Aerodynamics, anyone?

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Nigel
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Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:08 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Nigel wrote: Wings on street cars are fake.
Fake is the wrong word. They are decorations that owe
something to something that was once functional.

The spare tire shape on a Lincoln's trunk and the curly things
behind the back window on a Cadillac Brougham are of the
same order.

I saw a VW Beetle (new variety) today that had a "spoiler".
Quite right. "Fake" was a poor choice of wording, and I apologize. "Fake" as in, "not functioning for aerodynamics as well as for looking good". I probably just could have said, "Wings on street cars are more for looks than for down force."
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Nigel
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Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 18, 2004 12:14 pm

MRC_Hans wrote:
exarch wrote:
Nigel wrote:Wings on street cars are fake.
Well, their purpose as downforce providing apendages is fake, although the car will look faster. They may still serve a real "spoiler" function, reducing turbulence at the side and rear of the car, and as such reduce the drag by controlling the airflow.

But driving with the window open, or hanging a ribbon on your antenna will probably cause more drag than the spoiler can solve. Even little details like trimmings and door edges cause lots of airflow disturbance ...
I think spoilers are an effect of the al-pevading functionalism during the second half of the 20th century. If you look at artefacts from the 19th century and before, they are often ornamented. Those ornaments were pure ornaments with only periferal reference to shape and function of the artefact.

During the 20th century the functionalistic style became all-pervading, and generally still is, so when we want to add ornaments, we will disguise them as functional details. So we add ornamental spoilers to cars, instead of gargoyles or something like that.

Hans
I think you're right - I'm attracted to the looks of a product like most people - everything else being equal, I'd rather drive a good looking car than a rusted out beaten up one, but to me, function is really more important than form. I'll buy something with features I need, rather than buy a car with tons of bells and whistles that I'll never use, but damn! It's got enough cup holders! And a nifty gargoyle on the hood.
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exarch
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Post by exarch » Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:07 pm

Nigel wrote:I think you're right - I'm attracted to the looks of a product like most people - everything else being equal, I'd rather drive a good looking car than a rusted out beaten up one, but to me, function is really more important than form. I'll buy something with features I need, rather than buy a car with tons of bells and whistles that I'll never use, but damn! It's got enough cup holders! And a nifty gargoyle on the hood.
Actually, all else being equal, I'd rather go for the cheaper rust bucket than the waaay too accessorised bling-bling car. Nothing cooler than embarassing a guy in a brand new expensive car with a beaten up oldtimer with primer showing and non-matching doors :P
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Nigel
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Post by Nigel » Fri Jun 18, 2004 3:14 pm

exarch wrote:
Nigel wrote:I think you're right - I'm attracted to the looks of a product like most people - everything else being equal, I'd rather drive a good looking car than a rusted out beaten up one, but to me, function is really more important than form. I'll buy something with features I need, rather than buy a car with tons of bells and whistles that I'll never use, but damn! It's got enough cup holders! And a nifty gargoyle on the hood.
Actually, all else being equal, I'd rather go for the cheaper rust bucket than the waaay too accessorised bling-bling car. Nothing cooler than embarassing a guy in a brand new expensive car with a beaten up oldtimer with primer showing and non-matching doors :P
I can see that. My point was I buy what I need, not just what looks good. That's why I don't have a Hummer or other idiotic SUV with grill guard/bush pushers, 24 inch wheels, 7 dvds built into the head rests, so I can look cool. I buy on function first, looks second. Three years ago, I bought a new Camry. It had the features I wanted, and needed. I went less with how it looked than function. And I've been happy with it. I could have gone cheaper, but I'm more interested in function (and quality).
If you can't laugh, what good are you?

I thought I won't submit this...but who cares...let it roll. -Pillory