Posts from ‘Design’

1980 Monte Carlo Quad Headlights

1975 Chevrolet Monte Carlo (top) and 1980 Monte Carlo

For a couple of decades now, car designs have morphed at a fairly even and modest pace. Most vehicles now go five to six years between major updates, receiving only minor “midcycle” styling revisions two to three years into their life cycles.

1985 Pontiac 6000 STE

1985 Pontiac 6000 STE

Ask me whom I think the best-looking female celebrity of 1985 was, and I will quickly answer “Annie Lennox.” I had a crush on Annie at the time, and can’t say my adoration has faded much since then.

1991 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Touring Sedan

1991 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Touring Sedan

Here’s a tip for you aspiring auto scribes out there: If you want to see a lot of reader feedback, create a best-looking list.

There’s almost nothing more subjective or arbitrary than an evaluation of something’s aesthetic qualities, and almost nothing more irresistible to readers. With that in mind, I present the 10 best-looking sedans of 1991.


2010 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

I have very clear memories of discussing the Y2K threat with a buddy during the waning months of 1999. So clear, in fact, that I find it difficult to accept that 15 years have passed since the media freakout over what proved to be a non-event.

1980 Cadillac Eldorado

1980 Cadillac Eldorado

I’ve been told to “grow up” most of my life. About the time my folks gave up on me, my wife and daughter accepted the challenge of getting me to act my age. In deference to my family’s pet cause, I have decided to revisit my high-school years, this time reviewing those days through the clear (but squinty) eyes of a 50-year-old man.


No french curves were harmed in the designing of the 1987 Toyota Tercel Wagon.

Forget everything you’ve ever heard about eggs being perfectly shaped. Sure, an egg boasts one of nature’s most aerodynamic silhouettes, obviously well suited to negotiate the labyrinthine inner workings of a chicken, but have you ever tried to stack eggs? 


Dark colors help to hide Buick Rendezvous’s unseemly contour and cut lines, but not much.

For whatever reason, we at Consumer Guide spend a lot of time talking about ugly vehicles. Some might suggest it’s because we’re a surly group and drawn by nature to the negative side of things. I think it’s because we (car folk in general) largely agree on the best-looking vehicles. Seriously, how many car people do you know that don’t appreciate a BMW 507, a 1964 Buick Riviera, a 1963-1967 Corvette, or a Mercedes-Benz Gullwing? Nodding in group appreciation may help us bond, but it doesn’t do much to get the conversation rolling.

Chrysler Sebring

Chrysler Sebring

About once a week while commuting, I spot a car that I had mostly forgotten about. Today, I followed for some distance a Chrysler Sebring coupe. For the first time since I first became aware of that car, I was struck by the notion that it was not entirely without its charms. The Sebring coupe isn’t exactly stunning, but it’s attractive enough in a conservative, ages-well sort-of way.


Mercedes-Benz 450 SEL

Shortly after obtaining my driver’s license in the early 1970s, I rushed out and bought a ’64 Olds Cutlass coupe (for $50), at least in part so that I wouldn’t have to tool around in my Dad’s grandpa-green F85 sedan. Back then, driving a 4-door (or—heaven forbid—a station wagon) meant you were borrowing your parents’ car, and that was decidedly uncool. Absolutely no teenaged car guy I knew ever bought a 4-door with his own money.


Porsche 911 Carrera

The price cap here is absolutely necessary. Virtually every new car from Aston Martin and Ferrari is a stunner, and the Audi R8 leaves me weak-kneed. But once we descend into the world of the sub-exotic, things are much less clear.

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