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Again, it wasn't as 100% obvious. That's my point.

 

 

1998_Ford_Escort-2.jpg

 

Looks different than

 

46715447.jpg

 

1998_ford_contour_4_dr_se_sedan-pic-3712

 

And looks totally different:

1998-99_Ford_Taurus.jpg

 

They do not look like genetic clones.

 

There are some hints, but they all have unique shapes for a grille, okay they may have an oval, but at least the grille design was different, and leadlamp design wasn't the same, and the hood lines weren't the same.

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The current H/K design language, "Fluidic Sculpture 2.0", is definitely helping bring people over from the typical Honda/Toyota/Nissan crap they were repeatedly buying before. Just as much as the feat

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A friend in Michigan got sneaky and shot these   I'm in love, where's the sign-up sheet!

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That may be, but they're still clearly relatives. The other issue is that the Escort and Contour weren't money makers. Saving on design and tooling costs, and sharing platforms, does at least help them be profitable.

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Well the Contour had tons of styling thanks to the European Mondeo. Really it was Ford of Europe who designed it, and I miss my Contour. It had such beautiful curves and lines to it. It handled well, it drove nicely, it's a car I surely miss. However, when it came to be built in North America, they sure did take some things away from it, but still it had a nice look to it.

 

The Escort IIRC was a Mazda/Ford Partnership, and it did quite well in style again to me. Sure a 97+ Escort doesn't look as good as the 92-96, but it was still a great easy to work on car.

 

Now, I am not discrediting ANY of the Fords for reliability (Except Build 1 Focus) or power, simply the style. It just lacks that personality trait. I suppose it is good when you are like, "Well, I like the style of an Fiesta, but I need a bigger car" Great, you get a Fusion and get that style. If I had the money and tools, I would so put an EcoBoost powerplant in my 95 Taurus. But then again, I am not a normal person. I like my cars to have a unique look, I like colors that aren't generic (Windveil Blue, moonlight blue, Candy Blue in my Focus). I also love a station wagon, and manual transmissions! Again - something that Ford is against due to the nature of average consumers. I did state, Ford found what is working for them, and great. I want Ford to do well, as well as all the other big 3 US Manufactures. I am just that odd ball who has that unique taste in cars that I know others share with me, just not as common. Basically, it just means Ford no longer produce a car that fills my need. Nor does any manufacturer anymore, since apparently Subaru no longer makes a proper manual transmission wagon.

That's simply the nature of the automotive world, it changes. I know there are still people who miss carburetors, but eventually moved on, and one day, I will be forced to move on. Also I know people think cars look best when they had fins (They actually did) But perhaps one day, maybe one day, consumer shift will get bored of sedans, and crossovers, and somehow a proper station wagon will come back. Doubtful, but a man can dream :)

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I struggle, at least when I look at other cars on the road, they have a personality. Ford lacks a personality now. Ford reminds me of The Borg from Star Trek, make everything the same.

 

I don't struggle, but then again maybe I'm gifted? I don't know lol. I definitely don't think Ford lacks personality, but that's opinion which is subjective, of course. I absolutely don't think they make everything the same.

 

One think I do know for sure is that I don't think GM has personality, unless you can count ugly as a personality trait, then sure.

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Ford does not lack personality, they have more personality now than ever because all their cars are easily recognizable from the rest of the cars on the road.  People don't care what model car it is, they care about the brand. Brand identity is huge and Ford wants people to be able to tell a Ford car apart from anything else on the road, and they have.  They aren't trying to sell a particular model so much as the entire brand. (Exactly like my Jeep reference, which by the way works very well.) 

 

BTW, the "its a jeep thing" should be something that all vehicle brands should strive for, Jeep owners with one of those stickers on their truck become part of community that looks out for one another.

 

If you have read about Ford's design philosophy you would know that they want people to be able to tell its a Ford from 500 feet away, and then at a closer distance be able to tell which model it is, and then up close pickup all the cool little design cues like names in the headlights and on the mirror skull caps.

 

I can give you a perfect example and it has to do with Jeep.  This summer I drove a 2004 Grand Cherokee for work, say what you want about it...I did.  Anyway, wherever I went people didn't refer to it as a Grand Cherokee, they called it a Jeep. In every situation where that truck came up it was always called a Jeep, not once did someone call it a Grand Cherokee.  I thought about this and from a marketing standpoint, Jeep has it made.

 

And not to stomp on the 2005 Ford lineup, but that was still in the "dark era of Ford" and most of their lineup sucked. Fast forward a few years and the new Fords were 100x better. The Fusion and Edge really helped bring people back to Ford, before those vehicles Ford was only good at making big SUVs and Trucks.

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Well, a lot of people think they look like Aston Martin ripoffs that I've spoke to who aren't Ford Enthusiasts, so apparently it didn't work. And yes, their design philosophy is just an excuse to be cheap. Change a bit of slight details, and call it a day vs trying to completely build a whole new grille from scratch, including angles, curves, and straight up design. I understand the complexity of coming up with something as basic as a hubcap or hood design. And to me the fact that someone or a team of people helped make each car what it is is what gives the car a soul, a unique personality, a character.

 

Just like how some people think the flat faced Chrysler 300 was a rip off of a Bentley. Sure, I get it, Ford once owned them, so to make a car people would identify as a Ford off the bat, perhaps eventually they might overpower those who think of an Aston, but for now the people I know who again are not Ford people call it the poor man's Aston Martin.

 

But that mindset of having everything look the same with minor differences works well for appliance manufactures such as Whirlpool, Frigidaire, LG, Kenmore, etc, and more and more people consider a car as a necessary item like a refrigerator instead of something with class and beauty among the whole lineup.

 

People do not care, nor do they know that Ford once had stake in that company.

