1. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    From an Allpar page:

    "
    In the Chrysler Design Office (then called Styling Staff), there were “brand” studios: Plymouth Exterior Studio, Dodge Exterior Studio, and a Chrysler and Imperial Exterior Studio. Each was locked, and only the people who belonged in there had a key.
    ...
    “Brand” studios fell by the wayside in the early to mid ’70s, yielding to “body size” studios meaning, for example, Plymouth Satellites and Dodge Coronets were designed by people in the same studio, ditto for the ’75 Cordoba and Charger.
    "

    But what was the sitation when the Formals were being designed? In the Jeffrey Godshall articles in Collectible Automobile on Formal Chryslers and Plymouths it seems as if both types of studios existed side-by-side. He mentions the Chrysler/Imperial Exterior Studio, the Plymouth Exterior Studio, the Large Car Studio and the Intermediate Car Studio.

    So with special reference to Plymouth and Dodge C-bodies, how was the work-flow organised in this period, say 1972-1973? From a little distance they bear so much resemblance, that it is hard to believe they were designed in two separate, restricted-access studios.
     
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  2. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    By the 1972 time frame, there were possibly some "financial issues" known to be on the horizon, so cost savings was necessary. More cars using the same basic parts, using front end caps, rear end caps, exterior trim, interior trim, and such to differentiate the cars. Dodge from Plymouth, especially. Hence, the "large car" and "intermediate car" studios, which would allow for designers to talk to each other, side by side, as needed.

    In some cases, it was not unusual for each studio to have competing teams to design/style future vehicles, for consideration of management. But by the time the proposals were decided upon, then everybody was on "the same team" again, I suspect. "Production" and "Engineering" groups would then become involved as the concepts became reality.

    Just some thoughts,
    CBODY67
     
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  3. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    1972-Chrysler-New-Yorker-front.jpg

    In the A 1972 Chrysler New Yorker Brougham NYB as a movie star thread this picture was just posted.

    It just struck me how this design expresses Elwood Engel's approach often referred to as "filling out the corners of the box". I would like to add "and everything between them".

    Here you have Ford's Knudsen nose, whose wild movement has been civilized by tying everything together in a singular rectangular shape. OK, the front is slightly pointy, but you have to look hard to notice.
     
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  4. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Any resemblance is surely coincidental.

    1970 Chevrolet Bel Air:
    1970ChevroletBelAir-d.jpg


    1974 Plymouth Fury Gran Sedan:
    1974-gransedan-Lebanon-d.jpg

    Again, Elwood Engel tied it all together.

    Does anybody know of other front ends that are similar to Plymouth's?
     
  5. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Now for a more far-fetched comparison.

    1961 Imperial Crown:

    1961ImperialCrown-a.jpg

    I see similarities in the grille sides receding backwards and the metal strip along the top of the grille.
     
  6. Mr C

    Mr C Senior Member

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    I would say that the Formal Dodge and Plymouth styling was heavily influenced by the GM styles of a few years before...or what would have been current at the time they were working on the cars.

    72 Buick...

    unnamed.jpg
    1972_buick_lesabre-pic-3687340307596643300-1600x1200.jpeg

    74 Dodge
    ef11b7cd4ba90fab7ab0be44f51b4898.jpg
    1974-dodge-monaco-base-hardtop-4-door-72l-1.jpg

    But I still like them...
     
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  7. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    I go along with that all the way! It becomes more a question of where the differences lie between the 1971 GM cars and the Formal C-bodies.
     
  8. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    To put it in a more provocative way:

    Has the 1974 Plymouth Fury been designed according to a design proposal that GM chose not to use for one of its 1971 full-size cars? Is the Fury actually a Chevrolet Biscayne with the wrong badge?
     
  9. commando1

    commando1 Old Man With a Hat on the Porch FCBO Gold Member

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    The design stage for the 74+ cars was started 3--4 years earlier.
    Around that time the Fusie sales started to get hammered. I'll hazzard a guess the top management decided to play follow the leader.
     
  10. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Taking a closer look is always worth the effort:

    Leaving aside the front and rear clips, it's the side view that makes the Formal Plymouth and Dodge so similar to GM's 1971 cars. Low hood, low beltline, thin A-pillars, deep glass and the Buick Electra/Olds 98-like C-pillar (now that's one sail panel!) contribute to this result. The 1974's are evolutionary rather than revolutionary, but still they represent a cautious step beyond the 1971 GM design, as they are slightly more boxy. Visually, the sides bulge less, the greenhouse has less tumblehome and they show narrower radiuses were two planes meet. Compare, for instance, these deck shapes.

    1973 Chevrolet Impala:

    1973ChevroletImpala-c.jpg


    1974 Fury Gran Sedan:

    1974-gransedan-Lebanon-e.jpg

    We do call them Formals for a reason!
     
  11. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Here are side views of the "Low Price Three":

    1971 Chevrolet Impala:

    1971ChevroletImpala-i.jpg

    1973 Ford LTD:

    1973FordLTD-dd.jpg

    1974 Plymouth Fury:

    1974-FuryIII-PH41M4F141135-aa.jpg

    Close looking will reveal differences, but at first glance the similarities are striking, especially in the hood-greenhouse-deck proportions. Then as now, nobody wanted to be off mark and all tried to swim right in the main stream of full-size car design.

    The 1974 C-bodies were the latecomer to this game, so it's only natural that their design was compared to those already around. At the same time they were also the most modern, as is testified by their sides bulging less (not really visible in these pictures) and the more upright and prominent greenhouse. That styling fad most probably originated in Europe:

    1969 Fiat 130:

    1969Fiat130-a.jpg

    From a historical point of view, the 1974 C-bodies represent the last of the line of primarily designer-driven, "bigger-is-better" full-size cars. By "designer-driven" I mean the supremacy of designers over engineers, salesmen and even the car-buying public in determining the final outcome. Full-size-car buyers were already complaining about poor fuel economy and difficulties in parking by then, just take a look at the Owners Reports in Popular Mechanics from the early Seventies. The 1977 GM cars were much more engineer-driven (better fuel economy entails less weight entails a smaller car entails a new styling approach).

    When car collectors will finally grasp this point, prices of our C-bodies will sky-rocket!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  12. brougham brummel

    brougham brummel Well-Known Member

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    The fords of the 70,s are pretty forgettable.They were squarish and kind of bloated.The c types looked much,much better and stylish
     
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  13. brougham brummel

    brougham brummel Well-Known Member

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    unless the derby guys get them all.I check facebook marketplace routinely and the amount of cars being parted out is about 50 percent almost.There are tons of lincolns and caddys out there.WHY DON,T THEY USE THEM? oops
     
  14. PeugFra

    PeugFra Active Member

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    Yes, full-size Ford looks somewhat clumsy.

    At C-pillar height the sides are very bloated, giving extra emphasis to the coke-bottle line. Not very elegant on a car of these dimensions. You can see it by looking at the door profiles:

    1973FordLTD-a.jpg

    Then you have the high beltline, shallow side glass and thick A-pillars. They tried to make up for that by having a rather thin B-pillar:

    1973FordGalaxie-c.jpg

    Apart from the coke-bottle line full-size Fords were sure formal, but they lacked the airiness and tautness of the 1974 ChryCo cars.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020 at 7:35 AM
  15. King Hooter

    King Hooter Member

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    In my opinion the formal Dodge/Plymouth hard top coupes where some of the best looking cars of that era.