: Serious reason for discussion.



lev
10-30-03, 12:03 AM
Hello everyone.
I usually do not comment much on threads and create very few new ones, either. But this, I think, is a burning question for me.
In several months, Chevrolet is coming out with Chevy SSR. A Ford Mustang's new model is out very soon. And of course we have Chrysler PT Cruiser. They all have styling cues from the cars of yesterday.

I want to start a serious discussioin/debate over the following questions:

1) Do you feel that there is a market for that "the way we were" styling?
2) Why/why not?
3) What is it about that nostalgic, "back to simper times" design, that in your opinion, turns people on/off?
4) Technology seems to penentrate deeper and deeper into cars. Seems like everything is now computerized. What do you think of BMW's i-Drive and Audi's similar layout? Is that tehcnology better for an average everyday nine to five Joe, or is it more of a you-know-what measuring contest?

I put those seemingly different questions together, because I see both of those trends becoming more and more apparent.
So let's get started. And let's make this a broad discussion. We were creative enogh to bash rice for ten pages straight, surely we can get more serious and actually ponder on more rarely spoken, but equally curious aspects of automobiles.

JJhomer83
10-30-03, 12:24 AM
1) Do you feel that there is a market for that "the way we were" styling?

Yes i do think that there is a market out there for the styling that is coming out

2) Why/why not?

Why b/c of my mother. She loves the look of the ssr and even the prowler. She likes the older look but likes the dependablity of the "new" car. THe prowler didn't come with an 8 so she is saving up for an ssr when she retires b/c it has curves like the cars she grew up wanting. I also like it too. Something different then the "everyday car"

3) What is it about that nostalgic, "back to simper times" design, that in your opinion, turns people on/off?

It's a thing about owning a "hot rod" when you were a kid and now you can buy one that is pretty much done.

4) Technology seems to penentrate deeper and deeper into cars. Seems like everything is now computerized. What do you think of BMW's i-Drive and Audi's similar layout? Is that tehcnology better for an average everyday nine to five Joe, or is it more of a you-know-what measuring contest?

I think that the base car's bar gets higher every year.
example of my theory.
I own a 92 eldo.
friend owns a 98 GTP
We have the same options
power seats, windows, door locks, DIC etc.
now a new caviler has most of that.

Damien_1F9STS
10-30-03, 12:48 AM
1)Do you feel that there is a market for that "the way we were" styling?

Obviously yes, the big three will always turn to the past as does many other things in life more recently like music, fashion and now automobiles. The reason, well they are scared to become more innovative as if it doesn’t work they lose money, so why not use things that have worked in the past with a little bit of current status quo.

2)What is it about that nostalgic, "back to simpler times" design, that in your opinion, turns people on/off?

Well the automakers will only use what worked. I do not see them bringing back the Etsel any time soon that’s for sure. The Mustang was a hit and always will be and I think Ford is bang on with this platform as well as the new F150. What a serious change for Ford. Remember we all have things in the past we have missed and enjoyed going back to once in awhile. The auto makers have realized this and want to share it with us when we see the front end of Mustang Sally coming into the rear view, or if we all here Zepplin during a commercial. I mean come on its Zepplin, who doesn’t have a great memorey to that! Hey you ever notice that most commercials are of retro music. Cuz, its good memories and good memories should be shared with the everyday American car, which we hold dear and true. The automobile has evolved to that of not just a car in the driveway but a reflection about ourselves to everyone else who looks and now must be in the garage and not just in the driveway and we must on average have 2 or more cars per household. Things have changed

3)Technology seems to penentrate deeper and deeper into cars. Seems like everything is now computerized. What do you think of BMW's i-Drive and Audi's similar layout? Is that tehcnology better for an average everyday nine to five Joe, or is it more of a you-know-what measuring contest?

Technology is always better…better is good, would we prefer donkey carts and carriages…NO we want better…just would be nice if the I-drive was a bit more user friendly is all.

DAMien

lev
10-30-03, 06:29 PM
so far so good, let's keep going.

bob2231
10-30-03, 07:03 PM
so far so good, let's keep going.

Ok, I'm going to get a reputation for looking at things from a different perspective than everyone else. Don't mean to, it just comes naturally to me.
I'm only going to address the first part though. I don't pay much attention to the imports, so I'm not familiar with their tech. at all. The only thing that seems funny about the fast and furious wannabees is that they're all so caught up in proving their individuality that they all make their mosquitos look exactly alike.
Anyway, I think there's a market for the styling. It's kind of longing for the good old days.
But personally I'd never consider buying one. It always seemed to me that the greatest satisfaction in building a custom was the building. Turning an ordinary car into something that was different from what everyone else had. Making it what you wanted. I've noticed from reading some profiles here that there are some people into woodworking, various hands on hobbies, generally creative stuff. And while we could all go to the store and buy whatever it is we're making at the time, there's just something about making your own that you can't describe.
And the racing was the test of your ability to make it right. It tested your design choices, mechanical ability, and your nerve.
This is all just my opinion. My answer to the question. The situation with Josh's Mom is different. She's probably around my Mom's age and I don't think either of them grew up building cars. But I can understand her wanting one. The good old days.
About the most improtant thing you get from building a custom is that you learn. And I don't really know how much you learn by writing a big-ass check to a car dealer.
My opinion.
Bob

c5 rv
10-30-03, 08:48 PM
1) Do you feel that there is a market for that "the way we were" styling?
2) Why/why not?

