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Hooniverse Asks- What Car Best Pulls Off Another Car’s Iconic Styling Element?

Robert Emslie December 10, 2012 Hooniverse Asks 86 Comments

One of Charles Caleb Colton’s most famous quotes is imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In the automotive world, there have been many a designer who may have felt flattered to see certain elements of their work show up on the designs of others, but I think the response to the discovery would most likely be seriously?

Sometimes one car’s attempt to emulate another is very subtle – the double bubble rooflines of the Viper and Corvette echoing Zagato tropes from decades past – while other times they are explicit and blatant. An example of the latter is the original Toyota Celica liftback which takes a little more DNA from the ’68-’70 Mustang than I bet Ford felt warranted.

But hey, share and share alike, right? After all it’s not like one manufacturer is stealing an entire car from another, it’s just a little snip here and a flourish there. And the question for today is which maker has done the best job of that petty left of design cues. What do you think, which car best pulls off another’s iconic styling element?

Images: [Flickriver, AllFordMustangs]

Currently there are 86 comments on this article:

  1. Van_Sarockin says:

    For the past few years it's been the Chrysler 300 fooling everyone into thinking that the world is full of Bentleys.

  2. M44Power says:

    Lexus LS400 pulling off a near perfect replica of a Mercedes, without the massive cost to purchase or the insane service schedules.

    • LTDScott says:

      Haha, thanks for all the thumbs up guys. BTW, we completed a LeMons race over the weekend and got 5th place out of 120+ entrants. We were in 2nd on Sunday afternoon but broke a shifter rod. Got it fixed relatively quickly thanks to the help from another team and got back on track.

  3. wisc47 says:

    I'll give you three guesses as to what this looks like.

    <img src="http://www.villagesautomarket.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/99792-500×375.jpg"&gt;

  4. boostedlegowgn says:

    Nobody's pointed out that the new Fusion looks like James Bond, Jr.? Well it doesh, and will shell like hotcakesh, Monneypenny.

    Other than that, if you've ever seen a Kia Rio, you know that Peter Schreyer obviously stole a bunch of VW blueprints when he left Audi.

  5. Devin says:

    Mercedes-Benz' attempt to join in on the American tailfin trend was rather cute.

    <img src="http://www.sl-vip.de/assets/images/300Heckflosse2.JPG"&gt;

  6. mike says:

    I thought I was a pretty knowledgable car guy, but is that actually a fixed roof SL pictured in the original post? Can't believe I've never seen one before…

  7. mr. mzs zsm msz esq says:

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/Chaika-front.jpg/500px-Chaika-front.jpg"&gt; Why am I standing here and waving to an old man in a Packard?

  8. buzzboy7 says:

    I don't know what other car's styling it's pulling off, but it sure as hell doesn't look like a Hyundai.
    <img src="http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2009/02/hyundai-equus-0218-2_opt.jpg"&gt;

    • BAMacPherson says:

      Yes yes, it comes from that J place. But so relevant.

      • Devin says:

        I don't think [redacted] was being entirely fair, since a grille is one of biggest visual stamps on the front of the car, so naturally changing the shape is going to make something look like it belongs to a different brand. There's only so much you can do with headlights and still do their job – though we're actually a lot more varied than the sealed beam days – and not many manufacturers do something distinct with a lower intake. When you're looking at a very limited number of identifying features from that angle, that's a big one.

        Which is not to say an argument couldn't be made, especially given the popularity of trapezoidal grille shapes around the world, just that this example is a pretty poor way of doing it.

    • dukeisduke says:

      And a beltline from the Buick LaCrosse.

  9. Sjalabais says:

    Chrysler C300 and my personal holy grail of carmaking, the incredible and wonderful Volvo Amazon. =8^)

    <img src="http://www.remarkablecars.com/main/chrysler/chrysler-00027-1.jpg"&gt;

    <img src="http://www.classicroad.com/volvo/Volvo121S/121Sno3.jpg"&gt;

  10. Raphael Orlove says:

    <img src="http://autofrei.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/p3145097.jpg&quot; width="500">
    <img src="http://farm1.staticflickr.com/189/486754259_7ce3ec4042_z.jpg&quot; width="500">
    Don't forget the '85-'89 Celica, directly inspired by the Panhard 24, of all things. So cool!

  11. Rust-MyEnemy says:

    Alright; Check this out:

    Original Audi TT Coupe;

    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8182/7961114436_b8b815a1ca_z.jpg&quot; width=450>

    Microcar MC2

    <img src="http://img.pistonheads.com.s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/audi/tt/1-8-t-quattro-2dr-225/audi-tt-1-8-t-quattro-2dr-225-3998677-6.jpg&quot; width=450>

    Imitation / flattery, I know. But when drugs are involved….

    How about:

    Indcar Maxim;

    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4078/4898546751_4d18c21f7a_z.jpg&quot; width=450>

    Pontiac Trans Sport

    <img src="http://www.busandcoach.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/images/s398skk.jpg&quot; width=450>

  12. Alison says:

    <img src="http://www.philseed.com/images/volvo-244-1974.jpg"&gt;

    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/71/1st_Chevrolet_Astro.jpg/640px-1st_Chevrolet_Astro.jpg"&gt;

    Oftentimes I'll be followed by one of those grilles in my rear view, think it's an early 240, do a double take, and say 'Not another damn Astro'.

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