Since the economic collapse of the late 2000’s we said goodbye to Saturn Olds Saab Hummer Pontiac and Fisker as of late but I would really like to stretch your minds by remembering some of these car makers:
Who can forget this little gem- The Daihatsu? Most people couldn’t say the name let alone remember them! The Daihatsu Charade in a hatch or sedan hit the streets of the US in 1990 with a snail-stomping 74hp 1.3l engine and who can dismiss the capable Rocky SUV which was clearly a Suzuki wanna-be? Either way they are gone!
Who remembers the $3990 new price for the Yugo in 1989? MC Hammer might! Zastava actually made this little gem and they were produced from 85-92 with limited success, tricking 141,000 US buyers into laying down four G’s for the Yugoslavian car.
Believe it or not Isuzu actually made cars! They actually made a pretty advanced cool car one time too. All hail the Rodeo and Amigo, but believe it or not the Impulse was a bad boy hatchback with some help from Lotus! The first generation pushed out 148hp and was designed in Italy and had a good track run, albeit rare. The next Generation in 1990 was based on the now also defunct Geo Storm car and was watered down.
Merkur (not Mercury)
XR4 R2D2 huh? Scorpio- for a car? XR4 was the funny name that was often confused with Mercury but was actually made by a Ford subdivision called Merkur. In 85 Ford saw BMW and Mercedes taking big chunks of the sedan market away so Ford’s answer was the Merkur. Scorpio and XR4 were killed in 1989 but Ford tried again to keep the Euro thing alive again with the resurgence of the Capri convertible soon after! Americans thought the Mercury Euro wanna be by Ford was too much money obviously at $30k.
There is no doubt that perhaps we will never see some car trends again….
Today the hot trends are “blacked out” or “murdered” cars where all the chrome is painted black- even the wheels. There is black chrome graphite finishes even matte black. Colorful wheels like red and yellow are mods that some even add to match their rides.
Almost every sporty and even not so sporty cars have dual exhaust today. I remember the first time I saw dual exhaust on a 1965 mustang GT and fell in love. It sounded great and looked so nice how Ford integrated the holes for the exhaust in the rear valance. Today the obnoxious dual pipes just stick out under the bumper like a set of cheap autozone bolt ons! Worse off- they are not even real, sometimes one is not even active exhaust pipes!
Wraps are also becoming very popular… Don’t like the color of your car? How about a full wrap for your car to change the color? Who would have thought? What’s next?
How about Louvres? Remember those shade like metal things on the back of hatchbacks like the 240Z or RX-7? Then I think we figured out that window tint does the same thing and much easier!
Remember “gold kits” where all the emblems were changed from silver to gold? How about when the gold peeled off? Yum! Today the equivalent is graphite emblems.
Remember those hideous loud Viper alarms from the 80’s and early 90’s that someone would have an entire blazingly-loud song playing while their alarm would go off?
What ever happened to station wagons? Did the SUV kill them?
Woodies! What about wood side panels? The PT Cruiser tried to bring them back but no-go!
Chrome has always been in and out. It’s like gold jewelry. We went to no chrome in the late 80’s (see the Porsche 944 or Mazda Rx-8 or Chevy Beretta) to chromed out in the late 90’s-mid 2000’s to now this murdered out matted out look.
Car trends are a lot like fashion trends. Hold on to the car long enough and perhaps it will be en vogue again!
Are pano roofs taking over the tops of all cars and suv’s? There are 131 vehicles or more with this cool feature that used to be reserved for the elite MBZ SL in the 90’s but now is on everything from a Murano SUV to a Lexus to a Kia! Could this be the louvers of the 70’s or the gold emblem kits of the 90’s trend for cars? The t-tops of the 80’s? Some may argue that this feature offers style and substance… Others may think its an unnecessary want- whatever your vote this is a hot trend for today’s cars! Some tuners are even making their roofs carbon fiber or black to mimic the pano roof! Pano roofs are even offered on convertibles! Corvettes in the 70’s offered glass roofs t-tops etc.
What is a panoramic roof? A full glass top that has a sunroof cut out. It’s usually dark tinted so the car looks like it has a black roof. They look especially stylish on white or silver cars. One downside to them is in southern climates they are a magnet to the sun. Most or all offer a comprehensive shade and vent inside and are tinted but one down side is that you don’t have the structure and rigidity as well as sound dampening of a fixed hard roof with headliner.
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