Jump to content

Question on facelifts, restyles, and redesigns


Recommended Posts

Hi....I was curious about the use of the above terms.

 

To use a generic car as an example - sorry, Chevy guys - how would you characterize this? 

 

1955>facelifted for 1956>facelifted for 1957>redesigned for 1958

 

But I can also see someone saying:

 

1955>1956 facelift>1957 restyle>1958 redesign

 

What's the general consensus how cars evolved within and beyond generations?

 

I'll just sit back and enjoy the can of worms.  :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I was told the redesign in 58 as a one year model for Chevrolet and Pontiac was so that ALL of the GM vehicles would share the same/similar platform on the 1959 model change. A large part of this has much to do with the glass being the same across the board. Lowering cost and overhead of the consolidation,distribution and management of such items as glass and common hardware. They were just trying to be more cost effective.These design changes are done many years prior to production and the decision's and dates are targeted with locked in deadlines in advance. The 1955 and the 1965 were MAJOR changes for GM full size cars sharing very little if any parts from the platform prior other then some engines that were the same

This is a great 1959 GM Promo video showing the entire process, very impressive, really worth the 1/2 hour to watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACWMbeXd31s

Edited by John348 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I would characterize it as meaning The new "A" body for 1955 was face lifted for 1956 and again in 1957. The 1958 car for Chevrolet and Pontiac are a new one year model. The interesting thing about this is Buick, Cadillac and Oldsmobile as far back as 1954 were using styling and features that sometimes show up on Chevrolet and Pontiac sometimes two styling cycles later. A good example of this would be panorama windshields on 1954 Olds and Buick whose "A" pillar would sweep back beyond 90 degrees that wouldn't show up in a Cadillac until 1957, and Chevrolet and Pontiac in 1958. The 1957 Cadillac swept back "A" pillar is almost identical to the Chevrolet/Pontiac of 1958.

A 1954 Olds styling feature that showed up on some models was "Sweep Cut" rear fender well styling. This feature wouldn't show up on a Chevy until 1956, and Pontiac until 1957. BTW, "Sweep Cut" fender styling was designed as a styling feature and was designed NEVER to be used with a fender skirt.

Image of a 1954 Olds Starfire with "Sweep Cut" front and rear fender wells and swept back past 90 degree "A" pillar windshield;

http://www.robinsonrestorations.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/1954OldsStarfire2-1030x700.jpg

Image of 1956 Chevrolet with two year old design to be first used on Chevrolet. Note the "A" pillar is straight up and down and not swept back past 90 degrees:

http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/chevrolet-bel-air-28.jpg

Here is a 1957 Chevrolet with skirts on a "Swept Cut", Notice the break up of the lines of the rear fender, notice the shadow created by the raise wheel well lip which also breaks up the lines of the rear fender. Putting skirts is from a design standpoint a design NO NO;

http://img02.deviantart.net/7c19/i/2013/169/0/6/a_1957_chevy_bel_air_by_theman268-d69kv01.jpg

Here is a picture of a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, notice the "Correct way in which a skirt is supposed to look when it is designed from the beginning to be used with the vehicle, even the stainless molding flow from the body fender thru the skirt and out to the body again in almost a seamless flow;

http://cimg.carsforsale.com/366031/61AF58EC-E632-46CD-864E-972972E2C869_3.jpg

At GM the two door hard tops were first used on Cadillac called Coupe De Ville, Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe, and the Buick Riviera all in 1949. Chevrolet and Pontiac would NOT have this hardtop until 1950, Chevrolet Bel Air, Pontiac Catalina. Note, these names morphed into actual series of cars later, but originally the names denoted a HARDTOP.

Note also when the first hardtop four doors came, it would be OLDS and Buick for 1955 and one year later (1956) for Chevrolet and Pontiac.

Read the Book GM Art and Color which explains all this.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen, I appreciate your responses, but I think you're overthinking it.

 

Are facelifts, restyles, and redesigns distinct?

 

Here's another example:

 

1968 Road Runner>facelifted for 1969>restyled for 1970>redesigned for 1971

 

Another one:

 

1968 GTO>facelifted for 1969>restyled for 1970>facelifted for 1971>facelifted for 1972>redesigned for 1973

 

Yes or no?

