Design

I’ve always been a sucker for car design. Every year I find myself pouring over the latest magazines, blogs and auto show photos just so I can stare at  the newest designs auto manufacturers have to offer. I actually judge, rather unfairly, how a car is just by how it looks. If it drives like crap, no matter. It’s still a decent car as long as it looks good while driving like crap. Even though good design is in the eye of the beholder, it’s interesting that we go through trends and what different generations of people tag as good design. My Uncle George would always sneer at “modern” car design and state that everything from the front bumper to the tail lights look, “Silly.” This was in the 90s when, “round” and “oval” was the general theme of cars. His idea of what looked good was a car that was designed by an artist who only had a ruler and pencil. Straight edges, right angels…”proper!”

My Dad always says that cars today all look alike. As much as I want to drag him into an interrogation room and set some things right, I do realize there is some truth to his statement. I find the cars of the 40s, 50s, 60s all appear the same to me. No interest for me there…I didn’t grow up with them and therefore I couldn’t tell you a Ford from an Olds. My Dad could. So could my Grandpa. His expertise lies anywhere from the 30s to pretty much the 70s. Is that a ’38 Model A Sedan or ‘39.5 Special Edition? He could tell you by just a glimpse. (Probably wasn’t such a thing as a “Special Edition” but you get my point) My expertise is anything from 1980 and on. Show me a headlight and I could tell you what car it belongs to.

I love what’s emerging from car design today. The sharp, ridged angles, small panel gaps and sleek greenhouses. I love how EVERYTHING on a car now gets consideration. Even the windshield wipers are a thing of beauty and cleaver packaging. Most cars now don’t even have side moldings in the interest of simplicity. I love it. I love the marriage of aggression, minimalism and modernity. The 2014 Lexus IS which was recently revealed at the Detroit Auto Show is a perfect example. http://www.autoblog.com/2013/01/15/2014-lexus-is-detroit-2013/. The taillights look as though they were modeled after one of Dracula’s fangs. And that grille? It’s clearly borrowed from Hannibal’s mask.

One of the things I really like about my Accord is the simplicity of it. Honestly, it actually is closer to “plain,” but I feel this design will age well. That’s something I believe Honda/Acura does well. They favor the more conservative side of things. They don’t take massive leaps and risks. Well, generally. Let’s not mention the Accord Crosstour here. Or the “clown face” of the new Pilot.

I not only love the design of today, but yesterday too. I often find myself dreaming of finding a good, solid ’95 Accord to play with. I loved the design then and I still love it now.

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Take a look at my newest friend’s car. This is Tyson Hugie’s 500,000+ ’94 Acura Legend LS Coupe 6-speed. I love the classic proportions of the body and clean lines. If you haven’t seen his blog and adventures with this car, please do so NOW: drivetofive.wordpress.com

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When I look at these few early Honda examples, I see how they have the right idea. Or maybe I’m biased. Either way, I’m excited to see what will tomorrow bring in car design. Will it be Honda? Probably not, but that’s okay. They don’t need to prove themselves.

I dug up some of the photos of my RSX right before I sold it. These you’ll see here are actually from the Craigslist post I made. In comparison to the Accord, you can see how the RSX is geared more towards aggression and sport where the Accord is more for svelte luxury with a taste of sport.

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It was nice weather here in Las Cruces, NM so I gave the Accord a bath and took a few shots similar to where I had the RSX.

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Soon I will be taking a few weekend trips so I hope to have more post goodies!

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3 thoughts on “Design

  1. tysonhugie says:

    Jason, I’m with you on this one! Love to see some “aggression” in vehicle design. Back end of the Lexus IS is absolutely stunning. The grille will take some getting used to, but it’s Lexus’ signature look now and I like that they’re standing by it. I’m also in agreement on the appeal being different for our generation as opposed to others. I’m starting to learn more about (and appreciate more) the classic rides of the 1960’s & prior, but where I truly thrive is anything from the 80’s to current. I play the headlight game all the time — by just a glance at an approaching headlight in my rearview mirror at night, probably 95% of the time I can tell what kind of car is going to pass me.

    Latest pic of the Accord looks great! The setting / light are perfect. Brochure worthy. Have a great weekend! I’ll see you a week from tomorrow.

  2. pawela says:

    Thanks for the compliment on the picture, Tyson! Out of about 15 I took, that was the only one in that pose that I liked. In reference to car recognition, do you do what I do and look at those big Class-A RVs and try to tell what sort of car their headlights came off of? There is a Fleetwood, I believe, that uses the RSX headlights. They look mean on those rigs.

    • tysonhugie says:

      Yes, it’s always entertaining to see what kind of headlights & taillights the RV manufacturers are putting on their big-rigs. I saw a huge motorhome with 01-06 Camry tails the other day – they looked really out of place!

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