Lotus Elan


PostPost by: Evan Carpenter-Crawford » Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:14 pm

Marc Fuller wrote:

Your explanation has completely reversed my opinion of automobile design

and styling. I didn't realize that the best way to evoke an emotional

response was to reproduce the styling that originally stimulated it, but

maybe larger with more chrome and comfort. The emotions I have had for

sleek original '64 E-types now seem shallow compared to my new found

appreciation the late production V-12s with their chrome and stretched

roofs and flairs. Think how much better the Type 14 Elite might have been

if Kirwin-Taylor would have just stayed in accounting and kept his original

ideas to himself. And while I have loved the design of my Elan, I now can

see how much deeper my emotion could have been I have if Hickman would have

left the original Sprite-like styling model alone. I have new guilt for

having lamented the changes to original the designs of Loewy's Starliner

and Avanti. The real designers were the nameless plagrizing individuals

and committees who added chrome and fins, upright grills and chopped the

tops off. The Mustang II, what genius!

Designers like Pardo are to be applauded and respected and awarded for

their efforts. He took the original GT40, was able to make it 10-15% larger

and you can hardly tell except the windows roll down. Thankfully we have

large number of incubator companies developing many of these stylists

making replicas of emotional cars like the GT40, Boss Mustang, Daytona,

Cobra, Avanti, 356, 550. I am ashamed to have ignored their efforts in the

past. Not anymore! Forget the Loewy Foundation's Lucky Strike Award

rewarding a lifetime of original design. Let me propose that the auto

industry create a new annual award for derivative designers whose work best

evokes the style and emotion of an original work - I suggest we call it the

DEJA VU Award for Automobile Design. And, I pray that the nightmare of

original design will soon end.


Offense taken.

Good design is good design whether it happened 40 years ago or yesterday
afternoon. To casually site crap that replaced iconic designs as
justification for bashing a design community that is working hard to be true
to its roots, while moving forward at the same time is just arrogant. What
would you have them do? Design a new mustang that is all wedged-out? That
would satisfy those who will only accept a "new" idea, but it would not be
true to the mustang ethos. Or maybe the Ford GT should have looked like the
new Mitsubishi Eclipse, huge rear end and all. there's a "new" idea that
never should have made the cut either. Any hack can "bling" up a design, but
it takes real talent to faithfully reinterpret a timeless classic for
today's market. There are good examples of this, look at the Chrysler 300C,
its exterior harks strongly of the Ghia designs from the 50's and it's
interior uses material cues that are decidedly informed by the palettes of
the past. New, original design is ALWAYS the priority, but to ignore what
was great about the products of the past dooms us to repeat misguided
designs like the Mustang II, and V12 e-type. If you don't understand that
then you truly cannot see the forest for the trees.

Furthermore, turning your response into a snarky, offensive diatribe is
inappropriate. If you have an opinion, then state it and be about your
business. To turn it into a personal attack is rude and childish.

Now can we please get back to talking about Elans.

Evan Carpenter-Crawford
Evan Carpenter Crawford
1969 FHC 8624
Evan Carpenter-Crawford
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