: Automotive trends of the past you wish would return....



I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-26-11, 08:19 PM
I was just thinking about this today while at work.

Over time, particular body styles and types of cars will come and go, depending on what's hot and current in that time period. What particular body styles or types of car do you wish would return?

My biggest one is the full sized personal (luxury) coupe. I really like the idea of having a big car, with a big powerful engine, made primarily for the enjoyment of driver and their passenger of choice, but if need be, they can put two more people in the backseat, while still looking good and having all sorts of luxury features. They were tremendously popular in the '70s and into the early '80s, but as time went on, the idea of having a coupe, even a midsized one died off. Nowadays the only way you'll get a personal luxury coupe is buying a CLK/CL Mercedes, Audi A5 or BMW 6 Series. There are other four seat coupes out there on the market, but they don't really follow the personal luxury coupe theory, but rather they're more like a sports car or a gran turismo.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 08:34 PM
Mercedes really proves that if you do the full size luxury coupe concept RIGHT, you CAN sell them. The CL, and before that the S Class coupe (SEC) have ALWAYS been soughtafter and driven by the most well to do in ANY generation, regardless whatever prevailing automotive trends might be.

Jesda
01-26-11, 08:34 PM
Small pickup trucks. I guess that's not really a trend but rather a market segment. We ought to have more choices for compact pickups besides the Ford Ranger.

drewsdeville
01-26-11, 08:43 PM
Pickup trucks in general.

It's unfortunate that the role of pickup trucks has changed to the point that unless you are a fleet purchaser, like a municipality, it's nearly impossible to get a value oriented, stripped down, barebones, diehard WORK truck for UTILITY purposes. That doesn't mean that these popular luxury trucks have to go, they obviously sell well, but most of the manufacturers have bailed on the entire basic utility segment for the most part.

My truck gets pretty used and abused and when you look at what it is overall, it's easy to see that it was sold for that purpose only. It was not made to take on vacation or to use as a 75 mile commuter (a short 3 speed with 3.91's in the rear, it's nearly much redlined at 70mph). I feel comfortable using it for work because it has durable vinyl seats, no gadgetry to break, and it didn't cost $45k. If this segment still existed, I might be interested in upgrading trucks. But considering what's on todays market, it's never going to happen.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 08:47 PM
Pretty sure the "ST" model 2WD, 2 Door Dodge Ram is still made. Mine had only the most rudimentary features... A CD player, A/C and some "bling" (chrome wheels and bumpers). My floor covering is completely vinyl, as is most of each seat.

Aron9000
01-26-11, 09:18 PM
Pickup trucks in general.

It's unfortunate that the role of pickup trucks has changed to the point that unless you are a fleet purchaser, like a municipality, it's nearly impossible to get a value oriented, stripped down, barebones, diehard WORK truck for UTILITY purposes. That doesn't mean that these popular luxury trucks have to go, they obviously sell well, but most of the manufacturers have bailed on the entire basic utility segment for the most part.

My truck gets pretty used and abused and when you look at what it is overall, it's easy to see that it was sold for that purpose only. It was not made to take on vacation or to use as a 75 mile commuter (a short 3 speed with 3.91's in the rear, it's nearly much redlined at 70mph). I feel comfortable using it for work because it has durable vinyl seats, no gadgetry to break, and it didn't cost $45k. If this segment still existed, I might be interested in upgrading trucks. But considering what's on todays market, it's never going to happen.

Yeah they still sell work trucks you know. Granted your Chevy dealer in the rich neighborhood isn't going to stock many, but I guarantee that a small town dealer or one in a major metro area will have some in stock.

And I really wish the mini-truck would return. Right now all the "compact" trucks are huge, overpriced, and don't get as good of gas mileage as their fore-bearers. A 4wd Tacoma is about the same price as a Silverado, so what's the point?


I also miss the color matching red, blue, maroon, white, green, etc interiors. I hate how all we have now days is boring grey, light beige, or black. And black isn't even an option in a lot of cars. Bring back the colors!!

DouglasJRizzo
01-26-11, 09:26 PM
Things I'd like to see return.

Color choice. NOT 18 shades of silver and black, but true COLORS, like the 36 colors Cadillac used to offer, with top, stripe, and interior choices to contrast and match.

A rear drive body on frame two door coupe. Sort of like a 2011 Coupe DeVille or Calais coupe. Performance can be optioned on if desired. Think of the CTS-V but a bit larger and more traditionally styled. The CTS coupe is a BIG step in the right direction.

Interior choices. Leather is nice, but some different cloths, velours, and leather combinations of the two. If I wanted my Cad to look like an MB I'd order it that way, otherwise I'd like to spec it the way I WANT IT - not the way they think it should be.