 

Now a car like my Taurus, I don't call it a Ford, I call it my Taurus. Of my T-Bird LX a Thunderbird, or my Supercoupe as such. Because again, it's the uniqueness of these amazing products that came from the Ford Family that deserve to be recognized for their unique style. However, I don't think I'd want my Taurus to look like a Thunderbird, because I do love the style of my Taurus too.

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So apparently non-car enthusiasts comparing a mass market Ford car's styling to a rare $250,000+ European exotic is a bad thing according to Kevin... which is funny, considering the MN-12 Thunderbird was designed intentionally to look like a cheaper copy of the BMW 635CSi coupe. :rolleyes:

And, yes your vintage of Taurus and Thunderbird DO look alike. Headlamps, taillamps, mirrors, door window outlines, fenders... Ford's brand styling in 1995 was just as similar across their lineup as in 2015. You just refuse to acknowledge that.

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Next time you are over, I challenge you to show me the exactness between the two cars. I'll let you use the Supercoupe, LX, and the Taurus Wagon as prime examples. The argument is the grills are the exact same shape, the same contours, the same lines, style, and placement of emblems are the same. Then I'll goto a dealership to point out everything that is the same except for size.

 

Anyone can argue that every car looks the same (They all have 4 tires! and have a trunk, and a hood) but when it's so blatant, is my point.

 

And when you copy/clone it's regarded as cheap and lazy generally. Like when people b***hed about some Kia or Hyundai model that looked very similar to a Gen 3 Taurus. Yet in this instance, because it's the all mighty Ford, it's ok now.

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Prove me wrong. I posted my evidence. Show me similarities the way I did. I posted 05 models and 15 models.

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It's called branding, and it's nothing new. Edsels all had the same grille. Notice how every manufacturer uses a design language across their individual fleets. When you see the face of a new Audi, you immediately know it's an Audi, regardless of the model. That's the point. Manufacturers want consumers to recognize their products. In the past, car makers faced less competition from other brands and even from within their own models. Now, it's important for manufacturers to stylize their models with a similar theme to prevent cross competition from the same platform (e.g. VW and Audi). Themes come and go and stylists copy a little from here and there. In the '50s it was "space age" rocket fins. Today, Kias look like a cross between Honda, Toyota, and VW so consumers make the unconscious comparison.

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It's called branding, and it's nothing new. Edsels all had the same grille. Notice how every manufacturer uses a design language across their individual fleets. When you see the face of a new Audi, you immediately know it's an Audi, regardless of the model. That's the point. Manufacturers want consumers to recognize their products. In the past, car makers faced less competition from other brands and even from within their own models. Now, it's important for manufacturers to stylize their models with a similar theme to prevent cross competition from the same platform (e.g. VW and Audi). Themes come and go and stylists copy a little from here and there. In the '50s it was "space age" rocket fins. Today, Kias look like a cross between Honda, Toyota, and VW so consumers make the unconscious comparison.

 

Exactly. Every model looking different/unique is actually looked down upon. I used to follow Lexus 15 years ago and that was always the complaint of every auto journalist since they were all just rebadged Toyota's in Japan. Now they all look the same and suddenly Lexus is one of the top luxury makes.

 

Nowadays the big grill look is in. Back in the 80s/90s the no grill look was in and that was partially ushered in by the Taurus. That picture of the lineup circa 2005 or so was from the dark ages of Ford. There was no cohesive design/direction and that led to terrible sales which prompted them to bring in Mulally and restructure their debt/sell off all the other makes they had acquired.

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Nowadays the big grill look is in. Back in the 80s/90s the no grill look was in and that was partially ushered in by the Taurus. That picture of the lineup circa 2005 or so was from the dark ages of Ford. There was no cohesive design/direction and that led to terrible sales which prompted them to bring in Mulally and restructure their debt/sell off all the other makes they had acquired.

 

Another thought popped into my head about that 2005 linup. 4 of those vehicles pictured are/were complete disasters or becoming fleet queens.  Taurus, Freestar, 500, Retro-bird.  All horrible cars in terms of sales and exciting consumers, not to mention all the mechanical problems.  The T-bird was more Jaguar anyway so that is almost completely discredited from that lineup.

 

2005 was also a particularly sad year for Ford because it was the last year for the king of the road Excursion.

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Another thought popped into my head about that 2005 linup. 4 of those vehicles pictured are/were complete disasters or becoming fleet queens.  Taurus, Freestar, 500, Retro-bird.  All horrible cars in terms of sales and exciting consumers, not to mention all the mechanical problems.  The T-bird was more Jaguar anyway so that is almost completely discredited from that lineup.

 

2005 was also a particularly sad year for Ford because it was the last year for the king of the road Excursion.

 

I would love a diesel Excursion too. Such a mammoth of a truck. IIRC there was a manual trans Excursion Diesel....

 

However, I was one of those people who bought a retail Taurus in 2005 (for a steal of a deal too...) :P

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The ZF 5 or 6 speed manual was never offered on the Excursion, only the automatics. And I think the 5R110 was only behind the 6.0, but I could be wrong on that.

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Could have sworn I've seen a manual Excursion before... Must have been a custom job then.

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Could have sworn I've seen a manual Excursion before... Must have been a custom job then.

 

 

Probably was.  It would have been ever cooler if it had a 5.9L under the hood too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Early '90s Fords are always good looking. Aero styling but not too over zealous with the application of the minimalist grilles, or complete lack thereof.

 

 

I need a 1992 Crown Victoria Touring Sedan.

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Early '90s Fords are always good looking. Aero styling but not too over zealous with the application of the minimalist grilles, or complete lack thereof.

 

 

I need a 1992 Crown Victoria Touring Sedan.

 

A car that can roll the coal due to the oil leaking.

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