Monday, May 12, 2014

Reverse-Angle ("Dog Leg") C-Pillars

I all-too-often see references to reverse-angle or dog-leg C-pillars (the roof support post immediately to the front of the backlight / rear window) as a BMW thing.  True, this styling detail is strongly associated with the 3 Series and other BMWs for the past few decades.  But the general design is a logical extension of the aft cut-line of a rear door, and has been around here and there since the 1930s on many cars besides BMW.

The present post is simply a very short historical review of this detail with a glimpse of how it has been elaborated in the currently prevailing Rococo styling mode.


Reverse-angle pillars can be found on 1930s European custom bodies.  Perhaps its first use on a mass-production car was by General Motors for the 1948 model year.  The example shown is an Oldsmobile 98 fastback two-door sedan.

Another GM example, this on a bustle-back design 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air Sport Coupe.

And here is a BMW 3 Series four-door sedan.  This image is of a UK version seen in the Lake District.

Reverse-angle C-pillars are common these days, and not only on BMWs.  Shown here is a 2014 Toyota RAV4 crossover SUV.

Apparently revervse-angle C-pillars are considered too tame, too common, too whatever by stylists working on Nissan's Infinity luxury brand.  Above is the 2009 Infinity Essence concept car where the pillar assumes a fashionably curved aspect.

Concept cars are usually serious business for manufacturers.  They can test reactions of potential buyers to styling concepts and details or else preview intended features as a means of conditioning such potential buyers to radical changes.  Infinity apparently liked the elaborate dog-leg , so here it is on a QX60 introduced for the 2013 model year.

For 2014, Infinity extended the detail in toned-down form to its Q50 sedan line.  My take: distinctive, which might help brand identity, yet a little fussy.

1 comment:

Nima Mojtahedzadeh said...

Citroen AMI-6 is another exceptional example.