Last post on Dec 28, 2011 at 3:52 AM
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#16 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [hpmctorque]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 17, 2008 (4:14 pm)
That is very true, but when it happens the result is either a) something timeless and unique, or b) something horrifying
Example of A
EXAMPLE of B
EXAMPLE OF B (2)
#17 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [hpmctorque]
Aug 17, 2008 (4:16 pm)
After all, cars have been around for over a century now, and carriages before that, so the chances of creating something without precedent is pretty remote, in my opinion.
IMO automotive styling stopped advancing in leaps and bounds in the mid 1980's, with cars like the 1983 T-bird, the Audi 5000 (forget what year that one came out) and the 1986 Taurus. Ever since then, it seems like there have just been little tweaks here and there, and lots of retro thrown in.
Part of the problem might be that since the dawn of time up until 1976, cars had been progressing towards a common goal...longer, lower, wider. But you can only make a car so long, low, and wide, before it becomes too big to maneuver and too low to get into comfortably. So the cars started getting narrower, shorter, and more upright. Then, with increasing focus on aerodynamics, they started slicking them back. First with chiseled wedge shapes, then with the rounded jellybean look. But after that, there really wasn't a whole lot of uncharted territory left in automotive style. Where else do you go? We've already seen long, low, wide. Tall, boxy, chiseled, raked-back, rounded off, tall rumps, sloped off rumps, big windows, small windows, big rims, little rims, etc.
As for "retro", I probably use the word in a different way than it was intended. But IMO, most vehicles out there today are a little retro. IMO, the trend started with the 1994 Dodge Ram, with its bulging hood and low fenders. Ford actually did away with that look in pickup trucks way back in 1957, with a new style that was flat-hooded. I don't think it was widely regarded for its beauty, but it certainly looked much more modern than a '57 Chevy or Dodge truck.
I guess retro in its purest form would be stuff like the Beetle, Mustang, Challenger, PT Cruiser, and HHR. But IMO, even the 300C is retro. It's squared off and blocky, sort of like an old 80's Diplomat. Heck, the front-end even looks faintly like a '79 Newport I used to have. I swear, Chrysler could have come out with the 300C way back in 1988, instead of the C-body Dynasty/New Yorker, and it wouldn't have looked the least bit out of place way back then. Now the old M-body 5th Ave was sort of a neoclassic throwback itself by 1988, when Chrysler started phasing in those C-bodies. But the Dynasty/New Yorker really weren't any more modern looking. Modern under the skin yes, with overdrive automatics, FWD, and fuel injection. Now when the '93 Intrepid/Concorde came out, that was a quantum leap, style-wise over the Dynasty and New Yorker. And then the '98 seemed enough to at least keep it fresh. But then when the 300/C launched, it just seemed so, well, retrograde. I mean, I don't have a problem with that, and I do like the car. But I just never saw it as anything really new when it came out. More like a return to the old days of V-8 and RWD.
As for tailfins, I think the first inkling of a tailfin was on some old Cadillac showcar in 1942 that was inspired by the P51 Mustang, or something like that? Chrysler generally gets credit (or blame) for making the craze catch on though, because after they put fins on all their 1956 models, it sent everybody scrambling to copy them for 1957. However, if you look at a '55 Ford and Thunderbird, you can see a modest little fin forming. Or perhaps that didn't count, as it was actually fairly level, and rather the decklid sloped down a bit? And Pontiac started sprouting little fins, or at least the suggestion of one, around 1953.
#18 of 35 Re: Look Alike? [fordtough60]
Aug 18, 2008 (5:32 am)
Here's the pic:
#19 of 35 Re: Look Alike? [fintail]
Aug 18, 2008 (5:34 am)
Rough looking Stellar:
#20 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [andre1969]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 18, 2008 (7:55 am)
I agree with you in the sense that after the 1960s, all the great styling came out of Europe and no longer in America. Even today we are struggling--although we do see an occasionally interesting car out of America.
I think part of the problem could be identified as computer-assisted design. Given that you can only do what the software allows, eccentricity has been blunted somewhat and a kind of sameness brought in.
At least in the mainstream type of cars. Perhaps exotics are still drawn out by hand in first renderings.
#21 of 35 My favorites
Aug 18, 2008 (8:04 am)
Talk about opposites:
#22 of 35 Re: My favorites [texases]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 18, 2008 (8:06 am)
Sad part is how long it takes me to figure out what they are. That says something about "design" right there.
#23 of 35 Re: My favorites [texases]
Aug 18, 2008 (8:58 am)
Ha, I remember I thought that the first time I saw a pic of one of those. I can't see how a single Maybach was sold. how could one buy that over a RR/Bentley/or 3 S63s?
#24 of 35 Re: Any others? [omarman]
Aug 18, 2008 (9:01 am)
Nice bumpers, or "park benches" as I call them on the MB. Curse those DOT regulations to hell.
Granada doesn't seem like it was a bad car though, especially for the times. I remember tons of those were still on the road when I was a kid. Back in the mid 90s I remember my dad looked at one for a hobby car...it was a 1976 'sports sedan' model, and it must have been some kind of special order, it was fully loaded - glass moonroof, black , period color matching wheels, and I remember it might have had some plood. It had a 302 (I think) and it was in decent condition, just needed a heavy-duty detail. Could have bought it for $500 or so, but he preferred pre-emissions cars, so it was a no-go.
#25 of 35 Re: Look Alike? [lemko]
Aug 18, 2008 (9:07 am)
That's somewhat of a lookalike for an 83-87 Mazda 626, too.
Of course no lookalike comparison would be complete without a Lexus LS/S-class comparison. Actually Lexus changed enough little details to make it not an obvious copy, but the inspiration is obvious for the first and second gen cars.
And we could get into the Chinese cars, but that's pretty well known already.