The domestic automakers certainly think there is a market. GM is coming out with a mainstream small car (don't remember the name right now) that they expect to sell hundred of thousands of each year. I generally like the style of these cars, as do most people it seems. However, they seem to get "old" quickly. Sales of the PT Cruiser have dropped dramatically. T-Bird sales dropped off quickly after a lot of initial interest and Ford is killing it again.

3) What is it about that nostalgic, "back to simper times" design, that in your opinion, turns people on/off?

We've had too many years of boxy, cookie-cutter Chevy-Pontiac-Olds-Buick models that don't really change from year-to-year. I grew up in the '60s and could identify the model and year of just about every Chevy and most other GM brands on sight. There was something to get excited about just about every year. We don't need rehashes of old fashioned designs, we need exciting styling every year. Look at the interest in the CTS. With all the computing power in the hands of designers and engineers today, automakers only need to decide to do it.

4) Technology seems to penentrate deeper and deeper into cars. Seems like everything is now computerized. What do you think of BMW's i-Drive and Audi's similar layout? Is that tehcnology better for an average everyday nine to five Joe, or is it more of a you-know-what measuring contest?

I never bought a car because it did or didn't have a piece of electronics. I have a vette that happens to have a HUD and I really like that feature. However, I won't buy a Pontiac GTP with a HUD over a CTS without one because for me it's about driving, not electronics. Other persons may value tech features more highly than I do.

Ralph
10-30-03, 09:31 PM
They are targeting the babyboomers. Nostalgia is very big right now, and the babyboomers kids have left the house, they have money to play, and cars like the new T-Bird, and pt Cruiser are very successful. So yes, I think there is a market for these. I think people are too dependant on technology, or we have it thrown at us with no say on our behalf. It is a complicated world, so "simplier times" or anything that reminds of that, seems appeasing. BMW's I-drive is very difficult to learn, and requires a couple of hours on the driveway to familiarize. (so I've read) I wouldn't buy a 7 series just because of it. I'm sure once you get to learn it, its ok, but it seems too dissimiliar from anything else to be practical for my tastes. Technology can become too complex to fix and properly diagnose, just ask any Cadillac owner who has had problems on this forum. The more tech, the more problems one will and can have. However, they have fused technology with nostalgia, and it is profitable!

For C5rv; have you noticed that cars are getting boxy again? I am thinking of the new Mustang comming out soon, and there are a couple others I saw in magazines but cannot remember the names.

c5 rv
10-30-03, 10:08 PM
...For C5rv; have you noticed that cars are getting boxy again? I am thinking of the new Mustang comming out soon, and there are a couple others I saw in magazines but cannot remember the names.

Yeah, the Honda Element also comes to mind, as does the new F-150. The whole Cadillac arts and science looks has a lot of straight lines, too. I like the fact that competition is starting to force automakers to change styling more frequently.

AirJigga25
10-30-03, 11:18 PM
When it comes to styling...I like things that are both classic and new age. I love smooth looks and classy looks that are on the conservative side with long straight lines. Slight curves are good too on 4 dr sedans.

When it comes to technology, I love it as long as the technology is reliable. If the technology breaks whats the point. Quality and reliability are of the utmost importance. It is extemely important to have the highest quality possible...thats what we open up our pocketbooks for.

Ralph
10-30-03, 11:57 PM
When it comes to styling...I like things that are both classic and new age. I love smooth looks and classy looks that are on the conservative side with long straight lines. Slight curves are good too on 4 dr sedans.

When it comes to technology, I love it as long as the technology is reliable. If the technology breaks whats the point. Quality and reliability are of the utmost importance. It is extemely important to have the highest quality possible...thats what we open up our pocketbooks for.

Absolutely! It's a good thing that the massive solar flare from the sun yesterday didn't fry everything with a chip in it, as it well could have. Japan had some trouble with their satellites.

Ralph
10-31-03, 01:23 AM
Yeah, the Honda Element also comes to mind, as does the new F-150. The whole Cadillac arts and science looks has a lot of straight lines, too. I like the fact that competition is starting to force automakers to change styling more frequently.

The Element is just about the most UGLY thing I have ever seen! IMO. Sorry Honda lovers. :histeric: That is a box on wheels, but I don't think it was based on any retro design, etc. Isn't Dodge trying to out do Honda with a new van called the "Sprinter" or something?? Another box. Wonder how it will handle at cruising speed in a high wind? :histeric: The styles certainly do seem to change about every 4 years or so, or I guess people will get bored.

