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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Vellum Venom Vignette: These crying eyes of mine

Cars used to look like modernist architecture, with gentle curves that were almost invisible against logically straight body panels. A good example even from the post-2000 era is the E39 5 Series; this midsize BMW sedan sported modest curves thrown into its classically gorgeous body. Such understatement is generally frowned upon these days.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/vellum-venom/vellum-venom-vignette-these-crying-eyes-of-mine/
15 REPLIES 15
iamwho2k
Intermediate Driver

Re: Toyota. The problem is, the untalented designers misunderstood Akio-san, when he said he wanted fun-to-drive cars. They heard him say "I want ugly cars, cars with bulging curves for no reason, I want angry grilles designed to swallow up small cats". They heard him say "I want to graft a grille so big and ghastly on the Avalon that no one will buy the car".

The other brands, God knows they all have their issues --BMW, especially-- but no one does ugly so consistently well as Toyota. All of these designers committing crimes against humanity, maybe a change of career wouldn't be a bad thing. It'll give them perspective.
compaqdeskpro
Detailer

I like current Toyotas style much better than the Toyotas from the 2000's, they all had a rounded bulging forehead, those cars sorely needed some creases to reign in the crash safety bulk, especially the Camry and Sienna.
XJ6
Intermediate Driver

I had bought two new Lexus but then they went with that weird spool shaped grill and sharp angles. So I bought a new Lincoln.
Land_Ark
Intermediate Driver

You're right, there is a limited lifetime for auto trends. If you did a stop motion of headlights from the 90s thru today, it would be like watching cars open their eyes really wide and then squint again since the trend in the 90s was tiny headlights, then in the early 2000s headlights were 85% of the front of the car, and now we're back to squinty headlights. The tear duct trend screams of being different for the sake of being different. Kind of like bedazzling Disco Stu on the back of your jean jacket.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Taller heights and more frontal area means automakers will not run out of room when bedazzling "Disco Stud" on their jean jackets. 

Disco Stu may not advertise, but those headlights certainly do. 

compaqdeskpro
Detailer

Ever heard of a Mitsubishi Xpander? It's a 7 seat MPV sometimes dressed up as a crossover, with a great name (Xover + Fiat Panda) made in Indonesia and largely sold in Asia, sold for a whopping $24,000. Sales would Xplode if they sold it here. I would love to hear what yo think of the styling. I think it looks like a tall overweight person wearing wading boots with their shirt tucked in.

https://www.bangkokpost.com/auto/review/1897225/mitsubishi-xpander-cross-1-5-2020-review
Sajeev
Community Manager

I like it, as it was designed for those that want a traditional SUV but it could never be cost-effective and/or practical in the selling countries. It has the proportions/chassis to suggest it shares a platform with a compact MPV/sedan, etc. And the Xpander Cross' design makes it a true CUV in terms of SUV-like design. The Cross kinda makes the design come to full fruition...and proves all countries like fake off roaders, not just the USA. 

 

Neat design, I can totally appreciate it. I doubt it would sell well here, but it would be worth a punt if there's a value prop for all the interior volume over a Nissan Kicks. And if it can be federalized...

ap41563
Intermediate Driver

I agree with you on the CT6, those headlights/piple lights are what I enjoy most about the front end of the car. I am sad to see GM kill it but I understand the reason behind it. Nobody wants a full sized rear wheel drive car. Well they do it's called the Escalade.

I would like to buy a CT6 someday to replace my rapidly aging Deville but the 3.6 V6 in most of them may prevent a long life much as the "Deathstar" in mine.

In usual GM tradition they make the perfect car just at the wrong time.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Your thoughts on the CT6 are very similar to mine. My only problem with them is the interior, especially the seats. Granted even if Cadillac went full Continental Black Label with the CT6, it wouldn't have saved it. Both were doomed. 

ap41563
Intermediate Driver

With Covid keeping at the computer most days and nights, I find myself looking for Continentals and CT6's along with a bunch of other stuff I dream about. I do not know if you have kept up with the used car market however I noticed in 2020 you could find plenty of both models in all sorts of mid to high-end specs. However now in 2022 I would say the inventory is about half what it was, granted I know we are in a tight market but I wouldn't think used full-sized sedans would be in such high demand. Now what I see are very low spec rental grade models, much how the last of XTS's were. 

Sajeev
Community Manager

If Fiat 500s are in demand as a used car, Contis and CT6s will be too. This is truly a bizarre world we live in. 

salguod
Intermediate Driver

Disappointed that the worst offender, in my opinion, wasn't mentioned. The Porsche Taycan. I do suspect there's a functional vent there, but the way it ties into the headlight is terrible and unnecessary.
Sajeev
Community Manager

Thanks for reading, unfortunately it's kinda not worth mentioning because it is a functional air curtain.  Have a look at the third image here: https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/vellum-venom/vellum-venom-2020-porsche-taycan-turbo-s/ 

Snailish
Engineer

I have always thought the 1949 Oldsmobile headlights were cool... but you could argue they make the car look like it has bags under its eyes.

Some of the modern Chrysler 300 headlight treatments have played with this a bit with that bump-down in them.

The Cadillac ones look alright to me, a bit busy maybe and probably a nightmare if you break one but then most modern light designs don't seem to factor in survivability and replacement of the unit.

The crying tailights on the Toyotas I am in the "those are awful" camp. But Toyota took a design class in "throw all the stuff on to make it cool". Like an over-accessorized 90s truck.

Sajeev
Community Manager

Good point on the '49 Olds, but what really saves it from looking obviously "stressed out" is the fact that the headlights are significantly further ahead of the "signal bags" and naturally come out of the fenders. And the chrome helps me think of it as more of a clock, less of a tired car.