Morpheus on… Round Cars vs Square Cars

Up until WW2, car shapes were functional. Granted, the Thirties had featured SOME exotic shapes, but they were reserved for the RICH. Plebmobiles were two-box affairs. Little box in front for the engine – big box at the back for the occupants. Throw in square doors and windows and you had a car.

But once the ’39-45 argument was settled, car companies began employing DESIGNERS. And ever since, despite all engineering innovations, every decade or so, cars have gone from ROUND to SQUARE – or back again.

Currently they’re square. Let me qualify that – thanks to the auto industry being forced to think FUEL ECONOMY, they’re actually ROUND – but with little creases to make them LOOK square.

And now they’re TALLER, as well. This helps handling not one jot – but it makes them easier to get in and out of (not that the manufacturers could care less about EITHER). However, as with the roundness, it also makes them more FUEL-EFFICIENT, since they present less wind-resistance.

But if the past sixty years is anything to go by, they’ll soon become round again. So why care? A car is a box on four wheels, right? (Sorry, Jeremy).

Well the fact is, EVERYONE HATES SQUARE CARS. I mean, which would YOU prefer? A Volvo or a Jag? Precisely. And while a new, square car might be flavour of the YEAR – once it gets old, it’ll NEVER be a CLASSIC. Think of the classics – NONE of them are SQUARE.

I drive a 15-year-old Mitsu Galant (with NO rear spoiler). It looks like a classic Jag. It’s COOL. And while the latest models gleam all around it, when THEY get old – MY CHARIOT WILL LOOK TEN TIMES BETTER!


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Cy Quick on May 30, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    This SQUARE/ROUND issue is fascinating. I worshipped US cars of the 1950s for the chrome & fins, but would have BOUGHT a Land Rover. Now, I like the Smart Car, fairly square. I arrived a day late for my driving test in 1959 and have not gotten around to a re-book yet.

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