PDA

View Full Version : World's first 4-door coupe?



Steve
02-03-2005, 01:04 AM
In their new series of ads, Mercedes Benz are claiming the world's first 4-door coupe, but Rover's P5B coupe pre-dated it by more than 30 years! I think there were others, but I can't place them just yet. Similar to Lexus' claims that they developed the headlights that turn with the front wheels that was Citroen's innovation!

Hayfever
02-03-2005, 01:38 AM
Um.....

[ QUOTE ]

coupe

n : a car with two doors and front seats and a luggage compartment

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

02-03-2005, 10:13 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Similar to Lexus' claims that they developed the headlights that turn with the front wheels that was Citroen's innovation!

[/ QUOTE ]

The Tucker Torpedo had this also. The center mounted headlight rotated with the front wheels, but I don't know if this predated the Citroen or not (1948). Also, the Buick's of the early 30's had what were called "pilot ray" headlights, and these were directional with the wheels also.

Baxter
02-03-2005, 10:17 AM
About 10 years ago, Nissan made the same claim with the Maxima, it was half-witted, half-baked and wholly idiotic marketing-speak then, too.

waltesefalcon
02-03-2005, 11:04 AM
Its never half witted, half baked, or wholly idiotic to make such claims in commercials. Its smart. The average shmoe believes this kind of tripe as fact, and so they go out and buy that super safe and inovative Lexus because they can see that deer in the road sooner, which could never have happened before the amazing minds at lexus developed this amazing and exciting new technology. Granted those of us who are in the know think what a load of bull, how can they blantantly lie like that on a commercial. So is the way of advertising.

Mickey Richaud
02-03-2005, 11:22 AM
[ QUOTE ]
Um.....

[ QUOTE ]

coupe

n : a car with two doors and front seats and a luggage compartment

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University


[/ QUOTE ]

/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

[/ QUOTE ]

Right, Hayfever! Guess this is where I get my knickers in a twist. I'm in the minority (apparently) that feels that we seem to be losing much of our language by arbitrarily changing the meaning of words. There's no such thing as a four door coupe! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/hammer.gif So the car in the ads doesn't exist.

Now there's an ad campaign for you! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/devilgrin.gif

Mickey

Bruce Bowker
02-03-2005, 11:56 AM
[ QUOTE ]
There's no such thing as a four door coupe!
Mickey

[/ QUOTE ]

Very True. There simply is no such thing as a 4 door coupe. We now have 4 door coupes, 3 door coupes, 4 door station wagon sports cars, sports car trucks, sports car sedans, pretty much everything except a bunch of sports cars. And now everything will be coupes I suppose, even trucks and SUVs and and and...

I am thinking of buying a Peterbilt 4 door coupe sports tractor trailer.

Bruce

78Z
02-03-2005, 12:24 PM
I believe the origional definition of coupé was a car with a cut down roof line (coupé is apparently french for cut). So this Rover is with a lower roof line is a coupe - depends on the definition used I guess but perhaps since the majority of coupes have been 2dr the accepted definition has changed over time.

https://www.rover.org.nz/gallery/The%20P5/images/p5bcoupc_jpg.jpg

PC
02-03-2005, 01:41 PM
I really liked MB's "falling in love again" series of commercials.

Looks like they either switched ad agencies or the same agency took up smoking crack. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/pukeface.gif


PC.

Steve
02-03-2005, 10:58 PM
Coupe: Closed 2-door car with slping back.
Oxford English Dictionary.

So by definition the Benz is not a coupe (or coop as it's termed over here....in the UK a coop is a hen house) but even if they are claiming to have invented a new classification of car (and they are), the Rover pre-dates it by more than three decades.

Bruce Bowker
02-03-2005, 11:06 PM
How about a 4 door coupe convertible sports sedan.

waltesefalcon
02-04-2005, 10:48 PM
Oh car definition has gotten so blurred and screwed up I have just given up on caring about what people chose to call their cars. There is no true roadster out there anymore, but many company's call their drop head coupes, roadsters. You couldn't even sell a roadster anymore, due to the fact that people wouldn't want a car with no top, convertible or otherwise. Any car with a back seat is a sedan, but so many company's have small sedans they call coupes, rather than two door sedans. People just call their cars things which they think sounds cool, it has nothing to do with what the reality of the matter is.

