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Body Hardware


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When a modern car, costing in the 6-figure range, uses 'old-school' body hardware or construction methods, I get severely affronted.

Case in point:


This is the console area of a Ferrari 360, offered from 1999-2004. The MSRP in '04 was $151K.

I immediately take note of the common Phillips head screws holding down that shift plate- not countersunk, and from the inconsistent finish; they look like hardware store quality in finish. They also should be indexed.

What would be far more fitting of the price range would be less-common, fully polished fasteners, such as button head screws in a slightly countersunk hole, or flush-mounted flathead hex sockets :


Would look a lot more 'high tech' and upscale than this.

This sort of commonality in uber-expensive vehicles always takes the hype around these cars down by a country mile. It's not to say the car isn't well engineered, but IMO, at these price ranges, the vehicle should come off like a high-end, custom piece down to the small details. This sort of thing is one of the big reasons I'm not impressed by this class.

Anyone have other examples they've noticed?

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Here's the some-say flagship of mercedes, the SL. I think this was an late '80s 500, they stay stale long enough there's no way to tell IMO.


Note that fat, grey, foam taillight gasket poking out. Both sides were identical; it was not an anomaly. I don't get this sort of sloppy engineering.

To find the same thing @ Cadillac, for example, you have to go back to the 1940s. By '48, there were no more exposed gaskets :


I took a bunch of other pics of the SLs many defects in hardware, but suffice it to say it was equally cheap all around. The car was a joke in the '80s when it was brand new.

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^ I'm not sure what vintage it was, I think mid '60s, but I was following a really clean SL a few years ago, and the gas filler poked thru the rear fascia with a monster rubber grommet, and the black pipe (on a white car) stuck up a good 4". My mouth dropped open.

Sounds like a 190SL, the entry-level SL that was built '55- '63...you can see the gas cap by the right taillight.


The W113 generation that replaced it also had a chrome gas cap next to the taillight...


Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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  • 2 months later...

Here's another long-running example. Jag's sedan tail & marker lights :


The marker light is typical period (and here I mean 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, creeping into the 1990s) body hardware from the Germans. Drill a hole for the wire, and screw a lense/ bezel/ rubber gasket to the fender, all with exposed screws. So-called 'German engineering' (or American engineering of the late 1940s/ early 1950s).

The tail is another thing. You know Jag would've loved to possess the ability to run that taillight inner lower corner to a point, to follow the trunk lid seam. IIRC, the last generation of this body did just that, but it's clear to me that at the above point, it was beyond them. And again with the exposed screws. Bumper could work with the tails/bezel too, instead of just 'strap hanging' next to them.

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Even my '81 has much better mounting of stuff than these "superior" Euro engineered products. The only exterior exposed screws I can think of are for my headlight bezels, and even those are reasonably hidden. No exposed screws for side marker lights or tail lights. No visible exposed screws on the dash either, you have to climb under the dash to see them.

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