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 Post subject: Why I drive An Old Car...An Old Japanese Car...Pics
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: Houston
Because new cars even ones pushing $40,000 ALL look the same..as exciting to look at as a bar of soap:

Why do all these cars look the same, have designers lost their imagination to produce unique good looking cars that people want to own and drive?
Case 1: New E Class Benz:
Image

Case 2: Current A6 Audi:
Image

Case 3: Current Hyundai Sonata:
Image

Case 4: New Camry:
Image

Ironically the Sonata has been in production longer than the A6 and the new E-Class so the Europeans are now copying the Koreans. Time have changed!

I shake my head....
Yasin


Last edited by slownrusty on Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Haha, good point. I've all but stopped paying attention to newer cars. I have more important things to memorize than a bunch of alphanumeric model names.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:02 pm 
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Location: southern Oklahoma
I actually bought my Datsun so that I could drive it back to work and not wear out my '64 Fairlane.

After I bought the Datsun though I decided I really liked it and, after rebuilding the front end, I just couldn't bring myself to subject it to the rigors of my almost forty mile daily commute so I picked up a $250 '96 Grand Prix hoopty to use as a beater.

After I bought the Pontiac the wife started noticing some flaws in it:

wife: "Hey the passenger side window doesn't roll down!".

me: "nope. that door is completely gutted - that window has a chunk of 2x4 jammed under it to keep it up."

wife: "you gonna fix that!?!"

me: "ya don't fix hoopties dear".

:lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Why I drive An Old Car...An Old Japanese Car...Pics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:36 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:50 pm
Posts: 34
Location: Newfoundland,Canada
slownrusty wrote:
Because new cars even ones pushing $40,000 ALL look the same..as exciting to look at as a bar of soap:


Not all of them.....
Image

Image

Image
Love it or hate it......there is no confusing an EVO with anything else....wings,flairs,vents.......


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:55 pm 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
Here's the 2005 Lexus GS:
Image

And the 2009 Jag XF:
Image

...oh wait a sec...maybe it's the other way around...

I just like the notion that Japanese manufacturers used to be accused of being copycats when today it's clearly the other way around.

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 Post subject: Re: Why I drive An Old Car...An Old Japanese Car...Pics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:51 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
Posts: 393
Location: Midwest, USA
paulneartarga wrote:
slownrusty wrote:
Because new cars even ones pushing $40,000 ALL look the same..as exciting to look at as a bar of soap:


Not all of them.....

Image

Love it or hate it......there is no confusing an EVO with anything else....wings,flairs,vents.......


And you can't confuse the Evo with anything that could be defined as beautiful.

Yesterday, I stared at an Evo going past, and I thought "That looks like one of those yard signs of the fat, old woman bending over and working on the lawn".
Image

The last two generations of Lancer and the current generation of Impreza prove the statement "I can forgive a lot of ugliness if it goes like spit, and thankfully it goes like spit, because there is a lot of ugliness to forgive."


Then I stared at a new Nissan Altima. It looked more like a giant boulder, half buried in the ground, than a car.

The history teacher drummed it into our heads that every stylistic trend or artistic movement has three phases. It starts out sort of primitive and unsure and has to find itself (proto). Then they get it down tight and perfect it (high style). And finally, they overdo it and run it into the ground (flamboyant or gaudy).
If we trace the sporty three door coupe or hatch back, it starts out with light weight cars in the 1970's (proto), then they got porky with luxury features in the 80's (high style), and finally morbidly overweight in the 90's (the end of the trend).
The current aesthetic for car styling is coming to a similar close. It started with the last generation Supra, which was described in great detail as owing much of its design to the study of the shape of a lump of clay inside a latex balloon. That Altima looked exactly like that clay filled balloon. A big lump.

Cars used to look light, dynamic, like land bound rocket ships. Not any more. Now it's a world full of big boulders and clay filled balloons.

There is an old philosophy question:
"What happens when an irresistible/unstoppable force meets an immovable object?"
Well, we used to drive around in cars that looked like the unstoppable force. Now all they sell are cars that look like the immovable object.


