Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces

Automotive design has changed pretty dramatically from the unashamedly rectilinear 1980s. We’ve learned a lot more about aerodynamics, which is of course a factor, but we’ve also just somehow decided that we really want all sorts of undulating, overlapping folds and creases and waves, wrapped around massive grilles and lights shaped like droplets of ice cream melted and flung, at speed.

There was a certain simplicity to automotive faces in the 1980s; the limitations (in America) of just two headlamp shapes was absolutely a reason, but there was also an industry-wide affectation for a certain sort of simple car-face.

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Just for the hell of it, I decided to slap on some 1980s-era faces onto some modern cars. These are all faces that these same models of cars wore back in the height of the Rubik’s Cube and Betamax and cocaine era, so there’s a sort of pedigree involved here.

These are just quick-and-dirty Photoshops, but they’re enough to show me that, weirdly, I kind of like ‘80s faces on modern cars? There’s something about some of these that sort of works, in an odd way.

Maybe I’m nuts. Here, see what you think:

Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces
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A BMW 3 series. I actually like this look a lot. I think BMW could make this work.

Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces
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A bit awkward, but not terrible! This Volkswagen Golf looks alert and ready.

Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces
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Okay, the contouring of the hood needed to meet the grille makes it look pretty dented up. This face would need some significant re-working. Sorry, Honda Civic.

Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces
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Huh. I think I like the Mustang with the early ‘80s face?

Illustration for article titled Modern Cars With Their 1980s Faces
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Sure, frontal area is flat and huge, and it’s pretty discordant with the rest of the undulating, swoopy body, but, damn, I like this Chevy Blazer face better.

Feel free to bang out some of your own! Why not, right?

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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