Sunday Column: Corey Isolda looks at: The smaller details – Why it was better when things where simple!

Here at Retro and Classic Cars we love anything old. Some of us can even find a soft spot for the most hated of automobiles, especially the ones from the bottom of the British Leyland pit! What really ignites a fire in our heart and a dream in our brains is the beautiful cars: DB5s, E-types, Californias and the alike. We spend hours admiring photos of endless classics, examining their flanks for every perfectly crafted curve until you reach those gorgeous wheels, a web of intertwined spokes. We even take time to study the interior for its stitches, piping, levers and switches. This is where my debate starts.

The inside of a car is, unless you’re a mechanic, where you spend most of your time, staring through those two pillars; peering over the sweeping dashboard. You glance down at the few switches; perhaps slide the heater up a little on those cold winter days whilst seamlessly adjusting the radio watching the slider hit each number before twisting the key to hear that familiar shudder as the engines turns over.

Simplicity.A thing of the past.

Now when you enter a car you don’t simply slide a lever you have to press a series of ugly, cheap plastic switches. They clutter the dash and there’s so many to fit they’re just ugly shapes. Take a look at the BMW E30 with its smaller cluster of buttons that lead on to huge swoop that cocoons you and emulates a fighter jet to give you a unique driving experience. Now, fast forward to a 2011 3 series and you are ‘welcomed’ by two separate chunks of plastic  joined by some carbon or wood effect plastic, perhaps a sat-nav is lobbed in the middle for ease. This is not design! Over the past decade interiors just seem to be a variation on a theme, a little snip here and a chop there and it’s done! I could count on one hand the amount of inventive car interiors made recently: The new Jaguar XJ and (ermmm well this is embarrassing) nothing else. I love the continuous piece of leather that wraps around the car from the tops of the door, hugging the windscreen until it reaches the other side. I love the Bremont clock that pokes its head out from the between the jet like fans. I love everything about it! Don’t even get me started on that 5 litre engine!

The modern BMW 3 series is boring by comparison 


Jet fighter where’s my aviation?

Yet another overlooked detail is steering wheels! With all the multi functions and airbags they are all just blobs! Aston Martin make beautiful interiors with glass buttons, sweeping wood and quilted seats, yet they kill all good work with an ugly piece of leather coated plastic, you cant make a silk purse with a sows ear! Why can’t it be simple and have steering wheels like that of old E-types? The thin varnished wood with three metal spokes and perfectly drilled holes. Well that’s my rant of the week, have a think about the interior of your car next time you jump in.

The Gentlemans interior

If you have any thoughts on my modern moans then tweet me @petrolhead09, leave a comment or post on the R&CC facebook page, I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s