: The death of the year-to-year changes on american cars...



I~LUV~Caddys8792
06-30-07, 12:09 AM
The other night, I went out to dinner with Brian (90Brougham350) and one of the topics of discussion was the minor differences between the 68-69-70 Cadillacs. They changed the overall front end design in '69, and then modified the grille a bit in '70, and they changed the taillights a bit in 68-69-70 also. But these small year to year changes were the norm in american cars back then, no matter what brand it was. Ever since about the early '80s they don't do that anymore. Cars are the same general design for 5-6 years now and very little is changed year to year anymore...

What killed that off?

derrty_deville
06-30-07, 12:10 AM
$$$$$

77CDV
06-30-07, 12:35 AM
The money involved in clearing any new design for crash safety, plus the tooling costs, and throw in the decreasing profit margins when Wall St. is more concerned than ever about the bottom line, and you can see that such frivolities as annual design changes are never to return.

Jonas McFeely
06-30-07, 01:51 PM
Though mostly identical, '80-'89 Brougham had many year-to-year changes...

derrty_deville
06-30-07, 04:49 PM
85-93 fwd devilles had a lot of changes too. Very rare nowadays though.

JRau
06-30-07, 10:18 PM
Yep, nowadays, a new color choice or two might be the only distinguishing feature.... Remember the Ford Thunderbird changed completely from the ground up every 3 years for a couple decades there. Aah, those were the days...

JRau

96Fleetwood
06-30-07, 11:04 PM
1993-1996 Fleetwoods had year to year changes:

1) 1993 had L05 with small mirrors & more seat controls on Brougham model than newer models
2) 1994 had small mirrors with LT-1
3) 1995 had large mirrors with LT-1
4) 1996 had large mirrors with LT-1 and the new one piece center console design

:thumbsup:

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-07, 01:09 PM
Yeah, but compare that to the 67-70 Fleetwoods.

1967: stacked headlights, 429 V8 and fold down rear seat trays
1968: 472 cid V8, slightly different grille design, lost the rear seat trays and real wood trim
1969: totally redesigned front end, taillights, and dashboard (IIRC)
1970: redesigned grille (more aggressive appearance), redesigned taillights, and it added a thin beltline, and by '71 the design changed drastically, and then again in '74 and '77, then it got a modest redesign in '80 then went without any major changes until 1993.

96Fleetwood
07-01-07, 01:42 PM
I know, trust me... having grown up around those cars I can appreciate all those year to year changes and why certain years are more collectible than others...

But you were asking when these changes stopped.. I was just giving my estimate. :)

Chrome is expensive now, and it has all become plastic and aluminum from here on out :(

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-07, 01:50 PM
Yeah, I totally understand, I know you had a '70 Convertible deVille, so I know you're aware of the previous year to year changes. I think it's just such a shame that you can't tell a car apart from the previous or next year of the same car as easily (or at all) like you could 30+ years ago. Cars have no personality anymore. :(

Lord Cadillac
07-01-07, 02:00 PM
I think part of the reasoning for this is actually good.. If you buy a brand new Cadillac, and then it changes next year - now you already have the 'older' one. If you bought a 1992 Seville STS, through 1997 (if you kept your car clean), it looked like you had a brand new Caddy.

It's sort of like buying a 2007 Cadillac CTS without realizing the beautifully redesigned 2008 will be out in a few months. Ooops. Your brand new 3 month old CTS is now the old model.

That's why it's so difficult to sell the last year model of a specific design. They're offering all kinds of rebates and great deals to get them off the lot because everyone would rather just wait for the new one - which will appear new for several years. Probably as long as their lease or loan...

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-07, 02:04 PM
And another thing...I've had my grandpa and older relatives tell me how people used to line up in the showrooms "back in the day" around September-October of each year so they could get a peek at upcoming model years cars...now nobody really seems to care anymore. I wonder if this has to do with the death of the year-to-year changes on the american cars?

96Fleetwood
07-01-07, 02:04 PM
That's why it's so difficult to sell the last year model of a specific design. They're offering all kinds of rebates and great deals to get them off the lot because everyone would rather just wait for the new one - which will appear new for several years. Probably as long as their lease or loan...

Works for enthusiasts like us though... just wait till the new CTS-V comes out.. the old model will drop even more in value, making it affordable for someone like me who has to pay off medical school loans :mad: and start up a medical practice.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
07-01-07, 02:13 PM
Works for enthusiasts like us though... just wait till the new CTS-V comes out.. the old model will drop even more in value, making it affordable for someone like me who has to pay off medical school loans :mad: and start up a medical practice.

Cool, you're starting your own practice?! If I ever get hurt anywhere near Chicago in the near future I know who to go to now!

