Our newspaper library: We examine the history of the most “affordable” coupes

Our newspaper library: We examine the history of the most "affordable" coupes

Original text by Jason Barlow from Top Gear magazine, 2009 issue 191

We’re going to shoot the newspaper library. We go back to 1969. Many events took place, both culturally (especially musically), and socially and politically.

Led Zeppelin has released their debut album. The Beatles put on their last public performance. The Woodstock music festival becomes the epitome of the ’60s counterculture dream. The Stones’ free concert at the Altamont circuit four months later sounds like death. Humanity lands on the moon. Richard Nixon was elected President of the United States. ford throw Capri.

Well, maybe a new coupe hasn’t shaken cultural ‘Power’ as deeply as other great moments of ’69. The Capri also hasn’t moved the masses or redefined what’s possible in a car; Model T, insects anyone Mini. But this was the start of something that will dominate the European auto business for the next 40 years: marketing.

More specifically, Capri signaled the possibility of the car’s self-improvement. The advertising slogan was “The car you always promised yourself”. Even if the 1960s had erased the last vestiges of post-war austerity, it was still dizzying.

Only the upper classes or the pop aristocracy could afford to showcase the emerging exoticism of the time. Now almost everyone could get a piece of the dream. Breaking through the haze of marijuana smoke and patchouli oil, Capri came up with the idea of ​​affordable glamor. He may not have been a pioneer, but he universalized the idea of ​​the coupe: exotic for everyone.

Again debuted in January 1969in many ways the ’70s started here and with them our curious obsession coupe

The term ‘coupé’ itself predates the invention of the automobile. The first blows, meaning “to cut”, were closed-bodied horse-drawn carriages. The rear-facing front seats have been removed, creating a more intimate and luxurious space for passengers.

Many bodybuilders of the 1930s and 1940s literally created a variety of coupes.: Bugatti Type 57 Atlantic and Talbot-Lago T150SS are probably the two most impressive examples, but the idea has only solidified itself as a mass-market experiment. Ford Mustang in 1964

Overseen by product manager Donald N Frey at 18 months and designed by John Najjar, The original ‘Stang’ was more a lesson in 20th century economics and marketing than a car. The Mustang is believed to have been co-designed by the people at Ford and “Madmen”, as seen in the television series about the Madison Avenue advertising industry that originated in J. Walter Thompson.

it was “the car you will design”introduces the idea of ​​a comprehensive and profitable option list to an enthusiastic audience. Of course, it was not only available as a coupe. But all Mustang variants featured the long hood, short tail shape that would define the coupe’s styling language.

Ford’s European wing certainly stood out. The Capri, like the Mustang, could opportunistically recycle an existing platform, parts and engines, but it didn’t matter. What it did was it looked great and was available in a wide range of trim levels.

It’s hard to believe anyone would be seduced by it. 1.3 liter L with 583 hp, but it definitely caught you off guard and stunned you to not notice the features. So the template was created. The coupe was the new king. rise muscle cars triggered a similar trend, albeit much less power-hungry in other regions.

despite toyota 2000gt From the mid-60s, it was as weird as a rocking horse. Plus, I borrowed a lot from the coupe. E-Type to become the first desirable Japanese sports car, datsun The 240Z offered the strongest demonstration of how smart the immature Japanese car is.

Powered by a juicy, docile inline-six and of course rear-wheel drive, the 240Z remains a totem pole, with the arguably the ultimate long-nosed, short-tail silhouette. The car itself may be badly rusted, but its memory is not. This was the E-Type from Japan, but closer to Capri’s money.

The list of contenders continued to grow: opel blanket, Mazda RX-7, opel firenza, toyota celikas at the cheapest end; more esoteric but still highly desirable cars like BMW 3.0CSL, fiat dino 2400 Y Matra Simca Bagheera (three seats a day!) in the other.

Italians, thanks to his genius Pininfarina and BertoneThey have succeeded in adding a more artistic quality to the coupe machismo exemplified in cars such as the Fiat 130 Coupe, Lancia Gamma Coupe and Peugeot 504 Coupe. They were an overly fancy proposition for Essex geeks and you had to do your best to put them on their side at a crossroads, but for true coupe connoisseurs, this did its best.

The 1980s were less kind to the genre. This was partly a matter of fashion, but mainly due to the hot hatch annexing the region. there were also some terrible pseudo-couples and word humiliated by lazy salesmen in pursuit of cheap splendor.

Ford killed Capri in 1986 and then disastrously tried to revive the idea eight years later to try. A year later, the concept he inspired TT Bauhaus of the audi showed how to do it right; production version arrived in 1998 and the UK remains the largest world market.

new success volkswagen scirocco although this sector of the market is quite fashion oriented, he simply refuses to die.

this [ahora ex] Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum There is no doubt why this should be so. “People will always want attractive cars, and it’s easier to make a coupe look good than a four-door sedan. It’s a form that deliberately compromises on function. The coupe deliberately emphasizes aesthetics over the traditional three-box shape,” he said.

“A car moves in a horizontal plane, so a horizontal line is more exciting than a vertical line. Aerodynamics confirms this, but it’s also something we react to instinctively.”

Callum remembers seeing the original Capri at a Ford showroom in Dumfries.“It blew my mind,” he says, remembering the effect it had.

“It wasn’t about suddenly having a car that you’re carrying the family with. The Capri was a model you bought yourself. It was tolerance. It’s an industry I passionately believe in. There is no car on the planet that cannot be improved by reducing its mass, increasing the bevel of its windshield or cutting its profile.

Tolerance, of course, is not quite politically correct in these times of recession. But as Callum points out, we’ve been here before. “Hair shirt and ash time? I hope not. In fact, we had a lot of arguments about what was the right thing to do. But we do these kinds of discussions ten years after ten years. The truth is, style and beauty never go out of style.

Capri can still come back.

#newspaper #library #examine #history #affordable #coupes

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