I came across this pair just outside Melbourne’s CBD and thought it provided an interesting contrast for the CCognoscenti. Then I noticed the two cars parked in front of the BMW…
The unbearable lightness of the instantaneous CC effect.
The BMW 2002ti is and will always be an iconic Legend. It’s like the inception of the 3 series. Some believe that the BMW Isletta micro bubble car is the original 3 series DNA,
That might be a stretch, but to me the 2002ti is the great grandfather of the 3 series we see on the road today. It appears the old Volvo has the BMW crosshatch style alloy wheels, and the BMW 2002 has Volvo “plate” style allow wheels on it. The Volvo in the picture is typical Volvo, I will leave it at that.
That side profile of the BMW 2002 is so amazing, a simple yet sporty silhouette. You simply will not find another small compact car if that era that has as generous of a green house. Sitting in the rear with the low sill rear windows. Gives rear passengers such a clear wide view of the outside surroundings.
The exposed chrome gas cap is a nice sporty touch, and the “baby” shark nose front end gives the car the character that made so many fall in love with BMW..
That might be a stretch, but to me the 2002ti is the great grandfather of the 3 series we see on the road today.
A stretch? Yes, the 2002 literally is the great, great, great, great great, grandfather of today’s 3 Series, given that the 3 Series is the direct replacement of the 2002. And it didn’t last long. There are very real downsides to too much glass. Try riding in in one without a/c on a sunny day.
You simply will not find another small compact car if that era that has as generous of a green house.
There were a number of cars that had similar size greenhouses. it was a styling trend of the time.
I stand corrected then Paul…lol.
You got me on this one, I was a bit too Giddy about the BMW 2002ti greenhouse.
The picture you posted has an insane amount of “greenhouse” I mean to the point there is no side sill. It kind of looks unsafe in the event of an accident-there is no protection. I wonder how a car like the one you showed cleared the safety roll over test (especially for the U.S. market). I mean there is no support hardly except for the roof practically.
You still have to admit that the BMW 2002ti has a very generous rear greenhouse for the rear passengers with a much more sporty silhouette. Look at how the rear window curves and bends into the rear pillar. That is a very expensive operation to crank out. Much like the Ford Taurus rear window of 1986. That cost Ford a fortune to develop and install I read.
Point taken regarding the A/C problems issue. Which small cars of this era were mainly not equipped with. Now looking at the little blue car, I can feel the heat, smothering, and steam on a hot Summer day (especially in a coupe). This was an angle that I never considered before.
I guess sometimes looks of a car are not as functional as one might thinks in a clean airy design.
It kind of looks unsafe in the event of an accident-there is no protection. I wonder how a car like the one you showed cleared the safety roll over test (especially for the U.S. market). I mean there is no support hardly except for the roof practically.
I don’t think the US had roof strength standards when the 2002 was designed. There was talk of a strength standard for the mid 70s, which the AMC Pacer was designed to meet, but then there was a lot of crying about how a rollover standard would outlaw convertibles, so the rollover standard was not adopted at that time.
As for the “greenhouse effect” in a car with large windows, at least here in Michigan, a/c was a rare option. Large windows meant plenty of ventilation. My first car with a/c was a 78. When I dumped that lemon in 80, I did not have a/c again until 2004.
Crack a window and stay out of traffic. And yes I lived in AZ for a while with a barely functioning AC unit in a 79 280ZX.
I the LOVE the practical greenhouse effect, and find it so much easier to drive with.
The BMW has Zender Turbo wheels from the mid-1980’s. I had a set of 15×7 Turbos on my 1986 325es. Very distinctive wheels that really made the car stand out.
I like these wheels, for some odd reason I love the “plate” style wheels. They make the car look more “Solid”
Lets be honest the 5 spoke style sport wheels is too over used.
The 2002ti production stopped mid-year 1971 & was replaced with the 2002tii
The car in photo is clearly a square tail light model , which ran from ’74-’76, meaning it is either a 2002 (carb’d) or a 2002tii (FI).
