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i don't care what 'design philosophy' a car follows... if it's ugly it's ugly and if it's beautiful it's beautiful. i sure can't say retro cars are ugly because it totally depends on how it's handled. same with caddy's art & science. i like everything they've done so far, but that doesn't mean i'll like every future interpretation. i never did understand chryslers 'cab-forward'... i didn't see any difference between them and other sedans.

i can also understand why a company would pull on past glories. there are some classic GM's that deserve a nod from the curret generation. GM wouldn't be what it is today (or be at all) if it weren't for the millions of cars it's built over the years. so bring on retro... if i don't like it i won't buy it.
 

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Originally posted by gmwsag@Feb 24 2004, 09:59 PM
ITS 2004!!!!!!!
ITS NOT 1934!!!!!!
ITS NOT 1952!!!!!
its not 1912
not 1913
not 1914
not 1915
not 1916
not 1917
not 1918
not 1919
not 1920
not 1921
not 1922
not 1923
not 1924

Shall I go on?
throughout the lowly 80's and 90's, the only thing that sold many of the sub-standard GM's was the name. where did that name come from? from GM's history!

why does cadillac mean anything today? because cadillac used to represent the best america had to offer. and is it not reasonable that the cars would reflect that same image... crafted decades ago? if cars are going to be totally redesigned every 4 years and not look a thing like their forebearers, how is a company to retain customers? design/style is a HUGE factor when buying a car.

i LOVE the evolution of many different GM vehicles. take the corvette... they could start with a clean sheet of paper and give me some modern, futuristic sports car... but i likely wouldn't want it. a corvette is so desirable partly because of it's amazing performance, yes, but partly because every boy (and many girls) has always know the corvette to be the most stylish and affordable sports car in america. i WANT to look at the corvette and see it's forebearers in it.

i want my corvette to look like a corvette. and a corvette is 50+ years of history. throw that out the window and what do you have? an nsx, perhaps? fine car... but does it get your heart racing? i somehow doubt it.

sure, it's 2004. but there's no way to look at automotive design in a vacuum. a 2004 vehicle only looks different because it's different than the year before. no, i don't think it's about starting over every time. the only reason we talk about a GM revolution is because it's sunken from it's past glorious position. i think it's important to recognize the grand old GM's of old and bring out modern interpretations.
 

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heritage... retro... old school... a design philosophy by any other name... same deal! at least as i see it. taking old styling cues and using them again. i don't see the distinction, except in the degree to which they use the old styling cues. the pt cruiser doesn't look exactly like any old chrysler. same with the T-bird. i see the lineage, but whether you call it retro or heritage, it's the same thing to me.

even something like the pontiac split grille can be considered retro/heritage. i think that it looks very modern on the current pontiacs, but they owe that basic design to decades old pontiacs. so pontiac has been very slick in their use of old pontiac styling cues, and updates it well with each vehicle iteration. some vehicles (like the new mustang) put more emphasis on the original interpretation.

i think the last mercury cougar is a fine example of a fresh model design that does little for the make. it looked new and exciting when it came out, and might very well have been a fine car, but when the buyer was ready for another vehicle (say sedan or minivan), would they be inclined to buy another mercury? perhaps if they were impressed with the reliability or quality of the car, but nothing on the cougar said "mercury". anyone who liked the styling would have been more inclined to buy, say, a mitsubishi (whos vehicles look more in-line with the cougar than anything else mercury built at the time, if you ask me). that's not to say that fresh new designs are welcomed, or a good idea... but they have to be sure to market it properly to keep buyers in the fold and not off looking for the next fresh face elsewhere.
 

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to be serious now...

i agree that the term 'retro' has come to encompass too much. maybe at one point it had a specific definition, but now anything that even hints at something done before is retro. i had someone climb into my '03 vibe and say "oh i love the retro dash!"?!? wha? have you seen the vibe dash? can't say it screams "1939 pontiac vibe" to me! they saw the plastichrome rings around the gauges and thought 'retro'. someone call mr. webster and get him to redefine retro.
 
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