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Design Flaws & Foibles

derrado1derrado1 Posts: 194
edited March 19 in Ford
Inspired by Karl's blog post on design features he hates, I thought I'd create a topic here where we could discuss what design elements we love or hate, and even what cars we think are hideous.

Some things that grind my gears...
-Cars being grossly under-tired, or at least appearing that way. Wheels that don't fill the wheel wells should be discarded.

-Brands having either a range full of lookalikes, or a range full of odd, discrete (not discreet) cars. Brands that have clear styling DNA across the range (Mazda, Cadillac) are good. Nissan has cars that look too similar; Chevrolet has cars that are far too disparate in their designs. When Chevy tries to join them all together, they end up incorporating a fugly design feature (big chrome bar, anyone?) that just detracts from any style the car has (in the case of the Malibu... none).

Another thing I can't stand? Cars with decent looking exteriors, but terrible, chintzy, cheap interiors. The domestics were and are often guilty of this.

By the way, your two cents are needed on another matter.... was the 1996 Ford Taurus _that_ bad? Even though it has some questionable elements and an over-reliance on one theme, I don't think it looks that terrible. But this comes from a guy who thinks the 2007 Camry is a 2007% improvement over the previous generation, and who actually likes the current Grand Prix.

Throw in your two cents. Let's get a bowl full of change. Ugliest cars? Things you hate? Pitch in the pennies.
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Comments

  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    "Cars being grossly under-tired, or at least appearing that way. Wheels that don't fill the wheel wells should be discarded."

    I hate the opposite...tiny cars with gigantic wheels. They look like Hotwheels cars. :(

    On your other point, I'm sorta leary about Ford's new corporate chrome 3-bar grill (see the Edge ad to the left of the page). I thought the previous honeycomb setup was good looking, minimalist and would fit with pretty much every car/truck body. I wonder if this new grill concept will be looked back upon in the same way as Mercury's oddball lightbar grill theme of the early 1990s? :confuse:

    One of my own: I really dislike the trend toward fake dual exhausts. The Asian firms are esp. guilty of this. An Accord is not a peformance car...don't dress it up like one. No one is fooled.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    I don't think they were THAT bad, but they weren't the prettiest things in the world, either. I think the 2000 restyle brought a world of improvement to them.

    I hate oversized wheels, too. Oddly though, I think they look WORSE on bigger, older cars. You'd think that a bigger car would look better with a bigger wheel, but on something that's long and low slung, those oversized bling-bling wheels really give it a HotWheels look. Like this:

    image
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    To me, the original generation Taurus still looks good, even after all these years. The SHO version still has a look of subtle power about it too.

    You're right about the modern bling wheels on the classics...seems so sad, esp. considering how beautiful some of the historic wheels from that era were...the Cragars, the Torque Thrust Ds.

    I can understand putting modern tires on those old monsters (it's mind-boggling to think that the old musclecars could do 14 second quarter miles even when handicapped by those skinny polyglas tires of the era), but please leave the wheels alone!
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Wheels are way too large these days. Regular cars and SUVs don't need anything bigger than 16" rims, and 18s with 35-series tires are plenty for track cars. Headlight and taillight assemblies are also ridiculously oversized. They should be abolished in favor of individual barrels containing the actual lighting element. Cars are also obscenely heavy these days. The entire industry needs to hire some good bridge engineers to teach them how to design lightweight, rigid structures using nonexotic materials.
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    One of my own: I really dislike the trend toward fake dual exhausts.

    Part of that is for NVH: twice as much muffling for the same cfm.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    I can understand putting modern tires on those old monsters (it's mind-boggling to think that the old musclecars could do 14 second quarter miles even when handicapped by those skinny polyglas tires of the era), but please leave the wheels alone!

    I think one of the best things you can do with a lot of those older cars is go with a wider wheel and tire, but not necessarily a larger-diameter one. A lot of cars back then came with 14x5.5 or 14x6 wheels, and couple that with a bias-ply tire, it really makes them look skinny.

