Theme: Materials – Body Building

Originally carpenters made horsedrawn carriages with wooden bodies. They carried this technology over to the horseless carriage. 

Aluminium and wood and leather- Bristol's materials of choice
Aluminium and wood and leather- Bristol’s materials of choice

Then it became clear that for large scale production, a saw, hammer and some nails would not be up to the task. Design involves choosing a balance between what the material needs to do and how it can be formed. The appearance emerges from this compromise – the required look can drive material selection and vice versa. Often the balance is not even something at the forefront of the designer’s mind if they are working out of habit or tradition. Continue reading “Theme: Materials – Body Building”

Theme: Special – Curbside Classics Covers Special Editions

I just love Curbside Classics. They produce fascinating nuggets of US automotive history with a fond yet critical attitude. The comments are unusually good as well.

1976 Oldsombolile Delta 88 Royal Crown Landau: curbsideclassics.com
1976 Oldsmobile Delta 88 Royal Crown Landau: curbsideclassics.com

Further, they seem to have access to the catalogues of GM, Chrysler and Ford if the detail on the technical specifications are anything to by. This article deals with ten obscure special models. I notice that their use of the term applies to what I’d call trim variants that had their own badging and equipment. In Europe “special” seems to imply a plastic sticker and some cloth upholstery of questionable taste. Continue reading “Theme: Special – Curbside Classics Covers Special Editions”

2017 Lincoln Continental Facelift

Further to our discussion of the visual attributes of the 2017 Lincoln Continental, here is a view of the current car and one where I generously added more length front and back.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Put together like this you can see how wrong the Lincoln really is. There is no point in making Lincolns off Ford platforms. They should do it the other way around. It looks like the front wheel is about half a wheel’s diameter too far back on the existing design. It could be that my version would be too long in reality. It just shows you can’t design a car piecemeal. Proportions matter.

Two Takes on the American Large Car

One is from a Korean company and one is by an American company. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have to say the Lincoln does not come out well in this little competition. It is missing visual mass at the front. The Genesis might not be innovative in any particular way. On the other hand all the details are right and the proportions spot on. Ford’s accountants hamstring their designers who, I am very sure, don’t want to draw cars with side views like this Lincoln. Continue reading “Two Takes on the American Large Car”

Be Careful What You Wish For II

In December 2014 we ran an item about the changing styles of luxury car interiors. 

2017 Lincoln Continental interior in its Rhapsody form.
2017 Lincoln Continental interior in its Rhapsody form: caranddriver.com

A year or so later we find someone answering our calls.

In an article about how Lincoln do not want to copy the Germans, there is also discussion of the Lincoln Continental’s blue interior option. Here is a chance then to see if blue interiors are something that appeal to anyone other than automotive design commentators. My impression is that this is a welcome bit of bravery on the part of Lincoln. The all-blue colourway creates a very pleasant atmosphere that manages to Continue reading “Be Careful What You Wish For II”