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avant1963

Newsweek on the return of Detriot

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Read the whole article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/11677325/site/newsweek/page/2/

GM chief designer Ed Welburn sweeps into his Chevrolet design studio and it's as if he were stepping back in time. On one side of the cavernous white room, designers huddle over a silver retro remake of the Chevy Camaro. A few steps away, stylists scurry around a future Chevy family car that ripples with sinewy muscles from a bygone era. Papering the walls of the studio are photos of classic iron from Detroit's halcyon postwar years—the chiseled '65 Chevy Impala, the jet-age '65 Ford Galaxie, the long-nosed '65 Plymouth Fury. Welburn slowly walks around the work-in-progress family car, inspecting the latest nips and tucks. Suddenly, he notices an 18-inch clay model on a table nearby that offers an alternative take on the car with a gull-winged rear end. "Oh, my God," the normally soft-spoken designer shouts. "That rear is unbelievable! It links all the way back to the late '50s."

More sequels will soon be spinning out of Detroit. GM is said to be working on a faithful re-creation of the '67 Chevy Impala and an edgy Stingray convertible based on the Pontiac Solstice. Ford, dinged in recent years for its blandmobiles, is getting its mojo back with an audacious rear-wheel-drive family car based on the Mustang that's coming at the end of the decade, knowledgeable industry sources say. Ford also is believed to have greenlighted the Fairlane van, a modern interpretation of the '50s-era wood-paneled wagon. And Chrysler is sprinkling the bling from the 300C all over its next-generation minivan, insiders say. Motown execs promise the bad old days of Camry clones and Audi imitators are gone. "For a while, we were doing pretty bad cars," admits Lutz. "I suppose we had to give the public a chance to forget those so that we can go back to the '60s, when everybody loved us." If Detroit can rekindle that love affair, it just might have found its salvation.

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The question: Is all this retro going to help or hurt GM in the long run? I think if they do have slight heritage cues but maintain a modern design (i.e. the new Cadillacs) they would be much more successful.

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and an edgy Stingray convertible based on the Pontiac Solstice.

whah?! i thought that was a load of crapola

Suddenly, he notices an 18-inch clay model on a table nearby that offers an alternative take on the car with a gull-winged rear end.

i wonder what that would look like? sounds interesting

Edited by 99camaroSS

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Why not go to the BEST time for American car design for inspiration? The 1960's were a GREAT time for the domestic's when some of the MOST BEAUTIFUL CARS EVER were designed!--- 8) ---GO GM GO!!

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Seeing as the reporter is from MSNBC, I wouldn’t be surprised if GM was just putting on a show for the guy.

If he saw actual models of upcoming cares, I sure hope they aren’t retro. I don’t want cars of a “bygone era”, and want cars that are good looking and original to this era. I want designs that will evoke the emotion 30 years from now that cars from 30 years ago evoke now. I don’t want the future saying, wow, what unoriginal designs (*cough* Challenger); they look just like cars from 60 years

Edited by Dragon

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I thought that Stingray thing was fake! On the other hand, it could be a show car.

Edited by ZL-1

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Modern interpretations of Detroit's glory days makes a lot of sense because it is the one area that Japan cannot copy; it is the one area that Japan cannot go!

Not only could this produce the cool, "gotta have" vehicles that the North American public will actually want to buy, it may also introduce a whole generation of buyers to the undeniable fact that the Big Three have been the backbone of the industrial heartland of this continent for 100 years, not the Johnnie-come-latelies that is Japan Inc., showing up to the party late and doing just enough to get around the Auto Pact and Free Trade.

Just don't water down the concept vehicles or cheapen the interiors! Keep the bean counters away!

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...GM is said to be working on a faithful re-creation of the '67 Chevy Impala...

:metal::cheers::bowdown:

Yes, yes, yesss! Finaly they are tapping the best generation for styling! :ohyeah:

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Retro is not sustainable, just like the bubbly pop music of the mid-to-late 1990s or the economic growth of China. It is good for a quick buck, an overnight sensation, but that is about it. I'd rather see GM invest in modern looking cars that can sustain the company for more than one model cycle.

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Retro is not sustainable, just like the bubbly pop music of the mid-to-late 1990s or the economic growth of China.  It is good for a quick buck, an overnight sensation, but that is about it.  I'd rather see GM invest in modern looking cars that can sustain the company for more than one model cycle.

I don't think we're talking about Challenger levels of retro here. I believe a nice injection of some traditonal American design cues with a distinctly modern twist both inside and out would be a welcome change from the competant albeit unexciting Impala we have with us today.

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60's- 70's and 80's styling was always my favorite. The late 80's and all of the 90's produced so many dull generic looking cars and that look has sadly carried over to the present in all but a few notable examples. The Asian cars are the worst but then they hardly have a heritage with stunning styling. I just hope Chevy doesn't go overboard on the retro themes because most of todays generation just won't appreciate it. These very same people have made yawners like the Camry/Accord top selling cars so many folks just aren't after nicely styled cars anymore. I am just hoping, no begging Chevy to not go with the naked side door look that almost ever new car seems to be going with. If I want a dull, bland looking car with no character whatsoever then i'll buy a Camry. If I want some styling, chrome trim, character lines, door moldings etc, I hope Chevy will deliver and not copy everybody else.

