Its like everything consumers buy:
There are trend setters, and trend followers.
The guys who made things out of billet with not much more than hand tools and a good eye; they made cool stuff. Opening up a Speedway catalog and getting some billet doodads...not cool.
I happened to live by a guy who built some of the most controversial 'hot rods' of the 80s: Rick Dobbertin. His J2000 was just out of bounds; but the craftsmanship, and fastidious attention to detail is something you can't help but be impressed with. His blue shoebox Nova won just about every award possible, and it would still look reasonably contemporary today. Now the stainless milk tanker converted into some kind of amphibious RV thing...yeah well it'd make one hell of a T shirt logo.