A Look at 3 of the Most Striking Car Grilles You Might See as an Auto Refinishing Prep Technician
March 23, 2018
The original purpose of the car grille was to act as an opening to allow the intake of air into the car engine, while filtering out particles and dust. It has gone on to be become much more than that, acting as a distinctive masthead for car brands and models. Automotive history has given us a huge range of grilles over the years, which means that during your career you’ll likely see quite a variety. Here are some of the stand-outs.
The 2018 Lexus LS 500 Put the Perfect Spin on the Spindle Grille
Once you become an auto body technician, you might notice that some of the most distinctive grilles on the roads today are those of Lexus vehicles. The broad, spindle-like design utilized has been a relatively recent addition to the luxury brand. In fact, it was first unveiled on the GS 350 just over five years ago.
Since then, Lexus has become one of the best-selling luxury brands in North America, and fans have come around to the grille design, which was broadened even more on the 2018 LS 500. Company executives have even gone on record as reporting that the grille, originally detested by older Lexus owners, is now rated as “the second more appealing feature of the car, after exterior color. People notice it, which is key.”
Become an Auto Body Technician and You Won’t Soon Forget the Mercury Cougar’s Grille
As the US muscle car market heated up in the late 1960s, Ford’s Mercury division decided it needed to get in on the action. The result was the Mercury Cougar, a pony car that boasted a slick looking body and plugged the market gap between the luxury Thunderbird and the more grounded Mustang. In a market segment that quickly spawned a lot of competition, the Cougar was granted an unbroken, ‘electric shaver’ style grille that stretched across the entire front of the vehicle in order to help it stand out.
The light-hiding grille of the Cougar, which you can see for yourself in this short clip, helped it stand out:
The 1950 Studebaker Champion Tried a Futuristic Rocket-Inspired Design
From the Ghia Streamline X, to the Peel Trident, the 50s were a time when automotive body designers were pulling a lot of inspiration from the exciting new jet and rocket technology of the day. Studebaker’s 1950 Champion clearly was taking similar inspiration on board, opting for a grille that closely resembles the tip of a rocket’s nose.
A full-size family car, it marked a remarkable transition for a company that had originally been founded to produce horse-drawn wagons in the 19th century. Even as this grille gained recognition as one of the outstanding grille designs of the 1950s, the vehicle’s relative success wasn’t enough to save the company from becoming one of the big automotive casualties of the following decade. Studebaker eventually went out of business in 1966.
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