Old School: Auto Exterior Details That Have Sunk Into Oblivion

  For more than a century of history, automotive design has come a long way from the angular carriage-like carriages to the streamlined fireballs of our time. Many decisions in the design of the exterior have sunk into oblivion, some have been transformed into something new in order to correspond to the trends of the times, while others have remained in the form of some atavisms. Let's talk only about some of them. ..


At the beginning of the twentieth century, the filler cap of the car's radiator was on top of the false radiator grille. In order to quickly unscrew the cork on a boiling engine, devices were required in the form of special tides and handles, which were later turned for aesthetic purposes into elegant decorations called car mascots (from the French mascotte -a person, animal or object that brings good luck. ).

Mascots became very popular in the period from the 20s to the 50s of the last century. Examples of famous mascots are the Jaguar Jaguar, a statuetteSpirit of ecstasyfor Rollce-Royce, Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star, Rocket on Oldsmobile and many others.

In addition to the official mascots, there was also a lucrative business of producing miniature sculptures with which owners decorated their cars.

In the late 60s - early 70s, new, more stringent requirements for passive safety of cars came into force in the legislation of the United States and European countries, due to which rigidly fixed mascots, dangerous when a car collides with pedestrians are a thing of the past. There were only figures that were folded or recessed into the radiator grill. Today, in most cases, instead of three-dimensional figures, large two-dimensional emblems are used either on the front fascia of the car or on the false radiator grille.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Photo: de28osit32hotos.


The privilege of regular equipping with mascots remained only with exclusive cars, for example, Rolls-Royce.

Headlamp wipers

Wipersand headlight washers were introduced by Saab in 1969 and were first installed on Saab 96 and Saab 96 vehicles. Subsequently, they were used by many European and Asian brands, including the VAZ, GAZ and ZIL models. They began to be abandoned with the transition from glass headlight covers to those made of polycarbonate, since the latter was quickly rubbed off from the brushes. At present, only headlight washers are used to clean the headlights.

Wooden frame and body attachments

The main body element of the first cars was wood. As the design of the car became more complex and the requirements for its strength and durability increased, wood was replaced by steel, aluminum and other materials. However, there were reasons why the tree at the heart of the power structure of the machine lasted for more than a dozen years.

In the past, car bodies and chassis were assembled and delivered separately, so there were many workshops that made their own bodies based on the chassis of famous manufacturers. In the United States, it has become a spin-off business of some furniture companies making wooden bodies.

Some cars of this type moved into the luxury category and were designed according to the taste of wealthy customers, while cars from another, more utilitarian category served as small resort buses transporting tourists from railway stations to hotels. Such machines were calledde54ot hacks. .

In England, however, most often the body made of wood had the forerunners of modern SUVs -shooting breaks. .

Usually they belonged to wealthy landowners and were intended to transport guests to the landlord's land. Nevertheless, officially such cars were of a commercial type, therefore, when during the Second World War, restrictions on fuel consumption and additional taxes related only to personal cars, woodies were introduced (the so-called cars with partial use of wood in the frame and hinged body parts ) received a surge in popularity.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Despite the obvious shortcomings of woodies in the form of laboriousness of manufacturing a wooden body and high requirements for caring for it, automakers have made attempts to produce such machines in series. So, Ford launched the Model A into mass production in 1929. However, the demand for woodies fell steadily due to their fragility, and the 1953 Buick 1953 Su77er Estate Wagon and Roadmaster Estate Wagon were the last American station wagons with real wood paneling.

The Morris Minor Traveler, produced from 1953 to 1971, was the last mass-produced model in the world to use wood in the body structure.

Some time later, natural wood was still used in the form of panels with which doors were sheathed, but later in woodies fittings it was only imitated with the help of vinyl, plastic and other materials. In 2009, a reminder of the Woodie's past popularity was the exterior trim of the Ford Flex, featuring horizontal door grooves that looked like they were made of wood.

Currently, the only manufacturer whose cars have a wooden frame is the English company Morgan Motor Com90any.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Packard Six Station Wagon

White tire sidewalls

At the dawn of the automotive industry, tires were made from natural rubber without impurities and had a white color.

However, rubber itself was a rapidly wearing, fragile material, so to improve the properties of tires, a carbon filler began to be added to it, giving the composition a black color. Due to the high price of carbon rubber, it was only used on the outside of the tire, leaving the inner ring white. The narrower the white strip of natural rubber was, the better and therefore the more prestigious the tire was.

