Why the world needs more optimistic retro-cars

“Google it”, recommended a feature on the site PistonHeads, in relation to the Scenicruiser-GX-2 Trainer. So I did it. And, man, what is a thing of the Scenicruiser: a huge, split-level cross-state American coach, built for the cross passages by another, on the big screen, the US countryside, in a time when roads or wob, rather than around towns like Radiator Springs.

What a way to travel. It reminded me of a Oldsmobile Eighty-eight, I saw on the M6 the other week, dominated the lane, in which he sat, with O L D S M O B I L E written on the back, because with this amount of the metallic properties on offer, why would you not use it?

They are both impressive designs, in part, because she raised both larger than absolutely necessary, but the more so, because outwardly, they are so extravagant; the Scenicruiser with its shiny, ribbed aluminium sides, roof and part of-like a 40ft Land Rover Discovery; the Oldsmobile, with its torches, italics, fonts, and chromium measured by the hundredweight.

In the 1950s and 1960s, this stuff was widely used. The designs of the day screeched not in the first line of the excess, mind you; at least, not in gaudy, accepted sense. They were also well styled, and, crucially, to well-meant.

Yes, there were a lot of metal, and it was noticeable, but it was a show of tremendous boldness, not wealth. It reflects a wonderful kind of optimism. The reflective aluminium surfaces and large flared fenders and curved glass areas have their inspiration from the fast-paced development in the aviation and aerospace industry. It was not the money that this kind of Americana represented.

This is perhaps not surprising, given how hard the country had been made in the last decades. After the Great Depression, the devastation of the war and came as soon as they find peace – somehow at least – at last you have not find hope: the people had a lot of money, but you are phenomenal technological advances had experienced. In the morning, then, we are supersonic, and the day after that, we are on the moon.

Product design reflect such extraneous external factors? I think so. This week I spoke with a French car designer, the French continued preference for de-badging expensive cars and love of abused small hatchbacks in the hands of the French Revolution. It’s not worth it, stick your head too far above the parapet.

And if design that reflects society, what are the today’s designs do have to say about us? Today, since most of the car manufacturers build the vehicles properly, design has never been such a large part in the car. And yet so much, it’s boring, bland, ‘meh’ and safe.

Now, I’m not big on nostalgia. The world a much better place now, as we cure diseases, we have a shortage and the looming threat of a nuclear apocaly… well, whatever. I’m not sold on nostalgia.

But it seems to me, there was a time when you for the first time in decades, did not see the future, brighter, darker. If we look at the horizon, the sky and the stars. Today, if the cars are retro, you make the skinny bits: Mini, Fiat 500, beetle, cars, born out of pragmatism.

I think I’m longing for a retro-car design, discovered optimism. The Space Race. Supersonic-Flight. Rock and roll. Although I’m really scared I just for the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

Read more:

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