I’m watching The Birds on TCM, which features a 1954 Aston-Martin DB2/4 Drophead Coupé Mk.I. As you all know, I’ve had a lifelong love of MGBs. Maxwell Smart drove a Tiger. Then there were the classic Jags and Alfas and Fiats and Minis and everything else. Sports cars, family cars, or basic transportation they seemed to have a certain ‘style’.
Of course modern cars are better in every way. They’re faster, safer, have better heaters and air conditioners, better rust-prevention, are more comfortable, quieter, have better brakes, and are more efficient. But it used to be that it was easy to tell at a glance a Toyota from a Datsun, a Fiat from an Alfa, and so on. Nowadays it’s a little more difficult. Some Toyotas resemble Mercedes Benz, and a Honda looks like a Hyundai.
Granted, when form follows function the more efficient shapes are going to show up more often. And a new Mustang or Daytona, or a New Beetle or MINI looks different from other cars. But for the most part cars no longer seem stylish.
Aside from exotics, do modern mass-produced cars have ‘character’?