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Art & Inspiration What was the most one year change from cool to ugly?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ct1932ford, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 613


    In many cases the need to do model year changes every stinkin' year when the previous year was near perfect.

    Like 55 chevy vs 56, 53 Stude coupe vs all the later ones.
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  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,265


    57 to 58 was a rough transition. Some were absolutely horrendous.

  3. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 613


    Rare car! Stude coupe with a new grille and headlight treatment that made it a Packard.I think some of the new parts were fiberglass. Had one back in 60 or 61 for a day or so. Sold it on as Mike Brewer would say.

    Ugly, but note the 58 'bird influence in the grille
  4. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,956

    from Zoar, Ohio

    From 32 clear through 40, the fords improved. Or at least changed and still looked beautiful. The 37-38’s were not nearly as breathtaking but still hit the mark nowadays. From 1941 on. All fords went backward in drop dead style.
    Cool yes but never even close to the 30’s era of design.
    32’s in my mind drops below the attraction of even the 37-38’s.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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  5. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 2,933


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  6. The '61 restyle somehow ended up looking 'cheap' compared to the '60 and it's not really anything you can put your finger on. Ford sort of lost their way in terms of styling after the (undeserved IMO) sales rejection of the '60 and struggled until about '65 when they returned to their usual, generally more conservative styling compared to GM and Chrysler.

    The 'fin wars' between Harley Earl at GM and Virgil Exner at Chrysler were also in full cry during this time, Ford never really participated in that as full-throatedly as they did. This was really the end of the 'Stylist' era as both Earl and Exner were gone by the early '60s and the bean-counters took over at both companies, reining in the excesses.

    And in all things esthetically, beauty is always in the eye of the beholder....
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  7. Ding, ding, ding, Marty wins. 37 to 38 Ford really screwed the pooch. And not just on the pick ups.
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  8. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,862


    Never was a fan of barrel nose p/u's that is until I bought one. Seems like everyone wants a '40/41 p/u but the '38/39's are treated like red haired step sons by the '40/41 crowd. All I can say is once you own a barrel nose you'll never trade it for a '40/41p/u. At least IMHO.
  9. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,427


    57 to 58 GM. Pick any brand, they were all ugly.
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  10. Marty Strode
    Joined: Apr 28, 2011
    Posts: 5,937

    Marty Strode

    Like I have quoted before, "In this world there are two kinds of men, those who have '40-'41 Ford Pickups, and and those who want them" ! But those '38-'39's look better every year.
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  11. papajohn
    Joined: Nov 2, 2006
    Posts: 885


    60 to 61 chevy full-size.
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  12. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 20,523

    from Michigan

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  13. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,456


    The transition from 57 to 58 ford is a horror show
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  14. 36 to 37 Chev must be close to getting the best improved award !! The 37 being a massive improvement styling wise.
    mikeymike, Dan Hay, SlamIam and 4 others like this.
  15. carguy699
    Joined: Jan 16, 2013
    Posts: 87


    how about the 60 dodge and dart to the 61 dodge and dart? from cool to butt ugly!!
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  16. AVater
    Joined: Dec 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,596

    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    And then came the Edsel in ‘58:(
  17. The Edsel was a new name plate like Mercury and not a design change. With that being said let me start the hate show which is my opinion.

    55 chev.jpg 54-Chevy-Bel-Air-Hrdtp-DV-12-GG-01.jpg 1949-Ford-BW.jpg
    Compare the three. 54 Chev had the bulbous rear fenders and humped up fronts as all prewar models. '55 Chev was GM's lame attempt to copy the '49 Ford design carried over to the "56 model year with a '56 Ford reminiscent grille. The 1949 Ford paved the way for the look of all modern cars. Henry II was ingenious to beat GM and their engineers and designers to the drawing boards by six years with his innovative design changes for the way vehicles looked and were assembled. '49 Ford, sleek sculpted front fenders blended seamlessly into the hood with a minimal disruption of flow across the hood. Smooth flanks as mimicked by the '55 Chev but the bulbous rear fenders slapped on in an attempt to cover the rear wheels as "fenders" on the 54 Chev. With all of their; public surveys, engineering, and design, capabilities this is where the mid 50's Chev came to. I never have been an admirer of the "Tri Five Chevs" and was never able to see the attraction. Ford was so far ahead of the big three in the design studio and engineering to have built a car so futuristic as the '49 model year just four years following the end of WWII and switching back to post war production. The '49 Ford design and engineering saved Ford while GM rested on their laurels and continued producing pre war models for ten more years. Lets not forget the OHV V8 Y block which was two years ahead of GM.
  18. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,714