So I’m confused as to why you are calling it a “2002ti”…unless you are merely using the term “2002ti’ as a generic term for the model name of the “2002” platform?
Said from within the deep, dark well, “Oh, where, oh, where have my light, airy greenhouses gone?”
In my driveway as much as possible, that’s where! “Safety” to me does not mean “encased in armor”, but having the ability to see clearly in every direction … and given that I was taught to look over my right shoulder when backing up instead of the mirror, and the fact that I have a narrow driveway with river-rock walls on the sides, this ability is doubly important.
Since the advent of the tall-greenhouse-on-bar-of-soap school of car design, I have firmly believed it was a pinnacle from which we have increasingly descended. The last vehicle I can think of that adhered to it was the original Scion xB, which much too soon ballooned in size and shrank its windows; I still have the original on my Possible Grocery Cart list.
As for rollover safety, I have never rolled one and would probably deserve my fate if I did. Stuffy in hot weather? Those windows open, you know, and A/C has gotten a lot better; my elderly Forester keeps me well below sweltering on the hottest SoCal day.
Couldn’t have said better myself! I am 47, and yet you’d think I’d be more in favor of the current automotive aesthetic and technologies than certain older individuals on here. But no, it’s the reverse! They like soft, mushy steering, and window beltlines up to their eyeballs. I like sensible greenhouses, crank em up windows, and conventional hydraulic steering with actual heft. LOUD obnoxious turn signal indicators do not ‘offend’ me, as I often take shallow turns not sharp enough to self cancel, and I’m going down the road AARP style, oblivious of my still active turn blinker.
Call me THE automotive-conservative! 😉 Mega-dittos!!
I do not know about the rest of you, but I think the older cars have moreStyle and are better looking.
At least back then, you could tell a European car, from an American car, from a Japanese car.
Nowadays, the lines are very blurred.
The two boring looking appliances, behind the BMW 2002 and the Volvo 240 wagon, look like two bloated polar bears about to swallow the much smaller baby seals.
What happened to low sided, actual subcompact and compact cars?
The new cars are all high sided, like a battleship. 🙁
You are 100% correct. I did not even notice the newer cars in the pictures. My eye was drawn to the older classics (2002ti, Volvo) that oooze character and distinction.
For all flavor cultural diversity ads to society it never ceases to amaze me the monoculture automobiles have become. You really could tell a German car from a Sewdish car, to a British car, to an Italian car, to a Japanese car, to an American car, to an Australian car, to a Russian car, to a French car. All could be interesting/beautiful without hitting all the arbitrary bullet points of what makes a good car design. It was probably inevitable as almighty “stats” become the print equivalent of tracing paper, but it certainly provides an existential crisis for the smaller or less lauded automakers around the globe. You can only sell a badge as long as people remember what it meant.
You are correct sir.
What I did to prove you’re point. Is that when I get my car magazines (Motortrend, Automobile etc). I’m bored by the same L.E.D. overdone dashboards, Technology galore, bland, cars of today.
What I do is that I will place my finger over the car brands emblem (say on the steering wheel), and see if I could still recognize the car model/brand. I did the same thing with front grill emblem, and rear deck emblem. Predictably I could not tell one make/brand from the other.
There was no signature distinctive look or trade mark like in the past.
Sad, because everything out today is so copied from the top competitor. At least in the 80’s one knew when he/she was inside a Volvo, Saab, Buick LeSabre, BMW, Premium car, Cadillac cheap car etc. You knew in a fraction of a second.
It’s also interesting to note that in MANY contemporary TV shows and films, the ‘cool’ characters often or even usually drive some vintage ride, either in nice shape or a real beater.
Stylists may know nothing about cars, but they do know what looks good, and a 2005 Toyonda sure ain’t it.
