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Abilene Slim SASS 81783

Car Styling

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Wife and I were pedaling thru the neighborhood and spotted a restored '66 Malibu in a garage. Instantly recognizable. Which got me to thinking. For years, one could not only spot from a distance the  brand from one car to the next, but come within a year or so of its vintage. These days, I can't differentiate most brands unless I'm close enough to see the emblem. And guessing the vintage? Forget about it. 

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With a few exceptions, cars retain the same body style for several years nowadays.  It costs less to run a model for a few years, making only small, subtle changes or no changes at all.  People have come to accept the “gum drop” looking body styles and they no longer tend to trade as often, making the demand for styling changes smaller than it once was.

 

For the most part, I really dislike today’s styling. It is more aerodynamic and to a point, the structures are safer, but the safety features COULD BE worked into far more attractive sculpture!

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Well, there's the Cadillac which looks like the off spring of a Mack and a fork lift.

 

Most pickups look like Mad Max refugees.

 

Some cars would pass for very large electric razors.

 

Some cars look like they were bred in East Germany vintage 1960.

 

The rest look like vegetation from some foreign planet.

 

There are exceptions, ie my 2018 Impala looks nice, but is not designed for any human driver or passenger I ever saw.  Of course it does have a Mafia-approved seven body trunk, one of the largest in the industry...and they have now discontinued the Impala after nearly eighty years.

 

 

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And how about the trend toward so many looking like industrial or military equipment.

"Hey, lookie here, I've got me a tactical Fiat mini-car.

 

I'd kill for a new car with honest to Kookie Burns tail fins and a few hundred pounds of chrome trim

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3 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

And how about the trend toward so many looking like industrial or military equipment.

"Hey, lookie here, I've got me a tactical Fiat mini-car.

 

I'd kill for a new car with honest to Kookie Burns tail fins and a few hundred pounds of chrome trim

 

Speaking of which, I saw one exactly like this cruising down the street the other day. 

 

Forty, do folks with vintage cars still congregate on Whiskey Row on Saturdays?

 

1960-chevy-impala-convertible.jpg

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Not always, but frequently.  Lots of gatherings in the Safeway parking lot in PV. on the south end of The courthouse plaza, and other places.  I've seen more old cars on the streets in sixyears here than I did in all of California in the forty years there before I escaped.  I even saw a whale faced Crosley over on Willow Springs the first year we were here and a Packard (Studebaker's big sister) Golden Hawk "Batmobile" in front of Staples just last year.

 

Had a show of nothing but MGs around the plaza a couple of years ago.  I found a '60 MGA like one I used to own.  I can't even get my butt in one any more.

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Slim and Forty, I agree. Cars just all look  the same. Pickups have become the new “cars” and they all look like bloated tubs. 
 

Recently I was going to buy a new car or truck and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I really don’t need a new truck and I have my bike so I opted to buy a used Mazda Miata. Glad I did. I love that little convertible roadster. 

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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Slim and Forty, I agree. Cars just all look  the same. Pickups have become the new “cars” and they all look like bloated tubs. 
 

Recently I was going to buy a new car or truck and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I really don’t need a new truck and I have my bike so I opted to buy a used Mazda Miata. Glad I did. I love that little convertible roadster. 


I’m with you Pat. Was looking at vintage cars and wanted a convertible for sure.  Looked at some old British cars like the Bug Eye Sprite. Since I’m a lousy mechanic and not made out of money I came to my senses and bought a beautiful low mileage used Miata. It’s a blast to drive and maintenance is, like with most Japanese cars, practically nothing. 
 

Seamus

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I had a 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria 2012-2014.  So many people asked my what year my Bel-Air was!!

 

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My son lives in Eagle, CO. He had someone down the street from him that had a 49or so chevy pu. It was gone the last time I was out there. Grew up with a 56 GMC with a tall boy engine. Would love to have one.

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Dad had a 1959 Chevrolet Impala, with a 348 c.i. V-8.  A big, heavy car.  Loved the style.  The 1960 model was a poor version of the '59. 

The '59 was the first car Dad ever bought that had air-conditioning.

My favorite was the '57, but we never owned that model. 

 

  

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I used to drive a Chevy just like this for work. 6 cylinder, three on the tree. It’s bed was a couple of feet longer than today’s trucks and a couple of feet shorter in height. Today’s trucks are marketed for luxury and how much they can tow, as opposed to what you can pile into the bed. 
 

