Thursday, June 16, 2016

Early 1980s High-End Style Pilfering

Stylists steal designs and design details.  My relationship to the American auto industry was as a consultant and data supplier -- not, alas, as a stylist.  For that reason, I have no first-hand knowledge whether it's the stylists themselves who pilfer from other firms or if management directed them to make use of this or that theme or detail.  Either way, management signs off on the results, so my inclination is to place praise or blame there.

The present post deals with a minor instance of this, small details creating a theme found on upscale American cars during the early 1980s.  Those cars were models of the Cadillac Seville, the Continental and Chrysler Imperial.  Some background can be found here.  According the the first link above, the somewhat retro theme expressed by the designs did not hold up well in terms of sales.

I dealt with Seville styling in this post, so won't go into detail here.


1980 Cadillac Seville
What concerns us is the sweep of the sharp fold at the aft end of the C-pillar.  On the Seville it continues down to the rear bumper, with the trunk lid being inset slightly, creating a distinct tacked-on collection of surface facets.

1982 Continental
There were several Continental models at this time.  The one shown here has a C-pillar trailing edge that also continues down the side of the car, but only a short way.

1982 Chrysler Imperial
The same can be said for this Imperial, though the edge continues down a bit more than half way to the bumper.  Like the Seville (but to a much lesser extent), it helps set the trunk off as a distinct element.

1983 Continental
Because it's a Continental, a false spare tire shape was placed it the rear of the trunk.  This view shows the Seville influence in the area of the C-pillar, rear window and upper part of the trunk.

1982 Chrysler Imperial - sales photo
No faux spare tire here, but the shaping of the rear has a similar feel to the Continental and Seville.

1 comment:

Paul said...

Do you suppose Chris Bangle may have picked up on this theme a little with his "Banglebutt" BMWs?