Monday, August 3, 2015

Chrysler's Jaguar-Like LH Models

There being little that's new under the sun, as the saying goes, there are bound to be similarities in automobile designs from different makers.  Sometimes, this might be purely accidental, styling staffs reacting to the zeitgeist, engineering or ergonomic considerations, or even perhaps to compliance with government regulations.  Then there are deliberate borrowings of features from other marques.  Some fall into the category of similarities, but others come close to outright thievery.

Here I deal with a case that's not design theft, but it comes fairly close to it.  For 1993, Chrysler finally abandoned its K-car bodies for the new LH platform.  The initial Chrysler brand car using LH was called the Concorde.  Its passenger compartment greenhouse was conventional for its time.  The following model year, Chrysler added top-of-the-line models using the New Yorker series name that had been around since 1940 along with a nearly identical LHS model.

To distinguish the New Yorker and LHS from lesser Chryslers, they were given a different roof treatment.  This created some controversy (among car buffs, at least) because the aft part of the roof was similar to that used by 1950s-vintage Jaguars.

The design looked nice and did give the New Yorker and LHS a measure of distinction.  On the other hand, the same result could have been attained using a different theme.


1995 ca. Chrysler Concorde
This was the base model Chrysler design first offered for the 1993 model year.

1994 Chrysler New Yorker
And here is the New Yorker variation.  The grille ensemble is different as is the trunk and rear of the greenhouse.

1994 Chrysler New Yorker
Profile view showing how the aft of the top tucks down towards the trunk.

1994 Chrysler New Yorker
Rear three-quarter view.  Note the following: the tuck-down curve; the backlight / rear window position; the curved shape of aft side window.  Compare these to the Jaguar below.

1955 Jaguar Mark VII - Barrett Jackson auction photo
True, the details just mentioned are not identical.  After all, the Jaguar predated the New Yorker by 40 years and automobiles in general had evolved.  Yet the cars share similar aft side window curves, greenhouse tuck-down, and the setting (if not quite the shape) of the backlight.

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