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Car Design Is Going Backwards!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by jdp1962, Oct 26, 2006.

  1. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    In the 1950s, car designers moved the speedo & other instruments away from the middle of the dash & positioned them in straight in front of the driver, where they could be viewed at a glance.

    When I was little boy in the 1960s, the easy way to tell a modern car from an old one was that the newer one had a combined ignition & starter all operated by the key. Only mangy old cars still had a separate starter button (very early Minis had a floor-mounted one) .

    In the 1970s, "old-fashioned" sticky-out door-handles were replaced by flush-mounted recessed handles, because they were safer.

    Over the past five years, flush door handles have gradually been replaced by sticky-out ones, several cars now have the instrument panel in the middle of the dash and not a day goes by without a new model coming out that has a starter button.

    I mean, WTF is going on here?!

    Watch out for the 2007 B7 Audi A4, complete with starting handle and trafficator indicator arms that stick out of the B-pillar!
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  3. smitch
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    smitch Active Member

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    It's all retro. It's like music, it all goes full circle.

    Old minis with central instrument panels rock! :rockwoot:
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  4. co55ie
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    co55ie Member

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    car design is a bit of a sorry state .

    Cars just keep getting heavier and heavier.

    Why not a 1000kg M5 or RS4 with 500bhp .
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  5. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    Don't forget the little pumpy thing for priming the carburettor like you get on a 2 stroke chainsaw!
    What gets me is the French Renault/Peugeot/Citroen (is there any difference?) supposedly keyless ignition. I understand the Jag's proximity card. You just have it in your pocket and the car opens, you press a button and it starts up (hopefully). No fumbling for keys etc etc. That's progress. But the French claim a similar system but you have to fumble about in your pocket once in the car & put the bloody card in a slot and press a button. How is that better than using a key?
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  6. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    I can (almost) understand why Aston Martin fit a starter button to the DB9, to evoke memories of its racing heritage & have owners imagine they are at le Mans ("Gentlemen, start your air-con?"),

    But in a Fiat Uno......?? :confused:
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  7. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    Of course they do, but when the Mini's designers put the speedo in the middle, that was form following function, not some twat on a double-shot of espresso trying to be retro-funky.
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  8. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    I thought it was to save money when they build left hookers
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  9. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    That's what I meant when I said form followed function. The original Mini is the greatest example of industrial design in the history of the world. Nothing there that wasn't needed., Everything that was there did exactly what it needed to do, and no more.
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  10. OutLore
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    OutLore VOIP Dude

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    [Oct 26, 2006]
    Yeah, it is - however none of these cost savings are passed to us as consumers.

    Being a minority right hand drive country means we will always pay more for our cars, as they do cost more to make. So, when they make savings like that, where they only need to have 1 dashboard panel and instrument cluster, you would think that it might bring down the cost a little, but no!

    I guess making 1 more component out of thousands universal probably doesn't actually save that much...
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  11. filipharvey
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    filipharvey Amusing Tagline

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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    Apparently the R8 is going to have a split windsreen, and a little lever to manually move the wipers. Mmmm... now thats tasty!
    #10
  12. smitch
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    smitch Active Member

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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    Those new mini's are a bit ****, especially with that stoopid stuck on rev counter.

    I think the designers got it spot on with the old TT though, that's got retro elements but is ultimately still a very modern looking car.:respekt:
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  13. Onlyme
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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    Smitch when i was moaning to the dealer whilst sat in a MK2 TT, he asked me what i was looking for in a car, and i said something retro like the MK1, he looked puzzled ( most people do when i speak :drag: ) but i said that the MK1 was cutting edge design, some people liked the design some hated it but the interior was also cutting edge whilst also being retro looking, I must admit though i think the mini is spot on
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  14. smitch
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    smitch Active Member

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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    Fair comment, i'm just a bit of an old mini die hard having had 3 of em! I just like the simplicity of the originals and don't think BMW should have used the name on the new so called mini.

    I'm sure that debate will go on forever though!!! :keule:
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  15. TDI
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    TDI Member

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    [Oct 27, 2006]

    I'm in total agreement with you, what have they done to a beautiful car? i'm all for change but not to that level. I've owned 5 and look forward to restoring a 1275GT in the near future. One of my all time favourites.

    :-0
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  16. smitch
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    smitch Active Member

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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    Last one i had was a last of the carb model october 92 cars, did all the usual mods stage 3 head, carb, RC40 exhaust, Hi-Lo suspension etc...

    British racing green with a white roof and Minilites, loved it!!!:yahoo:

    Most fun car i've owned next to a 70's 911. :respekt:
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  17. Caesium
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    Caesium My BM is fixed!

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    [Oct 27, 2006]
    well the speed we can acheive at the moment on the motorways we might as well have the bloke out in front with the red flag!
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  18. TDI
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    TDI Member

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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    smitch,

    your talking my lingo man. Two of my fav cars a silver 70's 911 and a british racing green mini!! feelin old. the last mini i restored was a 1275GT with a metro turbo engine and 5 speed gearbox with Twin SU carbs, had to bolt down the engine as the standard mounts kept breaking. had some real fun at the lights. they didn't know what hit them until they caught me up at the next set of lights :)
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  19. TDI
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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    smitch,

    were you over on the golf forum a few years back?
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  20. Rev-head
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    Rev-head Active Member

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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    Years ago me and a mate did a allergo engine change over ,we stuck in a 1500 engine and running gear into a mini van .....this thing shifted from a standing start ...could take off in 3rd was crazy car
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  21. treblesykes
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    treblesykes Member

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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    we once chopped the roof and back end off a mini and fitted castors just behind front seats, It was what is known as a hedge finder, but we laughed for all 5 seconds of the journey
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  22. marmite
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    marmite Counting the Tesco Club points

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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    15 years later and they all still work as they should!! Love a Mini!!!
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  23. S3 I wish
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    S3 I wish New Member

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    [Oct 30, 2006]
    Got to aggree on the key thing. Went to look at a new Civic and like the Renault's it has the starter button but thats where the magic ends. It is just a start button you still have to put the key in and turn it to ignition then press the button. Sales boy told me it was to save on the ignition barrell!!! Why? if you have to turn it to get the ignition on and turn it to stall the engine!! I like the Renault one tho very swish I thought. Had a shot of a Laguna and it is really keyless push to start push to stop. I liked it anyway!! :sorry:
    #22

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