Last post on Jul 24, 2008 at 8:46 PM
You are in the Automotive News & Views-Archives
What is this discussion about?
#25 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [hudsonthedog]
Dec 28, 2007 (2:56 pm)
I'm the one that started this thread. Subaru is one of the biggest offenders in this class! Great Cars, Subaru, I've had 5 of them, and I feel like they are the most "Casket" type of all. You can get Gray or Beige, for the interior. That's it in cloth, The are great "DEAD" cars. I will not buy another Subaru Legacy or Outback or any Jeep GC or Liberty until they put some color in the interior.
Just one man's opinion.
PS Subaru and Jeep --- Great Cars! Just ---dull, dull, dull!
#26 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [clarkkent]
Dec 29, 2007 (12:05 pm)
LOL! No kidding! And how about exterior colors?
In '97, when I bought my Outback Sport, I had four color choices: white, blue, green, and red, all two-tone over dark gray lower panels.
Fast forward MORE THAN A DECADE, and for '08 my choices are still limited to four. They took out white, green, and red, and replaced them with non-descript silver, tan, and black.
#27 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [nippononly]
Dec 29, 2007 (4:26 pm)
I don;t know about before 07', nut when I bought my non-outback Impreza, they had Outbacks in red, blue and green along with the silver, Black and gray.
My standard model 'Prez also was available in a blue and red color...
#28 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [hudsonthedog]
Dec 31, 2007 (11:04 am)
hudsonthedog: It's not just the automotive industry. Look at major label music...it's all bland, middle-of-the-road awful crap. Look at movies...even the "independent studios" are owned by the majors and toned down so that they'll appeal to the widests possible audience. Look at TV...when was the last time you saw a new show on network TV that was unique and cutting-edge and....well, good?
How about Pushing Daisies?
Anyway, I would disagree, in that you are talking about two different qualities. "Cutting edge" does not necessarily mean "good." Indeed, when it comes to cars, they can be mutually exclusive.
The Camry, Accord, Fusion or Malibu are not cutting edge or unique. But, they are astonishingly good, especially considered in light of what people were driving even 10 years ago. They are remarkably fast, safe, comfortable, reliable and clean (from an emissions standpoint). Their ride, handling and braking would put a sports car of 20 years ago to shame.
People forget that the good old days really weren't that good. When we were all at the big fall Hershey AACA meet this past October, we saw the beautifully restored cars from the past.
What we didn't see was that, in "the good old days," rust was a big problem with most of these cars after 4-5 years in the Salt Belt, that they handled and braked like the Titanic, that a split bench seat was considered a major ergonomic advance, and that 15-16 mpg was considered "economical."
Most of the "distinction" was in color combinations and outrageous or really beautiful style. But the differences were largely superficial and cosmetic. Sure, you could buy a Mark IV or Mark V in four different "designer" editions in addition to all of the factory colors, but they were all the same old softly suspended, cramped, overblown, gas-guzzling land yacht underneath.
The engines were pedestrian V-8s hooked up to automatic transmissions. As someone who grew up in the 1970s, the choices were largely limited to boring but soft (my parents' 1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royale hardtop sedan) or so awful you almost considered walking to be a viable alternative (my parents' 1973 AMC Gremlin).
Yes, a Gremlin may have more "personality" than a Civic...but then, so does Rosie O'Donnell compared to most beauty queens. That is not always a good thing...
#29 of 34 Wanna see some real overkill?
Dec 31, 2007 (11:25 am)
Here's a paint chip chart for the 1976 Pontiac.
Eighteen different color choices (there's only 17 shown; they don't show black).
And for some reason, 1976 was a bit of a down year for choices. They had something like 25 choices in 1975, and 23 in 1977.
And to be fair, some of the colors are pretty awful, so more choice isn't always a good thing!
#30 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [grbeck]
Dec 31, 2007 (12:23 pm)
...they are astonishingly good, especially considered in light of what people were driving even 10 years ago...
I agree (on the above point and "Pushing Daisies"). But the progression of technology and quality in the past 10-20-30 years and the regression of fun-to-drive are at odds. I can fully recommend almost any car on the market today to friends and relatives without fear of them getting a bad car. It's the rare car today that leaves something to desire in terms of reliability and basic quality, but it's also the rare car today that you would ENJOY owning.
Personality is a quality like beauty...it's in the eye of the beholder. There are many people who enjoy Rosie O'Donnell over other comedians...there are many people who would prefer a Gremlin over a Civic...and there are many people who would turn those things around.
I have odd tastes and my cars usually show it. I do not recommend my tastes in cars to everyone because I know they probably won't agree with me. I do, however, recommend cars with some sort of personality...something less bland and vanilla than a Malibu or Camry.
Since I have worked in the new car business and in the historic car business (simultaneously) for many years, I understand your point about those cars at Hershey. But manufacturers can use their economies of scale to combine the parts and quality of a mass market vehicle (Malibu, Accord, Fusion, etc) and make a fun-to-drive, reliable, and unique vehicle that would appeal to the minority of us who prefer not to drive what the sheep are driving.
I've found these cars in the past, but they're getting harder and harder to find.
Jul 01, 2008 (5:05 pm)
I don't like wood, especially FAKE wood inside, or on the outside of my vehicle. I don't want a lot of chrome inside or out either. I don't want a tan, brown, or beige colored interior, and especially, a brown, tan, or beige exterior! I don't want a "frosty" green or blue exterior, a white, or a pale yellow one either. I don't have a problem with medium gray to black interiors at all. One of the things I dislike about my Charger's interior is it's two-toned. If it was all the darker grey, I would like it much better. For exterior colors, nothing beats bright red, black, Petty blue, or black.
If you want color inside the car, you can have someone paint the trim any color you want. I have a friend who has a black Ram with a lot of the interior trim painted bright red. I like it, but it's nothing I would want to pay for, or even do myself..
#32 of 34 Re: Bland Cars --Do auto makers think we are all sheep? [hudsonthedog]
Jul 08, 2008 (1:55 pm)
Now if you'd like some nice wood on a car, Saturday I was flipping around channels and landed on an auction down on Amelia Island, Florida. Loads of absolutely insane stuff including a Dusenberg that pulled in over $2 million, but I loved this perfect woody wagon - a 1941 Chrsyler that looked right out of the showroom and went for something like $80K. The wood was perfect. I'd be afraid to drive it.
#34 of 34 Do auto makers think we are all sheep?
Jul 24, 2008 (8:46 pm)
YES - Especially Ford.