Bruce Bowker
02-04-2005, 11:02 PM
[ QUOTE ]
Oh car definition has gotten so blurred and screwed up I have just given up on caring about what people chose to call their cars. There is no true roadster out there anymore, but many company's call their drop head coupes, roadsters. You couldn't even sell a roadster anymore, due to the fact that people wouldn't want a car with no top, convertible or otherwise. Any car with a back seat is a sedan, but so many company's have small sedans they call coupes, rather than two door sedans. People just call their cars things which they think sounds cool, it has nothing to do with what the reality of the matter is.

[/ QUOTE ]


Well said.

Bruce /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif

Steve
02-04-2005, 11:44 PM
/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/iagree.gif

sammyb
02-05-2005, 01:22 AM
Many cars in the Classic era used driving lights which turned with the car, such as Packard, Rolls-Royce, Duesenberg, Cadillac...The lights were mounted on a rod that was connected to the steering arms. The earliest ones I've seen were around 1928 or so.

As for the coupe vs. sedan thing, the lines have been so blurred for so long, it's irrelevent, plus modern automotive marketing folks have little knowledge of history. There have been plenty of cars to consider themselves 4 door coupes, or 2 door sedans--for that matter, not to mention sedanettes and the like. The VW Phaeton isn't a 4 seat convertible, and I can think of many spyders(or spiders) that don't fit the definition of a roadster not based on a sedan platform.

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Similar to Lexus' claims that they developed the headlights that turn with the front wheels that was Citroen's innovation!

[/ QUOTE ]

The Tucker Torpedo had this also. The center mounted headlight rotated with the front wheels, but I don't know if this predated the Citroen or not (1948). Also, the Buick's of the early 30's had what were called "pilot ray" headlights, and these were directional with the wheels also.

[/ QUOTE ]

Bruce Bowker
02-05-2005, 10:37 AM
Its juss gets irtating when peoples slahter the english talking.

Bruce

sammyb
02-06-2005, 06:31 PM
[ QUOTE ]
About 10 years ago, Nissan made the same claim with the Maxima, it was half-witted, half-baked and wholly idiotic marketing-speak then, too.

[/ QUOTE ]

I believe you're referring to Nissan Maxima being tagged as "4DSC" -- which stood for Four-Door Sports Car, rather than coupe.

I only know this because my wife's partner in her pediatrics practice has a Maxima with the 4DSC sticker on it, and finally I looked at the fine print, and it says in small lettering "Four Door Sports Car."

Equally misleading, since a sports car, by definition, cannot be sedan-based. (This is one of the reasons Mustangs are not considered "sports cars" by most of the world.)

02-06-2005, 07:24 PM
[ QUOTE ]
This is one of the reasons Mustangs are not considered "sports cars" by most of the world.

[/ QUOTE ]

Actually, I've never considered Mustangs to be sports cars but not because of their past platforms being shared with those of the Falcon or Fairmont, which were both sedans. I always considered them GT's due to their having back seats and fairly large sizes and weights, and their obvious propensity for luxury features, at least on the higher end models.

The new Mustang for once does not share it's platform with another Ford sedan, although it can be said to be somewhat closely related to that of the current Lincoln LS, but Ford claims it is so significantly altered and modified, specifically for the Mustang, that it is basically new. However, this still doesn't change the fact that the car is indeed not a sports car, it's still a GT, and I continue to have this arguement with my fellow Mustang enthusiasts on other forums who insist that it is a true American sports car.

MGA Steve
02-06-2005, 07:39 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I continue to have this arguement with my fellow Mustang enthusiasts on other forums who insist that it is a true American sports car.

[/ QUOTE ]
I have owned several Mustangs and have never considered them sports cars. The Cobra was a "Ford" sports car; the Mustang is a "pony car" that spawned a whole industry at Mercury, Chevrolet, Pontiac, Dodge, Plymouth, and AMC that built other "pony cars" in the 1960s. And now Mustang is the only pony car still being made--it was first and it is last. Why can't people be satisfied with that? /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

Banjo
02-16-2005, 02:09 AM
That's the old gag. Why do chicken coupes have two doors? 'cause if they had four doors they'd be chicken sedans.
It's just like Honda's claim to the first unibody truck with their new Ridgeline . Survay says BZZZZZZ! Ford built 'em in the early sixties. Not to mention the Jeep Commanchie.

waltesefalcon
02-16-2005, 11:24 AM
American Sports car???? Isn't that kind of any oxymoron. That would be like a British Muscle car. As a society we can't live with a sports car. We need radios, a/c, power windows, power seats, and these are just the standard equipment. Oh well, I guess we will never get the car industry to call a mule a mule, instead of a quarter horse. Its just sexier to call the old mustangs American sports cars, rather than two door sedans, or the new mercedes sedan a four door coupe. Car execs are full of ****, and have been for at least 40 years now.

