Last post on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:25 PM
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#29338 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [andre1969]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Apr 30, 2013 (8:10 am)
50s cars look ancient to me now.
#29339 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [andre1969]
Apr 30, 2013 (10:01 am)
Being able to remember a car being new definitely is the key. Kids today think an 80s car is a relic and 90s cars are old. The age of cars in junkyards helps too - lots of Y2K era stuff being scrapped now, so it becomes "old". Lack of design changes helps it the other way too - many 90s cars don't "look" too old today, where 20 years ago, 70s cars looked ancient already.
My dad had several 60s Fords back in the 90s - cars that were usually 30-35 years old. To my teenaged eyes, they were real vintage cars. I bought my fintail around the same time - it was an ancient car then. But a 30 year old car now? Not extremely impressive. I'm older.
#29340 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [fintail]
Apr 30, 2013 (10:13 am)
I think by the 90s the wind tunnel era had started, but we're still in the wind tunnel era. Now it's just more universal.
There's less differentiation because there's much less design freedom nowadays.
#29341 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [ateixeira]
Apr 30, 2013 (10:43 am)
There will certainly never again be as much of a change as we saw in 1955, or 1965, or at the end of the 70s, or around 1985-90. There's just nowhere to go, so we just repeat trends now and then - and designers are in large part sycophants, so as one does, so do the others.
Also, I think cars age better cosmetically than they did. Other than a few late 80s-90s paint issues, paint holds up better today, interiors age better, cars rust less, etc, so they don't look as "old".
#29342 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [fintail]
Apr 30, 2013 (10:47 am)
I think we see a round-square-round-square cycle. They just spin it as something new.
80s cars were square, then came the Audi 5000/Tempo/Taurus and everything became jelly bean round. That got old so we got New Edge and Art & Science creases everywhere, so back to square. Then came fluidic sculpture and peeled back headlights and we seem to be moving to rounded again.
I guess once those headlights hit the A-pillar it'll change back to square again.
Nice to have the emotorcons back!
#29343 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [ateixeira]
Apr 30, 2013 (10:53 am)
That cycle is exactly what MB has been doing. From the mid 80s the mid 90s - fairly chiseled. Then things got a little round, then the arc came around, then some angles popped up, now they are aiming for curves again. Gotta change it up to make it look new, even if it isn't real evolution.
I really cringe at marketing speak like "art & science" or "fluidic sculpture"...sorry suits, it's not art nor science nor sculpture
#29345 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [ateixeira]
Apr 30, 2013 (11:28 am)
Sad thing is, many of the drivers and execs probably believe the hype.
Speaking of odd cars, a white Reatta convertible just drove by.
#29346 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [fintail]
Apr 30, 2013 (12:04 pm)
I think that, for the longest time, the old mantra of "Longer, Lower, Wider" was so drilled into our psyche And, that's pretty much what cars did, essentially from the moment someone thought to put a gasoline engine in a carriage, until the mid 1970's. Another trend was lower beltlines, larger windows, more glass area, although in some cases, thick C-pillars and opera windows negated some of that.
But that trend couldn't go on forever, as the cars could only get so long, low, or wide. And windows can only get so huge. The first domestic cars to really buck that trend in a major way were GM's downsized 1977 B/C full-sized cars. The 1976 Aspen/Volare did it to a small degree, in being taller than a Dart/Valiant, slightly shorter (but a longer wheelbase), and more glass area. However, they were also a bit heavier than a Dart/Valiant. So while they might have stalled the longer/lower/wider and heavier trend, it was GM that truly reversed it.
But then, you can only make cars so short, narrow, and tall. You can only round them off so much. So, it was probably around 1985-90 that the downsizing trend began to stall, and then reverse. One one hand, you had GM shrinking a bunch of cars in 1985-86, and a few more in 1988. But then you had Honda coming out with a larger Accord and Civic every time they redesigned them. And GM started lengthening some of its cars for 1989.
So, what goes around, comes around I guess. To me though, some features will always be considered "Modern". Such as low belt lines, large glass area, thin pillars, etc.
#29347 of 30870 Re: This is kinda sad... [andre1969]
Apr 30, 2013 (4:07 pm)
I think cars born before you always seem old. But another phenomena seems to arise as you get older. Things seem closer together than they used to. In the 80's, my 76 Cutlass already seemed old, but these days it doesn't seem as old to me as back then. Maybe it has something to do with that old proverb that time flies...