Skip to comments.Ugly American Cars (My Vanity Rant)
Posted on 09/09/2012 9:23:53 AM PDT by count-your-change
It's that time of year. The auto dealers face a wave of 2013 vehicles and must clear out the 2012 models to make room and avoid the inventory tax where it exists. Pretty much the same as last year and if you're in the market for a car you might be able to strike a good deal for brand new one year old car.
But one thing you might have trouble finding is an American auto that is NOT just plain ugly. Ugly and uninspired, ugly and bland, ugly and really ugly seems to be the rule.
I offer in evidence the 2013 Chevrolet Spark. No, I won't post a picture, I'll have mercy on the people that love the classics.
Firstly the front end looks like most other econo thumpers in the $15,000 range, squinty eye, swept back head lights and an overly busy grill area framed in plastic. PLastic! I'm sure it would hold up to an impact with cotton candy fairly well but anything tougher will require a call to your insurance agent.
Open the door and experience the true ugliness of today's offerings: Their tiny entrances. All you have to do is turn backwards, bend double and hope your knees will bend enough to allow you to drag your feet in. Wonderful! Now try getting out.
Moving to the rear of the typical new car gives the impression that the designers just gave up and tried to get the thing finished so they could leave early at the end of the week. Just hit the computer key that says, "Add some lights and acres of plastic" and punch out for the weekend.
But one may object, "You get what what you pay for." You sure do!
Consider the 2013 Chevrolet Corvette. The same squinty eye, wrap around head lights and the rest of the cars exterior a study in blandness, a bar of soap worn down to roundness with a couple of tail lights to keep the drivers behind from falling asleep just looking at the car.
For this you can pay handsomely, up to a hundred grand if you're a wealthy masochist or believe the slinky women in the commercial will ignore your double chins and "portly" avoirdupois. In case they don't the car does go fast so you'll be able to leave that embarrassing situation quickly and feel the breeze in your Hair Club for Men.
Me? The last car that I truly enjoyed driving and found really comfortable was my 1975 Ford LTD. It was big, heavy, feared no car on the road and ate at least one Fiat. And it had character by the ton.
If I were inclined to spend fifteen to twenty grand on a car today I would find one of the older models that were like Cleopatra's barge on wheels and have it restored or at least made serviceable.
The ugliness, the blandness, the uninspired sameness of today's auto designs is, what I believe, drives the popularity of the restoration market. What else would drive a person to pay thousands of dollars for a rusty, thirty or forty year old car and spend tens of thousands of dollars restoring it to its new condition when it sold for under three thousand dollars?
I would go kick a new car's tires but I'm afraid one kick might total it.
Can anyone imagine some future car collector looking back with affection for the classic lines of a Chevrolet Aztec like I do for the '34 Cord?
No car has had classic lines after 1972.Ugly is the trend style is gone.
Hopefully the US car makers don’t ever make them as ugly as the riceburners.
Look at the new Taurus, freaking ugly.
Simply lowering the beltline (the line that extends the length of the car and defines the window body demarkation) 5 inches would make this a pretty decent looking car.
I remember in the old days, there used to be some excitement in the fall, as the new cars were introduced for the new model year.
And, often there would be interesting styling changes for the new model year. But not anymore. Maybe it’s just me, but it’s hard nowadays to tell a Ford from a Chevy from a Nissan to a Honda, or to tell a 2001 model from a 2008 model of any vehicle out there.
I’ve had ricers’ since high school. Burned my money from summer work souping them up. Had no problems getting girls. It’s when I drove a Chevy my social life went down LOL
Toyota, while not technically a US name plate, has gone ugly. The best looking vehicle in their line up IMO is the Tacoma pick up. And that aint sayin much.
I still like the last of the Ford Crown Victoria’s and Lincoln Town Cars. Too bad they don’t make them anymore.
You are correct...add to that, fall television programs...TV guide did a brisk business in September back in the day.
Old guy-itis. My father couldn’t stand the sleeker lines of 1960’s cars. He never understood why the pregnant elephant look of 1940’s and 1950’s cars went out of style. Except for the 80’s, I think cars have just gotten better looking with each passing decade.
Detroit it isn't that hard to figure out, just dust off the old blue prints and start upgrading technoogy...
I still think my 1940 Ford coupe was beautiful. I also got to talk with a a 83 year old woman that was driving a 1925 chopped and channeled Dodge P/U with a most bodacious hemi in it, that was also beautiful.
Wow, I find Asian cars bland and overrated.
But its a free country and spend your money however you want to.
Me I will buy American cars.
I’ve never understood why American cars and trucks have the ugliest grilles. It’s like the designers have a disease that’s unique to Americans.
