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#424 of 457 Re: the whale [andre1969]
May 23, 2010 (7:38 pm)
Sadly, I can understand you being drawn to them. Heck, when I see one of the wagons I start thinking, "if I could find a nice, low mile one."...
Of course the danegr of actually doing it is much higher in your case.
#425 of 457 Re: the whale [uplanderguy]
May 24, 2010 (4:40 am)
I have a co-worker who is still driving the reddish-orange metallic 1991 Chevrolet Caprice LTZ he bought new. When the Caprice was discontinued after 1996, the Pennsylvania State Police had many of its current Caprices refurbished rather than replaced by Crown Victorias. I got to see a PA State Police cruiser up close and it was a pretty impressive machine. Everything was beefed-up. It had a huge alternator, two batteries, thicker hoses, and a radiator core that was twice as thick as the one in a civilian Caprice.
#426 of 457 Re: the whale [andre1969]
May 24, 2010 (4:42 am)
I don't care what people think of the styling, I'd buy a 1994-96 Buick Roadmaster in a New York second of the car was in decent shape and the price was right.
#427 of 457 In The End
May 30, 2010 (4:38 pm)
If you think about it, you probably look at the back end of cars more than the front end, or even the side view. In traffic, you cannot be staring in your rear- view mirror to admire the cars behind you. If there is any car in front of you, that is what you will be paying the most attention to for the duration of your drive.
I have always thought that the back ends of cars tend to be overlooked by stylists. You get great looking distinctive front ends, good 3/4 front views and side views, but the back of many cars tend to look like they were just whatever the designer could do with the side view.
Ironically, over the last 10 - 20 years, more or less, I think that one company that did exceptionally well designing good looking and functional back-ends was Pontiac. The second series Cavaliers was a good example. The shape of the rear "light-bar" had the extra descending "tab" section that identified it. Also, the spoiler located at the base of the rear window instead of the end of the trunk worked visually very well. I do not know how it worked aerodynamically, but that is another matter.
Nobody really liked the back end of the Aztek. That was the biggest exception to their record. But the last Vibe looked really good in the back.
I always liked the look of the Porsche 924 from the back.
#428 of 457 Re: In The End [writer]
by Stever@Edmunds HOST
May 30, 2010 (9:29 pm)
I guess it's fun to look at your car in the garage or when passing a plate glass window, but mostly you see the dash and interior when driving around.
If your mirrors are set up right, you don't even see the side of your car driving around. Maybe you can admire your hood and A pillars.
The way some cars cramp the cockpit area so that your knees bump the door and console, it makes me think styling took precedence over fit and function. And that's not good.
#429 of 457 Re: Interiors [was "In The End"] [steve_]
Jun 06, 2010 (5:52 pm)
"[T]he dash and the interior"
I have been thinking about this, and I am not even sure if I remember the interiors of all the cars I have driven. I can remember some details of the very earliest cars vividly, but a some other details are lost. Some of the cars "came and went" leaving little to remember at all.
In part, I think I have to disagree with you. If you are driving, you really do not have time to be looking at your interior. If you do that, you are just about in your next accident. Mostly, I expect we sort of drive by braille, and memory, and maybe some guesswork thrown in.
Having said that, let me get critical about a couple of aspects of interior design and controls. I was going to post these ideas in something else I was writing, but it is not that important to me.
First, I have been muttering for the last 10 years that the car manufacturers are lagged far behind in integrating technologies into interiors. 10 years ago I was telling people that cell phones should be integrated into the driving controls. We are now getting Bluetooth on the radios.
What we should have had was a standard mount point in the car to "jack" a phone or other devices into. I would suggest something like a flat tray recessed into the top of the dashboard, maybe 5 inches wide by 5 inches deep with a standard locking mount. It could be covered by a removable piece of material for people who do not want to use it. There would be standard connectors available, and optional standardized wiring setups depending on the devices used and current common technologies.
I thought the "Heads-Up-Displays" were a good idea. I think LASERs pointed at the windscreen could still be used in this way.
I will also add that my new car has a lighter gray interior. Sadly, any light colour interiors are a bad idea. Actually, anything that draws attention to your interior in any way is a bad idea. It becomes a magnet for "smash and grab" criminals.