For me it’s interesting how the American Government keeps trying to force American drivers into smaller vehicles …. and keeps failing. I have absolutely no complaints about the improved gas mileage benefits, mind you, but it almost seems as if the lawmakers are fighting an irresistible force: they can redirect it but they can’t stop it.
In my theory of everything, the pickup truck rose to popularity as a suburbanite commuter vehicle because of decent interior space – it’s really not much different than an early 70’s two-door coupe like a Monte Carlo et al. The fact that pickups weren’t impacted by the early pollution regulations, making them better running as well as more powerful than their sedan counterparts didn’t hurt either, but it was mostly about people used to big cars being uncomfortable in Pintos and Vegas and such like. The mini-van is just an improved variation of the station wagon, and its popularity ended with the return of the giant station wagon rebranded as an SUV.
It would be interesting to see a study of interior space and curb weight of current vehicles compared to the cars of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Too Long/Didn’t Read Version: Bulgemobile – now under new management !
Quite right. There’s a disconnect here: while talk of CO2 & Domestic Oil is a perennial crowd-pleaser, privately, folks don’t give a rip & continue to buy ever larger vehicles, whether Camrys or F-150s. And the most obvious way to reduce overall fuel consumption is by higher fuel taxes, but only a few States have dared try that, and the Federal tax is still insignificant.
No, the guvmint isn’t forcing anyone into smaller vehicles. They are mandating that vehicles become more efficient, but there’s a number of ways to meet that goal. And even trucks have become massively more efficient, and are already on track to meet the very demanding EPA regs for 2025, unless Trump undoes them.
No, folks didn’t have to buy pickups because their Pintos and Vegas were too small. Did you forget about all the medium and full size cars being made back then? They were huge until ’77 (GM) and ’79 (Ford), and the downsized ones that followed were actually just as roomy inside, and more comfortable to sit in.
The reality is that trucks and SUVs were a huge fad in the 70s and 80s that was just getting going. As were minivans. Sales of full-size cars just kept shrinking. GM still offered very roomy RWD sedans into the 90s (Caprice, Roadmaster, Cadillac brougham), but their sales were dwindling away. Nobody forced folks out of them; younger buyers shunned them because they were old folks’ cars.
As far a styling trends, please note that cars have adopted the shapes they have not just in the US because of the damn guvmint, since the same shapes and styling trends are to be seen all over the globe.
There’s quite a bit more to what you’re seeing other than the gumint’s trying to force you to ride in a tiny aerodynamic pod, with no other options.
“No, folks didn’t have to buy pickups because their Pintos and Vegas were too small. ”
No, they started buying pickups and SUVS in the 1990s because they offered the interior space that sedans and wagons used to. That’s how *I* interpreted that statement.
Well then you didn’t read it properly. Or your interpretive skills are highly creative. Here’s what he said:
, but it was mostly about people used to big cars being uncomfortable in Pintos and Vegas and such like.
He was specifically talking about the early 70s, and the line I quoted above also specifically refers to that time period. Who was cross-shopping Pintos and Vegas with pickups in the 1990s??
And FWIW, there were roomy sedans and wagons available in the 90s. The big GM cars and wagons were sold through 1996. Ford sold its CV and MGM until quite recently. How well were they selling? Not. People didn’t want them anymore, except in very small numbers.
My totally unscientific survey of coworkers yielded the following stated preferences for SUVs
women: I feel safe sitting up high.
men: I feel powerful sitting up high.
On the topic of what sort of vehicle the government may or may not be trying to force people into, when the CAFE standard was rewritten 10 years ago, I read the entire regulation.
The new reg sets mpg targets differently than the old regulation and the reg clearly stated that it made the targets harder for small vehicles to meet than large vehicles to “discourage” the production of smaller cars due to their (supposedly) less safe nature. (not trying to start an argument about safety here. that is what the reg said) Additionally, the mpg targets for trucks, including SUVs, were made easier to attain than for an equal size passenger car.
