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Thread: Why do cars all look alike?

  1. #31
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    Bob, those things are very evident in the way the front end of vehicles are now designed relative to collision and pedestrian safety and the rake angle of the A-pillars, which is a lot more than in the past; that angle is directly associated with fuel economy, even though they have slightly compromised lateral vision for many drivers. Since all the manufacturers have had to pay attention to these things, the general designs have pretty much coalesced to the point that only subtle clues give away the actual make and model.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 07-18-2021 at 9:48 AM.
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  2. #32
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    My thoughts on this may be way off, but on the road it seems a lot of cars were designed by fans of Star Wars who liked the look of the Storm Troopers helmets:

    Automobile Head-On View.png

    Or possibly Shoe Boxes with a Dog's nose:

    Dog Nosed Shoe Box.jpg

    It is no wonder the best selling vehicle may still be a pick up truck:

    Ford F150.jpg

    This is from a few years ago, but there sure seems to be a lot of short bed pick up trucks on the road. Some of them look like the bed is kind of short to bring a sofa or a washer and dryer home.

    Does the four door crew cab make it a family car?

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
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  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Engelhardt View Post
    I downloaded a picture of Irina Meir and stuck it on my laptop as the background - just to get back at her.
    Didn't recognize that name, googled it...oh my. Looks like a young Cassandra Peterson.

    And now I really feel old: Elvira will turn 70 in a couple of months.
    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.

  4. #34
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    And now, this:


    Miata Cat.jpg
    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.

  5. #35
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    Read a good description, maybe on this site. Many modern cars look like a ladies handbag. There is a korean van that looks like a refrigerator vegetable bin, upside down.
    Here is the 1955 Citreon Ds. Still looks modern, front wheel drive, hydraulic suspension, no spare tire needed , no jack needed just pull bad wheel off the pavement etc.
    Bill D.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee DeRaud View Post
    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.
    Obviously mass car producers have to produce for the masses. They spend tons of time and money figuring out what most people are likely to buy. Like Lee and others this leaves me with color combinations that are limited and not my first choice. It's a variation on the problem of "if you want the sun roof you have to take the leather interior" scenario. The interesting thing to me is some of the choices made for color combinations. The idea that studies show those combinations to be attractive to most of my fellow humans is disturbing on some level
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  7. #37
    if you want to learn about Citroens Jay Leno has a good you tube and was very impressed

  8. #38
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    Growing up in the sixties, any boy older than 12 could tell you what year a Mustang or Camaro was at a glance, by the taillights. But we could also tell who owned a Chevy from the oil spots in the driveway, and Fords were nicknamed Fix-Or-Repair-Daily.

    You know how everyone marvels at how they have managed to keep all those old cars from the '50s running in Cuba? I saw one program where it was casually mentioned that often, they have replaced the powertrains with modern Toyota equipment, as the engines gave out a long time ago. They just keep the bodies up.

    I parked my black Toyota SUV in a parking lot one time, and six other black SUVs were parked next to it when I came out. Couldn't remember my license plate. I've taken to putting one of those yellow "Support our Troops" ribbons on each side of the car to help me find it.
    Hobbyist

  9. #39
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    I had a 1977 Toyota Corolla coupe. Probably the best car I owned. In the 200k miles I owned it the only thing that went on it was the clutch and a radiator hose that fed water into the heater core. Other than that it was the usual stuff like plugs and wires. Not only did it run for well over 300k (until the kid I sold it to put it into a ditch) it also started no matter how cold it was. Back then American cars were junk. You bought one and in 3 years rust was forming. Companies would just drive screws through the sheet metal. It was so bad that the rust proofing companies had shops right next to the dealerships so new cars could be brought strait to them.

    I think a lot of it is what we still see. It's a "we do it that way because we've always done it that way" attitude. It's the same with car design. Dodge makes a minivan that sells so everyone makes a copy of it. Then they experiment with changing a few design aspects without changing the whole design and it looks like a Barbi doll with GI Joe's head on it. What's really bad is all the concept cars that have come out. Ones that look like a real change in a good way and yet when the actual production model shows up it looks like the design was given to a guy who only wear beige suits for approval.