So what you want is a dull, drab, dark, but comfortable and well laid out interior. Uh, gee. Sounds "wonderful."
#430 of 457 Taste Over Time
Jun 14, 2010 (6:52 am)
First, an explanation of how I got to this posting:
A while back I was thinking about brands of cars that had gone recently and which cars and styles I would miss. That got me thinking about the Pontiacs, which in turn got me to thinking about back end styling. As I said before, in recent years, Pontiac seemed to do some of the best back ends. I would guess that their stylists simply thought more thoroughly about a total car. Or maybe they were rebelling about having to maintain the front end split grill look. I have no real idea. I never talked to anyone there about it.
Honda Accord: Anyway, driving recently I was looking at the back end of a new Accord, and thinking about how it had a nice backend style. It occurred to me that really, except for the grill I had grown to like the overall style. I still find the grill in-elegant due to too many (unnecessary) angles. Not only that, but I like it equally in both the 2-dr and 4-dr versions.
Hyundai Elantra: When I saw the first pictures of this care I was not sure if I would like this style. My first impressions of the actual car were not negative, but it did take a while for me to decide. Since then it has grown on me, and I can say that I actually like it now. The crease in the side does not photograph well, but it is quite nice when you get used to it.
Acura (overall): Mostly, I like the Acura family styling, except for the big chrome chevron/shield grill pieces. I am still trying to decide if I will ever actually like that.
Ford Focus and Mazda 3: The first time I saw the new Mazda 3 style, I had a feeling of "oh no, why did they do that?" After this long, I think I can safely say that I am never going to like it. On the other hand, the new Ford Focus is very nice in both the 2-dr and 4-dr versions. I am not really enthusiastic about the chrome grill, but it is not as bad as on the Fusion. I have heard that Ford recently sold shares in Mazda. This pair of styling changes may have had a hand in that.
Chevrolet Camaro: Some people loved this style when it was first shown, and now some of those people are saying they got tired of it. I was among those who thought it was too "cartoony". At this point I would say, yes, I like it, but no, I would not buy one. But if someone gave one to me, I would not be embarrassed to drive it. To put this in perspective, if someone gave me a Calibre, I would not even drive it. I would sell it, or even give it away.
Chevrolet Cobalt: I am not going to say much about the sedan. The roof did not really look like it belonged on that car. The Coupe, on the other hand, I have mentioned before as a Chevrolet version of the recently passed versions of Honda Civic Coupe, except for the "Corvette-ish" back end. I think I forgot to say that I liked it. It was not the most wonderful style on the road, but I always did like it. As far as I know, 2010 is the first time they have sold a version of the Coupe without the wing on the trunk. My XFE does not have a wing. I like it that way. It re-proportions the car a bit and cleans up the style. From a practical point, I have never liked wings on street vehicles. The car wash cannot get under the wing. You end up having to finish the job by hand. From a pure styling point, I wish they had changed the front bumper cap, maybe after the first couple of years. The "SS" is nice, but the LS/LT bumper cap is a bit too plain.
Chevrolet Optra: I can almost hear some of you guys south of the 49th saying "whaaaat?" Yes there was such a car, and it is one of the cars that disappeared recently even from Canada. I never really got to know much about these cars. They were Korean, and they were in the same size and price range as the Cobalt, so they never really had a chance to sell well, even in Canada. But the styling was very nice. It was sort of "a Cobalt done right". Mechanically they might not have been so good. I do not know. But they had a really nice looking 5-dr Hatchback, and a 4-dr + trunk sedan version looked very nice compared to the Cobalt sedan. And they even had a station wagon version beyond the 5-dr.
#431 of 457 Re: Taste Over Time [writer]
Jun 14, 2010 (6:56 am)
Thanks for mentioning the Optra. I had never heard of it.
#432 of 457 Re: Taste Over Time [imidazol97]
Jun 14, 2010 (7:05 am)
I think the Optra came to us in the States as the Suzuki Forenza...
#433 of 457 Re: Taste Over Time [imidazol97]
Jun 14, 2010 (12:41 pm)
Based on that picture I agree with the assessment of the Optra as a Cobalt done right.