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Thread: Why do cars all look alike?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    My pet peeve is more around color choices...I'm tired of the "50 shades of grey" plus a muted red, etc., that's typical for most vehicles. Why are the creamy non-metallic pleasant shades or bold colors only available on Wranglers and Crostreks, etc.? And what's with the constant leak of offering in some manufacturer's highest trims for a light colored interior. I HATE black interiors. And that's an understatement...
    Yup. My current car ('16 Accord) is a metallic dark-red/burgundy. It's a decent enough color, but not necessarily my first choice. My must-have list started with "light interior", which reduced the number of available color combinations to two.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    My must-have list started with "light interior", which reduced the number of available color combinations to two.
    That right there is a subset of my pet peeve atout colors...limited combinations.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Weber View Post
    ... imagine what a porsche suv should look like but that wasn’t it. ...
    Does this look like a Porsche? Maybe there will be an SUV version too? You should see the Aston Martin entry in this category.

    Quote Originally Posted by Warren Lake View Post
    I like old machines, I like old cars. Never found old stuff to be unreliable.
    Experiences vary.
    I had a '71 Grand Prix (...if that qualifies as 'old'); it required LOTS of shop time (...if that qualifies as 'unreliable'). Everything from points & plugs, timing, carb adjustments, brakes, oil leaks, wheel bearings, .....today, I would return it as a lemon - in a heartbeat.

    I have a 2007 FJ Cruiser since new (170k miles now); it has never even needed brakes (just tires & oil - - oh, and almost forgot, I had to put new CV boots on the front end at ~100k). And it is my off-road beater, not a pavement queen.

    We've come a long way baby. IMHO.

  4. #19
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    I think some of it is automobile design has evolved to what works. People like the functionality of certain styles so they get copied.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Dawson View Post
    Most people just want to fit in. Some people don’t, and more power to that.

    Not everyone wants to drive a Jaguar E-Type, for example.
    The day-to-day living with "Cool" cars can be a bit of a pain too. My '96 Z28 Convertible is a cool car, but as a daily driver...it's low (looking up at the underside of the pickup trucks around here), it has a stiff suspension, its noisy, the doors are freaking long (not great in parking lots), it leaks in the rain (common convertible problem) and did I mention it is low (it can be fun getting in and out of). Under the right conditions its a helluva lot of fun, though.

    John

  6. #21
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    My Mini doesn't look exactly like every other car on the road, one of the things I like about it. It gets decent (>30) gas mileage without identical aerodynamics.

    We're looking for new vehicles, both of ours could use replacing. At least one will probably be a full electric. Which brings me to my newest pet peeve. If you want a Tesla in something other than the hideous white it will cost you an extra thousand bucks. If you want a red one it will cost an extra $2000. Too many MBAs at work figuring out how to maximize profit opportunities.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    That right there is a subset of my pet peeve atout colors...limited combinations.
    A side effect of the demise of "build to order".
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  8. #23
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    Some of the federal safety regulations also affect vehicle design. To me, today’s car designs are a lot better than many of the 1980s designs.

    People complain that today’s vehicles are harder to work on, but they also require a lot less repairs than older vehicles. I worked at a place in the late 80s into the late 90s that was still running old vehicles for 12 days per year. The vehicles probably spent an hour or more in the shop for every hour on the road. A mechanic spent overnights servicing the dozen vehicles. Each vehicle spent at least a week in the shop during the off-season getting worked on. A mechanic checked the vehicles half way through each 16 hour day and had to add oil to all of them.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Which brings me to my newest pet peeve. If you want a Tesla in something other than the hideous white it will cost you an extra thousand bucks. If you want a red one it will cost an extra $2000. Too many MBAs at work figuring out how to maximize profit opportunities.
    Did Tesla change things? It used to be that the default exterior color was black and any other color was an upcharge...white I could enjoy. (I drive two white vehicles now) Black...not in a million years for me. Then again with Tesla, for the most part, the color is the only real option unless you're opting for full autonomous.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #25
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    Neighbor has a Porsche SUV the front end looks like a 1955 Citroen. DS. Those cars were ahead of the times in styling and suspensions. They updated to new body in the 1970's. that is still recognizable as a citroen. Not a CV2.
    Bill D.
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 07-17-2021 at 8:00 PM.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    Some of the federal safety regulations also affect vehicle design. To me, today’s car designs are a lot better than many of the 1980s designs.

