Last post on Dec 28, 2011 at 3:52 AM
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#27 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [Mr_Shiftright]
Aug 19, 2008 (4:22 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'm not talking about great styling so much, but rather the ability of a new model, when it comes out, to make its replacement look "old". I think cars pretty much stopped doing that in the 1980's. For instance, IMO at least, when the 1983 LTD came out (the small one), it made the 1981-82 Granada look old. It was still an angular car, but gained a sleeker front and rear-end, and a more open greenhouse that lost the formal C-pillars.
Then when the 1986 Taurus came out, it made the LTD and just about every other car in that class look ancient, almost immediately. But then styling just seemed to stop advancing. The '92 refresh of the Taurus cleaned it up a bit IMO, but at the same time toned it down and made it look less radical. And the '96 restyle just seemed way out there, but without really advancing anything, style-wise. And since then, it just sort of languished. And while the current Fusion and 500-er-I mean Taurus, are attractive cars IMO, they're just not pushing automotive style into the future, so to speak. The grilles sort of look like those big chromey aftermarket jobs you used to see on 70's and 80's Chevy pickups, and the cars just seem blocked-up, in general.
The computer assisted design probably has something to do with it. That, the need for decent aerodynamics, and government safety regulations and, well, there are only so many shapes that still lend themselves to being useful. People and cargo still have to fit in there, after all.
#28 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [andre1969]
Aug 19, 2008 (5:57 am)
"The computer assisted design probably has something to do with it. That, the need for decent aerodynamics, and government safety regulations "
Very true - I wonder if Acura's new 'buck teeth' look has something to do with the EU's passenger safety requirements, and I wonder if the ever-shrinking windows have something to do with crash or rollover requirements. One other thing that seems to be affecting lots of new designs is the 'me too' lemming response. Seems like everybody's using some modified version of the 'Bangle butt' on many of their cars...
#29 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [texases]
Aug 19, 2008 (8:46 am)
I think the advent of modern computer aided design has really stifled design innovation. Car designers as a whole seem to be pretty much lemmings nowadays. Part of it might be difficult safety rules to accommodate, but I believe there's a basic lack of creativity out there too. That aids the copycats. Note to car designers - it's been some time since many BMW owners chose their car for looks. Copy BMW handling, not styling.
#30 of 35 Even that bangle butt...
Aug 19, 2008 (9:07 am)
is something we've seen before it started getting applied to BMWs. The Hyundai XG300/350 was doing it before BMW, and there's even a hint of that rump in something like the 1995 Cirrus/Stratus sedans or the 1994 Accord.
And even 40+ years before that. That look with the decklid higher than the rear fender tops makes me think of what the typical car looked like back in the late 40's and early 50's, that timeframe where the fenders were pretty much integrated rather than bolt-on, but still weren't level with the top of the trunk.
#31 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [fintail]
Aug 19, 2008 (10:08 am)
Dang! That's sad! I guess we'll never see another Harley Earl, Bill Mitchell, or Virgil Exner again. Love 'em or hate 'em, at least they were original. All we got is a bunch of copycats who were industrial design students seeking the professor's approval. If the prof was all that, wouldn't he be designing cars instead of being a mediocrity who taught? I see a lot of copycats in every graphic design school as well.
#32 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun" [lemko]
Aug 19, 2008 (10:54 am)
I don't think we will ever see the constant styling changes and innovation as was seen in the past. Re-tooling is expensive, and these days so many corporations would rather put the money towards executive compensation than products.
These are not times for free thinking, indeed.
#33 of 35 Re: "There Isn't Anything New Under The Sun"
Aug 19, 2008 (1:06 pm)
I think that the need to do well in crash tests, which wasn't emphasized in the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s, is a strong head wind for frequent style changes. If a design scores well in crash tests, it would be risky to jeopardize a competitive advantage by changing creases and folds, largely for the sake of change.
Dec 28, 2011 (3:09 am)
Did I see that picture correctly? It looks to me as though the Dear Leader's hearse is a stretched Lincoln Town Car.
#35 of 35 Re: Kim Jong Il [hpmctorque]
Dec 28, 2011 (3:52 am)
Yeah, I think it's a '75-76 Lincoln Continental sedan.