    My '67 Catalina has 215/75/R14 tires, and I think the wheel is 6" wide. I want to put some 15x7 Rally 2's on it, but I've heard that backspacing is a real issue with these cars. And looking up under it, as it is, there's not much clearance between the tire and the upper control arm!

    Even in the 70's, when cars started really bulking up, I think many of them rode on narrow 5.5" rims. For example, I think the standard wheel on my '79 New Yorker was a 15x5.5". I have 15x7 copcar rims on it now, and they have a bit more offset than the regular 15x7 rims you can get on it. With 235/70/R15 tires, I think they fill out the car nicely. But these stupid 20 and 22" rims would really make it look goofy.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    Here's the link for those that missed it:
    Your automotive annoyances

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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    is right on with all his complaints. On his list, his number one is probably also my number one: compromised outward visibility. And he left the most glaring current example off his examples list: the Chrysler 300. This thing has no outward visibility at all! But in general, the beltlines and trunk heights of most new cars today have reached such atrocious heights that seeing out the back or rear 3/4 views on both sides is becoming completely impossible. I may have to shift to buying nothing but pick-up trucks just so I can compensate for this trend with my own cars. As it is, it is one of the things I look for most attentively when I test-drive a new car, and I am almost always disappointed.

    Another one of my biggest pet peeves these days was expressed perfectly by derrado:
    "Cars with decent looking exteriors, but terrible, chintzy, cheap interiors."
    IMO, by far the worst offender on this front these days is Chrysler, which has had a bunch of new models introduced recently with appallingly cheap garbagey interiors, including the Caliber, both of the new Jeep models (not the Wrangler, the Patriot and Compass, I think?), and now the Sebring. But the PT's interior was never anything to write home about, neither was the 300's nor any of the minivans.

    Of course, the whole industry in general spent WAY too much time cost-cutting the heck out of their interiors in the 90s, and I feel they are almost all subpar these days for the money you spend. I think they are aware of this common grumble out in consumerland, and we will see this turn around in the next decade or so.

    In terms of exteriors, I find it amusing that I really can't tell a Sentra from an Altima from a Maxima now - they are virtually identical. I don't THINK this is just me. Lexus has this problem with their cars too. And they will have it soon with the Toyota cars as well, depending on how the new Corolla looks. I think Honda does a good job of having common styling elements for the "family" without making them look too similar. Ford is also doing a decent job of uniting the family without making identical siblings, but I don't happen to like the new massive chrome mug (like on the Edge and the Lincolns). And of course, their line-up is a melange of very old and quite new models, so with the age disparities they never quite manage to get all the cars and trucks into the same styling family before they have moved on to something new.

    Oh, and as for the Taurus, I have always had a soft spot for that model - it is like the well-behaved family pet that is constantly abused by its owner, yet soldiers on. But yes, the '96-'00s really were that ugly - it would have been better for them to just keep the 1990 styling for 15 years. Its replacement, the Fusion, is IMO the best-looking Ford car available, except MAYBE the Mustang.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bryanbryan Posts: 217
    1. Oversized spoilers. Some cars just don't look right with any size spoiler to me (Honda Accord, Civic, even that WRX by Suburu looks wrong to me, as the car is so boxy). A very small one came on my '04 Bonny GXP, and it seems okay on that car, but one on my '03 Aurora would not look right to me.

    2. Any car where the wheels are nicer than the car.

    3. Too many computer, flavor-of-the-week gadgets. I don't need all that stuff to turn on the climate control, radio, etc. Why do I need cup holders that cool/heat? Why do I need a navigation system? Use a map--that extra $2K doesn't seem worth it to me. I guess my age is showing here too. :shades:

    4. I also think there is too much look-a-like between brand siblings, like in the Toyota/Lexus lineup. I have to look closely to tell a new Camry from the Lexus version. And, I just can't get into the new Camry--I didn't particularly care for the style of the previous generation, but I like the '07 even less. GM was famous for that for years, and still does some of that, and Ford/Mercury/Lincoln seems to be doing way too much of that lately with their new four-door cars (I forget the names, alpha designations, whatever they are called). I agree on the Nissan point made by the first poster.

