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Your favorite and least favorite facelifts.


john2dameron

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Not a "facelift" so much as a new design, but what possessed GM to change the 1968-72 A-body cars to the 1973-77 "colonnade" styling? :eek:

1972:

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1973:

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Hey Joe, GM in the very early 70's got wind that there was going to be a new rollover standard by NHTSA which never happened. The Colonnade was designed to pass this test.

D.

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Not a "facelift" so much as a new design, but what possessed GM to change the 1968-72 A-body cars to the 1973-77 "colonnade" styling? :eek:

I would float the idea of temporary insanity...however I believe the initial feeling was that increased federal safety standards with regards to rollover protection mandated stronger roof structures. Of course, that particular mandate did not come to pass, but the die had been cast.

What DID come around were the requirements for drastically increased bumper protection, which were NOT designed into the cars, thus the ungainly "railroad ties" strapped to the front and rear of each of the GM A Bodies starting in 1973.

Interesting how they would have looked if they had been introduced in their original target year of 1972...with the smaller bumpers.

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Every year, the Pontiac GTO got styling which eclipsed the previous year model. In my opinion, the music died in 1970. Both the front and the rear got the ugly stick. By 1971, the styling was more bizzare coupled with the end of high-compression muscle car engines. Sad.

Love the 64 thru 69's though....

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Every year, the Pontiac GTO got styling which eclipsed the previous year model. In my opinion, the music died in 1970. Both the front and the rear got the ugly stick. By 1971, the styling was more bizzare coupled with the end of high-compression muscle car engines. Sad.

Love the 64 thru 69's though....

+ 1

I always felt the same way. 66/67 were my favorites but for some reason I always ended up with 68/69s.

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Gto hit their best style in 1966-67 as did the Buick Gran Sport. '67 Chevelle/Malibu was the prettiest Chevy ever and quite a bit better than the '66 models. As for the Colonade from GM, the coupes looked bad enough but the 4-doors were atrocious.

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I meant what I said. The 1962 and 1963 Dodge and Plymouth cars look awful.

I agree with you on the 62s but the 63s were much better looking. In fact they are one of the few examples of a face lift that looks better than the original.

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As opposed to" Face Lift." I think we need a new automotive term here for cars of preceeding years of a paticular grand design, to just plain ugly... I say we call it a "Face Drop." Because there is nothing uplifting about it. Dandy Dave!

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No matter how "ugly" some cars appeared to be in the 50's - 80's, they are far better looking than most of the stuff we're stuck with these days. I personally like the funkiness of the '62 Dodge and '62 Plymouth. The '63-'64 facelifts were good, too, especially the '64 Polara. When I was a teenager, we had a neighbor that had a '63 Fury 4 door hardtop with a 383 and it was a fabulous car. While I would not refuse one, I'm not a fan of the '69-'73 Chrysler Corp. fuselage styling.

I also like the '67-'68 Ford Galaxie/LTD and Mercury Monterey/Park Lane - but prefer the '67 Ford and '68 Mercury. I've always wanted a Park Lane like Steve McGarrett's.

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FREE Opinions! No extra charge!! Today only!!!

The 61 Plymouth was a huge improvement over the 60, mostly because of the headlight brows on the 60.

The 62 Plymouth is one of my all time favorites, the 63 is nice, but as nice as the 62.

The 55 to 56 changes on the Dodge and Plymouths were no so good, the fins on the 56 models look tacked on.

The 64 Chrysler was a small step backwards from the 63, mostly because of the change in the taillight design.

The 65 Dodge Dart was a small step down from the 63 and 64.

The 73 Olds Cutlass is great, except for the front bumper, I could happily live with it thoiugh.

The 69 full size Chevy was a big improvement over the 68.

OK, that's all I can give away for free right now :)

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No matter how "ugly" some cars appeared to be in the 50's - 80's, they are far better looking than most of the stuff we're stuck with these days.

