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Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 11:05 a.m.
Chris_V said:

I'm a gonna ask you again, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like an Aston, Malibu, Golf, MINI Cooper, Volt or Miata? Answer that instead of your bullE36 M3. I already said CARS OF EACH CATEGORY IN EACH ERA SHARE STYLING CUES. But none of those sedans are the same any more than any '50s or '60s sedan is identical to each other. BUT there are more differences between the sedans you posted than between a '50s Dodge, Chevy, and Ford sedan, where you have to look at and KNOW the grilles and taillights to make the identification.

 

No, I'm not going to tell you that a Telluride looks like a CRV.

You're dealing in absolutes.  We're talking generally.  No one here is saying that a Kia Rio looks exactly like a Chevy Silverado.

As a designer myself, I don't find any propriety or greatness in a vehicle design if I have to memorize the grille to tell the difference at a glance between a Honda and a Toyota.  In the 50s and 60s, you could tell the difference between different option packages of the same exact model by looking at the grille.

My gripe is that they are all looking the same.  Not just styling cues like fins or a rounded fender, you have to actually LOOK to tell the difference.  In the 50s/60s/70s, classic car buffs can ID a car before they actually focus on it.

Manufacturers had individuality and flair.  They took chances.  Now they all make jellybeans that look a lot more alike than they are different.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 11:08 a.m.

I'm a gonna ask you again, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like an Aston, Malibu, Golf, MINI Cooper, Volt or Miata?

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 11:09 a.m.
Chris_V said:

I'm a gonna ask you again, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like an Aston, Malibu, Golf, MINI Cooper, Volt or Miata?

Holy carp dude... I just DID.  NO.

Re read my last post.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 11:14 a.m.

Edited to expand on my point:

I'm not talking about Astons, minis, and miatas.  I'm talking about (as you pointed out) "most cars of an era."  I don't think you're being fair.  You pointed out the Biscayne and the Custom from the 60s as being "most cars" but then your list of modern cars includes cars that cost twice as much as my house.  Apples to apples.  If you're going to compare a cheap chevy to a cheap ford, at least compare the same appliances today.

Newer cars have little but a badge to differentiate them from a design perspective.  I find it to be egregiously uninspiring to the point of plagarism.  When I buy a car, I buy it partly because of it's style.  If I had to choose one of the cars below (which I wouldn't) I would be basing it solely on things like reliability, options, interior comfort... but not style, because all three of them are the same basic design.

Can you tell me with a straight face that these three don't look ridiculously similar?

Camry

2015 Toyota Camry Specs, Price, MPG & Reviews | Cars.com

Accord

2015 Honda Accord Sedan 4D EX-L V6 Pictures, Pricing and Information -  NADAguides.com

Legacy

Wheels for 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/27/21 11:29 a.m.

In reply to APEowner :

Yes, we are drawn to different but it goes a bit deeper than that. When I take the Datsun to PCA track days people who've never seen the car on track before are gobsmacked by how much the car moves around on the tires.

I always go back to Moss driving an Audi touring car and Brundle taking about Moss wanting to drift the car but that didn't work. Again the driving style is completely different from old cars to new cars. 

I too enjoy new cars, just not as much as old ones. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 11:33 a.m.

These two (to me) have thousands of things unique to each one.  The newer appliances like Camrys and Accords have thousands more things in COMMON than they do unique.  These two cars are vastly different from a design perspective.  Design CUES? yes.  But instantly identifiable by nothing more than a glance.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 PowerDork
5/27/21 12:32 p.m.

It's pretty simple. Classic cars have character and nostalgia. They also have sentimental value to some of us and can be quite simple to work on. 

Modern cars are numb, complicated, and tend to have expiration dates. 

Boost_Crazy
Boost_Crazy Dork
5/27/21 3:59 p.m.

I think a lot of the difference in feel between an old car and new boils down to weight and sight lines. Weight can be mostly offset with bigger, better tires and brakes, better suspensions, stiffer chassis, and more power. But sight lines can't really be fixed. I love the feel of 80's and 90's cars that had large greenhouses that have gone away. It lends a very different driving feel. It also lends a very different feel in an accident or when one hits you in a crosswalk, so probably not coming back. 
 

As for cars looking similar, cars have always looked similar from era to eta as pointed out. When one manufacturer starts a trend, others jump on, whether Caddy fins in the 50's or Audi grills in the '2000's. The difference now is that there are a lot less car models in each line, and each model has much fewer versions. In the 60's to 80's, a manufacturers had their bread and butter cars and their crapshoot odd balls, that we now look back on affectionately. You rarely see those now that lines are pared down. And the few cars that manufacturers do make now often share common design languages, further reducing the chance of a standout design. That said, there are still some really good looking "boring" cars. I don't see how anyone could confuse a new Camry or Malibu with an Accord or Mazda 6. 

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/27/21 4:45 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:
Chris_V said:

I'm a gonna ask you again, can you tell me with a straight face that a CRV or Telluride looks like an Aston, Malibu, Golf, MINI Cooper, Volt or Miata?

