It used to be that you drove your car… and not the other way around. Now it seems the car of the future will drive you, or perhaps fly you to your destination. It’s enough to make any vintage car aficionado shed a tear or two.If we had our way, classic cars would rule the road.
Here are some classic car designs that we wish we would see more of today…
Classic Hot Rod Decals
Even while the fifties heralded the demise of the hood ornament, it was a fantastic time for Hot Rod cars. Hot Rods refer to any type of car that is refitted with pieces from other vehicles.
One theory as to the origin of the name “Hot Rod” has it that “hot” refers to parts being stolen, and “rod” to the vehicle. And so “Hot Rodders” were those who modified their cars for speed. These modifications also extended to the car’s appearance with a unique paint job, or a vinyl decal.
Today, getting a decal on your car is still possible. Companies that provide custom wall decalsalso provide vinyl decals for cars. And there is nothing that speaks of your love for Hot Rodding than a flamed side splash.
The hood ornament is one feature that has disappeared over the decades. Its original purpose was as a motometer, to gauge engine temperature. With time, car designers began to add a little flair to the motometer by dressing it up with fancy embellishments. By the 1920s, the temperature gauge was no longer placed on the hood of the car and had made its way to the car’s dashboard, where it was easier for drivers to see. But the hood ornament continued to be used as a cap for the radiator, which was contained under the hood. Popular hood ornament designs in the twenties and thirties included animals and winged creatures.
Sadly, by the late fifties, car makers began to conceptualize a different kind of car. And today, hood ornaments are a rare sight in car showrooms. Among the reasons cited are pedestrian safety concerns, aerodynamics, and vandal problems. But despite all of that, nothing says Americana like a shiny and sleek sculpture on your hood.
The Big Boxy Convertible
Car manufacturers may say otherwise, but the big boxy convertibles popular in the fifties and sixties is design at its best. One such beauty that perfectly depicts this kind of car is the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado. If there was a car that could encapsulate the essence of what a car is supposed to provide for its owners, it was this one. Even way back in ’59, it was considered a luxury car and to this day has maintained that status. With only 1,320 of these cars in existence, sighting a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado on the road is akin to a holy experience. Something like coming across Bigfoot in Florida.
Over its generations of owners, Cadillac Eldorados have created a look for what we now think of as the quintessential American car. This line of cars have spanned 10 generations, from 1953, and the first generation of Cadillacs to the tenth generation, spanning 1992 to 2002. On the 50th anniversary of their car, the company decided to bring this run to a close. In a fitting tribute to the first generation of Cadillacs, the last generation was produced in the same colors as the first, white cars and red cars. It was a nod to where it all began.
So even while electric and self-driving cars seem to be here to stay. And these alternatives are easier on the environment and possibly safer (the jury is out on that one), design wise they could learn from years gone by. And if nothing else, indulging in some nostalgia may be just what classic car lovers need to brace themselves for the future.