02-16-2005, 09:23 PM
[ QUOTE ]
American Sports car???? Isn't that kind of any oxymoron.

[/ QUOTE ]

No, at least not IMO. There have been a few American cars that I'd call fairly true sports cars, or as close to one as an American car will ever get even if they don't fit the bare bones traditional definition. Obviously the Corvette, the Viper, the Panoz Esperante among a few others. I think Dodge came the closest in recent years with the original Viper. I remember when the car came out back in the early 90's, it was supposed to be very bare bones, no A/C, no ABS brakes, no side windows or top (that little cloth rag didn't count), and I believe the first year or two a stereo was an option. Basically you got a bulletproof chassis and massive torque monster drivetrain with a kit car quality body and interior wrapped around it. You certainly couldn't call it a GT, thats for sure. My buddy has a 96 Viper, and by that time it had A/C and a CD player, but that was really it. Still no windows or decent top, no ABS, etc.. I've driven that car a few times and it's pretty close to the true sports car experience that I get when I drive my TR, not as nimble and light but it can work well on a road course if you stay out of the loud pedal. I think the American definition of a sports car would differ from the European definition mainly in the emphasis being placed on massive engine power and brute force, as opposed to power:weight ratio and a nimble, well tuned chassis. It was fun though, that Viper has enough torque to drive your eyeballs back into your skull when you romp on it. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumbsup.gif

coldplugs
02-16-2005, 11:35 PM
[ QUOTE ]
American Sports car???? Isn't that kind of any oxymoron.

[/ QUOTE ]

I'd agree w/ the previous post that the Corvette is a real sports car, at least in some years of its production. Ditto the others mentioned.

To those I'd add the Crosley Hotshot (1949-1952 or so, disk brakes, overhead cam, race proven engine, 2 seat roadster) which, of course, appealed to very few 'Mericans.

Enzo Ferrari said that the flat fender Jeep was the US's only sports car. With the exceptions above I think I agree.

sammyb
02-17-2005, 12:02 AM
Here's an installment of my weekly newspaper column on this very subject of American sports cars. It originally ran many months ago.

Racecar builders and refrigerator mogul beat the General to the sports car market

This week Chevrolet delivers its newest Corvette. Now in its sixth generation, Corvette is undoubtedly America’s best-known sports car.

GM’s huge marketing blitz has spawned tons of press materials, previews and scuttlebutt. At least once per week for the last year, I’ve been asked my opinion of the new car. As a car nut and Corvette owner, my standard response has been “what’s not to like about a $50,000 400hp sports car?”

Actually, there’s one thing about the whole 2005 Corvette launch that doesn’t sit too well with me. Many of the press releases, product marketing materials and media previews identify Corvette as “America’s first sports car.”

While adjectives like “best” and “most popular” are infinitely debatable, “first” is as black and white as piano keys. Plain and simple: Corvette was not America’s first sports car.

For the record, the first Corvette rolled off the line on June 30, 1953. At $3,734.55, there were 300 1953 Polo White with Red interior and Black top units sold, although in actuality the cars were really “placed.” GM’s ensured all ’53 Corvettes went to famous sportsmen, actors, politicians and high-profile businessmen to ensure a desirable image.

The plan backfired when many buyers accused the Corvette of being more of a poseur’s boulevard cruiser than a real sports car. One such person was famous racer Briggs Cunningham, who sold his 1953 Corvette just days after delivery – citing that the 150hp Corvette was too slow, and handling was too soft and sloppy to be considered a true sports car.

An ultra-wealthy racer, Briggs Cunningham had been building his American-based Cunningham production racing and sports cars since 1951 to compete in international events like LeMans. Cunningham’s C3 production car beat the Corvette to the market by several months, although at three times the price, they were hardly fighting for the same buyers.

The 2+2 coupe and short-wheelbase roadster bodies were styled by Michelotti and built by Vignale. Cars were assembled at Cunningham’s Palm Beach, FL factory, which included shoehorning in a Chrysler-sourced 220hp Hemi V8. Losing money on each car, Cunningham ceased production after just 19 coupes and 9 roadsters were sold in five years.

Frank Kurtis also produced racing cars before production road cars. Kurtis’ midget racers dominated circle track racing, as did his roadsters at Indianapolis. (Kurtis cars won successive Indy races from 1950-1955.)

