Home » What Lost Styling Cues Would You Like To Make A Comeback? Autopian Asks

What Lost Styling Cues Would You Like To Make A Comeback? Autopian Asks

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Car design evolves alongside the technology that’s under the metal. Each era of car design can usually be defined by a type of style. The cars of today are often angry blobs while trucks, crossovers, and SUVs have lots of sharp edges, bulging bodywork, and hoods taller than the Sears Tower. As styling evolves, many cues get lost along the way. What styling cues would you love to see make a comeback?

If you haven’t noticed, I’m a huge fan of past car design. Sure, all of my cars are modern rides, but I drool over what used to be. I love classic British motorcycle design and I live for the aircraft carrier deck-length metal and the sharp fins of the 1950s. I adore how the country was so obsessed with the jet age that cars got afterburner-style taillights and the model names made references to rockets, jets, and space.

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I mean, just take a look at what a modern Chevrolet Impala looks like:

Chevrolet Impala 2013 Images 3

And what you used to be able to get:

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Chevrolet Impala 1958 Photos 3

You know what? I’ll take that cute dress, too. It’s amazing how far some nameplates have come from their origins. It’s also really neat how the modern car tries to nod to the past, just look at the beltline in the rear there. But, I bet they could have gone a step further; add a bit of space.

The 1950s traits of huge fins, dazzling lights, miles of chrome, and bold colors capture every bit of my heart. Some of this stuff, like massive fins, might not work well in the modern day. But I’d love to see that space-age enthusiasm again. Give us cars that look like they were formed at Mach 1 and with lights that look ready to blast you off into space. Oh, and please give us bold colors without ripping us off for them!

Another era I love is the 1930s and early 1940s, when automakers experimented with streamlining and touches we would call Art Deco today.

1935 Chrysler Imperial Airflow 1
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Cars looked like teardrops flowing through the wind and they were adorned with elaborate, but classy brightwork. Automakers even put in a huge effort in the cab with relatively intricate door panels and dashboards that were as functional as they were beautiful.

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I have no idea how any of this stuff could be implemented in the modern day. I suppose the Hyundai Ioniq 6 is a good example of a modern streamliner. I’d love to see Art Deco with a modern twist.

How about you? What’s a design era or some styling cues that you’d love to see on a modern car?

(Topshot: GM)

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Yey Yey
Yey Yey
21 days ago

T TOPS!

Enker
Enker
28 days ago

Even though they broke easily, I miss the inside body shoulder belt that ran along a track on the inside of the door. I also miss when car interiors were day glo or green at night, rather than blinding LCD screens

Jatkat
Jatkat
28 days ago
Reply to  Enker

WHAT. Who the hell misses automatic seatbelts?? I miss the novelty, but I sure don’t miss the belts themselves! I’m perfectly capable of putting on my own seatbelt.

JDS
JDS
28 days ago

Adjustable vent windows. I want to be able to crack open the vent, direct some fresh air into the car, and enjoy the drive without it sounding like I’m in a wind tunnel, or worse yet, having to scrabble at the window switches to keep the buffeting from ripping out my eardrums.

Runner-up: proper tie-down cleats on the side of pickup truck beds.

pizzaman09
pizzaman09
21 days ago
Reply to  JDS

My Jeep Comanche has both. I used the vent windows today even though it was hot and humid and I could have used the AC, instead just blast of air from the vents windows kept me cool.
That said, those windows have a nasty habit of leaking when the hinges wear out.

Root Beer
Root Beer
29 days ago

Actual hatchbacks and wagons that wouldn’t require lowering kits, instead of basically what crossovers and SUVs are. My wife and I have one kid, we don’t need a suburban assault vehicle, and we both prefer a hatchback to a sedan or coupe.

Last edited 29 days ago by Root Beer
Myk El
Myk El
29 days ago

4 door hardtops. As in no B pillar on 4 doors. Coupes as well. I know, safety and all that, but I’d like it.

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