Friday, August 18, 2006

Exclusivity for all...

Car design is right up there as one of my greatest guilty pleasures in life. In this department I can be considered a complete classicist, which is to say I think it's a travesty what has been done to the beautiful cars that once graced our streets and highways (and beaches?). Now I'll be the first to admit that over the decades there have been improvements, most of them under the hood, or safety related. But as we all know, cars have not become nearly as fuel efficient or as environmentally friendly as they could be, and that whole mess just stinks of the rotten business and global politics behind this industry.

But by far the most offensive aspects to me are the so-called aesthetic improvements the great car companies vomit into the public eye every three years or so. Each wave is more depressingly horrific than the next. Must every car look like a three week old bar of soap girded with fake silver piping? I blame the oxymoronic democratized notion of the "affordable luxury car" which translates into ever-slicker, shinier, rounder, sexless, overwrought, and just plain ugly vehicles that cater to our fat-assed sense of entitlement and our desperate need to boost our job-worn identities with the most screamingly stupid interpretations of luxuriousness.

This degradation dovetails with another theory of mine which has to do with the American appropriation of European finery and high culture minus any of their the centuries-in- the-making sense of quality control and restraint. Another day another gripe.

For now, can anyone honestly tell me that this is an improvement upon this?

Or this upon this?

Rampant Luxury Car Syndrome (LCS) even took us from this to this.


(The compact but rugged 1969 MGC GT, from its brochure cover found here)


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