Glazed C-pillars From the ’80s

We are a responsive site here. The debate on C-pillars is raging and to help fuel the blaze I ask you to consider the 1986 Ford Granada, the 1988 Olds Cutlass Supreme and the 1990 Mitsubishi Lancer. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The Mitsubishi took the most time to find. It was also known as the Mirage in some markets. The Lancer is obviously a car which had very little impact, like most Mitsubishis, I suppose. They were quite common in Ireland in the 1990s. For my money though Ford got there first with the glazed c-pillar, the Olds does it best. The glass and body are very smoothly paired up.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

13 thoughts on “Glazed C-pillars From the ’80s”

  1. Thanks for bringing that one up. It is technically a glazed C-pillar. It is much more angular than the Ford or Oldsmobile. Notice that the radius of the shoulder line is much smaller than on the Ford and Olds. It is neatly done and even if I missed it first time around it is a good case of how to hide the C-pillar with proper glass. When is the Citroen XM going to get a mention?

  2. That Rover R8 is the Honda Concerto clone, right? A nice example indeed. And if I’d have seen this post earlier, I’d certainly have mentioned the XM.

    Coincidentally, in the car park I pass on my bicycle commute to work, I often saw a Concerto and an XM side by side this summer. I forgot to take a picture, though, but it was a heart-warming reminiscence of the early ninties when my dad had an XM and one of my friends used to drive her parents’ Concerto.

  3. Are their any reasons not to list the Citroen XM here – i don´t think so?

    And are the Subaru Coupés also members of this club? Their glasshouses are definitely remarkable in their unique design – remarkable, bur not really beautiful.
    So the rear-window of the Subaru XT is one of not so many curved parts of this sharp edged car.

    And his successor – the Subaru SVX + has one of the most sophisticated and unusual glasshouses of all cars – without being practical at all….

    1. Bonus points for suggesting the Subaru XV. That´s from 1985 so it predates the Granada by a good year. Judging by the dates of Marc Duschamps drawings, it must be a coincidence the XM and XT share the same glasshouse theme. The SVX adds originality for glazing its residual boot. Jamie Kitman thought this car much under-rated. I prefer the angular shape of the XT and it has a wildy Citroenesque interior too. A real gem and much maligned as far as I know.
      We have had some good suggestions today!

    2. Oh yes, the XT! One of my dreams is to have one in Japanese spec, where apparently 6-cylinders and a kind of hydropneumatic suspension could be had. I don’t remember if four wheel steering was also involved. The ones I found in Switzerland (yes, it’s one of the cars I regularly searched in Autoscout) all have a 120 hp engine, which is kind of a disappointment for such a sporty looking car. The SVX had nearly double that, 230 hp. They look quite roomy and comfortable.

    3. Is that a six cylinder boxer engine? This period in Japanese car design produced some technical marvels. This car almost out-Citroens Citroen. Maybe it needed covered rear wheels to complete the picture. I find the current technical complexity of Japanese cars less appealing though presumably it is orders of magnitude more intricate than what they achieved in 1985.

    4. I’ll have to research the topic, hopefully I find sonething that’s not in Japanese.

      By the way, am I the only one who sees the answers in a completely random order here? Mine from 22:12 is on top with Richard’s one from 22:18 below, but there is an older one from 21:00 even further down.

    1. The prettiest Celica. Like the Prelude, now an extinct breed. That´s another 1985 car – hard to believe. There was a coupe as well, with two doors. The C-pillar was not so effectively treated, being a shinily painted metal panel. In the car above it´s nearly all glass apart from the edges where the hatchback meets the side glass. The Celica died in 2006 and the Prelude in 2001. The Nissan 200 SX lasted until 2002. Is that comparable to the Prelude and Celica?

  4. When I see all these old glazed pillars, I see a fundamental difference from today’s examples.

    The eighties were the time when it became possible to free the windows from their rubbery jails and glue them over the metalwork in more varied shapes. This was used to generate an impression of smoothness and continuity, and it went well together with transparency and airiness. Most of it was well elaborated, too, with only narrow plastic strips to protect exposed edges.

    Today is rather the time you get away with pasting meaningless details over already existing features while completely ignoring their structure. See Mazda’s example with the black area wildly crossing pillar and spoiler.

    1. It’s the way the graphics and structure have parted company. Those glazed areas were functional on 80s cars and now they’re not. The new C-pillars add loads of bits and have a lot of extra lines. That Celica is very smooth indeed. It’s a pleasing effect.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.