QOTD: Terribly Aged Americans of the Nineties?
The past three Wednesday editions of our Question of the Day post centered around the most gracefully aged designs from everyone’s favorite decade: the Nineties. We discussed American vehicles, moved onto Euro rides, and most recently discussed Asia.
But what happens when we flip the question around, and think about designs that aged in the worst ways?
The structure of our submissions will be the same as before, with Three Simple Rules:
- All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
- Picks must be from a domestic manufacturer, even if sourced from an import (eg. Cadillac Catera).
- Any body style is eligible except for trucks.
Your author generally finds Nineties design pleasing in an A E S T H E T I C teal and graphic tape stripes sort of way, so thinking of a poorly-aged American ride wasn’t easy. Nevertheless, here’s one:
For 1993, Lincoln debuted the eighth (and final) generation of its Mark luxury coupe. The Mark VIII moved on from the boxy Eighties, ditching the legendary and outdated Fox platform. It was built on the rear-drive FN platform with the Thunderbird and Cougar at the now-defunct Wixom Assembly plant. Ford spent a long time developing the Mark VIII, starting its project in 1984. The first design was completed in 1988, and Ford planned a product launch in 1990.
However, by the late Eighties the luxury coupe game had changed considerably, and after seeing the competition from other manufacturers, the company ordered a complete redesign. This follow-up effort was presented to Ford brass at the end of 1988, and it didn’t go well — executives demanded another rework. Another mock-up design returned to the boardroom early in 1989, and remained under revision until mid-year.
Now, let’s take a break and watch John Davis talk about luxury:
The resulting design was slick and simple, with aero features suitable for the Nineties (the early Nineties). Ford kept its hands off the clay for… not very long. In 1996 the company implemented a design refresh for the ’97 model year, and created a bulbous monstrosity.
New HiD lamps were housed in big plastic blobs up front, and the rear light bar was swapped for an even larger neon lamp. Often, these later Marks came equipped with super pearlescent paint for extra Palm Beach Edition feels, plus chromed turbine wheels which looked current for exactly five months in 1997. Happily, the revamped design lasted only two years before the model’s cancellation. See ya!
Let’s hear about all those bad-looking Nineties designs you hate.
[Images: Ford, seller]
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