So true. Interesting that some I cars I thought were ugly, others thought were the best and vice versa. Now everything is just bland. I think I prefer ugly over bland. At least it has character, and someone might like it.

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FREE Opinions! No extra charge!! Today only!!!

The 61 Plymouth was a huge improvement over the 60, mostly because of the headlight brows on the 60.

The 62 Plymouth is one of my all time favorites, the 63 is nice, but as nice as the 62.

The 55 to 56 changes on the Dodge and Plymouths were no so good, the fins on the 56 models look tacked on.

The 64 Chrysler was a small step backwards from the 63, mostly because of the change in the taillight design.

The 65 Dodge Dart was a small step down from the 63 and 64.

The 73 Olds Cutlass is great, except for the front bumper, I could happily live with it thoiugh.

The 69 full size Chevy was a big improvement over the 68.

OK, that's all I can give away for free right now :)

I liked the '57-'58 Plymouth, but not crazy about '59-'61 models. I wouldn't turn one down now, but they are not among my favorites. Same with Dodge. I think the '60 Dart and Polara are very nice looking cars , but they completely ruined both in 1961. Got to give Chrysler credit for trying to be different in the early 60's, though.

I like most '56 Chrysler models better than the '55's - especially Desoto.

Not a fan of the '63-'64 Chrysler but then again, I wouldn't turn down a good low mile one today. I remember a teacher at my high school had a '63 Newport with a 3 speed stick on the floor and radio delete. As I recall, Chrysler advertised Newports at starting under $3,000.00. Must have been one of those.

Agree that the '63-'64 Dart was better looking than '65, but not by much. I always liked the Canadian '63-'64 Valiant - Valiant front clip in the Dart body with a Valiant Dash. However, the '65 - '66 Canadian Valiant was totally a Dart with Valiant nameplates. One of my cousins had one.

'73-'75 Cutlass was one of the better looking cars of the 70's. The '73 was the best looking because of the smaller, thinner front bumper. Hard to believe Olds (and Pontiac) are gone.

Agree that the '69 Chevy was much better than the '68 (and '67). The '66 was a pretty good looking car as well.

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One of the most impressive in my mind is the Triumph TR4/TR250 series to TR-6. They did a great job on a paltry budget; the TR-4 series was an attractive enough car but the facelift really did distinguish the TR-6 as a totally new model.

I know most people prefer the '69 Camaros in that series, me, I think the earlier cars are a little "Cleaner" in form.

The old saying used to be the first and last of any series is the car to have from a collecor's perspective but not so sure about that. I prefer the '56 Chevy and '56 T-bird over the other years, for example, and the market seems to have evened out where they used to lag a bit.

This is an interesting post and one I do not remember seeing before...

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The last "pre-Bangle" BMW 3-series cars looked great: balanced, tasteful and understated.

I think that was up to about 2006 or so.

Then design chief Chris Bangle and his nutty so-called "flame surfacing" styling themes took over, and the cars' appearance went dramatically downhill, IMHO.

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The last "pre-Bangle" BMW 3-series cars looked great: balanced, tasteful and understated.

I think that was up to about 2006 or so.

Then design chief Chris Bangle and his nutty so-called "flame surfacing" styling themes took over, and the cars' appearance went dramatically downhill, IMHO.

Ah... The Chris Bangle Bungled Beamers....

His version of the once classicly designed 7-series sported the 'loaded diaper' rear end look. Most unfortunate.

He 'left' BMW in 2009 to perhaps continue his work - in the disposable diaper industry...

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In general almost all the 58's looked worse than the 57's to me. The worst to me are the GM's. In my opinion the 58 Buick, Olds, Pontiac and Cadillacs were really overdone compared the cleaner '57's.

Some face lifts that I thought were a big improvement: '59 Ford, 63 Ford, 65 Buick Skylark. The '61 Lincoln was beautiful compared to the '58 to '60's but was not a face lift but a complete new design. No offense to anyone just my opinion and I would be glad to own any of the '58 GM's if a good deal came along!

