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Tumblehome - Bob Lutz loves this design element. And so do I, when it is done from the beltline of the car up, it tends to look good. Generally, that is what the word is used to mean - from the belt up.

What I don't like is what I call "lower tumblehome" - the opposite design direction of, say, a body kit or side skirts - the coke bottle look as opposed to the opposite: a "slab sided" lower part of the body. It gives a look where the tires actually impede the view of body lines from certain angles, because the sheetmetal curves and tucks behind the straight up and down wheels.

Here's what I mean by "lower tumblehome":






And here are lower bodies with very little to no lower tumblehome - or perhaps the look is broken up by a semi-side skirt look, which I prefer:






Why am I bringing this up? Well, after seeing the new Lacrosse, I'm expecting the next (2006) Impala may look a little like it, and I'm hoping that won't be the case (because it doesn't look "modern" enough for me).

But I could be alone - you might like the "lower tumblehome look" of the new Lacrosse?

Which is it?

 

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I like some tumblehome like on the LaCrosse because I think it makes a car look lighter on it's feet, er wheels. I've never like ground effects side skirts on any cars, and I'm not crazy about running boards or nerf bars on trucks (although I have boards on my truck so the kids can climb in and out easier).

My '76 Nova had a lot of tumblehome, and an unfortunate effect of too much is you need mud flaps to keep from sandblasting the paint off behind each wheel. I don't think it needs that much, but just enough to keep the bottom half of the car from looking like a heavy brick with wheel cutouts.

The LaCrosse looks right to me.

BTW, I'm not sure the Sunfire you pictured is the best example since it confuses the issue by flaring out right at the bottom.
 

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Originally posted by MelvinJ@Jun 19 2004, 09:10 AM
BTW, I'm not sure the Sunfire you pictured is the best example since it confuses the issue by flaring out right at the bottom.
Yeah, you're right - I couldn't find a good clear photo of a late-90's Cavalier - I don't remember if they had that look of the current Sunfires or not.

However they do have a kind of extreme coke bottle effect where the beltline thrusts out, and the lower half curls in.
 

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Nice 300C wagon picture...wonder if its a future model?
 

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The 300 Wagon is a Europe only (and maybe Canada later) model. It's essentially the Magnum with a 300 front. In Europe, Dodge has no brand identity, hence the Chrysler version.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Originally posted by Rex Raider@Jun 19 2004, 12:13 PM
The 300 Wagon is a Europe only (and maybe Canada later) model. It's essentially the Magnum with a 300 front. In Europe, Dodge has no brand identity, hence the Chrysler version.
I wonder if it might also eat into Pacifica sales...
 

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I want a big Buick with a big fat V8 in it NOW. The Impala is still selling so that should be delt with after we get the Buick. And I really hope they don't go retro like Ford with the Mustang. It looks like it needs an exterior freshening allready! They did good with the vette by giving it super car looks and NOT going retro. Speaking of Mustang, where's our Camaro!
 

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Originally posted by raflyer+Jun 21 2004, 06:52 PM--></div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (raflyer @ Jun 21 2004, 06:52 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>As long as it has 4doors and a rwd V8 i'll be interested! <_<[/b]

<!--QuoteBegin-surferdude00711
@Jun 19 2004, 12:59 PM
I want a big Buick with a big fat V8 in it NOW. The Impala is still selling so that should be delt with after we get the Buick. And I really hope they don't go retro like Ford with the Mustang. It looks like it needs an exterior freshening allready! They did good with the vette by giving it super car looks and NOT going retro. Speaking of Mustang, where's our Camaro![/quote]

Did either of you even read this thread before posting? The next Impala probably will stick with FWD V6 because it is efficient and works well in all weather and it's what the average car buyer (not you guys) wants. Now back to the topic....

I think the look of a 'lower tumblehome' varies greatly on the rest of the design. As for most new vehicles going for the no lower tumblehome look, I would hope the Impala would go without it too. But hey, it all depends on the rest of the car.
 

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I think there's a good reason for not doing lower tumblehome. Your greatest strength is down low in the floorpan. If that piece of structure is pulled back a couple inches, you're losing vital crush space in a wreck. That sill piece gets the strong part out there to protect you. And a couple inches can mean a lot in a wreck.

Sadly, like a lot of beautiful designs (remember the almost structureless roof designs GM did in the late 50s and early 60s, and the all but invisible windshield pillars they used from 71-76?), lower tumblehome just doesn't fit in with out modern safety obsession.
 

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Speaking of old rooflines, something I wish they'd bring back is the B-pillarless coupe, like the old A-bodys and the first gen F-bodys. I like how you could roll down the rear side windows too. Creates a nice open-air atmosphere for a coupe.
 

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I like the tumblehome on the Buick Lacross, I think it looks good like that. I wouldn't want the Impala to follow after the Lacross though so hopefully that is not the case.
 

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Originally posted by sceltor@Jun 27 2004, 09:41 PM
Speaking of old rooflines, something I wish they'd bring back is the B-pillarless coupe, like the old A-bodys and the first gen F-bodys.  I like how you could roll down the rear side windows too.  Creates a nice open-air atmosphere for a coupe.
YES!

Of course, you can go pay up for a Benz coupe . . . .

No, seriously, I think this is something they could get a nice premium for. The wide open cabin is a wonderful, all but lost thing. Mark my words: people are going to tire of these rolling fortress feeling cars one of these days.
 

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That Buick looks even more elderly than the Impala. The first thing to find out is what age group GM wants to sell this car in. The Impala, as it is, is very grandpa-ish.
True, the FWD will stay since RWD in the winter up here is a pain in the ***. They could shoe-horn a V8 in there as an option, that would be cool :p As for looks, it seems like curvyness (I am making up a few words lol) has taken over the economy car market. Thus to be curvy is to be an econobox. The tumblehome looks curvy, the 300C doesn't look curvy. It is actually quite boxy (I don't mind it) I don't know, if GM didn't want the new Buick to be an elderly car, then they have failed, it looks as elderly as they come. JMO...
 

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Originally posted by surferdude00711@Jun 19 2004, 07:59 PM
I want a big Buick with a big fat V8 in it NOW. !
YES! Me too. Buick badly needs a new Riviera and Roadmaster. And also YES to the post about pillarless coupes, and I'd add pillarless sedans!

Regarding tumblehome...yes, the more, the better, I really don't like the "slab sided" sides on many cars (unless it's a 1960s Lincoln).

I prefer what they used to call "fuselage" styling...lots of curve (tumblehome) in the side glass, windshield, and body sides tucking under the side. Of course, this requires a somewhat wide car, to allow for the room to have the tumblehome. To me the epitome of this style was the early 1970s Caprice. Standing next to it, if you look down, the side disappeared beneath the beltline, which was PRONOUNCED with a 5 inch wide swath of chrome. To me, it was just perfection. Just having a flat side seems....generic.

I know this is all subjective opinion, but the tumblehome to me shows more attention to styling, it seems "classier", and gives the car a more pleasing shape.
 
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