    5. Not making certain options available that should be IMO. For example, I like the headsup display on my '04 Bonny GXP. Not available on the Buick Lucerne. However, Buick has offered it in the past on the LeSabre. What gives here?

    6. Another big peeve is color. Why are so many of the exterior colors so bland? I don't want a black, silver or white car. I'd like a lot more color choices. And, why are interior colors so limited? Some manufacturers are doing more interior colors now, but it seemed you could get neutral or ebony as the only two choices for the longest time on lots of cars. How boring.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    It's refreshing that the spoiler craze of the late 1990s-early 2000s seems to be somewhat subsiding. I'm seeing more and more sport models of cars that no longer have them as standard equipment, including the new Mustang... :shades:

    They were cool when only a few cars had them, but familiarity certain bred comtempt. I think the nadir was when Toyota made them available on the Corolla... :(
  • derrado1derrado1 Posts: 194
    Colour seems to be coming back in interiors, fortunately. Check out the terracotta leather available in some Volvos and Saturns.

    On the other hand, did anybody see the ghastly Cadillac DTS Premium they had on display recently? The exterior was in old-man-beige, and the interior had a light dash and dark brown seats. It looked absolutely terrible.

    I guess, though, we can be thankful that bright red interiors have gone the way of the dinosaur. No, not red accented interiors like in Mustangs, but full, retina-searing red "velour". I guess it suits a lot of 70's cars, but when you see it fitted in an '86 Skylark or a '92 Century, it's just ghastly.

    You're right, Bryan. Some cars just should not have spoilers. I can think of a few off my head, like the Aurora you mentioned and especially the Acura TSX. I've seen some around with spoilers and it just throws off the whole look. It's weird though how subjective it is... they look nice on Mazda6s, but not on Mazda3s. Go figure.

    Before I hush up again, I must make another guilty admission... I thought the old Mercury light bars were cool :blush: :D
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    echo one of bryan's points here: lack of exterior color choice nowadays. With many models now you get four shades of gray/silver (all with creative names of course, like "desert storm" and "molten titanium", so you don't figure out they are just "gray"), white, black, and sometimes red. And that's it.

    I applaud VW Group for bucking this trend, especially with the Audis, which come in about 50 interesting shades in some cases. But at the same time, I castigate many of the German companies (including Audi) for STILL, in the year 2006, charging extra for metallic paint. Unbelievable.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • bryanbryan Posts: 217
    I feel the same way about these creative names. The color doesn't appeal to me based on the name. Sometimes I laugh out loud when I see some of the names these usual colors receive. And please, I'm not that dumb--silver is silver, gray is gray, black is black, no matter what fancy name you put on it.

    Marketing is amazing these days, especially when I see how clever marketing can sell a ho-hum product, kinda like that Head On headache reliever; I saw a report by one of the local consumer reporters that said it basically is all hype--but it sure has sold based on that annoying commericial. The placebo effect?

    And I also get really irked about having to pay for a decent color, usually a metallic color. It's strictly a money maker IMO. I mean, that GM color White flash tricoat I think it's called? While I don't necessarily want the color, is it really worth $995 more than "plain" white? Not to me. And, when you peruse the on-line inventories of certain GM vehicles, they seem to have a huge number of cars in that color. Um, no thanks.

    What got me thinking about exterior colors was a recent visit to Hemmings on-line looking at classic cars for sale. It got me thinking about the myriad of colors available on cars from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I remember seeing a copy of the 57 Chevy brochure which had 40 or so colors to choose from, not to mention the two tone colors also available. I seem to recall EPA/air quality issues that changed the way auto paint was made?

    When I bought my '91 Camaro convertible, I would not settle for any color except that Teal color with gray leather. My dealer had to locate the car and have it shipped in. It was an eye catcher, and then I started noticing that color on more and more Camaros, so I think it was a very popular seller, because it was fresh and different?

    When I bought my '04 Bonny GXP, I ended up with graystone metallic exterior (no extra charge!) with the two-tone gray interior. It's the right color for that car IMO. When I bought my '03 Olds Aurora, I ended up with the Red Bordeaux (not quite dark cherry) with the neutral interior--only color combination I was willing to take on that car. The rest of the colors available to choose from on both those cars were sooooo boring! At least to my eye.