I was going to point that out...to my eyes, Hondas and Toyotas are by far the most dull cars on the road. I wonder if they’re deliberately marketing the Civic and Camry to people who just want to drive as little as possible and mope about it when they have to.
I always thought the backend was cut off to spare our eyes further insult.
The new Taurus has a kitchen appliance look to it.
They did put a good 232 in some of the Gremlins. I had one with a 3 speed that was just a quick in the quarter mile as just about any other stock muscle car of the same era.
The new Camaro convertible is $60k I think I will keep my old one and for $60 k I can gold plate it.
We’re in the process of restoring a ‘68 Super Bee so we’ve been spending a lot of time in muscle car graveyards, surfing car websites and browsing magazines. The contrast between the beauty of old cars and the boring, ugly stuff of today has never been more apparent to me.
Sad. It used to be nothing had more style than an American car. Heck, I’d even prefer a Gremlin over today’s offerings. At least it’s different.
And didn’t Ford jack the price up on the Taurus? For God’s sake, why?
“Ive had ricers since high school. Burned my money from summer work souping them up. Had no problems getting girls.”
They just must have liked the gaudy spoilers, fart cans, stickers, and coughing intake that make those ricers so fast. LOL
They’ll just take a Korean make and slap a U.S. tag on it.
They must be charging by the pound because that pig weighs as much as an SUV did 10 years ago. And I am a Ford lover.
I have a FabTech suspension-lifted black 1998 Toyo Taco regular cab pickup. It’s got Mickey Thompson 30” mudders on after-market American Racing aluminum wheels. Nineteen inches of ground clearance. Stainless steel flo-thru exhaust system. Revamped differential ratio of 5.0:1. Extra large perforated racing front disc brakes. This tiny truck goes like the wind and will crawl over anything. It has decals all over the back window, a sprayed-in rhino-hyde bedliner and a nice aluminum tool box. It gets lots of compliments from other drivers. There is no rust and no leaks. Runs like a Swiss watch at 145,000 miles. Only part I really had to replace was the steering rack. I put almost $10k into it 2 years ago. Only thing missing is a couple of machine-gun ports (LOL). The only other vehicle that might tempt me now is a yellow FJ cruiser with all of the off-road extras and blue-tooth equipped which retails for around $37-40k. There also may be a Jeep Wrangler with optional off-road tires out there I might like, and maybe a Hummer or two. Nothing else. You’re correct, most of the vehicles mass produced just suck. I’m expecting 500,000 miles out of the Toyo. I’m 64 years old and I’ll probably get buried in it.
Style and substance take a back seat to build costs and federal regs in the auto industry. Even if you designed the coolest car ever, the design would never get past the accountants or federal regulators. The prototype shops are full of the bones of cool concept vehicles that were shot down by the corporate brass. All you get now are soviet era trabants and hand me down fiats.
They are turning it into a certain German car.
“... would love to have a General”.
RACIST!! (major SARC tag. LOL!)
I think Toyota is living on their past reputation.
My wife has a Camray and I’m not impressed.
Back in the day, boyfriend had a used 69 Charger. ;)
I loved that old car with whiny transmission and huge steering wheel.
Sorry, but it looks like a Ricer got hold of a DB9s.
I’ve seen late-1980/early 1990 Ford Mustangs with that same over-louvered, plasticized look.
NOTHING about that car give way to beauty of the DB9-series.
Civics and Camrys around here are driven by people who are risk averse. They are careful with money but not interested in looking cheap. They need a choice that their friends won’t laugh at (such as a GM or other American-made sedan, or an off-brand, like Kia), that will last a long time, and get fixed at their favorite repair place.
No interest in design flare, experimental gimmicks, or hauling heavy stuff or outdoor gear.
They drive a lot and do not mope about their car. I’ve never been in a dirty Camry or Civic.
(Personal note: We don’t own either one. We are cheap, and don’t care if people know it.)
I sure hope not. Maybe some Aussie models.
The host of Top Gear owned TWO.
Neither was worth a shit (wouldn’t start, required a factory tech to fly to London TWICE).
I agree it’s a great looking car, but it shoudl at least start.
He gave the Corvette ZR1 his best rating of 2010, and he HATES Corvettes.
My knees in my chin, the edge of the window at eye level and the back of the front seat for scenery. Like being locked in a Porta-John on wheels.
Yeah, you could say that. It mostly happened after my Civic was featured in a racing mag years ago and after that, I had 3 months of non-stop Saturday night ‘action’. High school chicks were mostly ‘I love your car..er, I mean you’.
That Chevy I was referring to was a Cavalier but changed the rims to racing type.
...the M1911 of vehicles.
I love the new generation of Camaros, and mustangs. Americana at its finest
You gotta be Jay Leno to afford it and Harry Houdini to get in and out of it.
Still....a beautiful car!