    People complain that today’s vehicles are harder to work on, but they also require a lot less repairs than older vehicles. I worked at a place in the late 80s into the late 90s that was still running old vehicles for 12 days per year. The vehicles probably spent an hour or more in the shop for every hour on the road. A mechanic spent overnights servicing the dozen vehicles. Each vehicle spent at least a week in the shop during the off-season getting worked on. A mechanic checked the vehicles half way through each 16 hour day and had to add oil to all of them.
    I'm with Brian. I worked on quite a few old cars and new cars are a LOT better. Maybe a lot is better oil now than we had back then, but they all used oil. If you're old enough you'll remember that people used to check the oil every time they did a fill-up. And it was common to have to add a quart of oil. Do young people even know what a dipstick is?

    Also, if you got a 100,000 miles out of your car, you had a celebration. Few people kept a car beyond 100,000 miles.

    It was a number of things. The cylinders/rings wore and oil would get into the combustion chamber and get burned. But the big problem was wear in the valve guides. Since the intake valve had suction on it, when it wore (and it always wore) oil would be sucked into the cylinder and burned. It was common to see a car start off with a big cloud of (oil based) smoke. You had to have a valve job about every 50,000 miles.

    No, when people found out that I did some restoration on older cars, they would say, "They don't build them like they used to" and I would say "Thank Goodness - they build them a lot better."

    One thing you discover when you restore an old car - when you're finished what you have is an old car.

    Mike

    [And that was only half of it. Water pumps failed on a regular basis, radiators leaked, the hoses to the radiator leaked, mufflers got holes in them, alternators failed, fuel pumps failed, spark plugs had to be replaced on a regular basis, and the vehicle wouldn't reliably start on a cold morning. In an accident, you were more likely to be injured or killed in one of those old cars than in a new car.]

    [And that doesn't include the transmission. The older automatic transmissions were dogs and they failed on a regular basis. There were companies who specialized in transmission repair and today, you rarely see a transmission shop. And almost all cars have automatic transmissions.]
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 07-18-2021 at 2:58 PM.
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  12. #27
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    I think the real reason oil was checked at every fill-up in the real old days was because so much oil was burned.

    My parents had a 1977 Ford LTD II. The engine went out at 85,000 miles. My father put a junkyard engine in it, but my father junked the car at 100,000 miles as it was shutting off on the highway. Not worth fixing.

  13. #28
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    The Porsche SUV can be had w/670 hp and can go 184 mph...
    I get sort of hinky when I do 84 in my wife's Sportage.....

    Anyhow - ironic - this thread - since just the ither day I asked my wife the exact same question - "Why do all the cars look the same"?
    She just told me I was old and can't see or hear anymore so just go back and daydream about the good old days like you always do.

    I downloaded a picture of Irina Meir and stuck it on my laptop as the background - just to get back at her.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #29
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    That was good, Rich... 'almost spit my beloved latté on the keyboard reading it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  15. #30
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    More stringent vehicle occupant safety standards introduced in the last 15 years had as much effect on vehicle design as meeting fuel economy standards. It started with raising the compliance test speed from 30mph to 35mph - an increase in energy load of 36% which changed how designers/engineers had to manage load to protect the occupants.

    The growing interest in expanding pedestrian safety standards - if implemented - will reduce design options even further.

    https://www.hotcars.com/why-pedestri...ng-car-design/
    "Don't worry. They couldn't possibly hit us from that dist...."

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