Edited by =diego= (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think body style plays into new car purchases as much now, as it did in the past. In the "olden days" folks wanted a significant change in body, in order to be identified as a "new model" car owner. Now, your old car was silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers, and your new car is a different shade of silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers. The main difference is your old car had 6 jigawatts of internet capability, and your new car has 12 jigawatts of internet capability with a nice 20 inch touchscreen that slides up to block your windshield, lol!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Gentlemen, I appreciate your responses, but I think you're overthinking it.

 

Are facelifts, restyles, and redesigns distinct?

 

Here's another example:

 

1968 Road Runner>facelifted for 1969>restyled for 1970>redesigned for 1971

 

Another one:

 

1968 GTO>facelifted for 1969>restyled for 1970>facelifted for 1971>facelifted for 1972>redesigned for 1973

 

Yes or no?

I regards to the 1968-70 Tempest you just stated, It would have to be New restyled for 68, face lifted for 69-72 and redesigned for 73. Are they distinct? they can be, but not always....take VW beetle for example.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think body style plays into new car purchases as much now, as it did in the past. In the "olden days" folks wanted a significant change in body, in order to be identified as a "new model" car owner. Now, your old car was silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers, and your new car is a different shade of silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers. The main difference is your old car had 6 jigawatts of internet capability, and your new car has 12 jigawatts of internet capability with a nice 20 inch touchscreen that slides up to block your windshield, lol!

Depends on the type of customer. Lets look at the olden days, a car that was originally designed with a final shape in 1938 called the VW beetle and ended production in 2003. You can't argue about selling 21 and 1/2 million vehicles. All with just minute adjustments-not even facelifts!

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi....I was curious about the use of the above terms.

 

To use a generic car as an example - sorry, Chevy guys - how would you characterize this? 

 

1955>facelifted for 1956>facelifted for 1957>redesigned for 1958

 

But I can also see someone saying:

 

1955>1956 facelift>1957 restyle>1958 redesign

 

What's the general consensus how cars evolved within and beyond generations?

 

I'll just sit back and enjoy the can of worms.  :)

 

 

I think both would be correct. I can see using the term restyle for a more extensive facelift on a body, but I think it would be an unnecessary complication. Redesign is kind of vague as a car with an all new body does not necessarily have all new everything, It might carry over the drivetrain or some interior components. Any respectable publications that I have read discussing changes over the years on a particular model simply stick to all new (for new body and drivetrain as in 1954 to 1955 Chevy), facelifted (1956-57 Chevy), and new body (1958 Chevy).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think both would be correct. I can see using the term restyle for a more extensive facelift on a body, but I think it would be an unnecessary complication. Redesign is kind of vague as a car with an all new body does not necessarily have all new everything, It might carry over the drivetrain or some interior components. Any respectable publications that I have read discussing changes over the years on a particular model simply stick to all new (for new body and drivetrain as in 1954 to 1955 Chevy), facelifted (1956-57 Chevy), and new body (1958 Chevy).

I think that LINC400 has pretty much nailed it. "Facelifts", "Restyles" and "Redesigns" are subjective terms heavily used by marketing (advertising) folks and are not formally defined in the automotive world. These terms would mean one thing to an engineer, but something altogether different to a salesman. For example (and in my opinion), to an engineer, "facelift" would mean minor changes to body style, "restyle" would mean major changes to body style, and "redesign" would mean major changes to both body style and mechanical design features.

Just my opinion,

Grog

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

And don't forget the "ugly stylist" where the 65 Riviera and 70 Skylark were the original clean designs and the 63-64 Riv and 68-69 Skylark had added chrome and changed headlights just to make sure of sales the third year of the cycle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think both would be correct. I can see using the term restyle for a more extensive facelift on a body, but I think it would be an unnecessary complication. Redesign is kind of vague as a car with an all new body does not necessarily have all new everything, It might carry over the drivetrain or some interior components. Any respectable publications that I have read discussing changes over the years on a particular model simply stick to all new (for new body and drivetrain as in 1954 to 1955 Chevy), facelifted (1956-57 Chevy), and new body (1958 Chevy).

If you read John's post and looked at the you tube film clip he provided in the #2 thread you might have a different opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see how that changes the meaning of the terms.

