Echoes of the past are with me on this Veterans’ Day. They remind me of a very confusing era. Isn’t it amazing how past automobile designs can express the spirit of an age. In the ‘60s we went from ‘59 and ‘60 Chevrolet Impalas that identified as airplanes, to embrace small and mid-sized car bodies with bigger engines. The decade evolved and turbulence grew. 

The recent mid-term elections fiasco took me back to those days. Those were days of horrid, opposing forces.., earthquakes, wars, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Satan was laughing at us. The crisis was a turbulent 35-day near-holocaust event that happened in the waning months of 1962. It came about as a political confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

 That year is often considered by many authorities as the closest we as the world came to full-scale nuclear war. Political campaigning in the United States was happening then. During that political struggle, Soviet missiles were placed some 90 miles from Florida. A U-2 spy plane flying over Cuba revealed photographic evidence. This triggered off-the-line

By Your Endurance!

turmoil when President John Kennedy went nose to nose with Premiere Nikita Khrushchev of Russia. 

Immediately B-52 intercontinental bombers went on continuous alert. Also, B-47 medium bombers dispersed to both military and civilian airfields. The entire military was put on notice. Strategic Air Command bombers were on red alert, and intercontinental ballistic missiles stood ready. Two dozen nuclear-armed B-52s patrolled within immediate striking distance of the Soviet Union.  

 Huge mistakes then cranked the tensions. A U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union's coast. In response, we Americans launched fighters armed with nuclear missiles over the Bering Sea. 

Nikita Khrushchev quickly saw he was losing control. Indeed, both he and President Kennedy realized a nuclear war would likely kill at least a third of humanity. 

Most car designers dispensed with the wings found on many full-sized cars by the mid-60s, but some retained the wrap-around window theme of jet fighters.

American car manufacturers dove into smaller family cars with bigger engines.