Poor styling problem automotive industry wide problem

While manufacturers try to make cars more attractive through larger, chrome-faced wheels, overall styling has suffered greatly in recent years. Car body sides used to have a number of folds and curves in
their sheet metal (e.g. Monte Carlo). These forms have practically disappeared and most cars now only have one little crease if any at all and most new cars appear dull and boring. Likewise, windows used to have chrome framing, wheel wells chrome trim, and bottom of the car used to have chrome siding. In addition, dual pin striping was common and body side molding was well adorned. Over the years, all of these fine-detailing features have disappeared which has been turned cars, vans and trucks alike into dull and boring machines. One of the first companies to offer such lackluster styling was Honda, but it appears to be an invasive problem throughout the industry. Recently, there have been some signs of improvement: Chrysler Crossfire, Dodge Magnum and 2005 Ford Mustang offer renewed uniqueness in styling, though detailing remains bland. Comments anyone?
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| While manufacturers try to make cars more attractive through larger, | chrome-faced wheels, overall styling has suffered greatly in recent | years. Car body sides used to have a number of folds and curves in | their sheet metal (e.g. Monte Carlo). These forms have practically | disappeared and most cars now only have one little crease if any at | all and most new cars appear dull and boring. Likewise, windows used | to have chrome framing, wheel wells chrome trim, and bottom of the car | used to have chrome siding. In addition, dual pin striping was common | and body side molding was well adorned. Over the years, all of these | fine-detailing features have disappeared which has been turned cars, | vans and trucks alike into dull and boring machines. One of the first | companies to offer such lackluster styling was Honda, but it appears | to be an invasive problem throughout the industry. Recently, there | have been some signs of improvement: Chrysler Crossfire, Dodge Magnum | and 2005 Ford Mustang offer renewed uniqueness in styling, though | detailing remains bland. Comments anyone?
True, the '50's and '60's had the best "styling". But with today's need to meet CAFE standards and keep wind drag to a minimum, those designs would never work. The 2005 Chrysler 300 and the 2005 Ford Mustang are about as good as your going to get with today's limitations (although I don't like the looks of the Chrysler 300, it has quite a bit of the trim and detail you mention).
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Most of the styling cues you mentioned I've had on the cars I've owned.
Chrome window frames were a nice touch. I miss chrome. My window frames now are a greyish metallic.
The $200 Tape Pin Stripes the dealer installs in 10 minutes or less, may look nice but they crack or peel off at the ends.
Painted Pin Stripes had a tendancy to wash off after a few years. In the mid 80's Olds stopped painting the stripes on becuase of this.
All that lower body chrome trim looks nice. It be nice if every state had weather like Nevada this was we wouldn't have to worry about the body rotting out from behind all the chrome. Rust was always a problem.
Just recently removed the lower chrome trim off mothers 91 Caddy, big rust spots behind them, one area is soft enough to poke a screwdriver through it, but I'm not going to do that.
Wheel well moldings also look nice till the car next to you dents it in with his door edge, Also that was another area prone to rust, is around the wheel opening on the quarter panel panel lips.
Did you know Ford has eliminated that lip around the rear quarter panel on the 03 & up Crown Vic & Grand Marquis.
No more mud or stones to get caught up there any more.
As for body contours, some of the side styling might be rather smooth with not much contour. I was surprised at how easy it was to wash some of these new smooth bodied cars ( e.g. 02 Bonneville, Park Ave, ).
The style of the new Magnum & 05 Mustang is very good. Waiting to see what the new Charger looks like. I hope it isn't a Magnum twin with a trunk lid.
2006 is supposed to bring us a real true to form 2 door " hardtop " 300 and 300 Convertible.
Crossfire looks alright, but its so small. I sat it one at the Auto Show and it felt like somebody stuffed me into a 55 gallon drum and put the lid on. I couldn't wait to get out of that car.