96Fleetwood
07-01-07, 03:19 PM
Cool, you're starting your own practice?! If I ever get hurt anywhere near Chicago in the near future I know who to go to now!

Actually me (internal med) and my girlfriend (cardiology) plus 4 other friends (chiropractor, obgyn, dentist, and pharmacist) are all saving up to open a practice in Miami, FL :thumbsup: I am out of here as soon as I finish residency. I will be sure to give forum members a discount!

77CDV
07-01-07, 05:07 PM
Chad,

IIRC, real wood went away in 1970. At least, my aunt's 69 Fleetwood had real wood trim on the doors and dash.

Craig

Lord Cadillac
07-01-07, 08:52 PM
Actually me (internal med) and my girlfriend (cardiology) plus 4 other friends (chiropractor, obgyn, dentist, and pharmacist) are all saving up to open a practice in Miami, FL :thumbsup: I am out of here as soon as I finish residency. I will be sure to give forum members a discount!
I don't mean to hijack the thread but that's VERY cool about opening your own practice.. In Miami, huh? I dealt with heart issues all my life. Did you know that beta-blockers, mainly Atenolol, can cause diabetes?

Otherwise.. I think subtle changes are okay. Like the ones that came along for the Eldorado between 1995 and it's final year. The changes were very subtle - subtle enough that the 95 ETC still looked new throughout the Eldorado's lifespan...

JimHare
07-01-07, 09:31 PM
And another thing...I've had my grandpa and older relatives tell me how people used to line up in the showrooms "back in the day" around September-October of each year so they could get a peek at upcoming model years cars...now nobody really seems to care anymore. I wonder if this has to do with the death of the year-to-year changes on the american cars?

I think it has more to do with the fact that "Next Year's Model" can be released any time of the year, nowadays...hell, you start seeing ads for the 2008 GeeWhillikers XE in April.

When we just had the Big Three and a couple ferriners (VW, M/B, etc) then September was IT - but nowadays when everybody and his brother-in-law is a car making country, then there's no reason to 'wait' if you have to push out a new car - in fact, getting it out of the gate nine or ten months before the end of the year gives you a head start on the latecomers...

Caddy Man
07-02-07, 12:45 AM
A VERY good example of changes in American cars can be seen in the 1958-1969 Chevy Impalas. Every year the car was cosmetically a different car.

gdwriter
07-02-07, 02:05 AM
A VERY good example of changes in American cars can be seen in the 1958-1969 Chevy Impalas. Every year the car was cosmetically a different car.And except for 1959 and 1966, they all had three taillights in the back. So even though they were different, they were still clearly identified as Impalas.

Caddy Man
07-02-07, 09:45 AM
And except for 1959 and 1966, they all had three taillights in the back. So even though they were different, they were still clearly identified as Impalas.

Correct. Gotta keep that Impala flavor. My favorite design has always been the '63. The way ive always seen it though is all the cars were different to the point that one who is slightly familiar can tell each year apart. Now take the Cadillac CTS. I REALLY have to look close at the car to tell what year it is as each year has minor changes that only a CTS owner such as myself would recognize.

gdwriter
07-02-07, 01:44 PM
Correct. Gotta keep that Impala flavor. My favorite design has always been the '63. The way ive always seen it though is all the cars were different to the point that one who is slightly familiar can tell each year apart.For some reason, I don't care for the front end on the '63, but I like the rest of the car. My favorite, of course, will always be the '64:

http://www.gdwriter.q45.org/wou_2007/images/WOU_Show_2007%20-%2004.jpg

It's a strange sickness, but show me almost any GM car from 1955 to 1980, and I can tell you what year it is. I can get a lot of FoMoCo and Mopars, too, but I'm better at GM.

Jonas McFeely
07-02-07, 06:08 PM
It's a strange sickness, but show me almost any GM car from 1955 to 1980, and I can tell you what year it is. I can get a lot of FoMoCo and Mopars, too, but I'm better at GM.


Sound like my Dad. He can differntiate any year of any American car from the '50's to about '80. I mean any make or model. Hes nuts.

I can do pretty well at identifying make and model from the late '60's on up. Not year specific though. But i do best with 80's GMs, or rather anything '80s. And of course everything after that...

gdwriter
07-02-07, 06:57 PM
Sound like my Dad. He can differntiate any year of any American car from the '50's to about '80. I mean any make or model. Hes nuts.Does that make me nuts, too? :stirpot:

Jonas McFeely
07-02-07, 07:22 PM
Does that make me nuts, too? :stirpot:

Nah, you guys are just car guys. Its in your blood, my blood too. I just havnt been around as long.