If you look at almost any modern car, whether it be a Ferrari 488 GTB or a Toyota Camry, you can see its aerodynamic properties. Now that engineers and car companies are masters of harnessing the dark art of aerodynamics, each and every car on the road has been designed to direct airflow in the most optimum of ways. This efficient and effective approach to styling creates better performance and better efficiency. However, it does also kill the soul of a car.
They say that true art is something that serves no purpose other than itself. Back in the ’30s and ’40s, car design was more about art than anything else. They had fluidity, curves and shapes. They weren’t just the aerodynamic wedges that they are today. They were beautiful and seductive. It’s such a difficult thing to do, to create a static object that can instill such emotion. But cars of the era were capable of that and most modern cars are not.
One of the best examples of such form over function design is the 1939 BMW 328 Miglia Miglia Touring Coupe recently seen at Goodwood. The Verge recently spoke about its beauty and how it came from a time where automakers were able to differentiate themselves from each other through design. We couldn’t agree more and the BMW 328 Miglia Miglia Touring Coupe is one of the best examples of the notion.
Today, like most German car companies, BMW is all about efficiency, performance and dynamics. And while those are all very important qualities in a car, non of those qualities bring about passion like design. Take a look at the BMW 328, notice its beautiful flowing curves, its sleek design and leather hood straps. It’s far more beautiful than anything to come out of Bavaria today. The ironic thing about it is that BMW was actually attempting to make an aerodynamic shape at the time but was still able to create something beautiful.
In fact, if you were to remove the badges and slap any Italian brand’s badges on it, no one would question it, it’s that pretty. It’s the sort of design that makes you just stare and wonder what it’s like to get behind the wheel. It excites without even moving and it creates desire. While there are many beautiful BMWs today, as the M6 Gran Coupe, M2 and i8 are all stunning things, none of them hold a candle to the subtle beauty of the original BMW 328.
Don’t get me wrong, we perfectly understand why car companies design cars the way they do and why modern BMWs look the way they do. Aerodynamics are very important and there is something beautiful about a car that puts function first, like the BMW i8. However, just because we understand it, doesn’t mean we have to like it. If you were to give me the option, I’d take gorgeous design and styling over the few mpgs I’d save with aerodynamics. Sorry, Johnny Polar Bear, but I want a BMW 328 Miglia Miglia Touring Coupe.
[Source: The Verge]