As I've mentioned this before, many of todays car have women designers and they being design with the woman in mind. Ford's Thunderbird is one of them.
As you can see by my list of cars below, I've been with the General since 1980. With close to 300,000 miles on my present car I'm considering getting another one, but I really don't know what I want this time around. I have so many gripes about the GM cars that out there, I didn't have this problem when I was car shopping in 1990.
I love the Park Avenue, but for $36,000 its a very nice over priced and under powered car. Great engine, but with only 200HP you'll be passed by by a Honda Odessey mini van with 255 HP. For a $36,000 car it should be a little bit faster without the need for a supercharger.
The new 2005 300 HP Mustang GT is enticing for only $23,000 but where am I going to put my 280 pound fatties at?
Great car for 2 people, not 4 or 5. Can't wait to see what the new convertible looks like with the redesigned top.
The 302 HP Mercury Marauder is alot of bang for the buck for about $3000 less than a Park Avenue, bigger, way faster car, less money, but Ford pulled the plug on it this year.
Now a used low mileage 03 - 04 Marauders are down to $20,000 - $22,000 which is something I'm considering.
Right now I'm sitting on the fence that divides the car companies into thirds, not sure which side I'll jump to when I get off.
========Harryface ======== 1991 Pontiac Bonneville LE 3800 V6 ( C ), Black/Slate Grey _~_~_~296,274 miles_~_~_
~_~_~_~_U.S.A._~_~_~_~_~_
~~~The Former Fleet ~~~ 89 Cavalier Z 24 convertible 78 Holiday 88 coupe 68 LeSabre convertible 73 Impala sedan
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Write a letter to Bob Lutz letting him know what your beef is with todays GMs. Maybe he'll actually respond to you.
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Mr Lutz said, "It's our job to TELL customers what they want." He said that in an interview on WJR radio.
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| > Write a letter to Bob Lutz letting him know what your beef is with todays GMs. | > Maybe he'll actually respond to you. | | Mr Lutz said, "It's our job to TELL customers what they want." He said | that in an interview on WJR radio.
He has changed quite a bit since he left Chrysler then. Well, I suppose then that it's the customers job to not buy the product if it isn't what they want....and apparently that is exactly what is happening given the sales numbers over the past few years.
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hunkman wrote:

Maybe we can get the big fins back. There were creases and lines there.
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On 20 Nov 2004 16:03:20 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@excite.com (hunkman) wrote:

As for Style being more bland? I disagree I'm just thinking of any of the following Though I must agree that if you are limited to the US it does have a pretty slim selection of what's available to buy. In the US: Ford Mustang / GT 40 Cadillac XLR Chrysler 300, Crossfire SRT 6, Viper possibly Mercedes SLK
However in Europe you can get:
VW New Golf GTI (Brilliant PDI Diesel) Volkswagen Lupo possibly Polo as well.
Any TVR Vauxhall VXR220 Maserati Quattroporte Jaguar S type Diesel
Mid Priced: Alfa Romeo 147 Smart Roadster
Econoboxes Citroen C4 Daihatsu Copen Fiat Multipla (older Style) Ford Fiesta RS (Pocket Rocket) Nissan Micra (Convertible) Renault Megane (the "fat ass" car :) New SEAT Toledo Vauxhall Tigra
If you don't mind the BMW Look: the Alpina B7 is nice
For more unusual stuff: Lotus Exige / Elise Bertone Jet 2 Farboud GTS
If you don't like the style of newer cars there's always older style cars.... Just a thought. But if you're limited to the US you've got to understand that the US market is pretty tight to real competition which leads to the crap that's on the road over here.
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com (hunkman) wrote in message

I agree that the Magnum is a breath of fresh air... I think it is unique, and looks great.
On another note, the small details are missed on all cars... I do like the grills on the new 300C.
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Talk about ugly... I saw a new Malibu today. IMO, it is second in ugliness only to that plastic pickup truck, the Chevrolet Avalanche.
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