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GM's '58 models were overdone for sure, but I've always liked the '58 Chevy better than the '55-'57 - not that any of them were bad looking. As to '55-'57 T-birds, I prefer the '57. Just like the longer rear flanks and fins. I've also never cared much for the '69 Camaro; I prefer the original design. The '69 seems overwrought to me. Moving on, I always liked the endura front end of the '74 and up models better than the '70-'73.

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I agree with LINC, ie, avoid new restyles. The worst(IMO) the 58 Packard Hawk, from the summit of Raymond Lowey to the depths of h... The best: Not to forget the 1960 Rambler American became the "breadbox" 61. That rocketed sales for AMC and nothing more than a facelift from Ed Anderson on a shoestring to boot. Sadly, Anderson also gets a goat for the 61 Ambassador.

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...Possibly the worst looking redesign ever was the 1948-1950 Packard "pregnant elephant" facelift of the 1941-47 Clipper.

Ever notice how even an ugly car will sometimes grow on you over time? Like an old stray dog, or cat, that has been beat up and came wandering in the yard. Dandy Dave!

The '48-'50 Packards had to be mentioned as a major misstep in facelifts. It was during the period of rapid style transition from the 'old' to the 'new'. Several car makers of the period went in for a rounded, slab-sided look. It was actually popular for a very short time but tastes changed rapidly and the sales of the 'bathtub' Packards slowed dramatically by the end of 1950.

I sure won't deny that the two series of Packards (22nd and 23rd) produced between 1948 and 1950 are polarizing, you either like them or you don't. But my 'tub' sure draws the crowds at every car show/cruise-in I take it to. Young guys just stare at the 356cid straight eight in total disbelief... "Man, It's big".

I like 'em. Bought another one yesterday!

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It is interesting that the 48-50 Packards were popular in their day, and were right in style with such cars as the Kaiser, Frazer, 49 Mercury, 48 Hudson and 49 Nash which all sported similar looks. Unfortunately this streamlined look or upside down bathtub quickly went out of fashion as it was replaced by the 3 box style and then the tailfin and chrome look. What was "in" in 1950 became totally obsolete by 1953.

Those cars did not come into their own until the mid 80s, when a similar rounded look came in, starting with the 1985 Taurus. Now they look a lot better than they did 25 years ago because we are used to the style on the new cars.

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I agree with LINC, ie, avoid new restyles. The worst(IMO) the 58 Packard Hawk, from the summit of Raymond Lowey to the depths of h... The best: Not to forget the 1960 Rambler American became the "breadbox" 61. That rocketed sales for AMC and nothing more than a facelift from Ed Anderson on a shoestring to boot. Sadly, Anderson also gets a goat for the 61 Ambassador.

Rons49;

I've got to give Ed Anderson credit for giving the "Little Nash-Rambler" a third life, as the '61-'63 "breadbox"... I'm still not sure I love mine for its design esthetics; some folks have referred to them as "ugly-cute"...:confused: ;)

The '61 Ambassador is just horrid, if you're looking at it from the front... :(

Studebaker should probably get some praise for tasteful revisions to the Hawk series and the Lark, even if they did bring Packard to a hideous end at the same time....

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The '48-'50 Packards had to be mentioned as a major misstep in facelifts. It was during the period of rapid style transition from the 'old' to the 'new'. Several car makers of the period went in for a rounded, slab-sided look. It was actually popular for a very short time but tastes changed rapidly and the sales of the 'bathtub' Packards slowed dramatically by the end of 1950.

I sure won't deny that the two series of Packards (22nd and 23rd) produced between 1948 and 1950 are polarizing, you either like them or you don't. But my 'tub' sure draws the crowds at every car show/cruise-in I take it to. Young guys just stare at the 356cid straight eight in total disbelief... "Man, It's big".