    Not to belabor the point, but one final thing I remember from the 70s was reading an article about how popular Cadillac was becoming with a younger crowd due to their interesting paint colors. Now some of those colors were not to my taste, but they boosted car sales according to that article.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    I have been rather amused to see GM get into the "premium paint surcharge" game. I am not sure a Chevy can support such added costs, and Chevy's website is the first place I saw it. They will just have to discount it even more deeply at the end to get it off the lot.

    One thing I used to really like, but have now accepted (sigh) to be viewed as outmoded and "so 80s", was two-tone paint jobs. Many of them really spruced up a car's appearance, not to mention with really tall-sided cars it reduced the tall effect.

    But please automakers! Bring back real colors to your cars! And let's kill the popularity of silver like we killed white in the 90s, and let's nip the trend towards gunmetal gray in the bud while we're at it!!

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    One thing I used to really like, but have now accepted (sigh) to be viewed as outmoded and "so 80s", was two-tone paint jobs. Many of them really spruced up a car's appearance, not to mention with really tall-sided cars it reduced the tall effect.

    I think two-tone paintjobs work on cars that are angular and have creases that can serve as break points for the paint colors. Like what was common in the 70's and 80's.

    And two-toning worked fine on cars of the 50's and early 60's, where there was enough chrome to serve as a break point, and the roof was a separate enough entity, style-wise, from the rest of the car, that a different color worked well. Some of the two-toning (and three-toning) got a little garish, but if done right, it could be very attractive.

    And even with the more aerodynamic cars of the later 80's and 90's, where it was common to have a separate front fascia and rear fascia that carried all the way to the wheel openings, and then some ribbing on the lower door panels, that two-toning effect wasn't bad. But nowadays, most car designs are relatively "bumperless", with the fascias blending smoothly into the overall shape of the car, and being painted body color. I just don't think two-toning would lend itself very well to today's cars.

    I hear ya on the silver thing, too! When I bought my silver Intrepid, I thought the color was kinda classy. But once they started putting silver on ever cheaper cars, it just lost all intrigue for me. Plus, I'm probably getting tired of silver, as I've had that car over 7 years now. And my Gran Fury before that was silver. And the Monte Carlo before that was a 2-tone gray-over-silver.

    I'm not really a fan of the 2007 Camry, but I swear I'm seeing them in some of the most beautiful colors! There's a light blue metallic that I really like, as well as kind of a silvery green metallic, and just the other day I saw one in kind of a dark greenish blue metallic. Sure beats the hell out of the typical whites, silvers, grays, sands, etc.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    I think I saw the same light blue Camry color you mention. Almost looks like something that would be at home on a late 50s/early 60s car.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Here's a pic of an '07 Camry in that shade of blue:
    image

    I have an old Chrysler history book put out by Consumer Guide, and it has a picture of a 1957 Chrysler New Yorker 2-door hardtop in a similar color, but non-metallic. Kinda like this:
    image

    It also makes me think of that baby blue that seems like ended up on every other 1975 LeSabre convertible:
    image
  • 210delray210delray Posts: 4,722
    I'm partial to blue myself, especially light to medium blue. Lighter greens and blue-greens are nice too.

    That light blue Camry color came out in 2005; in 2002-2004, Toyota offered a nice medium blue metallic, which I have on my 2004:

    imageSee more Car Pictures at CarSpace.com
  • derrado1derrado1 Posts: 194
    The signature colour of the Toyota Sportivo range (Australian suspension tuning and modifications - the closest thing you have is the Camry SE) is "Cyber Green" and I must admit, it's refreshingly different.

    image

    Their Camry colour range is pretty good, too. They've got a very yellowy-gold, exclusive to Sportivos, plus a bright turquoise (always on base-model Camrys... much better than the millions of white previous generations' Camrys I've seen on the streets) and a nice, bright blue.

    I'm not a huge fan of Toyota, but now that they're taking a few risks and going different design directions, I respect them more and would actually consider getting one. I'm actually swaying my mother towards a Camry for her next car (lord knows she needs something better, she drives a Daewoo Nubira at the moment)
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,804
    That's the color, yeah.