DeVillish
10-31-03, 03:54 AM
i love the retro style. I wasnt lucky enough to be alive in the times where cars were more art than transportation. The 59 eldo is one of the most beautifull cars ever IMO. I like that the big 3 are bringing back those good old days that i never got to see. I've always said that real stangs died in 1969, but with this new one coming out, they just might be back. I would love to see cadillac bring back the fins, even if they arnt as big as the '59s. I also wish caddy hadnt dropped the names. It doesnt seem right to me that there isnt an Eldorado or Fleetwood and there wont be a Deville or Seville. Kinda sucks. But dont get me wrong, i do like the CTS and i love the CTS-V. Btw, iam 18.

Ralph
10-31-03, 11:57 PM
i love the retro style. I wasnt lucky enough to be alive in the times where cars were more art than transportation. The 59 eldo is one of the most beautifull cars ever IMO. I like that the big 3 are bringing back those good old days that i never got to see. I've always said that real stangs died in 1969, but with this new one coming out, they just might be back. I would love to see cadillac bring back the fins, even if they arnt as big as the '59s. I also wish caddy hadnt dropped the names. It doesnt seem right to me that there isnt an Eldorado or Fleetwood and there wont be a Deville or Seville. Kinda sucks. But dont get me wrong, i do like the CTS and i love the CTS-V. Btw, iam 18.

I saw the most beautiful 1959 Eldo convterible at the car show this summer. It took the guy 9 years to restore it, it was a light pink with white interior. I wonder what the thing on the dash was that looked like a tach, but it wasn't? I must get a digital camera, I wish I could have posted it.

Stangs didn't die in 1969. I've always loved the 1970 Shelby GT 350 or 500. The Boss wasn't bad in 1970 either. Actually I've read for years that in 1971 they lowered the compression ratios in all musclecar engines to fight increasing insurance rates. So actually, 1970 had the highest horsepower factory production numbers ever.

Elvis
11-01-03, 09:43 AM
Great topic, lev!

I wouldn't buy a PT Cruiser or one of those new Chevy pseudo-pick-up trucks, but I do like the T-Bird, and Ford also has a concept that looks something like the old Mark II that I liked.

I agree with bob that making something completely unique from an ordinary car gives a lot of satisfaction. Someday I'd like to do that, modernizing the functionality of something older, without compromising the look.

I think that there is a market for the retro look, but I don't think that it's a huge market. People want something new that they've never seen before. Unfortunately, automotive styling in the US seems to be dictated by the Europeans and Japanese.

The new Harley Earl ads that Buick is running prove the point. America doesn't lead the pack anymore. The living designers can't get the job done, so let's dig up ol' Harley and see if he can do it.

A lot of people LIKE seeing the retro designs, but in reality I don't think that many of us really want to spend $30,000 or more on one. Making "the look" sell is a function of marketing. A good ad campaign can do wonders.

bob2231
11-01-03, 11:14 AM
Great topic, lev!

I wouldn't buy a PT Cruiser or one of those new Chevy pseudo-pick-up trucks, but I do like the T-Bird, and Ford also has a concept that looks something like the old Mark II that I liked.

I agree with bob that making something completely unique from an ordinary car gives a lot of satisfaction. Someday I'd like to do that, modernizing the functionality of something older, without compromising the look.

I think that there is a market for the retro look, but I don't think that it's a huge market. People want something new that they've never seen before. Unfortunately, automotive styling in the US seems to be dictated by the Europeans and Japanese.

The new Harley Earl ads that Buick is running prove the point. America doesn't lead the pack anymore. The living designers can't get the job done, so let's dig up ol' Harley and see if he can do it.

A lot of people LIKE seeing the retro designs, but in reality I don't think that many of us really want to spend $30,000 or more on one. Making "the look" sell is a function of marketing. A good ad campaign can do wonders.

Hey Elvis
Totally off subject, but with my Alzheimer's I have to do things as I think of it. Here's an avatar just for you. It's from your collection at Graceland. I found it in a Google search.

bob2231
11-01-03, 11:24 AM
The Element is just about the most UGLY thing I have ever seen! IMO. Sorry Honda lovers. :histeric: That is a box on wheels, but I don't think it was based on any retro design, etc. Isn't Dodge trying to out do Honda with a new van called the "Sprinter" or something?? Another box. Wonder how it will handle at cruising speed in a high wind? :histeric: The styles certainly do seem to change about every 4 years or so, or I guess people will get bored.
Good choice Ralph about the Element. Until recently Pontiac had no competiton for ugliest ever with that Aztec monstrocity. But true to Honda's history they just couldn't resist "improving" an American original.Think the same cardboard box inspired both designs ?
Bob