The old ones will fit in my garage where the new ones won’t by a long shot. IMHO, the old ones were more versatile. But then I’m old and times change. image.thumb.jpeg.a35166bcfb50d881dfe62d6e6c8faf90.jpeg
 

 

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I've always said to become my next wife she must own either a '68 Charger or a liquor store.   

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4 hours ago, Marshal Mo Hare, SASS #45984 said:

Fishing boat not required?

 

A boat is a hole in the water that you dump money into!

 

Break Out Another Thousand

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14 hours ago, Abilene Slim SASS 81783 said:

 

Speaking of which, I saw one exactly like this cruising down the street the other day. 

 

Forty, do folks with vintage cars still congregate on Whiskey Row on Saturdays?

 

1960-chevy-impala-convertible.jpg

Would never buy one.  Those horizontal wings would create lift and cause the rerar end to become unstable.  Me and other 15 year old know it alls sounded the death knell for such irresponsible engineering.  If you have to put fins on a car put honest upright fins like unto the 57s that steered the back end and made them go straight down the highway.

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I learned to drive stick on one of these.Completely stock. Then Dad sold it to a friend of his who yanked the engine and stuffed in a small block. Ruined it in my opinion,.

201953_Front_3-4_Web.jpg

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On vacations when I was a boy we used to play a game identifying cars to see who could call it first when traveling down the road. It's been many years since I could identify the more modern cars.  

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12 hours ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

But alas the buying public has already forgotten the sleek classic look of the Yugo

Not all of us, Charlie!:P

yugo-gv-4X4-raised_body_custom_car_2003_zastava.jpg

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Form follows function.  Get a deck of Federal Regulation cards.  Get another deck of Aerodynamics cards.  Shuffle them together.  There are only so many hands that can be dealt.

Aero helps the all-important fuel economy.  Manufacturers have corporate fuel economy regs to meet.  The shape of a rain drop tops aero forms.

Safety regulations dictate bumper location and strength.  Crumple zones required at both ends.  Side impact requirements dictate much about the cars appearance.  Side curtain air bags limit window size and shape.  Etc, etc, etc.

The true wonder is that there is any "design" left at all.

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Those old late ‘50s early ‘60s cars would lend themselves well to modern standards, using a tiny bit of imagination!! 

 

Large areas in front of and behind the cabin could be easily used to add crumple zones. The doors are huge and thick, making side guard door beams easy to execute.

 

Those cars had massive headroom. There’s where the curtain style air bags would work!

 

Half acre dash boards!!  Use different materials and strategic placement of more air bags and they could actually outperform today’s designs.

 

Finally, drop the front of the car slightly and that big back deck will create massive downforce! It would drastically increase the stability of the back half of the vehicle!!!  With today’s suspension and braking technology and the use of modern body materials, you’d have a great car that looked cool too!

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12 hours ago, Noz said:

Would never buy one.  Those horizontal wings would create lift and cause the rerar end to become unstable.  Me and other 15 year old know it alls sounded the death knell for such irresponsible engineering.  If you have to put fins on a car put honest upright fins like unto the 57s that steered the back end and made them go straight down the highway.

 

But those horizontal wings made great seats on a '59 El Camino when going down the hwy at 70 - 80 mph!!! (Which we did when I was a kid back then):huh:

 

image.png.aa998e7f41c3528745a3423aab8dc914.png

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I was always odd man (boy) out. My favorites were the Stude GT Hawk and the Avanti.

 

But I did love to drive my dad's 1956 Merc station wagon with the faux wood. And his first new car, that he bought after 20 years of marriage: the 1965 Ford Galaxy LTD, a four-door hardtop with a 390 engine. Burgundy. Whadda car!

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Posted (edited)

I was lucky!  My dad had a ‘61 Chevy with a 327 and a 4 spd.  Later a ‘65 Mustang 289 3 spd. and then a ‘69 Impala Custom SS with a 427 and a turbo 400!!

 

My 2nd car was a ‘66 ChevyII with a 327 and a 4 spd.  Later, a ‘69 Chevelle with a 350 4 spd. and then a ‘64 Impala SS that had a 409/425 with an M22 4 spd and the 456:1 posi. rear end.

 

 

then I got married and went racing...