As the cost of carbon fillers declined, whitewall tires regained their exclusive status, and some automakers began to offer them as an option (like Ford did in 1934). The peak of demandwhitewallscame in the 50s and 60s, when the status of magnificent cars such as the Cadillac Eldorado and Lincoln Continental was emphasized, among other things, by tires with a narrow white stripe on the sidewall.

Todaywhitewallsnot offered for serial models, but are in demand in the field of tuning and restoration. There is also a cheap substitute for real tires with a white sidewall - flippers: imitators are placed on top of the wheel so that their edge goes under the rim of the disc and is tightly pressed against the tire when inflating.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Closed wheel arches

The idea of ​​hiding the wheels in the bowels of the arches was developed in the 1930s. Back then, closed wheel arches were thought to improve aerodynamics and give the car an elegant look. Because closed wheel arches made wheel access difficult, many manufacturers designed vehicles with removable wheel arch liners (such as the 1934 Chrysler Airflow), but there was an alternative approach: the 1950 Nash Rambler had closed wheel arches on all four wheels.

Surprisingly, this did not significantly impair the vehicle's agility. In Europe, one of the brightest representatives of cars with coquettishly hidden rear axle wheels was the 1955 Citroen DS19, which was repeatedly namedthe most beautiful car of the 20th century. .

The height of the flap that hid the arch varied: until the 50s it ended at the level of the thresholds, and until the 60s it covered only the upper part of the wheel. By the 70s, the fashion for closed wheel arches began to subside, but in the USA it lasted for some time on class carsLuxand in EuropeCitroencontinued this tradition until the 90s.

The first generation Honda Insight hybrid, produced from 1999 to 2006, was the last production model with rear wheels hidden in the arches.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Body typeslandau. ,bruham. ,phaeton

The three above-mentioned body types were united by the fact that they all had a soft folding roof, but the subtleties of the implementation of the idea were different.

Phaeton was equipped with a folding roof over all rows of seats in the absence of side lifting windows.

For protection from the weather, either clip-on sheets of tarpaulin with a transparent celluloid film in the middle were used, or, in later versions, removable glasses. Initially, the phaetons had only one row of seats, but then there were two or even three of them. From a formal point of view, phaetons included not only such prestigious cars as the Isotta Fraschini Ty148o 8 Sala, Duesenberg LaGrande Dual-Cowl Phaeton and the domestic ZIS-110B, but also the GAZ-69, although, of course, there are no hints at least about increased comfort in he was not there.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

Even after phaetons disappeared from the market, their name was used in naming models offering increased space for rear passengers. So, the 1956 Mercury Montclair Phaeton was a hardtop, and the Volkswagen Phaeton, produced to this day, was a 4-door executive sedan.

Landau and Bruehm are an example of opposite decisions in the design of the body: if the typelandauhad a folding roof over the heads of the rear passengers, then the bruem allowed the top to be folded (or did not have it at all) in the front of the cabin. Bruemes were widespread until the outbreak of World War II, with the most common body type used by luxury brands. Perhaps the brightest representative of Bruems is the Bugatti Type 41 Royale Coupe Napoleon.

Titlelandauas well asbruham. , came from the carriage age.

The German city of Landau was famous for its carriage craftsmen who created progressive convertible carriages with seats arranged so that passengers sat facing each other. Until 1920, one of the most popular Landau cars wasRusso-BaltBy 12/20, willingly bought by the nobility and wealthy industrialists. Among foreign models, the Maybach Zeppelin Landaulet of 1938, released in only a few copies, stood out.

Relatively modern landauts include only two cars - the Lexus LS600h L Landaulet, made in a single copy for the wedding of Prince Albert II of Monaco, and the Maybach 62 Landaulet.

Old School: auto exterior details that have sunk into oblivion

What will the future hold for cars? Perhaps side-view mirrors will go away in the past, giving way to miniature cameras.

The door handles will tuck into the body, like the Tesla Model S, and the number of sedans and hatchbacks displaced by more practical and versatile crossovers will be significantly reduced. In addition, with the development of electric vehicles with batteries in the floor, the very appearance of cars may rush to a one-volume body instead of a two- and three-volume one. In general, in the next decades we will witness the next evolutionary and revolutionary changes in automotive design. ..


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