V-Eight
01-26-11, 10:06 PM
As much as I want individual optioning to return, I doubt it will happen due to the cost of such a setup.

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 10:10 PM
The last mainstream car manufacturer that really does anything like that is BMW with the "Individual" program, and MB to a lesser extent with their Designo packages.

Jesda
01-26-11, 10:47 PM
Yeah, I definitely agree on the color choices. Its pretty boring to see TWO shades of black and four shades of silver.

HAZZARDJOHN
01-26-11, 11:32 PM
RWD Cruiser convertibles! I grew up with convertibles and I want one now, but they are either sports cars, quirky POS like the PT cruiser, expensive german cars with hardtops, or economy cars like a sebring. Something like this:

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b55/Johnny1107/Impala/iolasign.jpg

^ My Dad's 66 Impala. This car was just made for long drives, even with the 396 it wasn't a speed demon, but it was smooth and fun. Even got 16 MPG. A newer version of this would be awesome to me, but I know enough to know it would never sell.

~HJ

Playdrv4me
01-26-11, 11:38 PM
So essentially, a G8 or 300C with the roof chopped off. Interesting.

cadillac kevin
01-26-11, 11:58 PM
what ever happened to being able to pick your own options to make your own car. back in the 70's and 80's, you could pick out of 30 different exterior colors in enamel or metallic with choice of pinstriping. then you could opt for interior with 3 or 4 different kinds of seat upholstery, door upholstery, trim color, power options, 5 or 6 types of hubcaps, different color body moldings, and vinyl top colors. when you got done, you had a car that looked like nothing else on the road because it was personalized to your taste from the factory- at no extra charge.
now a days, all the cars are the same and the manufacturer charges you extra (if you can even do it at all) to custom order your car.

77CDV
01-27-11, 12:03 AM
Three words: longer, lower, wider.

orconn
01-27-11, 12:03 AM
I miss the two door and four door hardtops of the fifties and sixties, almost a convertible with the greater rigidity of a hardtop. These were probably killed of by air conditioning, but they supplied an open air experience second only to the '50s and '60s convertibles.

I, too, miss the choice of interior and exterior color choices; I am amazed that a whole custom painting industry hasn't sprung up to satisfy the individualist among us!

Aron9000
01-27-11, 12:17 AM
I kind of wonder if the lack of color/interior options has coincided with the dying off of "the greatest generation". I mean this generation of people(WWII vets, my grandparents) tended to have a more flashy sense of style with their zoot suits, cocktail dresses, and over the top tail finned cars. As the generation aged, the styles in cars tended to mellow out, but personalization and lots of color options remained.

DouglasJRizzo
01-27-11, 02:08 PM
I understand the cost principle of colors/trims/options - BUT, if Detroit could do it back in the day and make money, they can do it now. I remember Buick bragging that they could build Regals all year and never build two alike.

cadillac kevin
01-27-11, 02:55 PM
what about a wagon that can hold up to 9 people and has a big enough bed to carry a sheet of plywood. I guess thats what a suburban is for, but not everybody wants/ needs a suburban (at 50k+, its out of range of most people.) besides, whats not to love about a car that is semi stylish, can hold the entire family, and you can take it to the hardware store, helping somebody move, etc.

also, what ever happened to the truck based minivan (aka safari/ astro van.) those were kickass, even if it was just an S10 with a sliding side door. my dad had one and loved it to death. the 4300 vortec had great power, decent mileage, and you could take it anywhere since it was actually a truck (If I recall, you could even get one with 4x4 capabilities). it could even hold plywood and drywall in between the captains chairs.
try taking a modern minivan over any sort of rough terrain (much less over large rocks and hills, creeks, etc. and you'll get stuck somewhere. try using them to haul drywall/ plywood, etc. they're not gonna fit. if you took the seats out, you'd think you were inside a boxtruck. you could pretty much fit anything in the back of that thing
couldnt someone make some sort of a nicely equipped family hauler that doubles as a utility vehicle and could pretty much do anything you asked it to?

gdwriter
01-27-11, 03:44 PM
I also miss the color matching red, blue, maroon, white, green, etc interiors. I hate how all we have now days is boring grey, light beige, or black. Bring back the colors!!This.

Also, true hardtops with windows that roll all the way down in the back. On nice day, I can roll all the windows down in Betty and there's a nice breeze without a lot of noise or buffeting at anything below highway speeds. And I can hear the sweet burble of the 327 with dual exhaust.

orconn
01-27-11, 03:48 PM
I haven't been around lower priced cars in years, do they still come with vinyl seats?

gdwriter
01-27-11, 03:53 PM
Ixnay on the inlyvay.

orconn
01-27-11, 03:55 PM
I'd like to see car salesmen actually sell cars and not hand me off to some "closer" so I have to start the whole negotiation all over again with the new guy. If I negotiate a price with one guy I don't want to have to go through the process again with "Finance Manager." I have gotten to the point of walking out of agencies, rather than spend another hour or two playing games, one of the reasons I've turned to buying used cars from private parties. If the sales personnel aren't sophisticated enough to know that I their to do serious business, they are not qualified nor seriously interested in doing business with me.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-27-11, 06:19 PM
Ixnay on the inlyvay.