 

What I’m saying is that cars back then had STYLE!!!

Edited by Blackwater 53393

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On 8/13/2020 at 2:30 PM, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Slim and Forty, I agree. Cars just all look  the same. Pickups have become the new “cars” and they all look like bloated tubs. 
 

Recently I was going to buy a new car or truck and I just couldn’t find anything I liked. I really don’t need a new truck and I have my bike so I opted to buy a used Mazda Miata. Glad I did. I love that little convertible roadster. 

When I was selling cars (Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda, and Merkur) I loved the Miata.  Couldn't get into one now, even with the slightly larger and  stronger version that came out about 1994.  Imagine trying to fit a football into a house slipper.

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13 hours ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

I was always odd man (boy) out. My favorites were the Stude GT Hawk and the Avanti.

 

But I did love to drive my dad's 1956 Merc station wagon with the faux wood. And his first new car, that he bought after 20 years of marriage: the 1965 Ford Galaxy LTD, a four-door hardtop with a 390 engine. Burgundy. Whadda car!

My Dad had a ‘65 Ford Galaxy 500 that he bought in ‘68, I believe. That car had the largest engine available, the 427 and he had it set up with headers and twin 4-barrel carbs. It had a 4-speed manual transmission. Man, that car would go.   I do remember it was a 4-door, not a 2-door like this one:

https://www.musclecardefinition.com/check-this-bad-to-the-bone-1965-ford-galaxie-427/
 

The tail lights were square. I do remember that. The one in the video in the link I found has some odd shaped taillights. 
 

He used to street race it and won a lot of money with it. One day him and his idiot buddies got drunk and painted it Army green. :blink: He ended up selling it when winter came and times got hard. He was a general contractor. Winter in Pennsylvania makes it hard on folks that make a living outdoors. 

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On 8/14/2020 at 6:05 AM, Go West said:

On vacations when I was a boy we used to play a game identifying cars to see who could call it first when traveling down the road. It's been many years since I could identify the more modern cars.  

I can't tell you how often I've come out of a store and walked to a half dozen white sedans before I found mine.

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36 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

I can't tell you how often I've come out of a store and walked to a half dozen white sedans before I found mine.

 

Not to mention gray minivans.

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49 minutes ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

I can't tell you how often I've come out of a store and walked to a half dozen white sedans before I found mine.

 

12 minutes ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

 

Not to mention gray minivans.

Probably because cars today all look two computer mouses mating. Of course there are exceptions...

IMG_1540.JPG

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Posted (edited)
On 8/14/2020 at 3:59 PM, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

I was always odd man (boy) out. My favorites were the Stude GT Hawk and the Avanti.

 

But I did love to drive my dad's 1956 Merc station wagon with the faux wood. And his first new car, that he bought after 20 years of marriage: the 1965 Ford Galaxy LTD, a four-door hardtop with a 390 engine. Burgundy. Whadda car!

I know how you must have felt.  I was the kid with MGA, Triumph TR-3 and -3A, "frog faced" Sprite, AH 100-6 and others.  They weren't as fast but on a curved track I never lost to an American car (except a home made kit dune buggy.....Meyers Manx?..... and it had a Porsche engine in it) .  Those Rocky Mountain canyon roads were my home.

Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935
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2 hours ago, Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619 said:

 

Not to mention gray minivans.

Or dark blue or black pick ups.

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Posted (edited)
On 8/15/2020 at 11:30 AM, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

I know how you must have felt.  I was the kid with MGA, Triumph TR-3 and -3A, "frog faced" Sprite, AH 100-6 and others.  They weren't as fast but on a curved track I never lost to an American car (except a home made dune buggy and it had a Porsche engine in it) .  Those Rocky Mountain canyon roads were my home.

 

I remember as a freshman at Cal in 1966-67 that the campus was littered with TRs, MGs, Sprites and all such small British racing green sports cars. One night I rode back to Berkeley from Davis at night in a rainstorm and had to work the TR's hand-operated windshield wipers the whole way. Pretty hairy drive.

Edited by Red Gauntlet , SASS 60619

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On 8/13/2020 at 7:56 PM, Tom Bullweed said:

I had a 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria 2012-2014.  So many people asked my what year my Bel-Air was!!

 

My dad had one many years ago. His pride and joy. Mom hit some black ice and rolled it. 

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