Holy carp dude... I just DID.  NO.

Re read my last post.

Holy crap dude, your response hadn't posted when I was typing mine. Re read MY posts..

My gripe is that they are all looking the same.  Not just styling cues like fins or a rounded fender, you have to actually LOOK to tell the difference.  In the 50s/60s/70s, classic car buffs can ID a car before they actually focus on it.

your key phrase is "classic car buffs." You know the difference in cars you are INTERESTED in, but fail to see the similarities. Modern car fans (and I see a lot of them on the web) can't tell the difference between classic cars at a glance or even when focusing on them. I see a lot of people on, say V.I.S.I.T. that post a pic of an old car and say things like "some old American car, I can't tell the difference" or just "can you id this car for me?" I grew up identifying old cars when I was young in the '60s and '70s. BUT I can ALSO tell the difference between the cars you posted at a glance. Why? Because there are MORE differences than even the old cars had.

The problem I have is when people like you say "they are STARTING to look the same." I've been hearing that same crap from people stuck in the past for the last 20 years! The truth is, they've ALWAYS looked that similar given a similar role/category in EVERY era. Look at that picture of the sedans from 1939. Again, the small pictures I posted of a small area of a car would be INSTANTLY recognized by you as to the era each was from, even if you couldn't ID the actual car. Shared styling cues from their eras.

That Camry and Accord and Legacy you posted are similar, yes, due to all being 4 door sedans with 4 wheels and white. But if you saw them in the flesh you could NOT mistake them for each other unless you were legally blind. I know what they all are without even having the names posted. Why? Because there are a LOT of differences. And as an industrial designer and graphic artist, it's EASY to tell the difference.

As to the Malibu and Galaxie I posted, the reason was to counter the idea that all the cars of the 50s and '60s were somehow these beautiful exciting cars. MOST were just boring staid sedans. And I stand by that statement. Yes, there were beautiful cars in the '50s and '60s (my favorite car of all time is the '63-64 250 Berlinetta Lusso) just like there are beautiful cars NOW. And cars like my MINI do NOT cost more than a house and yet it's completely different than a Camry.

 

Here's a better example of '60s cars that looked ridiculously similar (that no one but fans of the era could tell apart at a glance):

To a non classic car buff, these three share more than they differ. Yes the details are different, like modern cars, but the basics are all the same.

Hell, let's add the same era Japanese car into the mix:

All these cars are from 1962 and all share design cues. Even compact cars aped the styling of the intermediates and full size. Quad headlamps, large grilles that spanned the headlights (we talk about large grilles now, but cars used to have such large grillework that the headlights could be fully contained IN the grilles and still be at the outer edge), similar door frames and side window graphics, chrome bumpers, etc. You know what they are from the details, not from the ridiculously similar forms.

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 6:52 p.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

Were there cars that have always copied other cars?  Sure.  

But one maker that wasn't was Alfa.  Even though the Spider, GT and sedan all were the same platform, they were distinct from other cars in the same class.  That was true for the Alfettas, the Milanos, and even with 164s- although the latter was getting pretty close to other cars.

Now though- from the front wheels back, the Giulias are the same sedans as everything else.  I expect more from them.

Funny side story- we were in a big all hands meeting for all of Research, and they were showing us the new Fusion and MKC.  I was sitting in the back row, and honestly could not tell them apart, as I could not see the nose.  This was after being promised that the Lincolns were going to be different than Fords.  I was honest with the VP's after the meeting of my observation, and they were not happy.

Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong.  I'm ok with that- but for the brand of cars that I keep an eye on, between the Stelvio and Giulia- there's nothing really unique about either relative to the rest of the market.  

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/21 8:07 p.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

I don't specifically disagree with the fact that some older cars had some similarities, but what I'm talking about with the Camry/Accord/Legacy is the specific similarities, especially in the headlights, taillights, and even the body creases.  I still contend that if you fed the pictures of the Cam-cord-acy into a computer it would show a far higher percentage of similarity than plugging in similar photos of a Dodge 880, a Ford Galaxie, and a Chevy BelAir.

We're approaching it from two different viewpoints so I doubt we'll agree (which is cool, still love ya), but I'm speaking not from a platform of car buff or vehicular encyclopedia, I'm talking empirical, data-based, factual differences in sheet metal, trim, bumpers, glass, etc.  I would wager a lot of nickels that if you plugged into a computer the front/rear/profile drawings that compared 60s cars, and did the same thing for the 2015 Cam-cord-acy trio I posted above, the computer would show far greater differences between the 60s cars.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
5/27/21 8:29 p.m.

 

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
5/27/21 8:34 p.m.