You can get vinyl seats in base model full sized trucks, but all of the econoboxes in the world offer cloth seats, and many will make leather available.

Aron9000
01-28-11, 12:50 AM
You can get vinyl seats in base model full sized trucks, but all of the econoboxes in the world offer cloth seats, and many will make leather available.

I think BMW, Benz, Audi, and VW offer "leatherette" standard on their lowline c-class, A3, 128i, etc. That stuff is actually nice though, looks high quality and like leather, but you can usually tell its the cheap stuff because the seats all have manual controls, so you know its a no option car.

I also wish GM would build a RWD V8 luxury cruiser at a couple of price points(ie $70,000 Caddy and $40,000 Buick)

Playdrv4me
01-28-11, 02:14 AM
I think BMW, Benz, Audi, and VW offer "leatherette" standard on their lowline c-class, A3, 128i, etc. That stuff is actually nice though, looks high quality and like leather, but you can usually tell its the cheap stuff because the seats all have manual controls, so you know its a no option car.

I also wish GM would build a RWD V8 luxury cruiser at a couple of price points(ie $70,000 Caddy and $40,000 Buick)

Yea on MBs it's called "MB Tex" and I believe it is actually standard on even the E Class, if not the C Class.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
01-28-11, 08:30 AM
Yeah, leatherette on the VW's. I have the catalog for the '11 CC on my table and it's standard in that as well. As a matter of fact, if you want the gorgeous black/tan interior combination, you have to go with the leatherette, as the true leather is only offered in black.

orconn
01-28-11, 01:14 PM
Yea on MBs it's called "MB Tex" and I believe it is actually standard on even the E Class, if not the C Class.

My Audi Avant 5000S had the Audi's equivalent of "MB Tex" instead of real leather (I have always had real leather seating in my cars when available, at the time I bought the Avant non were available with leather in L.A.) At the same time I bought my Audi a friend of my bought a sedan with real leather. After the six years of ownership of both of the cars we both commented on how much better the vinyl stood up than the real leather. In my case this was after six years of occasionally hauling Cub/Boy Scouts around in the car. To be honest, I was very impressed with the way the vinyl looked and stood up over the years.

Of course, the "sophisticated" buyer of today has to have real leather, in many cases, believing that the whole interior of the the car is covered in leather rather than just the seating surfaces. I personally wouldn't mind having an option of having vinyl in stead of leather for certain applications. Trouble with cloth seating is when you transporting "stinky" little kids or dogs around the cloth takes on odors of what you have been carrying!

Sevillian273
01-28-11, 06:33 PM
Fins. Big tacky fins.

And bullet tail lights.

orconn
01-28-11, 07:21 PM
^^^ Yeah, gotta miss those "Dagmars" too!!

Playdrv4me
01-28-11, 07:25 PM
My Audi Avant 5000S had the Audi's equivalent of "MB Tex" instead of real leather (I have always had real leather seating in my cars when available, at the time I bought the Avant non were available with leather in L.A.) At the same time I bought my Audi a friend of my bought a sedan with real leather. After the six years of ownership of both of the cars we both commented on how much better the vinyl stood up than the real leather. In my case this was after six years of occasionally hauling Cub/Boy Scouts around in the car. To be honest, I was very impressed with the way the vinyl looked and stood up over the years.

Of course, the "sophisticated" buyer of today has to have real leather, in many cases, believing that the whole interior of the the car is covered in leather rather than just the seating surfaces. I personally wouldn't mind having an option of having vinyl in stead of leather for certain applications. Trouble with cloth seating is when you transporting "stinky" little kids or dogs around the cloth takes on odors of what you have been carrying!

Yes, MB Tex is the reason so many very old Merc's still look suspiciously new inside. I think there are still some who purposely request the vinyl over the leather knowing this very secret in advance.

77CDV
01-28-11, 11:34 PM
I kind of wonder if the lack of color/interior options has coincided with the dying off of "the greatest generation". I mean this generation of people(WWII vets, my grandparents) tended to have a more flashy sense of style with their zoot suits, cocktail dresses, and over the top tail finned cars. As the generation aged, the styles in cars tended to mellow out, but personalization and lots of color options remained.

It's about cost, and only cost. Limiting build permutations makes the cars cheaper to build and increases profit margins. Look what people do to their cars in the aftermarket. People would love to customize their cars from the factory, if it was still possible.