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 Post subject: Re: Why I drive An Old Car...An Old Japanese Car...Pics
PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 6:16 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:50 pm
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Location: Newfoundland,Canada
JT191 wrote:
And you can't confuse the Evo with anything that could be defined as beautiful.
Yesterday, I stared at an Evo going past, and I thought "That looks like one of those yard signs of the fat, old woman bending over and working on the lawn".
The last two generations of Lancer and the current generation of Impreza prove the statement "I can forgive a lot of ugliness if it goes like spit, and thankfully it goes like spit, because there is a lot of ugliness to forgive."


:lol: Like I said......love or hate...... :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:00 am 
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kev wrote:
Here's the 2005 Lexus GS...


Well played, kev... well played. :)

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How I long for a shit brown wagon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:22 am 
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Aerodynamic cars SUCK, I prefer squarer 80s cars. Blame the 86 Taurus for that ugly trend. :roll:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:14 pm 
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ben wrote:
Haha, good point. I've all but stopped paying attention to newer cars. I have more important things to memorize than a bunch of alphanumeric model names.

True, I have a hard enough time trying to memorize alphanumeric chassis codes like KPGC10, TA22, S30, AE86, MS75, TE27...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 08, 2009 12:28 am 
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that's why you see so many of my typos on the blog :)

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How I long for a shit brown wagon.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:34 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:10 am
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I guess car design need to evolve due to emission regulation, safety consideration, efficiency concerns, etc.

About the look of cars, designer sometimes got "lost" while trying hard finding the identity of a car. Even Ferari and Meserati loose their touch sometimes with the car design...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:04 am 
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KenH wrote:
I guess car design need to evolve due to emission regulation, safety consideration, efficiency concerns, etc.


exactly. and that's why we have the "upside-down bathtub" school of styling
tall roofs, tall doors, and small windows. extreme case are that ugly mercedes sedan, new camaro etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:55 pm 
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Anybody else notice this one?
Image

Image

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 7:41 pm 
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I'm not going to lie that new Kia does not look too bad.

All I know is the Hyundia Genesis looks like a smiling cat to me.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 8:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:13 am
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Location: New Zealand
Modern cars have a LOT more design constraints than they once did.

It used to be pretty much "plonk in an engine, gearbox, diff, suspension in a metal box and make it look pretty"

Now there's crash structures, safety ratings, a NEED for aerodynamics in order to get competitive fuel efficiency or top speed, and so many other variables and requirements which narrow the possible scope of how a car can look... I guess the need for an aerodynamic bodyshell is the biggest inhibitor of variations to shape.

It's not really possible to make a car that looks like an anglia anymore, even if anyone wanted to...

Some styling cues, both for good and bad just arent really practical to have anymore.

Or even physical constraints, a lot of manufacturers have moved away from straight six engines, simply because they're too hard/impossible to make safe enough to get particular safety ratings compared to a more compact V6.

In saying this, I think many of the new cars are needlessly ugly, I think (as an example) the LFA and/or 370Z both look more horrible than they should. :?

Although I guess as enthusiasts we have rose tinted glasses when it comes to old cars, a lot of people couldnt tell an old mitsi from an old toyota from any other old jap car of similar vintage... We remember the cool ones, but there was a lot of bland junk back then too. (In standard form, IMO my car would come under the 'bland junk' category)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 9:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
roman wrote:
Now there's crash structures, safety ratings, a NEED for aerodynamics in order to get competitive fuel efficiency or top speed, and so many other variables and requirements which narrow the possible scope of how a car can look... I guess the need for an aerodynamic bodyshell is the biggest inhibitor of variations to shape.


Crash safety structures are designed into the frame channels well beneath the skin of the vehicle.

Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang, all have retro styled bodies, which are distinctly not aerodynamic in appearance. Most of the grille surfaces of these vehicles look like giant parachutes formed into the front.

Several cars have gone to forward swept noses, most notably the Lancer, all of the Tentacle Manga restyled Mazdas (Mazda3, Miata, etc.), and the Toyota/Subaru coupe that, as of this week, is still planned for production. Forward swept surfaces are not aerodynamic.

Most of the actual aerodynamics seem to be centered around more tightly fitting body seems and rounded windshield and roof forms.
Aerodynamics is not overly influential on the form of what they make or we would all be driving tear drop shaped cars. They pick a shape and then wind tunnel it to shave off anything that causes too much drag, but they maintain the overall shape they chose.

