Cobra427 Daytona Shelby GT350 & GT500
Cobra 289
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PT Cruiser


Jack Penington

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The Artist




about the Chrysler PT Cruiser

PT Cruiser Art


The PT Cruiser was one in a series of retro designs that Chrysler was so good at doing. It began with a number of earlier show cars including the wonderful Atlantique. Chrysler's first production attempt however was the Prowler, also a Plymouth badged vehicle which captured the enthusiasm generated by the hot rod craze that was hitting America in the 90s. Many older Americans especially of the baby boom generation had just missed the hot rods of the fifties and were now buying up those special ones that had been restored and had not been crushed from that era. The Berris customs were now commanding a huge price and even the car shows which at one time shunned anything that smacked of having been chopped channeled or even changed from its sock form.were now admitting these vehicles from the hot rod era.

PT Cruiser Art

In the design world there was set up a conflict between purists and not so purist over the appropriateness of whether a design should have any elements of a shape or a hint of a shape of earlier designs or design elements. It seems that those who favored the retro look won out simply because of the desire from the public for something that did not resemble the tear drop shape started by Ford with the Taurus. After a while the public was ready for something a little different.

In actuality the truth of the mater must lie a little bit deeper. If one studies automotive design as any automotive designer must or any painter of automobile subjects has to by simple observation, all design is an evolutionary process combined with the recurrent and repetitious use of themes. There is only so much that can be done with personal transportation that moves people from point a to point b and certain themes and design elements are going to recur time and again. Just as there have been landau carriages so too have there been landau automobiles with the false convertible bars. The new Ferrari Enzo sports pontoon like fenders reminiscent of an earlier Ferrari Testarossa albeit more for functionality than for the purpose of evoking a retro style. One could list hundreds of obvious and not so obvious elements that more modern cars share with those of the past so the argument becomes a futile one when trying to gain points one way or the other over the retro look of the PT Cruiser.All it has done is made it more famous and that cannot be a bad thing in the eyes of Chrysler bean counters and those who own one.