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thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
9/4/18 1:15 p.m.

Having recently seen the streamliner exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, what if WW2 hadn't stopped that styling trend so abruptly? Those cars are gorgeous and I can't imagine what they would have evolved into.

NickD
NickD UberDork
9/4/18 1:34 p.m.
jharry3 said:

What if Ford had spent a few more dollars per unit on an Independent rear suspension set up for the original Mustang?

I used to have a link to a site that showed the whole design, including part numbers, to recreate the original concept.  Can't find it...

This article is about that concept:

https://www.motortrend.com/news/the-history-of-the-ford-mustang-independent-rear-suspension/

There is actually a company that got ahold of the old blueprints and was producing them as a bolt-in swap.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/4/18 3:00 p.m.
thatsnowinnebago said:

Having recently seen the streamliner exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, what if WW2 hadn't stopped that styling trend so abruptly? Those cars are gorgeous and I can't imagine what they would have evolved into.

Interesting thought. I’m a huge fan of the streamlined/1930’s style too. Though I think in this case it might not be so much that WWII stunted its development vs. the postwar jet/atomic age ushered in the next big thing. 

P3PPY
P3PPY New Reader
9/4/18 3:13 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:
thatsnowinnebago said:

Having recently seen the streamliner exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, what if WW2 hadn't stopped that styling trend so abruptly? Those cars are gorgeous and I can't imagine what they would have evolved into.

Interesting thought. I’m a huge fan of the streamlined/1930’s style too. Though I think in this case it might not be so much that WWII stunted its development vs. the postwar jet/atomic age ushered in the next big thing. 

I'd always heard that it was actually related to A) planned obsolescence of design (must make it change every year to provide incentive to purchase new) and B) the fact that making cars more and more streamlined meant that they were simply all going toward a common aerodynamically ideal design

Stefan
Stefan MegaDork
9/4/18 3:17 p.m.
Pete Gossett said:
thatsnowinnebago said:

Having recently seen the streamliner exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, what if WW2 hadn't stopped that styling trend so abruptly? Those cars are gorgeous and I can't imagine what they would have evolved into.

Interesting thought. I’m a huge fan of the streamlined/1930’s style too. Though I think in this case it might not be so much that WWII stunted its development vs. the postwar jet/atomic age ushered in the next big thing. 

Wasn't the Beetle part of this styling?  It seemed to continue along quite well following the war.  I suspect the Atomic/Jet age was what really ushered in a lot of changes and yes without WWII many of these changes and advancements wouldn't have happened the way they did.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/4/18 3:30 p.m.

Here's a forgotten alternate engine what-if: What if Ford's Stirling engine powered car had managed to overcome throttle response issues and make it into production? With today's technology, the Stirling engine might make sense as a range extender in an EV.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/4/18 4:08 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Interesting to consider that at the same time, the ProCo engine was under development- which was roughly Ford's version of the Honda CVCC.  It died, too.

Tony Sestito
Tony Sestito PowerDork
9/4/18 4:19 p.m.

One of my favorite "what if's" is this one: 

What if GM Corporate let Pontiac build the 1982 Trans Am as intended with an updated Turbo 301? 

Pontiac had every intention of improving on the much maligned Turbo 301 they had been installing in the 1980-81 Trans Am, and planned on plopping it in the 3rd Gen cars. If you squint hard enough at the offset bump on the hood in the picture, it even says "Turbo T/A" on this design prototype. 

GM pulled the plug at the last minute in typical bean-counting GM style, and all the final product got was the offset "turbo bump" hood. If it wasn't for a certain TV show starring a curly haired man worshipped by the Germans, people would not give a crap about the early 3rd Gen Trans Am at all. 

You know how everyone loves the Grand National? Imagine that, but with two more cylinders and in a lighter, widely produced, better handling chassis. We all have bad memories of the Turbo 301, but consider this: the early carbed Turbo 3.8 V6's in many Buicks (and a handful of early G-Body Monte Carlos) were crap, too. Pontiac had already started upgrading the 301 with better parts, and likely would have joined the multiport EFI party with the Turbo 301.

Cool, EFI turbo V8 radmobiles with sweet pop-up headlights could have been available to all of us for less than Challenge money today if GM made the right move back then. sad

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
9/4/18 9:08 p.m.

What might have become if Eagle kept making their 4x4 cars into the 90s? And I don't mean the Eclipse with different stickers. 

Javelin
Javelin MegaDork
9/4/18 10:03 p.m.

What if that hill in Hiroshima didn't block the bomb from destroying Mazda?

 

 

No wankel, no RX-7, no Miata, no 3!

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
9/5/18 12:37 a.m.
Stefan said:
Pete Gossett said:
thatsnowinnebago said:

Having recently seen the streamliner exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, what if WW2 hadn't stopped that styling trend so abruptly? Those cars are gorgeous and I can't imagine what they would have evolved into.

Interesting thought. I’m a huge fan of the streamlined/1930’s style too. Though I think in this case it might not be so much that WWII stunted its development vs. the postwar jet/atomic age ushered in the next big thing. 

Wasn't the Beetle part of this styling?  It seemed to continue along quite well following the war.  I suspect the Atomic/Jet age was what really ushered in a lot of changes and yes without WWII many of these changes and advancements wouldn't have happened the way they did.