Fuel efficiency is clearly not a factor because cars have not been getting more fuel efficient. (What's the fuel economy of a 1970's import vs. today's offerings? Why does my 1989 box get better fuel economy than anything that Ford, Chrysler, or GM is selling?)

Given those examples, the only thing driving the appearance of cars is the styling that the car makers (specifically the people approving and disapproving the designs) think that the public will buy. It's pretty clear that the public do not want small, light weight cars with good handling and enough power to make them fun to drive. Based on what they sell, and knowing that they only make what they know they can sell, the public wants a lazy boy recliner for a driver's seat, with a bunch of big cup holders, surround sound, a cell phone, and if they could get away with a big screen TV in the dash, they would do that too.

The dismal appearance of the outside of the car that follows the dismal equipment that went into it, is not very surprising.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:57 pm 

Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:13 am
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JT191 wrote:
Crash safety structures are designed into the frame channels well beneath the skin of the vehicle.


Small cars are the most affected by crashes, have the poorest safety ratings. I am sure that there are a tonne of constraints as to the range of possible designs, when it comes to a small car with an excellent safety rating.

Quote:
Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang, all have retro styled bodies, which are distinctly not aerodynamic in appearance. Most of the grille surfaces of these vehicles look like giant parachutes formed into the front.


Grill surfaces are irrelevant in shape, if they're a grill then air flows through them anyway?

According to wiki, a fair improvement in aerodynamics has been made from the old mustang to the new... The 70s mustang had a CD of .44 or .46 (coupe or fastback), where as the 1999 model has a CD of .36.

Quite a difference, given the similar body styles. Even though it's still not an overly impressive figure that they've ended up with, I guess.
I'd wager it's not by chance that it's improved that much however.

As it also states in the wiki:

Quote:
The drag coefficient is a common metric in automotive design, where designers strive to achieve a low coefficient. Minimizing drag is done to improve fuel efficiency at highway speeds, where aerodynamic effects represent a substantial fraction of the energy needed to keep the car moving. Indeed, aerodynamic drag increases as the square of speed. Aerodynamics are also of increasing concern to truck designers, where a lower drag coefficient translates directly into lower fuel costs.

About 60% of the power required to cruise at highway speeds is taken up overcoming air drag, and this increases very quickly at high speed. Therefore, a vehicle with substantially better aerodynamics will be much more fuel efficient.


A 20% improvement on 60% of the gas consumption at highway speeds is worth doing something about for the manufacturers.

A Toyota prius has a stupidly good CD of .25, for this reason.

Looking at the list on the wiki page, there's a general correlation between a lower CD for all types of vehicles, and how new they are.

As I've said, even if someone wanted to make a distinctive old car like an Anglia or a Hillman Imp anymore, they couldnt feasibly do it.

Quote:
Several cars have gone to forward swept noses, most notably the Lancer, all of the Tentacle Manga restyled Mazdas (Mazda3, Miata, etc.)


:lol:
Quote:
and the Toyota/Subaru coupe that, as of this week, is still planned for production. Forward swept surfaces are not aerodynamic.


A 2010 Mazda 3 has a rather impressive CD of .29, not bad if they're not bothering trying to be aerodynamic at all.

Quote:
Fuel efficiency is clearly not a factor because cars have not been getting more fuel efficient. (What's the fuel economy of a 1970's import vs. today's offerings? Why does my 1989 box get better fuel economy than anything that Ford, Chrysler, or GM is selling?)


Because modern cars arent allowed to just be tin cans anymore.
They have to have airbags, crash structures, side intrusion, blah blah.
There's no doubt in my mind that a modern economy oriented small car will be significantly more fuel efficient than nearly anything from the 80s or early 90s.
(Which is not to say that it's more cost effective over the long run, given the massive increase in purchase price of the car)

Quote:
Given those examples, the only thing driving the appearance of cars is the styling that the car makers (specifically the people approving and disapproving the designs) think that the public will buy. It's pretty clear that the public do not want small, light weight cars with good handling and enough power to make them fun to drive.