Even though we might say that a 1957 Chevrolet is a face lifted 1955 Chevy, As far as Fisher body goes there are few interchangeable outside body parts between the two with the exception of the greenhouse or canopies. Chassis engineering is pretty much the same, but power train  like the body has changed dramatically, the 265 V-8 is now 283, there is outside oil filtration for the engine, Fuel injection is now offered, new engine exhausting has changed, a new automatic (TurboGlide) is offered along with the old PowerGlide. In other words the car may have been face lifted, but the changes made ( and johns video shows what it takes in just the body alone) require a lot of engineering changes, and compared to changes from a 1962 VW Beetle to a 1963 Beetle, it might be said that a face lift from a 1955 Chevy to a 1957 Chevy is slightly more than just a face lift.

 John DeLorean once remarked about the failure of TruboGlide Automatic. That it wasn't so much as a bad automatic but the public's rejection of it was the reason for it'd downfall. In the mid 80's when DeLorean wrote this he said in today's terms ( mid 1980's ) that this error cost Chevrolet in 1980 dollars about a billion dollars to develop. 

Edited by helfen (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The most expensive retool and design is the cowl area followed by the glass. That's why the sheet metal was re-styled yearly with cowls remaining the same for many facelifts. Take the Chrysler "B" body. Open the hood on a mid 60's Plymouth Satellite and a 1979 Chrysler 300 Cordoba. Same firewall/cowl for over a decade. a 62 Fairlane and mid 70's Torino. Same.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see I'm not the only one who has trouble with this.  :)

 

Reminds me of a discussion in a general forum where someone said, "The Eldorado Brougham that [this person] describes is a sedan (or at the very least a four door coupe)," and then, when I corrected him, responded:

 

4-door-hard top, 

Four-door-coupe, 
Sedan
Honestly, what's the big difference?

 

 

At that point, I officially became old. :wacko:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Even though we might say that a 1957 Chevrolet is a face lifted 1955 Chevy, As far as Fisher body goes there are few interchangeable outside body parts between the two with the exception of the greenhouse or canopies. Chassis engineering is pretty much the same, but power train  like the body has changed dramatically, the 265 V-8 is now 283, there is outside oil filtration for the engine, Fuel injection is now offered, new engine exhausting has changed, a new automatic (TurboGlide) is offered along with the old PowerGlide. In other words the car may have been face lifted, but the changes made ( and johns video shows what it takes in just the body alone) require a lot of engineering changes, and compared to changes from a 1962 VW Beetle to a 1963 Beetle, it might be said that a face lift from a 1955 Chevy to a 1957 Chevy is slightly more than just a face lift.

 John DeLorean once remarked about the failure of TruboGlide Automatic. That it wasn't so much as a bad automatic but the public's rejection of it was the reason for it'd downfall. In the mid 80's when DeLorean wrote this he said in today's terms ( mid 1980's ) that this error cost Chevrolet in 1980 dollars about a billion dollars to develop. 

Interestingly the 57 Chev was at the end of the style cycle and the GM designers thought they had a flop on their hands after they viewed the 57 Plymouths as they were much lower, sleeker and modern. The 57 Ford's were also a fresh design and did outsell the Chevy. But today the Chev is the most popular "iconic" one of the 3 to most people. I still prefer the Plymouth, then the Ford of the Low Priced Big 3 for 1957.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly the 57 Chev was at the end of the style cycle and the GM designers thought they had a flop on their hands after they viewed the 57 Plymouths as they were much lower, sleeker and modern. The 57 Ford's were also a fresh design and did outsell the Chevy. But today the Chev is the most popular "iconic" one of the 3 to most people. I still prefer the Plymouth, then the Ford of the Low Priced Big 3 for 1957.

I'm neither a Ford, Chevy or Plymouth fan for different reasons, but I think the 57 Ford is a great looking car and I can't figure out why it's not as popular as a 57 Chevy today. As far as the Plymouth goes I can understand from many points why it's not nearly as popular as the 57 Chevy from my point of view. If the 57 Plymouth was that much better of a car then why would Ford sell 796,307 more units and Chevrolet sell 789168 more units than Plymouth. Apparently this tells you what the public thought of the " Forward Look" in 1957, and soon thereafter  the squeak, rattle, leaks, and premature rust problems that the auto magazines revealed would be a problem.     