    I wish MB offered a nice lightish blue or silver blue on AMG cars.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    I like that blue, Delray. It reminds me of the steely blue that you used to be able to get on Intrepids. In fact, if I had it to do over again, I would've probably bought that color. For 2000 they offered two shades of green, but one of them was really washed-out and looked gray at a quick glance. The other was kind of a forest green, but just seemed to "Crayola-ish".

    Then, around 2003-2004, they offered something called "Butane Blue" on the Intrepid, which was a really light metallic blue, similar to the new Camry color. I really liked it.

    That green on the Australian Camry looks cool, too!
  • bryanbryan Posts: 217
    Wow, some of those pictures really bring home the point about boring car colors. I would buy that green on the Camry on a Buick Lucerne tomorrow. (GM guy all the way)! I would pair it with a neutral leather interior, and the chrome 18 inch wheels. That would be sweet. That particular version of the Camry is very attractive.

    Andre, the blue on that 75 LeSabre convertible was everywhere like you say. That's a beautiful car with the white interior and boot. That color was available on the Olds Cutlass that year, and I had a good friend who ordered one in that color with the darker blue half (landau?) vinyl roof and matching blue puffy seated interior, and it had the chrome-like spoked wheels (IIRC--30 years is a long time!) That car was just beautiful. I remember once sitting at a light and and the driver in the next lane just went on and on about how beautiful that car was.

    With all the retro styling going on these days, I'd love to see GM do something in a two-door coupe using the Cutlass styling cues--either the 68-72 or the 73-77 versions--and make a convertible available in some great colors and I'd be first in line to get one.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    ...that airbag techology improvements are allowing for smaller airbags that can be placed once again in good-looking steering wheel hubs.

    The 1990s were a pretty bad time...all those gigantic, rounded rectangle hubs that looked alike. Much smaller and more shape variety these days.

    Though I'm still waiting for a return of the preforated steering wheel spokes for performance cars... :shades:
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Andre, the blue on that 75 LeSabre convertible was everywhere like you say. That's a beautiful car with the white interior and boot.

    I wonder if that shade of blue was only offered by GM in 1975? I found this paint chart for the 1975 Pontiacs (warning, it's a big pic) and I think it was called "Arctic Blue" on the Pontiacs. Sometimes these charts lose their true color when they get scanned, but I think that's the one. I'm sure that Buick, Olds, and Chevy all had their own names for it.

    There was a 1975 LeMans coupe for sale recently on eBay in that color, and for some reason, on that car I didn't think it looked quite as good. But on the '75 LeSabre, I think it's perfect. Seems like it was pretty common on the '75 Caprice convertible and Delta 88 convertible as well, and I've seen it on the Bonneville/Grand Ville, but in this case it seems like metallic blue was a bit more common.

    But then, I can't recall ever seeing a '74 or '76 GM car in that color. In 1977, it looks like GM offered something called a "Lombard Blue", which looks similar, but seems a bit brighter to me. Almost TOO bright. IIRC, there was a special edition of the Firebird that came in this color, and it just didn't look right on that car!
  • bryanbryan Posts: 217
    Wow Andre, you have quite the collection of all kinds of car-related stuff. Seeing both those paint charts just reinforces my disappointment with what's available today. I mean, look at how many different (nuanced?) colors there were that weren't just slight shade differences of grey/silver, etc. One chart has 21 colors; the other 26. That's twice as many as you can get on most car lines today (by model anyway).

    Do you recall some type of regulatory change by the EPA about paint composition? I'm fuzzy about it, but I seem to remember about 20 years or so ago, that there were some car manufacturers who had trouble getting the new "clean" paint to adhere, and there were a lot of claims for repaint, etc?