Sadly I agree, this pretty much seems to be the case. :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:01 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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roman wrote:
Small cars are the most affected by crashes, have the poorest safety ratings. I am sure that there are a tonne of constraints as to the range of possible designs, when it comes to a small car with an excellent safety rating.

The Smart car has one of the highest crash ratings recorded and is the smallest on the road. The Insurance Institute tests are continually proving that size of vehicle (and price of vehicle) is not related to crash safety performance.
http://www.iihs.org/brochures/pdf/sfsc.pdf
Quote:
You can't tell the difference by looking at the vehicles. You need to compare their crash test results


roman wrote:
Grill surfaces are irrelevant in shape, if they're a grill then air flows through them anyway?

I should have used the term "nose", instead of "grille", my fault for using salvage yard terminology.
However, a grille only allows air to flow through it if the black textured panel has those tiny little holes to allow air through. Most of todays cars are covered with solid black plastic inserts which have no holes or openings of any kind, yet have a texture to make people think they are functional vents. These faux vents are cup shaped and catch air. The front of the Mazda3 mentioned has two large faux vent panels, one on each side of the front bumper.
25% or more of the blacked out plastic area on the retro Camaro, Challenger, and Mustang is faux, solid, and does not allow any air to pass through it.

roman wrote:
According to wiki, a fair improvement in aerodynamics has been made from the old mustang to the new... The 70s mustang had a CD of .44 or .46 (coupe or fastback), where as the 1999 model has a CD of .36.

The 1988-89 Piazza has a CD of .33. This was an improvement from .36 in the previous models. Based on that progression, the 1999 Mustang should have been .28, and the current crop of cars should be .20 as an overall average (some a little more and some a little less).
I'll say it again, cars as a whole are not getting significantly more aerodynamic. There are exceptions, but with the exception of the Prius and maybe the Insight, air flow over the car is not the driving force behind the resulting shape of the vehicle.
Car makers are picking a form and using the small details to improve the aerodynamics of their predetermined form to an acceptable level. And they have proven they can do that with a retro design, even if that acceptable level is only to a 1980's aerodynamic level. If air flow were the primary concern, we should have seen much lower drag production cars long ago. Just like if fuel economy were a primary concern, we should have seen a drastic leap from the 1970's carburetor fuel economy, and that 1970's level is what the car makers are only now approaching again.

roman wrote:
Because modern cars arent allowed to just be tin cans anymore.
They have to have airbags, crash structures, side intrusion, blah blah.

All of these things are well beneath the skin of the car, most are several inches behind interior and exterior panels. These things do not influence the appearance of the exterior skin or interior skin of the vehicle.


Fuel efficiency would be better addressed through weight reduction and the use of lighter weight materials. 1970's economy cars weighed 2,000 pounds and were made of steel. 2010 economy cars weigh 3,500+ pounds and are made of plastic. You can't tell me that 10 MPH bumper beams and side impact beams weigh 1,500 pounds. What has changed is that people now expect their driving experience to be the same as if they were sitting on a sofa in their family room in front of their television. They don't want to hear the engine, or hear the other driver's horn, or feel the engine or road surface. They must not have to strain to reach their beverage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:26 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
Posts: 393
Location: Midwest, USA
I wanted to follow up with some IIHS examples of larger cars that did not perform well in crash tests:

2003 Mercedes E Class - Poor
2003 Saab 9-3 - Marginal
2003 Infiniti G35 - Poor
2004 Toyota Sienna Minivan - Marginal
2004 Nissan Quest - Poor
1996-98 Jeep Grand Cherokee - Marginal
1997-2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport - Poor
1996-97 Isuzu Rodeo - Poor

The 2008 Nissan Quest was named "Worst Performer" in IIHS testing.
2008 BMW 5 Series received the lowest side impact rating of any vehicle tested that year.

Among the top ten worst for 2010 are the Mercedes CLS (#4), Suzuki Forenza (#5), Dodge Charger (#7), and Suzuki Reno (#10).
And the 2010 Best list does not include Suburban, Escalade, Hummer, or any of the extremely large vehicles. In fact, Solstice is #2 on the Best list, and Miata is #5 on the Best list.


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