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I spoke with an engineer at the Heritage center who has seen the Impala that is spoken of here...he says it will litterally knock your socks off and blow your mind! It looks like an INTERPRETATION of the 65 Impala - with some of the others Impala's from other generations thrown in...much like the Camaro was an Interpretation with some old styling cues...same for the Impala. Sounds really cool. When he spoke of it, his eyes lit up like he was getting a Red Ryder B.B. gun for Christmas. His actuall expression of his first impression is not fit for publication here...but it sounded like F#*@-ME! THAT THING IS AWESOME!!!

As long as the cars all no longer look like a melted bar of soap, I am happy.

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That's great. But I hope we see it soon on the show curcuit, and soon after in the showrooms. They can't be having this stuff coming out in 2012..

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Sounds really good. This is just what they should be doing all along. This is what I wanted the 2000 Impala to be, and hoped the 06 would become.

The GM waiting game continues. :hissyfit:

If they have indeed found their styling mojo (the Camaro says YES), than things are shaping up very well. :thumbsup:

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I don't think we're talking about Challenger levels of retro here. I believe a nice injection of some traditonal American design cues with a distinctly modern twist both inside and out would be a welcome change from the competant albeit unexciting Impala we have with us today.

Yeah, I think the Camaro gave us a GOOD indication how GM will incorporate reatro, future, and current chevy heritage and design cues.

Maybe GM has finally realized, the car actually has to have design cues from it's previous generations(the good ones) to actually fit it's name (impala, monte carlo, etc)

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and an edgy Stingray convertible based on the Pontiac Solstice.

Excellent. Sounds like a Chevy version of Kappa with old-school Corvette styling cues. Those of us who demand exclusive cars for each of the divisions (while ignoring the fact that Chevy has by far GM's largest dealer body) will hate this. I love it. Chevy and Cadillac should split everything GM offers.

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Excellent.  Sounds like a Chevy version of Kappa with old-school Corvette styling cues.  Those of us who demand exclusive cars for each of the divisions (while ignoring the fact that Chevy has by far GM's largest dealer body) will hate this.  I love it.  Chevy and Cadillac should split everything GM offers.

I see no problem with a Chevy kappa..as long as it's not a badge job and is sufficiently differentiated like the Solstice and Sky, why not? Small, inexpensive 2 seater roadsters are a good image thing for the brands...

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I think this Impala will be to the 60s model as the CTS was/is to the 1959 Eldorado. Lots of evocative cues, lots of heritage, you know it's a Cadillac, but thoroughly modern.

Chevy Kappa? Go for it. Economies of scale are our friends.

Edited by Croc

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As long as the Impala is not a Camry clone like the current body style is then Chevy might have a chance to recapture some lost sales.

But, Chevy still has to deliver a top notch quality car that meets and exceeds the industry standard which is the Camry right now. No one wants a good looking car that is still miles behind Toyota or Honda.

If Chevy does it then they need to do the complete job!

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folks want cars that are 'relevant', not 'retro'.

a previous poster used the word 'interpretation'. That's more promising an idea than some botched debacle like the Ford Thunderbird. I for one fall on the side of the fence that says the current Mustang is too retro. i even think the concept Camaro has too much retro.

Yet, with Saturn assuming control (theoretically) as the GM brand folks with money will buy, this could free Chevy up to climb into its own proverbial hole and rely on the tired styling cliches of the past as a crutch to keep them from duking it out with the big sellers. I suppose it either could work or not, depending on where the trends are at the time the new models come out. At a very minimum, they could serve up the market some of the tradtional American flavor that has been deprived in recent years.

I just hope Chevy doesn't kid themselves into thinking that retro cues and flavor are a lasting solution or that it will save any divisions. And like a previous poster said, the younger generations may entirely hate it and never want anything to do with GM at all.

Maybe Chevy is moving towards becoming like harley is to cycles.......its own style that never changes over time but develops a following, and is timeless or dated depending on what you choose to call it.

What I do like that is going on is that GM is using the press to promote the notion of Ed Welburn rekindling a new romance of car design, evocative of the past and filled with emotion. I like what Ed is doing and he's a great person to present in the press. He's talented and a great ambassador to GM and I think as a person he has the ability to connect with a large cross section of Americans. GM is in a great position here to claim the styling king title that no one else save for the germans seems to be taking. This is when all of GM's brands matter so much. Unlike Chrylser or Ford, GM can assault the market on so many fronts.....once they get their operations squared away.

Edited by regfootball

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As long as the Impala is not a Camry clone like the current body style is then Chevy might have a chance to recapture some lost sales.

Chevy wishes it were a Camry clone! As is, still isn't there...

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GM is said to be working on a faithful re-creation of the '67 Chevy Impala

I figure take the Camaro, stretch the wheelbase 6 inches. Give it 4 doors and 2 headlights. Thats how I magine the Zeta Impala.

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When a car company tries to make everybody happy, they seem to make nobody happy.

Considering that the 60s were a zenith of GM styling, why not use that time for inspiration.

Give me a chance to buy a car with styling that I like, if it looks good with tailfins and chrome, so be it. One thing for sure, it seems that everything doesn't have anything going for it these days. It's like looking at a sea of flat-chested women. Not all of them have to be that way.

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Well, so far I've heard that this new Impala was patterned after the 63, then the 66, and now the 67...

I think that the 67 was maybe the ugliest of all the 60's Impalas; but that's just my opinion. My favorite will always be the 62, both the interior and the exterior.

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