Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm digging these two retro designed autos

Heh, currently I'm in Motor City, MoTown, or Detroit, Michigan. This is a city that's not doing very well right now, but it's forever known for being an important city for the auto industry. Too bad that the two of the big three automakers are struggling enough where they recieve government bailout money to keep them afloat.

Well the purpose of this post is not to opine about the state of the auto industry, but to just highlight the cars I wish I could buy today! Chrysler's PT Cruiser and the Chevy HHR. These two cars are retro and from what I can tell the PT Cruiser would be considered an SUV, in fact the PT and HHR are considered crossover SUVs. However in my mind, both are more like regular cars. They are more like station wagons and you don't see those brand new and for sale as much these days.

For the most part, unlike most guys I couldn't tell you anything technical about these cars such as horsepower, type of engine, even miles per gallon. I respond more or less to not only the design of the car, but for what purpose I may want to buy a car. In my case, it's important to have a car to roll around in preferably not commuting, but at least something that I would feel great about driving around in.

That being said I have a great admiration for retro styling. When Ford re-introduced the Thunderbird (T-Bird) into the marketplace in 2002 it could easily be the car of my choice for it's retro styling and bringing back the sportcar look for a model that had started to become more of a family car as time went on. Of course the T-Bird was styled based upon earlier model years, perhaps based upon the designs of the late 50s, early 60s.

The retro styling of the HHR & PT Cruiser were based on earlier models made by both Chevy & Chrysler. The PT is based upon the Chrysler Airflow. The HHR is based on the 1949 design of the Chevy Suburban. The Airflow certainly was the right size of cars in those days and the 1949 Suburban well it could certainly be considered an SUV even though in the late 1940s the basic design of the automobile would change from it's more oversized appearance. Certainly the Suburban evolved into the SUV many of us are more familiar with although SUV probably wasn't defined when the Suburban was first produced in the 1930s.

The HHR seems much larger than the PT and the PT seems a bit more streamlined than the HHR. Perhaps if I research enough I might be able to find out which car is faster or what is more apt to for hauling. Both might be OK to take on a roadtrip anywhere.

You know who else should get into this "retro" business? Ford. I mentioned the Ford Thunderbird but while it re-entered the market with a new design in 2002, they stopped production once again in 2005. If only they could hire Bryan Nesbitt the designer of both the PT Cruiser and HHR. Surely he can design the modern version of the Model T to compete with his other two creations. And I just threw the Model T out there since older model car was the inspirations for the design of the PT and HHR.

I would be more apt to support Ford especially since they did well enough where they didn't have to ask for any bailout funds. For now if I insist on retro-styled autos I may well just consider either the HHR or the PT and hope that one day Chrysler and Chevy (GM) may do well without the use of government money.

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