The life and times of Australia's Baby Boomer generation

Motoring in the Baby Boomer Years


At a time when the Sunbeam Mixmaster and the new electric pop-up toaster were foremost in the minds of the Australian housewife, owning a motor car became the focus of the breadwinner. Before the war, the idea of owning a motor vehicle was little more than a dream for most, but for the post war family, it became almost as important as owning a house, and they worked had to make the dream a reality.
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By the 1960s, cars had become both affordable and stylish. The major styling feature introduced during the sixties was the 'Coke bottle effect', in which the boot and rear door panels were swept upwards over the wheel arch creating a profile which resembled that a Coca Cola bottle. Car sales were on the rise and many new brands - mainly from Japanese - began appearing in showrooms around Australia.
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Whereas the 1960s had been a decade of establishment, with many new and innovative models, design and concepts and a flood of new makes previously unavailable in Australia, the seventies was very much a decade of consolidation for the car market. Local manufacturers saw the need to tailor their cars more to the needs of the Australian driver rather than sell product that had been designed for other markets with different driving conditions.
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Australians have always had an affinity with what are known these days as people movers. Back in the 1960s, it was cool to cruise the countryside in an old Volkswagen Combi. That love was rekindled by many Baby Boomers in the 1980s as they sought a suitable vehicle in which to trasport their growing families. It was Totoya who came to the rescue with its 8-seater Tarago. Sales soared and Toyota went all the way with its chisel-nosed Tarago that led the field.
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Baby Boomer Central is published by Australia On CD. © Stephen Yarrow, 2010.