    I do admit though that there are some cars that do not look right in some colors, and that there are some cars where black, for instance, is just right--like most Mercedes. The Acura TL is awesome in the medium gray metallic, and I like it in black or the dark blue, but the lighter colors don't do as much for me. So I guess I'm arguing with myself here. ;) But for me, that's not unusual!
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,189
    ...two-tone paint schemes on cars again. I just saw a really nice 1988-91 Oldsmobile Ninety-Eight Regency in silver and maroon two-tone sans vinyl top. The two-toning really lowers the profile of the car and makes this rather short car look long and sleek.
  • derrado1derrado1 Posts: 194
    The curvier cars get, the tackier two-tone paint jobs look. On boxy, 70's personal luxury coupes it looks great. Rugged SUVs? Sure. But just think of the average sedan/coupe these days, and try and picture two-tone paint. With maybe a few exceptions (it could be passable on a Lucerne, for instance), it would look pretty darn bad.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    Wow Andre, you have quite the collection of all kinds of car-related stuff.

    Thanks, Bryan. Actually I got lucky with those two paint charts. I have a '76 LeMans, and theres an online site devoted to the '73-77 LeMans (guess if you look hard enough, you'll find a website devoted to ANYTHING! :P ), and that's where I found those paint charts.

    Around 1987, I think they did start requiring the paints to be more environmentally friendly. IIRC, they switched from an oil-based paint to water-based? Or something along those lines. Or it may have been the primer. Anyway, the paint had problems sticking to the primer, and it would peel away. Whereas in the old days, your paint would just fade and thin out, and crows-foot if it was metallic, these newer paints would usually peel off while still shiny!

    Then on top of that, they started using clearcoats more often around that time, and the clearcoat tended to burn off. Looked real pretty when it was new, with a nice, deep luster, but once it was gone, it looked really horrible.

    As for reducing the choice of colors, I'm guessing that was just a sign of standardization and cost-cutting. Instead of offering you 20-25 colors, plus a few two-tones, to pretty much guarantee that any buyer could get what they want, they started just going for a few basic colors that would still make the majority of the people happy, and forcing the others to just deal with it.

    Plus, I'd imagine that many of those more off-beat colors had to be special-ordered by the customer. In situations where the dealer ordered the cars for the sales lot, they probably just went with the most popular choices anyway.

    I think it's interesting too, that back in the day they'd often have two colors that seemed only a few shades off from each other. When I was a kid, my Mom had a '75 LeMans. It was kind of a metallic fiery burgundy that my Mom always called "Bronze". A couple years ago, my Dad and I were talking about that car, and he called it "Persimmon". Well, lo and behold, for 1975, Pontiac offered both! There's one called called "Persimmon" and one called "Fire Coral Bronze"! And both of them look similar enough to me that either one could have been on Mom's old Pontiac.

    One thing I always remember though, is even back in the 70's, when that car was new and wilder colors were everywhere, it stuck out like a sore thumb! We never lost it in the parking lot. She traded it in 1980 for a light blue Malibu coupe that was a nice color, but practically invisible compared to that LeMans. It was a car you had to really look for in the parking lot. It didn't just jump out at you like that LeMans did.

    As for the Acura TL, I think it looks good in the darker colors. There's something about its styling that, IMO, is kind of crisp and formal, yet at the same time athletic and muscular. Kind of like putting a football player in a tux, maybe? There's a guy at work who had an '04 TL, I think it was a really dark blue. Very sharp looking car, I thought. He has an '07 TL now, but I haven't seen it yet, and forget what color he told me it was.
  • john_324john_324 Posts: 974
    White-faced gauges.

    I used to kinda like them when only a handful of performance cars came with them, but they're everywhere now (Chrylser in particular seems to like them).

    I still think for most cars, the traditional white on black gauges look better...
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 22,007
    White-faced gauges.

    I used to kinda like them when only a handful of performance cars came with them, but they're everywhere now (Chrylser in particular seems to like them).


    Guilty! My 2000 Intrepid has them! My gauges look like the top one in this pic:
    image

    They never really bothered me, though, either way. At first, I was afraid that the white-faced gauges would be hard to read, but they're not. They've come a long way since the 50's, when they'd sometimes put gold or silver numbers on white faces!

    The Intrepid was also the only car I ever had with white-faced gauges though, so I guess I thought it was kind of a novelty at the time.
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