The reg did publish comments the government had received regarding the proposed reg changes, including one from VW. The comment from VW used to be in the Wiki entry on the CAFE standard, but it has been removed.
What VW, which, until 2017, had a weak SUV lineup, said was that the way the reg was designed people would be pushed from passenger cars to SUVs, increasing fuel consumption and increasing carbon emissions.
Observing the Atlas and new Tiguan at the Detroit auto show, it is apparent that VW gave up beating it’s head against a wall and has jumped into SUVs with both feet….personally, I think they are going to sell a bazillion of the new Tig, unless it runs afoul of US trade policy as it’s slated to be produced in Mexico.
Corollary to Lokki’s theorem: The SUV has the shape and packaging of an early-thirties car.
LH ones wedges and RH ones square and level.
Of course, BL got to the Toyota’s shape some years back…
I think change in the average size of occupants over the decades has driven much of this bloating.
I don’t think so, because interiors aren’t much if any bigger. The packaging is less efficient due mainly to improved crash worthiness, aerodynamics, and wider tracks. And full size trucks are about the only vehicles of any sort these days that have what I would consider to be good interior room.
The next time when you are behind a modern car in traffic, take note of how narrow the roof is in relation to the fenders. Then compare that to old cars. I see it even in pickups.
I think that sloped-side effect is called “tumblehome”. Its popular these days and really cuts into interior space, as does all those sloping back windows. I don’t think it’s required for any practical reason, its just styling. The Ford Flex meets all the same crash and engineering standards with minimal tumblehome. I find it a bit silly, these SUVs and CUVs that are supposed to be utilitarian aren’t so, because fashion decreases interior space.
I liked the Ford Flex for its boxy shape, although it does remind me of a hearse. I guess the market feels the same way because its being discontinued.
“The Ford Flex meets all the same crash and engineering standards with minimal tumblehome. ”
Good point. It does suffer in fuel mileage though compared to the Explorer and other competitors.
Older sedans/wagons tended to be lower, longer, wider than their equivalents today. The biggest variant being designed for today is height. Adults are on avg 1.5″ taller than they were in 1960 something. How tall is Paul N? Good case in point, and basketballers exceeding 7′.
You are 100% correct. We are a fatter nation, and as a result a fatter people in general. The SUV craz of the early 90’s did not help because Americans thought well since this is the new vehicle of choice.
Think about it, remember when all these fast food chains started offering the consumer the option to supersize any meal for like an additional 60 cents. We all (most) took the bait. Thinking we simply could not pass up the deal.
When I was in High School back in the early 90’s. I drove a used Pontiac 6000 (1987). It was considered a mid size car back then. I would cram like 4 friends in the car, and we were comfortable (but snug). Of course we were all smaller then, but I recall the car feeling very mid sized while out and about in traffic.
Fast forward to today, and the Pontiac 6000 would be considered a compact car by today’s standard. Today a 2017 Nissan Versa compact entry level car has about the same interior space (maybe even slightly bigger) than my 1987 6000 S/E mid sized car. If I see a 6000 today, I’m amazed at how small and dinky it appears next to say compact cars.
Trouble with fast food is not so much nutrition, but that it’s a very expensive meal. The laziness (& fiscal imprudence) is not bothering to cook at home anymore; fast food should be the exception, not the rule. And groceries aren’t taxed.
No, the problem with fast food is indeed the nutrition. It’s actually cheap for the amount of calories you get.
But the stuff people are buying in the grocery stores isn’t much better. Mostly complete crap there too.
Still, your Nissan Versa has a much smaller displacement engine than your Pontiac 6000 and gets better gas mileage. I would imagine that the Nissan has performance that is probably better than that of a Pontiac 6000 with it’s base 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine and probably comparable to the 2.8 liter V6.
Try sitting in the back seat of that 2002. It was profoundly cramped. Not much better than a VW Beetle, except a bit wider. The Toyota Auris’ back seat is in a whole different league.
