Originally Posted by t66turbocobra
I do agree with you that bringing back classic designs like the Mustang (I love the new MUstang), Camaro and Challenger was a and still is a great idea. When I said, "Foreign design is superior to US design". What I mean, and this is just my opinion from what I see, is that foreign designers aren't held back as much from pushing the envelope. American designer are just as good, if not better then foreign design, just look at the American comcepts cars. But from what i see is that most of the awesome cars the Americn designers prduce are never built. I feel that the corporate guys(non-designer) hold back the American designer from actually building these cars. This is just what I see. (My opinon). My passion is American Cars.
Both of you are saying the same thing, just differently. You are right, there are things that were done back in 40s, 50s, 60s, and even 70s that we just can't do now for either safety, federal, CAFE, or cost, other reasons. For example, we can't do fins like a 1959 Impala because the welding would slow down the assembly line, we can't fill gaps w/ lead for safety health reasons, and UAW will red-flag any design feature which requires an non-ergonomic installation procedure. And forget a boat-tail 72 Riviera- the car would never make it because the ergonomists would worry about someone complaining that the window is too small or the view is distorted. Not to mention the expense of a compound piece of bent glass, and the manufacturing implications.
Keep in mind, too that because of culture and competition, cars from different companies do tend to look the same. The 32 Ford and 32 Chevy were almost identical, the 40 Ford and 41 Willys were very close, eveyone had fins in the 50s, everyone went boxy in the 60s, and aero in the 80s. It's those standouts like the 36 Cord 810, 49 Ford, Continental Mark II, 53 Studebaker Golden Hawk, and 63 Riviera and 66 Toronado that really pushed the envelope. Comparing different eras sets the stage for "why can't/don't they do ( insert your styling feature here ) anymore???"
But t66turbo, your comment was foreign versus domestic, and yes your are right. The company must be willing to invest in their product to get stylish cars on the road. And since we are so much more regulated today than in the past, it's even more important to invest in your product so you develop cool features that make your product unique and desirable.
The company must allow the designers ( and push the engineers ) to develop something that stands out from all the rest.
And yes, it has been the case that the foreign ( Japanese, German, Korean ) automakers change their cars stem-to-stern every five years while the domestics made do with a new headlight and grille, along with old engines and technology.
However, I see instances that this is changing: look at the Ford Edge, Ford Flex ( very unique modern "woodie", http://www.fordvehicles.com/flex/details/
) Chevy Malibu and Cadillac CTS as examples, as well as the Mustang and Camaro examples you already cited. ( I am very proud to have worked on the Mustang.) Just don't expect a bubble-top flying car with open wheels and side exhaust......pushing the envelope costs money, and even if we draw it, the company must be willing to pay to produce it.