In 1949 Kurtis delivered his first true production sports car, the Kurtis Sports. The aluminum-bodied two-seater convertible rode on a 100-inch wheelbase (two inches shorter than a ’53 Corvette’s,) and was a featherweight at 2300 pounds. Power initially came from a supercharged Studebaker inline-six producing 105hp, but Ford and Cadillac flathead V8s also were fitted. Only 34 cars were produced before Kurtis sold the production rights to notorious entrepreneur Earl “Madman” Muntz, who quickly killed the car’s sporting character by adding sixteen inches of wheelbase, two rear seats and nearly 1000 pounds.

Kurtis was beaten to market by refrigerator and radio tycoon Powell Crosley, Jr., who started delivering Crosley Hotshots early in 1949. Builder of tiny economy cars since 1939, Crosley was an unlikely source for America’s first post-war sports car.

Hotshot’s specifications don’t seem sporting. Just 137-inches long, and with a 85-inch wheelbase, the car seemed right out of Gulliver’s Travels. 26.5 gross horsepower was delivered from a microscopic 44ci four-cylinder engine.

Stop laughing, because this $850, 1300-pound, bug-eyed roadster with no doors was capable of 85mph with no modifications and exhibited running back-like lateral reflexes. Braking was also outstanding, as the Hotshot was America’s first production car to utilize disc brakes.

In 1951, a Hot Shot even won Sebring’s coveted Index of Performance, which helped to make the Hotshot a favorite among amateur racers. Nearly 2500 Hot Shots and Super Sports (which were simply Hotshots with doors,) were delivered before Powell Crosley, Jr. sold his conglomerate in 1952, at which time the new owners ceased auto production.

Finally, let’s not forget the 1910 Mercer Raceabout, which beat Stutz's Bearcat by four years to be America's first sports car. With two bucket seats, minimalist body on a 108-inch wheelbase, and 70 mph top speed from a 58hp T-head 4-cylinder, C.G. Roebling gave America its first lightweight, nimble sporting vehicle. After winning the Indianapolis 500 in 1912, Raceabouts ruled road, rally and circle track racing. They are coveted collectors items today.

Like others, I dream of a C6 in my garage. But as long as I’m fantasizing, I’ll throw in a ’53 Corvette, ’53 Cunningham C3, ’49 Kurtis Sports, ’49 Hotshot and ’10 Mercer Raceabout!

Sam Barer writes for Olympia-based Apex Features Syndicate. Submit questions or cars for profiles to soundclassics@apexstrategy.com

waltesefalcon
02-17-2005, 02:18 PM
Ok Ok Ok. I didn't mean to rankle anyone. The American sports car does exist, but American companies also build alot of GTs, or even just plain ole coupes they call sports cars. I was mostly trying to make a point, not slam Corvettes or vipers, or deny the existence of Americas pre war sports cars, or Cunninghams post war efforts. I was mostly trying to illustrate in another way the ways in which the car industry abuses the proper names for cars. Because I know you and you know that a mustang isn't a sports car, neither is a shelby GT350, though the latter is a really nice GT. But in this country anything that is fast is a sports car. So my thought that an American sports car is an oxymoron has more to do with the fact that you have to wade through a sea of sports cars that aren't sports cars, before you actually get to the Corvette, or Viper. So I humbly beseech any Corvette, Viper, Cunningham C series, Mercer raceabout, or Stutz Bearcat owners to please forgive me for me ill chosen words.

sammyb
02-19-2005, 08:03 PM
Walter,
Many Corvettes are indeed GT cars! Hop into a base suspension Vette with an automatic tranny and all the comfort options, and it's a GT. Certainly the '75-'83 cars are more GT than sports -- the focus was on refinement and comfort, rather than on power and handling.

I would agree that American car manufacturers have a habit of calling something a sports car when it isn't.

Interestingly, the Shelby GT-350 is one of the cars that international press always has a hard time classifying. Most wind-up calling it a sports car, because it was specifically prepared for road racing. The GT-350 is a two seater, and the whole sh'bang was so entirely reworked, that the only thing keeping it back is that it is indeed sedan based.

waltesefalcon
02-21-2005, 11:43 AM
Sammy,

I have always been under the impression that Corvettes were GTs more than Sports cars. I mostly apologized for fear of being lynched by the corvette contingent. It seems most of you corvette guys are kinda insecure about your cars, and don't like someone questioning their sports car status.

waltesefalcon
02-21-2005, 11:44 AM
Boy that last post is gonna make me popular.