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno - suggesting that sales are a true indicator of the popularity of a car is like saying Mariah Carey is the best singer ever because of her record sales.

 

It's a fact that GM was taken aback by Exner's creations, and the buff books agreed that the Plymouth was out of this world. The public? They agreed too, with model-year production up by approximately 125k units. Chevrolet was down approx 60k. Aside of marketing, Chevrolet had a much larger dealer network than Plymouth, which certainly helps someone who is merely interested in personal transportation like your typical Consumer Reports reader.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I dunno - suggesting that sales are a true indicator of the popularity of a car is like saying Mariah Carey is the best singer ever because of her record sales.

 

It's a fact that GM was taken aback by Exner's creations, and the buff books agreed that the Plymouth was out of this world. The public? They agreed too, with model-year production up by approximately 125k units. Chevrolet was down approx 60k. Aside of marketing, Chevrolet had a much larger dealer network than Plymouth, which certainly helps someone who is merely interested in personal transportation like your typical Consumer Reports reader.

 The magazines of the day reported poor fit and finish, rust problems, squeaks and rattles. Generally a poor Build quality. GM in particular went into warp drive for the 1959 models, but by 1960 that finned era was toning down and ending. As a extension of the forward look Chrysler cars from 1960 to 1962 became quite bizarre in their looks and had clearly missed the mark, and still with fit and finish/ build quality problems. 

The public? how does 1,522,406. Fords made and 1,515,177 Chevrolets made vs. 726,009. Plymouths. That's a huge amount of difference, almost 800,000 more Fords, and 800,000 more Chevrolets...I can tell you what the public was agreeing to.  We all know what happened to Plymouth sales in the late 50's to the 70's....First,  American Motors dethroned them from third place, Pontiac took 4th place until 1961 when Pontiac became the #3 auto producer for the rest of the decade. In those years Plymouth couldn't challenge first place let alone third place.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think body style plays into new car purchases as much now, as it did in the past. In the "olden days" folks wanted a significant change in body, in order to be identified as a "new model" car owner. Now, your old car was silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers, and your new car is a different shade of silver, with rounded plastic bumper covers. The main difference is your old car had 6 jigawatts of internet capability, and your new car has 12 jigawatts of internet capability with a nice 20 inch touchscreen that slides up to block your windshield, lol!

How many remember what a gala event it was on a Friday evening every September when all the new car dealers in town (at least the once-Big Three) papered their windows the previous day and rolled in with their next-year's models?  I remember those days well, either going on the Friday evening or Saturday making the rounds and seeing what was new.

 

Even though a car may not have received a brand new body in the 1960's, the yearly updates on existing were extensive enough to be able to tell the year of it half a block away at the time, unlike today.  

 

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would characterize it as meaning The new "A" body for 1955 was face lifted for 1956 and again in 1957. The 1958 car for Chevrolet and Pontiac are a new one year model. The interesting thing about this is Buick, Cadillac and Oldsmobile as far back as 1954 were using styling and features that sometimes show up on Chevrolet and Pontiac sometimes two styling cycles later. A good example of this would be panorama windshields on 1954 Olds and Buick whose "A" pillar would sweep back beyond 90 degrees that wouldn't show up in a Cadillac until 1957, and Chevrolet and Pontiac in 1958. The 1957 Cadillac swept back "A" pillar is almost identical to the Chevrolet/Pontiac of 1958.

A 1954 Olds styling feature that showed up on some models was "Sweep Cut" rear fender well styling. This feature wouldn't show up on a Chevy until 1956, and Pontiac until 1957. BTW, "Sweep Cut" fender styling was designed as a styling feature and was designed NEVER to be used with a fender skirt.

