger god, Mercury is also the name of the tiny planet that circles closest to our sun, which naturally led me to start thinking about all the planet and space-related car and truck names that have been. And I wondered, which one was the best?
Mercury dates back to 1939, but the Cold War really lit the fuse on both the space race and rocket-nomenclature for cars. In fact, starting in 1949 you could buy a Rocket Olds to shuttle yourself hither and yon. The fins and large round tail lamps emulating turbine exhausts drew inspiration from the Jet, and later, Space ages. NASA anointing their rocket platforms with the names of Roman gods only added to Mercury’s space-based bona fides.
And out of this golden age of automobiledom came models with names that equalled the aerospace aspirations of their styling. Upon its introduction, Ford mounted a galloping pony in the center grille of their 1964- 1/2 Mustang, however the car was really named for the legendary P-51 fighter. Eager to expand their horizons to infinity and beyond, the Blue Oval group had introduced the Galaxie  just 5 years prior.
Jet and space names are not the exclusive providence of U.S. brands either. In their home market, Honda has offered the “Shuttle,” Isuzu sold the Gemini, and of course who could forget the Mazda Cosmo? Chrysler has given us both the Plymouth Satellite and Dodge Dart. Buick, like Mercury, applied a moniker that was both space and mythology-based with the mid-size Apollo. And, coming full circle, our recently flat-lined Ford brand once sold the Comet.
I’m sure there are more that aren’t falling readily to mind, and there could even be some that haven’t been used, but should be. Of course, the easily joke answer would be Uranus, a car that only comes in brown, but we’ll just let that one slide for the time being.
So what’s your take on jet and rocket-age car and brand names? Is there one that remains branded in your mind, either due to the images it engenders, or the fact that the car was just so damn awesome? Or, is there a name that hasn’t been used that you think would rock the planet thanks to its incredible amazingness – and if so, to what kind of a car would you have it applied? Come on rocketeers, the countdown awaits.
Image sources: [Chuck’s Toyland, Auto Universum]

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31 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What's the Best Jet or Space-Related Car Name?”

  1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Any chance to play this clip…
    [youtube 8aTjof5fqQo&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aTjof5fqQo&feature=player_embedded youtube]

  2. BЯдΖǐL-ЯЄРΘЯΤЄЯ Avatar

    <img src="http://www.carroantigo.com/imagens/carros_conceito/1954_ford_fx_atmos.jpg"&gt;
    The closest to get to the Jetsons mus be with the "54 Ford Fx Atmos

  3. J Kraus Avatar

    As far as production cars go, there is one that reigns supreme in my mind as it carries a double space-related name: the 1960-1961 Ford Galaxie Starliner.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Damn, beat me to it.

  4. muthalovin Avatar

    Anything with lots of numbers and x's.

  5. Alff Avatar

    It takes so much time and money to keep the Alfa roadworthy, I call it the Black Hole.

      1. Alff Avatar

        That's nothing, you should hear the NAACP's response to ABC's coverage of the "ugly black beaches" of the gulf.

  6. dukeisduke Avatar

    I like the Oldsmobile Starfire.

  7. PFG Avatar

    Saturn. Wait, did you say "best?"

  8. Hans1 Avatar

    And don't forget the Olds Jetstar I, Jetstar 88 and Jetfire Turbo

    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi

      F-84 Jetfire…not only is it a fiery jet, it's a MIL-SPEC fiery jet!

      1. ptschett Avatar

        And that's backed up by its engine, the Turbo Rocket V8, using Turbo Rocket Fluid, naturally.
        (I hate to nitpick, but the designation was 1 number away at F-85, making one of the USAF's weirder concepts its namesake.)

  9. J Kraus Avatar

    Here's a few more candidates:
    Desoto Fireflite
    Studebaker Starlight Coupe
    Mecury Meteor
    Fiat 8V Supersonic
    Oldsmobile's Jetaway automatic transmission

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      Don't forget that Pontiac called the Jetaway "Strato-Flight."

      1. J Kraus Avatar

        Good point! And speaking of Pontiac, let us not forget the Star Chief

  10. dukeisduke Avatar

    Wow, the Strato Streak looks very similar to the '56 Impala show car:

  11. Slow Joe Crow Avatar
    Slow Joe Crow

    Not strictly space but the first thing that came to mind was the Desoto Firedome.

  12. tiberiuswise Avatar

    How about the oh so subtle Futura designation from Ford? I can see the boardroom discussions now. How can we come up with a name that says "we're looking to the future?" How about Futura? Done and done. Martini time!

    1. P161911 Avatar

      And then they quit using the name Futura and lost it to Pep Boys and their super cheap private label tires. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Futura#US_marke

  13. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    We'll have a medical technology hooniverse asks some other day…

  14. name_too_long Avatar

    Really, nobody's mentioned the Mitsubishi Space Wagon? Or the Toyota Space Cruiser?

  15. name_too_long Avatar

    Any of the Firebird concepts would work. Not only jet inspired; Jet propelled!

  16. Juliet C. Avatar
    Juliet C.

    "92" is a space/jet name?

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      "Saab: Born from Jets"

  17. Seth L Avatar
    Seth L

    Plymouth Satellite, and Reliant.
    Bonus points if the Reliant has NCC1864 for a plate.

  18. dr zero Avatar

    Don't forget the Ford Meteor and Laser (nee Mazda 323s).

  19. OA5599 Avatar

    Challenger was a car first, then flew in space, then blew up in space, and now is a car again.
    The only cars to be driven on other planetary bodies are Rovers.

  20. jjd241 Avatar

    Subaru is named after a constellation! http://tinyurl.com/npkjh

  21. thomasmac Avatar

    The Pontiac Strato-Chief