It’s easy to forget how much roomier modern cars are. Which is why they’ve grown. Not a big fan of the shrinking greenhouse, but in terms of interior accommodations, it’s largely day and night.
They accomidate horizontal growth and vertical growth I’ve found. I’m 5’8″, so I’m comfortable in everything, even notoriously cramped cars I can cope with. Every newer car I get into, regardless of class, in order to reach the wheel and pedals and see out of these things I need to crank the seat way up and way forward to a position where I feel like I’m in a child booster in relation to my passengers. It’s like shopping for men’s small T-shirts – “sorry sir, we don’t carry those sizes, but we have a great selection of L, XL, XXL, and XXXL in this style though, baggy is comfortable!” No it’s not!
Standard dual big gulp cup holders certainly tell the whole story, ironically infringing on interior space by needing a giant console to place them in.
Regarding the Toyota and BMW, I came across this contrast, if you can even call it that
I think the current trend in automotive style is called ‘organic’, (re Huyndai Veloster, Nissan Rogue) and I HATE IT!
Happy Motoring, Mark
I can think of a few other things that are “organic”. They all stink too!
There’s a reason I drive what I drive.
Now THAT is a contrast.
I’m very jealous of that off white colored Caddy you have in the picture. The contrast with the Scion is amazing.
I notice how much taller the Scion is over the Caddy. It’s like double the amount of headroom. Boy that Caddy has what one would call “STYLE”.
You’d be surprised at how un-roomy the Caddy actually is, especially compared to my xB. very poor space utilization, given its overall size.
What is the reason, Paul? Just curious. 😉
The xB is utilitarian, while the Coupe de Ville is a weekender and flashy.
Both have kinda different purposes.
I go skiing or hiking on weekends. Does that help explain it? it’s the main reason I don’t own an old car like that. When/where would I drive it except for very rare occasions/ My old F100 at least does some work. 🙂
Speaking of, it’s out front with a giant load of wood chips/mulch which I need to spread. See ya’ later.
Same reason, I sold my Chevelle and got a Jetta…
More practical for everyday use.
Modern day autodesign appears to draw upon historical antecedents.
Increased tumblehome, with tumblehome being a nautical term with the beam (width) of upper decks being less than the beam at the waterline. This was developed to improve the center of gravity of “ships of the line” moving the heavy cannons and armaments closer to the midline giving a side benefit of making the ships harder to board in close in battles.
The current marked reduction of the automobile greenhouse, i.e reduction of the window size and area, seems to draw upon its inspiration of WW2 machine gun slit window designs, giving more protection but less visibility. So we are driving around in the modern day equivalents of machine gun nests or “tanks”.
Tumblehome is hardly new, though:
No it isn’t, but for some reason reason modern car tumblehome = progress. Classic car tumblehome = impracticality.
I don’t understand what you’re saying.
Many rationalize modern tumblehome equating it’s bulky look to advances in safety and crashworthiness, while it’s drawbacks(space ineffiency) are way more often cited in the topics of 60s-70s car design. Just an observation, one tends to get a lot more flack for being critical of the modern designs.
One of the biggest reason for all the tumblehome in modern cars is because the have huge wheels and tires sticking far out. That requires the lower body to bulge out to cover them. The basic body shells haven’t changed all that much in many cases, but the wheels sure have.
Big wheels pushed out far make a car look much more dynamic, and there’s very little chance we’re going to go back to the little-wheels/tires-lost-in-their-fenderwell look.
Cars are looking like modified/race cars did 20-30 years ago. But that’s a pattern that’s been happening for a long time.
Nor are gunslit windows:
This is by far the most stylish car posted here. I am not sure what it is though, except that it is probably from very late 20’s to early 30’s. Curiously there is no radiator ornament.
Cord L-29. With FWD.