  19. Yutan Flash
    Joined: Aug 6, 2008
    Posts: 725

    Yutan Flash
    from Gretna, NE

    Can't argue '40 to '41 Ford - at least '41 to '42 was an improvement; '40 to '41 Chevy I'd say was the opposite effect, with the '40 being fuglier. The '63 to '64 Falcon kinda comes to mind, too, as does '64 to '65 Fairlane.
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  20. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,856

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    The 44-45 change on the Packard. Hideous....
  21. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,265


    And the 48 Hudson paved the way for the 49 ford :)
  22. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,578

    Rusty O'Toole

    55 56 57 Chevs were so popular with hot rodders because they were the first Chevies with V8 engines and you could swap any Chevy V8 into them easily, not so with 54 and earlier.
    58s were much heavier with coil spring rear suspension which made them less suitable for hot rodding and drag racing. Nice cars but the tri fives were thought offer better performance, easier to work on, and were cheaper. That is why they became iconic more than their looks.
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  23. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,624


    You beat me too it!
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  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,265


    not for me... the 55 just looks so much better than the 58. Yes, I've owned both
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  25. Lloyd's paint & glass
    Joined: Nov 16, 2019
    Posts: 4,856

    Lloyd's paint & glass

    Crazy that Chevy changed every year from 55-61
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  26. And you get what you pay for. Yes I owned them in the past and worked on them too. All of the hype about interchangeability in chev is rubbish. No GM car that I ever owned drove and worked on had the quality of the Ford, do not even mention chashler products with quality as theirs was the worst.

    Not really because the '56 chev was a holdover main body style from the '55 with minor changes and a copied updated wraparound grille. '57's had some of the body styling cues as the aforementioned but '58 is an orphan then the '59 '60 were pretty much the same. Ironic how all manufactures '58 styles changed so drastically and then again in '59.
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  27. atch
    Joined: Sep 3, 2002
    Posts: 4,798


    When I first read the title of this thread I immediately was hit with 3 thoughts.

    1. 37 - 38 Ford pickup. Got mentioned right away.
    2. 57 - 58 Chevy car. Actually, as has been mentioned, 'most all cars took a giant step backwards in 58.

    Both of these have already been mentioned.

    3. 41 - 42 Ford pickup. 40 - 41 Ford pickups have been mentioned above as highly desirable due to their great aesthetics.
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  28. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,974

    from Berry, AL

    I got to agree. The introduction of quad headlights really screwed up a lot of the front ends of decent looking 57's. The 58 Chevy was one of the few designs that quad lights worked with, but it was pretty much a total new body, not a redesigned 57 like the 58 Ford was. And I think pretty much all of them lost their way in 59, 60, 61, and 62. With a few exceptions like the 61-62 Impala, most of the rest were ugly or just plain weird, like the MoPars. By 63 though, they all were back to decent looking designs for the most part.
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  29. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,116

    from norcal

    Two trucks same year one tasty one not E5958251-5A07-4A8D-9098-BA7391B1CE8E.jpeg A5685D30-FD7A-4CD2-B0BB-CF8AE0876770.jpeg same year
  30. 31hotrodguy
    Joined: Oct 29, 2013
    Posts: 2,700



    Hmmm interchangeable rubbish? I don’t know. I kinda like the 67 327 in my 57 along with the 65 Muncie 4spd that was a bolt in minus a floor trim(no drive shaft modification.) In fact I didn’t even have to support the engine to change the trans. I’m lazy like that. Lol My later full size hubs with roller bearings where kind of easy to change out. Then again disc brakes from a mid size aren’t too much work either.
    Plus I’m kinda partial to the bolt in 57 Pontiac rear end in my 55 Chevy as well. Hmm maybe one of these days I’ll put my early 70’s BBC in one of them. Not a bolt in but darn close.

    Then again I guess I could alway buy an OT 65 6cylinder mustang and convert it to a V8....maybe even put an FE in it with a 4spd! I hear everything inter changes.

    I own Fords, Chevys, Pontiac, Buick and an OT 60’s Mopar A body. We may like one over the other and have our preference butI think someone might be a tad bias.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app[/QUOTE]
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
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