19 January, 2007

Style counsel

Retro design. Lazy hack styling or a shrewd way to capitalise on a nostalgic market? Possibly both. It can cover everything from a subtle nod to the cognoscenti - with the placement of a styling cue harking back to a classic model, to the Ford GT's wholesale reproduction of the GT40, and all points in between.

Whatever, it appears to be here for the long haul, so until the stylists over at Dearborn MA, Milan and Tokyo are banned from using the photocopier here are a couple of styling features I'd like to see back.

High-profile tyres. Yeah baby. Let the chavs fit rubber bands to their 20inch alloys - that look is over. Nothing says muscle like a 20' rim with another generous 6' of sidewall to go. I'm talking De Tomaso, old school Vantage and Cobra. When you need comfortable ride to destroy a continent.

Black louvred rear windows. Ouch, feel the cool. All manner of US iron and sharp-suited euro sportscars rocked this look . Mark 1 Esprit and Lancia Stratos knew the story.

Nothing said sportscar in the seventies as much as a pop-up headlight, let's erase the memory of the TR7 and it's woeful electrics that often left it looking like a boss-eyed hound (it was). Eight track optional.

Don't get me started on three-spoke drilled steering wheels, yowzah!

5 Step to the white courtesy phone:

Blogger Roo shout your mess

How do you think I feel, I know I have an oft maligned Stag (in that wonderful(?) Triumph Sienna Brown - or shitty/chocolate depending on how you see it), but to add insult to injury it has the Leyland logo hubcaps that are so far removed from naff that I need to invent UberNaff to describe them. If only someone had a spare set of wire wheels lying around in their garage.....

January 19, 2007 1:55 pm

 
Blogger Chris shout your mess

Ah the Stag - so close to getting it right. The best example of what killed the British car industry.

Hmmm, we'd like a V8 powerplant for our smart new sportscar. I say, our sister company is using the Rover V8, you know, the old Buick engine - very light, very powerful. An amazing unit, I gues that's why they've made so many millions of them.

Anyhoo, lets weld two Ital four-banger lumps into a Vee shape shall we?




Gaahhh!

January 20, 2007 10:05 am

 
Blogger Roo shout your mess

Soooo right. Still it has a cigar lighter and fresh air louvres, not vents! Now where did i put my smoking jacket....

January 21, 2007 10:16 am

 
Anonymous Blognor Regis shout your mess

Haven't pop up headlights been banned by the EU?

January 26, 2007 3:44 pm

 
Blogger Chris shout your mess

Not that I'd heard BR, but that's not to say you're wrong.

Interestingly enough (if you're a dull car obsessive) the 70's vogue for pop-ups was in direct response to federal legislation on a minimum height, measured from the road, for headlights - hence low cars like the Esprit getting them.

January 27, 2007 12:04 pm

 

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