It’s always interesting to compare exceptions to the current fashion. I looked hard at a JDM Honda Edix, as I quite liked the idea of a 6 seater without having to get an SUV. The edix has 3 seats in each row and accommodates this by having no tumblehome.
Personally I rather like the look. When I see one it in traffic it looks quite purposeful and sits well on the road.
Edix = Honda’s X5! lol
Machine gun nest with slit like windows.
“You know, Bob, sitting here in this bunker really makes me feel secure. Cozy, ya know. When the war’s over I’m going to get a car just like this. Maybe a Camaro.”
“Um, maybe you should pay more attention to that tank outside, Steve. And what the hell’s a ‘Camaro?'”
Meh, I’m still going with the difference between transportation and interesting.
On the left, transportation. On the right, interesting. If I’m going to work I just need transportation. Sure they’re big and bulbous and not great looking, but they’re also roomy and reliable and efficient.
I can do cramped and beautiful and unreliable on my own time 🙂
I like that HONDA PRELUDE.
How can you tell, by only seeing a sliver of it’s rear bumper and taillight?
Because that’s what we do. 😀
Once there was a first gen Toyota Auris hot hatch, called the GT180. Which was also Toyota’s last C-segment hot hatch (at least here). The real fun part: it was an oil burner…177 hp / 295 ft-lbs from the 2.2 liter D-4D D-CAT engine.
Interior. With the Auris’ stick-on-a-bridge.
Are these two really all that different, in terms of greenhouse to steel ratio?
FWIW, the BMW 2002 is an extreme example of green house design in the mid 60s, when that was being pushed to/beyond practical limits, as something of a styling fad that didn’t actually last long. And riding in 2002 on a sunny day without A/C in LA was no fun, as I can tell you from experience.
I owned a Bavaria and several e12s for years, and it was a ton of fun. Whatever I lost in a warmer cabin, I gained in visibility, driving dynamics, and grins per mile.
By the way, the Lincoln is cooler.
I’ve heard a theory that the gunslit-window/bunker design springs from a belief that drivers increasingly view their cars as a refuge from a frightening, hostile world, and feel that tanklike styling is comforting. Personally I’d rather be able to see out, but add this philosophy to the need for better impact protection, and you can see where the current fad originated. Thankfully I’ve noticed several new models that seem to be going back to larger windows, so maybe we’ll find a happy medium.
The striking thing is the actual amount of greenhouse is actually about the same, all the added mass is in the body below and in the pillars.
A couple years ago, the German VW site had a head to head pic of Mk I and Mk VII Golfs. Stunning how much the Golf has grown. The Mi I Golf is the size of the current Polo, while the current Golf is close to the size of the Mk I Passat.
Of course, that head to head pic doesn’t come up on a search, but I found this one.
Even VW has gone to a more wedgy profile over the years, causing some loss of rear window size, but they still offer better visibility than several Asian manufacturers.
Driving along in my 14 Jetta wagon a couple years ago, I came upon a late 80s Cabriolet. By current standards, my Jetta is a reasonably tidy package, but compared to it, the Cabriolet looked like a toy.
Yes, they have done a better job keeping the rear windows usable than many manfacturers: I’m looking at you, Mazda 3.
As a former Mazda 3 owner, I concur. I was never happy with that car, and poor visibility had a lot to do with it.
That Mark VII Golf looks soooo homogenized next to it’s great-great-grandfather!
I was going to say the same thing.
Although I love to dump on newer cars, that Mk.VII GTI looks fantastic.
I mean really, is there anything else in that class that even looks close (in N.America)?
Sticking to the original theme / evolution instead of revolution (just like the Porsche 911) is a significant reason of the Golf’s continuous succes. Related, since its introduction the Golf has a lower depreciation than any other C-segment car.
It’s the C-segment hatchback benchmark since 1974.
A case where a picture is worth a thousand words. Great job catching these cars in action Don.
‘Roid rage? As in, those new cars in the pictures have all the character of a haemorrhoid?
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