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Old 06-29-2012, 09:03 AM
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What passes for Automotive Styling nowadays

Couldn't resist snapping these photos @ a parking lot at lunch the other day. Not much comment needed; auto styling is just about dead.


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Old 06-29-2012, 09:18 AM
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Yes any more it is hard to tell what a car is until you read the label..Years ago i could tell the car by the way the headlights appeared in the rear view mirror..These days no way..

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Old 06-29-2012, 11:44 AM
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Wow. The only one I knew for sure was the Honda. ........ But I can tell you the differance between a 46, 47, 48 ford. Back in the day you could actually tell the differance between cars by their sound. A 55 Olds, Buick, Ford and Chevy all had their own sound. Of course I was 10 and could hear.

John L
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:24 PM
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Of course, it depends who you are talking to, I know every one of them. The thing is those little differences like the grille in a 46-48 Ford, they are tiny differences and unless you REALLY want to know them, you don't. I don't really want to know the difference between a 1998 Camry made in America or one made in Japan, but I do. Even such an extremely suble difference they have.

And on the styling, there are some great designs out there, of course this is all taste and someone may not like something I like I understand that. But I am talking something WITH style, they aren't all boring boxes.

There are a number of cars I see out on the road that I think are damn cool looking. As a rule I don't care about late models so I'm not looking all that much but I see them every once in a while that get my attention with their styling.

Those photos you posted, do the same rear shot with all the 1950 GM cars. They were pretty much the same. Over the years there are times where styling come and go. Personally the sixties cars don't have a whole lot to look at either if you ask me.


I'm not saying this to bust your chops or anything like that, because it IS all about personal opinions when we talk about styling. But just for conversation I offer mine.

Brian
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:46 PM
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I agree with Brian 100%. We don't pay attention to things we are not interested in.

John L
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:54 PM
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I have a few periods of styling that are special to me.

The ..."highly stylized"... art deco cars of the late thirties...

The expressive ..."airplane" or "Aero" ... styling of the late fifties...

and the ..."muscular".. look of the sixties.



How would you guys characterize, or describe the cars of today??? They don't even stir enough emotion in me to think of a term to describe them. :-(
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Old 06-29-2012, 03:24 PM
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As a rule I see them as modern aircraft, more spaceshipish. What would be a proper term I don't know.

Brian
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:19 PM
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I was thinking "stylish toaster". :-)~
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Old 06-29-2012, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TucsonJay View Post
I was thinking "stylish toaster". :-)~
LOL

Brian
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:10 PM
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Agreed we are talking personal taste here so the dialog is of the 'how red is red' nature. However I am coming from the old school when every October they used to shut down Main Street in our town and had an all night block party with the new model cars under car covers until they were all unveiled at the same time. It was exciting to see the new models every year. And you are correct that every era the cars have basically the same characteristics; 30's 40's 50's & 60s cars had basically the same form but the STYLING was exciting between models of the same year and between the same model year to year.

You have to agree with me that there is little chance of amyone mistaking a '59 Chevy for a '59 Caddy or a '59 Imperial or a '59 Ford. And that goes for every year during styling's golden age. The exciting time was from about the late 30s through about 1960; that corresponds exactly with the career of Harley Earl, the godfather of auto styling. Before and since his reign at GM styling was/is basically minor nuances on a stock design that everyone uses. GM fired Earl in 1959 and promoted Bill Mitchell to chief of design. Huge mistake. Earl was heading into smaller compact car designs whereas Mitchell stayed with the ocean liner size and stock corporate designs that only changed significantly in time steps measured in decades. GM went steadily downhill from then, culminating in their going out of business in 2010.
You are fortunate to be able to decipher the makes of the cars in my picture. However the very fact that you must be very informed as to the tiny differences speaks to the lack of excitement in the designs. I agree there are some very nice looking cars but none that really excite like the golden years did.

I also admit I am coming from the perspetive of someone who spent his youth competing in the Fisher Body Craftsman's guild and for half a decade was dedicated to designing unique and hopefully winning car designs.

Hey I haven't been here in a while. What happened to the spell checker?
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:53 AM
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I honestly think the big difference in the "show" that is the new car unveiling in September is all about the fact that buying a new car today isn't that big of a deal anymore. Hell, just about ANYONE can and does go buy a new car today! If you have a job making next to nothing you can qualify for a loan on a new car. The excitement that use to exist in the industry is simply gone.

My father was a car salesmen, we had the newest car in available in the garage every day of the year. When you were dropped off at school in a new car people noticed! Today, are you kidding, half the parking lot is full of new cars! The kids are driving them! When I was in high school there wasn't a car newer than 10 years in the parking lot and that included the teachers! Well, there were a couple and they stood out big time. A rich family in town had both their boys in brand new Trans Ams no kidding (we are talking 1976). Today over at that same school there is a boat load of NEW cars that the kids are driving. It just doesn't mean that much anymore. The young lady who answers the phone at the shop and her boyfriend have cars they bought new, four guys in the shop all drive cars they bought new and so do their wives. Buying a new car doesn't mean what it use to and thus there is no excitement about those new models.

I agree you grew up in a very exciting time in automotive design, the fifties and sixties where a fire with auto design and they were trying to out do each other, can we say swivel seat push button shifting? How about brushed stainless steel roofs and sequential tail lights, it was EXCITING. I am with you on that, there will likely never be another era like it.

But that doesn't make todays cars any less "stylish". You picked some of the most boring cars out there, and they compare with the boring cars of decades ago.

BORING


Same year, EXCITING.


BORING.


Same year, EXCITING.


As of late you have the same sort of comparisons.

BORING


Same year, EXCITING!


Can we say BORING.


Same year, EXCITING!




Brian
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:03 PM
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Of course I am not saying that a 52 Chevy or that 63 Special are boring NOW. But next to their counter parts of the era they were.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2012, 01:51 PM
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Good points. Guess I am one of those old has-beens!
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Old 06-30-2012, 02:38 PM
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I just love the art so much but I am working harder at finding it in what we have today.

Brian
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Old 06-30-2012, 03:33 PM
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I just hope your rambler doesn't read this thread Brian. She probably won't start for a week after you called her boring. Shame on you.

John L
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