Did you know that the toothed tail lights of the seventies and early eighties Mercedes Benz vehicles were designed not as a styling aesthetic, but to improve visibility when dirty? That kind of functional beauty is an element of the Swabians’ products that I miss in this era of form over function. Other brands have maintained – sometimes for decades – design elements that immediately identified their lineage, it was a comforting reminder of that marque’s stability and sense of tradition.
Today, companies like Mercedes and BMW are casting off their traditional styling tropes, or are morphing them to the point where they are unrecognizable. In their defense the designers frequently profess that the essence of the element still remains. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to pretty much anything, I prefer the real McCoy to the essence.
Jaguar is another brand that, for its sedans at least, has abandoned many of its past styling tropes for more modern interpretations that – sadly – could have come from any other high-end car maker. And don’t get me started on the new Corvette. But what of these cast-offs, the styling memes that used to define brands, which of those do you miss the most? Which long lost styling trop would you like to have back?
Image source: [BMWCoop]