I like 'em. Bought another one yesterday!

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Great looking car in the picture. My favorite is the Custom Clipper 2 dr. club sedan, two tone silver over black. I even like the 47's! The 48-49 has a better ft. end grille. If you would have asked me ten years ago about these cars I would have said never. Only problem I see is no automatic until 49 and when it did come was not a very flexible performer.

Don

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I've never understood why people think the 1948-50 Packards are hideous, and the 1949-50 Ford and Mercury are wonderful. It is the same basic design. Except Packard did it one year earlier, with a facelift as opposed to an all new design, and on a shoe string budget. Ford and Mercury just copied the design with lots of cash to spend on it, and get all the credit.

Hudson has the same design as well, and always gets compliments. The 1954 facelift was not good though. Even worse was the 1957 from the 1955 Nash-based body.

I always liked the 48-51 bathtubs that fell out of favor so quickly. Too bad the look didn't fall out of favor again after the Taurus. Unfortunately it is still with us 25 years later, and none look as good as the 48-51 designs.

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Great looking car in the picture. My favorite is the Custom Clipper 2 dr. club sedan, two tone silver over black. I even like the 47's! The 48-49 has a better ft. end grille. If you would have asked me ten years ago about these cars I would have said never. Only problem I see is no automatic until 49 and when it did come was not a very flexible performer.

Don

I wouldn't mind having a '47 Custom Clipper. Unfortunately, the '49 just took the last slot in the garage. Now if I had a garage with an interior like Dr. Who's Tardis, I would also like a '56 De Soto Adventurer, a '56 Continental, any Packard Caribbean ...

The original Ultramatic transmission wasn't exactly a drag racers dream but it was/is very smooth which is what they were selling.

Now to drag this thread back to the subject, my least favorite facelift was the '57 to '58 Ford. I really liked the '57 Ford... Don't see many of them around anymore.

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Hey Linc400, have you seen the new Collectable Automobile magazine article on the 1977-79 Mark V? If so, what do you think? Todd C

No, they were supposed to be coming out with that "soon" when they did the Mark IV article 10 years ago. I let my subscription lapse because they kept irritating me with renewal notices for months after I already renewed. I got them so often I just threw them out. Apparently one of those (out of 100) "this is your last issue unless you renew" notices was true. Also the articles seemed to be getting more and more dry.

Thanks for the tip. I will have to go find it somewhere.

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Hey Joe, GM in the very early 70's got wind that there was going to be a new rollover standard by NHTSA which never happened. The Colonnade was designed to pass this test.

D.

not only that, the 72 was the best of the 70-72 Cutlasses (3 year design/facelift), the 73 was a redesign and does not apply to this original thread

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I always hated the quad-headlight '80 Monte Carlo vs. the much cleaner '78 & '79. Also the '70 Chevelle is nowhere near as pretty as the '68 & '69, and VW should have never got rid of the split rear window.

the 70 Chevelle is the 1st year of the 70-72 3 year facelift cycle ... 66-67 Chevelle one design, 68-69 Chevelle another design and 70-72 another design

apples and oranges

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57 to 58 T-Bird! YUK! That was just not right!

58 to 59 Ford Fairlane - Good recovery after screwing up the 58s so badly after the 57s were so nice!

58 T-bird ALL NEW design compared to the 55-57 Tbirds, apples and the planet Jupiter for comparison sakes

IF you were to suggest that one of the 58-60 Tbirds were better than another, THAT would be keeping the spirit of the original thread question, same would go for 55-57 years of the Tbird. New designs were not intended to be included on the 3 year design facelift cycle concept of this thread at least IMHO and the way *I* read the original post.

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Another very unfortunate face lift was the 57 Lincoln. The 56 was a truly beautiful car but for 57 they felt they had to incorporate dual head light and fins. It lost a lot from the 56 look when the tacked on those fins.

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