Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? If that’s the case, there must be plenty of automotive designers doing an awful lot of blushing, because we managed to outline a long list of cars that share more than a passing resemblance to totally different models. We’re skipping badge-engineered cars or captive imports—that’s just cheating. Without further ado, here are 20 sets of cars, trucks, and SUVs that look a lot alike, whether by accident or by intent.
Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
I remember when the first generation Celica appeared in the US - I think they called it the GT Liftback - and I thought to myself, it's a Japanese Mustang. Fast forward two & three decades to sedans by Lexus, Hyundai, and Kia, and the derivative styling becomes more widespread.
Take a look at the 1983 Mercedes G Wagon 280 and the 1985 Mitsubishi Pajero (Montero). Mitsubishi almost compied the G-Wagon completely in lines and dimensions. Also the dashboards were almost identical. The MBZ G-Wagon won the 1983 Paris-Dakar rally then in 1985 Mitsubishi won with the Pajero and basically owned that rally for years to follow.
My mother gave me her 1976 Toyota Celica GT Liftback when I was 18. I loved the car because I thought it looked exactly like a Mustang. I think the '76 is a closer match than the '73 though. As kids, we each had our favorite car. My brother's was the Javelin, which also resembles the Mustang. My first love was the Corvette in the early 70's (Corvette Summer), and I still love that car, although I drive an '04, 5 speed (real cars have 3 pedals) Mustang GT. I always thought my sister chose her favorite car, the Opel, because it looked like "my" corvette. It was great to see both these comparisons, letting me know I wasn't crazy. Great article !!!
On my first job after high school, I worked at a large construction site that had both a first gen Bronco and International Scout. Got to drive both in demanding and extremely muddy situations. The Bronco was best for light work and tight spaces. Seemed more nimble but fell down in heavy mud. I can remember pulling the Bronco out of a mud pit with the Scout. One time I got totally bogged down in a mud pit with the Scout and the Bronco came to pull me out, only to get totally mired to the point the doors wouldn't open. We both got pulled out by a D8. Took hours to wash off the sticky south Texas mud.
I favored the Scout for its better A/C, standard shift transmission and seemingly better 4WD system. I liked taking the Bronco home when I could as it was a better driving truck on roads, had an automatic and a decent radio.
One oddball thing with the Scout was the gas tanks. There's a switch on the floor controlling which tank gets the gas. The first week I drove the thing, I ran it out of gas because that little detail was left out when I got instructions on how to drive the thing. It was quite embarrassing to have to be rescued by the maintenance guy who merely flipped a switch and the engine started again. Never made that mistake again.
Both trucks were tough and strong. Both were useful on the job site and both could take a lot of punishment by a teenage idiot (me), and dozens of others.
Some yes, some, not so much. Being in the car design biz for 36 years it has always been of interest to me how people relate to comparing designs. But Porsche/Pacer??!! Flat out copying has been a mainstay for every car company since day one. What better way to get your new car noticed than to copy a successful design and then bring it to market thousands less. Let's be honest, many a car and truck has been bought on first impressions and nothing more. Especially when you consider that the vast majority of cars through the 60's and 70's were mainly marketed toward men. An easy mark with the use of a sexy line or a claim of exceptional horse power. It continues. New car. New spin.
Bitter-Khamsin should be Ghibli-Bitter. Some are straightforward copies other not really. Examples from the same year can not be imitations for the whole process takes more than a year. Similarities arenmore a sign of the time.
I think the story pitch should have stopped with 10, the ones after the Ferraris are almost a laughable stretch. Noone that cares the slightest about cars would mistake an RX-7 with a Conquest and Noone period could mistake a Pacer for a 928 🙂
The U.S. Pontiac GTO was actually a 'badge engineered' Holden Monaro from here in Australia and the Monaro was nothing more than a two door version of the Holden Commodore sedan. Holden basically took the Euro Opel/Vauxhall Omega and widened them for Australia to produce the Commodore so that's where the GTO's styling originated from.
I always thought the pointy nose Mazda RX3 coupe from around '75 - '76 looked a bit like a shrunken '69 Camaro. Both had pointy noses, squared off wheel arches, similar profiles and those coke bottle hips.