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The Jetsons was the first colorized television program to appear on ABC. It would make sense that the animated series would hold that distinction. After all, the show was set in a bright and optimistic future. While the show was set far into the future, inspiration for several elements came from the 1950s and 1960s. George Jetson’s flying car, for example, was inspired by a Ford concept from 1954.

The Jetsons original premiered in 1962 but was rebooted in the 1980s

The Jetsons has become a part of pop culture. Few people don’t know who George Jetson or his boy Elroy is. Still, the series wasn’t exactly a winner from the start. While the cartoon debuted in September 1962, it didn’t last long. ABC produced a single season before pulling it from their lineup.

A still from 'The Jetsons' showing George, Jane, Judy, Elroy and Astro in the family's flying car. The family's fictional city is seen in the background
‘The Jetsons’ | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

More than 20 years later, they would reboot the animated show. The first 24 episodes were aired alongside the newer animations. In all, a team of animators created 75 episodes of The Jetsons. Television specials, crossovers, and movies ensured the series would stay with the viewers for decades to come.

George Jetson’s car was inspired by the 1954 Ford Concept, FX-Atmos

One of the most easily identifiable elements of the show was George Jetson’s car. The futuristic, flying craft was featured in the introduction and regularly during the series. While we haven’t seen flying cars just yet, The Jetsons creator used real-life inspiration to dream up George’s automobile. A 1954 concept created by Ford inspired the folding vehicle.

The FX-Atmos debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1954. It featured futuristic styling that made it completely unique. The roof of the car was a glass dome. The glass roof wasn’t the only showstopper, though. The concept’s tail fins and rocket-inspired lights made it difficult to tell if the car should be driving down the highway or taking off. While the FX-Atmos never made it from concept to the production line, it was the perfect inspiration for The Jetsons

The FX-Atmos may have inspired other television cars

Mainstream drivers were not ready for the FX-Atmos in the 1950s. It’s unlikely that shoppers would be prepared for such a car even today. Still, it served a purpose in Hollywood. The FX-Atmos might have inspired more than just The Jetsons.

Two peole are seen sitting in the Ford FX-Atmos at the Chicago Auto Show in 1954. The concept car was never put into production
The Ford FX-Atmos | Bettmann/Getty Images

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According to several sources, the creator of Supercar also used the FX-Atmos for inspiration. Supercar was a British family show that aired for two seasons. It premiered in 1961 and focused on a crew responsible for the care and use of an air, sea, and land vehicle crafted by a professor. The car, just like FX-Atmos, had a bulbous, transparent roof and a futuristic silhouette.