    Anyone remember this 1999 Pontiac GTO?
    Pontiac_GTO_Concept.jpg
    Probably not because this is what was released in 2004.
    0404pon_05z-2004_Pontiac_GTO-Yellow_Body_Driver_Side_Front_View.jpg

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    My thoughts on this may be way off, but on the road it seems a lot of cars were designed by fans of Star Wars who liked the look of the Storm Troopers helmets:



    Or possibly Shoe Boxes with a Dog's nose:

    Dog Nosed Shoe Box.jpg
    This ugly design may be part of the reason Toyota discontinued the Scion brand back in 2016. I actually considered buying the second generation of this model a number of years ago. The second generation at least looks better than this one.

  11. #41
    the lack of originality in car design these days boggles the mind --

    allalike.jpg
    cover the wheels and make 'em all white, and.... sad...

    Yesterday I saw what I THOUGHT might be a re-designed Dodge Charger, which are actually reasonably unique cars.
    Turns out it was a Porsche...

    I like unique cars. Trying to talk the wife into letting me buy this '50 Ford gasser --
    50gasr.jpg
    --right now the only 2 cars we own are HERS, which are 1989 and 2013 Mustang GT convertibles. I love 'em, and they're reasonably unique. You see one, you know it's a Mustang
    -my cars are a Ford F250 and an old Chevy van. Good vehicles but not very unique. (at least they don't look like any of the above)
    Where , what-for and when I drive her cars, I could use the old Ford for no problem, even it if it is essentially a dragster
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  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    Do young people even know what a dipstick is?
    Of course they do. They encounter them every day on Twitter.

  13. #43
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    Manufacturers often copy each other when it comes to vehicle designs. The PT Cruiser was immensely popular when first released. GM came out with a similar design hoping to sell a bunch like Chrysler did. The Ford Escape was a typical boxy SUV design up until 2012. For 2013 Ford came out with a sleeker design for the Escape that pretty much matched what other manufacturers were offering.

  14. #44
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    So here I was, out for a ride in my '56 Ford Victoria when I stopped at a busy 4 way traffic light. I looked around while waiting and saw about 20 cars at the intersection. Every one was a shade of grey, from white all the way to black, and most of the people were staring at my car.

    Could it be old car lovers, or just maybe because mine is factory two tone Sunset Coral/White (NO...not Pink), with a matching interior. Vickie looked like a flower in a field of gravel.

    When Vickie was new, it was standard practice for all the neighbors to come over and check it out. Now, they may not even notice you got a new car.

    Times change. When Vickie was new, achieving 100K miles was an event to talk about, now a 100K car on Craig List is often listed as 'low mileage', and many owners give more thought to buying a grille than a car.

    Two views of Vickie just before I cleaned months of dust off. Note the front of the roof with oil spots on it.


    20180118_135741.jpg 20180118_135717.jpg




    The oil dripping offender that parks on the top of the lift. It only leaks PS fluid, oil, and trans fluid. After fixing leaks. Grand Daughter piloting.


    20171221_115711.jpg
    Last edited by Rick Potter; 07-18-2021 at 2:51 PM.
    Rick Potter

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    AKA Village Idiot.

  15. #45
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    A big part of the efficiency of the newer cars today cpmpared to the 60's has a lot to do with advances in piston ring design and the processes used to improve metal wear on the rings, along with synthetic oils which came later. The japanese led the way with producing long lasting rings. To bad they didn't do the same with body panels that rusted out in 7 years or so.
    Also the body panels of new cars are a lighter gauge sheet metal then the 60's and this prohibits manufacturers from forming fancy quarter panels like we had in the past. You can't form sheet metal much without thinning it out which causes weakness and early rust through. So we have cars that all look alike to conserve energy.

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