I guess it was. I was more thinking about the other manufacturers (like Alfa and Talbot-Lago) whose manufacturing was almost totally destroyed during the war. Seemed like every European car's sign at the exhibit said something like "production was halted in 1937 (or so) and never restarted."

RossD
RossD MegaDork
9/5/18 9:59 a.m.

What if the crash of 2008 never happened? Would we have the Aussie Ford Falcon with a DOHC inline 6 on our shores? Would Ford still own Jag and Aston Martin too?

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
9/5/18 10:19 a.m.

What if Alfa had never been bought by Fiat?

 

(be still my beating heart)

pushrod36
pushrod36 Reader
9/5/18 10:26 a.m.
RossD said:

What if the crash of 2008 never happened? Would we have the Aussie Ford Falcon with a DOHC inline 6 on our shores? Would Ford still own Jag and Aston Martin too?

I was thinking about this one last night.  I know Acura had a line-up planned very different from what you see now; I imagine others were the same. 

We also would not have had cash-for-clunkers dry up the supply of super cheap used cars.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/5/18 11:47 a.m.
RossD said:

What if the crash of 2008 never happened? Would we have the Aussie Ford Falcon with a DOHC inline 6 on our shores? Would Ford still own Jag and Aston Martin too?

FWIW, the sale of those two lines had nothing to do with the crash.  That was all the result of really bad management, mostly by one person, IMHO.

The Falcon issue was more about laws changing in Australia.  And given trends, I really don't see the I6 surviving when there are very capable V6's that fits in more places.    

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/5/18 11:47 a.m.
Hungary Bill said:

What if Alfa had never been bought by Fiat?

 

(be still my beating heart)

Then Ford would have gotten Alfa.  And NOT gotten Aston Martin or Jag.  Which would have shaped things considerably.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
9/5/18 11:51 a.m.
pushrod36 said:
RossD said:

What if the crash of 2008 never happened? Would we have the Aussie Ford Falcon with a DOHC inline 6 on our shores? Would Ford still own Jag and Aston Martin too?

I was thinking about this one last night.  I know Acura had a line-up planned very different from what you see now; I imagine others were the same. 

We also would not have had cash-for-clunkers dry up the supply of super cheap used cars.

Do you really think that 650k cars actually had an impact when 12M new cars are sold every year?  I'm not sure why people think that so few cars would have had any real impact on the used car market.  There was far more impact on the fact that fewer people were buying new cars, which meant there were fewer used cars.  The delta in new car sales was quite a bit bigger than the cars taken off the road via CfC.

red_stapler
red_stapler Dork
9/5/18 1:14 p.m.

30 years from now we’re still going to be hearing about how you can’t buy a $500 Miata anymore because of Cash 4 Clunkers.  

oldopelguy
oldopelguy UberDork
9/5/18 2:59 p.m.

What if Vauxhalls had been sold by Buick dealerships and Opels by Pontiac instead of the other way around? Would Opels have been better embraced as sporty and sold better?

What if the aluminum engine in the Vega had been a resounding success? Would we have even bothered with imports?

What if Ford had redesigned the gas tank on the Pinto? Would the Mustang 2 have been replaced by the Fox body or would there have been a next generation of the Pinto chassis?

What if the Dodge D100 and International Scouts with Japanese diesels had come with turbochargers? What if the Caddy/Olds v8 Diesels had been successful?

What if the Fiero had lived on long enough to take the '88 refinements and mate them to the Quad-4 engine? Or turbocharged Quad-4? Or Ecotec turbo?

What if the 5.3L LS motor Grand Prix had been available with a quality manual transmission?

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
9/5/18 8:31 p.m.

Mazda Furai

 

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
9/6/18 5:31 a.m.

He's been mentioned already, but I like this picture.

Ayerton Senna, what if:

 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt PowerDork
9/6/18 7:23 a.m.

Here's another great what-if from the motorcycle world: The Harley-Davidson "Nova" liquid cooled Porsche motors. Back in the AMF days, Harley-Davidson set about an ambitious project to out-Japanese the Japanese, and release a set of high tech V-twin, V4, and V6 motors on a chassis that was every bit as big a departure from their conventional designs.

However, when AMF sold Harley-Davidson, the new owners had the resources to get either the Nova bikes or the Evolution motor across the goal line, but not both. And they went with the Evolution. Had Harley continued down the Nova path, would we see wild V6 Harleys going toe-to-toe with the top Japanese sport bikes?

Hungary Bill
Hungary Bill PowerDork
9/6/18 9:07 a.m.

What if Alfa had gone with the Giulia quadrofoglio wagon instead of the SUV

 

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
9/6/18 9:10 a.m.

what if we actulaly got the cross lander.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_Lander_244X

NickD
NickD UberDork
9/6/18 11:42 a.m.

What if Chevrolet hadn't turned down Carroll Shelby? When he came up with the idea of jamming American V8s into AC Ace chassis, he actually approached Chevrolet first, to use the small block. But they already had their own sports car and they weren't about to undermine that program, after the Corvette was really gaining momentum. 

If they hadn't turned him down though, would we have seen Cobras with Rochester-injected 327s instead of Weber-carbureted 289s and 409 2x4s instead of 427 side-oilers? Would the Z/28 Camaro have been replaced with a Camaro GT350? Would there have been Camaro GT500KRs with L88 or ZL1 power? Would the Corvette have withered and died?

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