You've probably noticed one vehicle that changes it's looks almost every year: New Silverados. It's like the muscle car days where even if the whole platform didn't change the cars still looked different each year. That's getting the target demo for the Silverado that remembers when the looks of the Old Muscle changed yearly all worked up just like back then.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/28/21 3:59 p.m.
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to Chris_V :

I don't specifically disagree with the fact that some older cars had some similarities, but what I'm talking about with the Camry/Accord/Legacy is the specific similarities, especially in the headlights, taillights, and even the body creases.  I still contend that if you fed the pictures of the Cam-cord-acy into a computer it would show a far higher percentage of similarity than plugging in similar photos of a Dodge 880, a Ford Galaxie, and a Chevy BelAir.

We're approaching it from two different viewpoints so I doubt we'll agree (which is cool, still love ya), but I'm speaking not from a platform of car buff or vehicular encyclopedia, I'm talking empirical, data-based, factual differences in sheet metal, trim, bumpers, glass, etc.  I would wager a lot of nickels that if you plugged into a computer the front/rear/profile drawings that compared 60s cars, and did the same thing for the 2015 Cam-cord-acy trio I posted above, the computer would show far greater differences between the 60s cars.

Ok, Im going back to a random pairing of two of the white sedans you posted earlier. Say, the Cruze and Lexus.

If you can confuse those two just because they are 4 door sedans in white, then I question your ability as a designer. wink

Let's go to the SUVs:

There are vastly more differences there than similarities. These are all current model versions, and there are MORE differences than in those '60s cars I posted. if you think they look the same because they are 2 box 4 door SUVs with 4 wheels, then you're just being hypocritical.

I say most of you are being hypocritical about this. You say that '50s and '60s cars differ in the details and you focus on those (grilles, side trim, taillights) to tell them apart, ignoring the myriad of similarities (like the fact that they used the same round headlights, had similar side window graphics, rooflines, overhangs, the basic 3 box form, etc) and then turn around and ignore the differences in modern cars to say that it's the overall form that makes them the same.

Even if we discuss JUST modern 2 box vehicles, a MINI is different looking than a Golf, which is different looking than a Veloster, which is different looking than a Soul, which is different looking than a Renegade, which is different looking than a Evoque, etc. This crap about them all being computer generated to be the same is crap. Could you make a generic modern car doing that? Of course. But you could make a generic '50s, '60s, or '70s car doing that, too. Like the wagon from Paranorman:

Late '70s to early '80s generic wagon. How do we know it's not a modern car or a '50s/60s car? Shared styling cues of that era.

The basic thing is, most of you simply stopped paying attention to the cars at a certain point, so only have the basic layout of new cars to go by: a sedan is a sedan, and SUV is an SUV, etc. Everything else is beyond your comprehension. Yet at the same time, you'd say a '53 Buick sedan and '53 Chevy sedan are COMPLETELY different, even though it's really only grille, side trim and taillights that are different.

Chris_V
Chris_V UberDork
5/28/21 4:16 p.m.
alfadriver said:

In reply to Chris_V :

Funny side story- we were in a big all hands meeting for all of Research, and they were showing us the new Fusion and MKC.  I was sitting in the back row, and honestly could not tell them apart, as I could not see the nose.  This was after being promised that the Lincolns were going to be different than Fords.  I was honest with the VP's after the meeting of my observation, and they were not happy.

Go ahead and tell me I'm wrong.  I'm ok with that- but for the brand of cars that I keep an eye on, between the Stelvio and Giulia- there's nothing really unique about either relative to the rest of the market.  

Fusion and MKC?

 

I think you've already stopped paying attention. What you probably meant to say is the MKZ. Yes, the first gen of each was very much slightly similar because it was in fact the same car.

Platform sharing is a completely different issue, however, than saying that a 2011 Cruze and a 2011 Lexus LS are the same car because your graphic scaled them to the same size, painted them the same color, and turned them sideways. cheeky

 

alfadriver
alfadriver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/28/21 6:08 p.m.

In reply to Chris_V :

MK whatever.  I've always hated those names.  And it was the second gen of both, after we were told the cars would look different- sort of like the Flex and MKT (I think).  I saw some early pictures of the T and it was identical to the Flex other than the nose- so the solution to separate them is the uuber ugly MKT.  They went back to copying more.

wspohn
wspohn SuperDork
5/29/21 12:32 p.m.

Hmm - wonder what this was a copy of.....(there are still some cars that don't look like cookie cutter jobs)

 

OTOH, unless you are a fan of Predator movies, some modern cars go too far trying to stand out!

 

eastpark
eastpark HalfDork
5/29/21 1:57 p.m.

Yes, I often say that Lexus is trying too hard to be a '61 Plymouth Fury. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 SuperDork
5/29/21 2:30 p.m.

Styling debate aside I like older things in general. Steam locomotives, Bi-planes and two stroke motorcycles. So it's not  A shock I.like older cars as well.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb SuperDork
5/30/21 12:10 a.m.

They make you feel cool. My 65 mustang didn't do anything as well as a new accord, and if I test drove a new car that drove like a 60s car I would call it a POS. But I felt cool when I drove the mustang. It's that simple.

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