Image of a 1954 Olds Starfire with "Sweep Cut" front and rear fender wells and swept back past 90 degree "A" pillar windshield;

http://www.robinsonrestorations.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/1954OldsStarfire2-1030x700.jpg

Image of 1956 Chevrolet with two year old design to be first used on Chevrolet. Note the "A" pillar is straight up and down and not swept back past 90 degrees:

http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/chevrolet-bel-air-28.jpg

Here is a 1957 Chevrolet with skirts on a "Swept Cut", Notice the break up of the lines of the rear fender, notice the shadow created by the raise wheel well lip which also breaks up the lines of the rear fender. Putting skirts is from a design standpoint a design NO NO;

http://img02.deviantart.net/7c19/i/2013/169/0/6/a_1957_chevy_bel_air_by_theman268-d69kv01.jpg

Here is a picture of a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado Seville, notice the "Correct way in which a skirt is supposed to look when it is designed from the beginning to be used with the vehicle, even the stainless molding flow from the body fender thru the skirt and out to the body again in almost a seamless flow;

http://cimg.carsforsale.com/366031/61AF58EC-E632-46CD-864E-972972E2C869_3.jpg

At GM the two door hard tops were first used on Cadillac called Coupe De Ville, Oldsmobile 98 Holiday Coupe, and the Buick Riviera all in 1949. Chevrolet and Pontiac would NOT have this hardtop until 1950, Chevrolet Bel Air, Pontiac Catalina. Note, these names morphed into actual series of cars later, but originally the names denoted a HARDTOP.

Note also when the first hardtop four doors came, it would be OLDS and Buick for 1955 and one year later (1956) for Chevrolet and Pontiac.

Read the Book GM Art and Color which explains all this.

That is entirely correct, where luxury features and expensive-to-manufacture styling touches migrated from the luxury and mid-priced class and eventually to the low-price field, and is now taken for granted on nearly every car on the planet.  Starting in the 1950's it became a HUGE problem of gigantic proportions for luxury car manufacturers where leather interiors and power accessories were no longer exclusive to that market.  I recall reading it was becoming a problem for Packard, trying to compete when Buick, Oldsmobile, Mercury, and even Pontiac started offering air conditioning, power windows & seats, et al.  Today, a brand new Hyundai Sonata can be equipped with all the same creature comforts a Lincoln has, including build quality.  

 

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm neither a Ford, Chevy or Plymouth fan for different reasons, but I think the 57 Ford is a great looking car and I can't figure out why it's not as popular as a 57 Chevy today. As far as the Plymouth goes I can understand from many points why it's not nearly as popular as the 57 Chevy from my point of view. If the 57 Plymouth was that much better of a car then why would Ford sell 796,307 more units and Chevrolet sell 789168 more units than Plymouth. Apparently this tells you what the public thought of the " Forward Look" in 1957, and soon thereafter  the squeak, rattle, leaks, and premature rust problems that the auto magazines revealed would be a problem.     

I'm a huge 57 Ford fan, more so I love the Canadian only 57 Meteor version. My 1st car.

 The Plymouth could never achieve the same sales as Ford or Chevy mainly because they never had close to the same amount of production capacity. There really wasn't a Big 3. It was a Big2 with a mid-size 1,Chrysler. When the 1957 Plymouth took off like wildfire in sales the sloppy,hurried production soon became obvious as the lack of quality kicked their butt hard. It almost ruined their reputation for the next decade if not longer. As a kid in the early 60's rusty  57-59 Plymouths with missing chrome and sagging springs were a very common sight along with many derogatory comments.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As a kid in the early 60's rusty  57-59 Plymouths with missing chrome and sagging springs were a very common sight along with many derogatory comments.

I believe that!  There was a '57 Plymouth in Omaha that was parked undisturbed and untouched in one spot for 50 years that was 'missing chrome and sagging springs' when opened!! :D

 

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a huge 57 Ford fan, more so I love the Canadian only 57 Meteor version. My 1st car.

 The Plymouth could never achieve the same sales as Ford or Chevy mainly because they never had close to the same amount of production capacity. There really wasn't a Big 3. It was a Big2 with a mid-size 1,Chrysler. When the 1957 Plymouth took off like wildfire in sales the sloppy,hurried production soon became obvious as the lack of quality kicked their butt hard. It almost ruined their reputation for the next decade if not longer. As a kid in the early 60's rusty  57-59 Plymouths with missing chrome and sagging springs were a very common sight along with many derogatory comments.

 

The Big three does not denote Chevrolet, Ford and Plymouth. The Big three denotes the three largest corporations.  GM, Ford and Chrysler

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...