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.
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:
A BMW 3 series. I actually like this look a lot. I think BMW could make this work.
A bit awkward, but not terrible! This Volkswagen Golf looks alert and ready.
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.
Huh. I think I like the Mustang with the early ‘80s face?
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?