Skoda’s Retro Detail

First, it needs to be remembered that in the 70’s and 80’s a lot of cars featured attempts to link the base of the side glass to the base of the windscreen.

2016 Skoda Rapid

These days some cars manage that flow; most don’t try because the vertical offset between the side glass and high scuttle is too much to link graphically or sculpturally. It’s a function of high bonnets and raked shoulder lines.

Here’s an old example, a ’76 Princess (sorry, we lack a source for this image).

1976 Austin Princess green

And here is a more subtle one:

1976 Buick Opel Manta
1976 Buick Opel Manta

(And no image credit for that either).

The Ka has the lines flowing more naturally:


And here’s an example of no side-to-front flow, though the little up-kick at the forward end of the window base has a try.

2015 Opel Cascada
2015 Opel Cascada

Author: richard herriott

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

9 thoughts on “Skoda’s Retro Detail”

  1. The shutline between the shoulder and A-pillar on that convertible makes it literally a visually weaker experience. Oh, how I long for the days when they hid all the shutlines with welded seams. You don’t even see that on a Rolls-Royce nowadays. And an S-class has gooseneck hinges in the trunk. It’s the true Fordism of the day, when not even the premium cars can afford the luxury of true craftsmanship….

    1. I don’t know if they’ve ever had, but the ones they have now is atrociously bulky and cheap looking. Cheap isn’t the word you want people to think when you open up a Mercedes. I remember Audi put a lot of R&D into exquisite trunk hinges, whatever happened to that? Whatever happened to actually putting in some real work in details most people never notice? To me, it’s the difference between a la carte and haute couture. Like when Maserati welded every visible seam on the Quattroporte in the 80’s.

  2. I like the Cascada A pillar treatment as at least they went to the trouble and expense of including a front quarter glass, not a huge plastic fillet panel as per many other cars. The brightwork is very well aligned too.

    The inclusion of front quarter glasses (or not) is something of a bugbear of mine. I would write an article about it, except that I fear Richard has already covered the topic several times.

    1. We like repetition and duplication around here Chris…

      We like repetition and duplication around here Chris…

      We like repetition and duplication around here Chris…

    2. ‘More puns, less critical insight’. I repeat this as something akin to a mantra in editorial meetings but Simon and the others just look at me with disdain. But then in Simon’s case he’s probably seeing three of me…

  3. I have no idea what model Skoda I’m looking at in above photo, so I don’t have a complete image of the car in my head either, but I like what I see there. I think the idea of an “uninterrupted” (forget the pillars) panorama works well in general, see for example the classic Saab 900.

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