Thursday, September 6, 2012

Things I Just Don't Get: Wood Panel Cars

I try to keep up with all the things the kids today like, such as pogs, Alf and the Rubik's Cube. But hip as I am, even I can't keep up with all the new trends. Sometimes I just don't understand what's going on. 

Some Things I Just Don't Get.

Take the wood paneled car, for instance. I've never quite understood the point of gluing sheets of wood to the side of a car. Are the wooden panels supposed to look stylish? Does the paneling make the car seem more luxurious? More rustic? Tropical?

Obviously the panels are supposed to be an accent of some kind, but I just can't see how a low-tech substance like wood is supposed to enhance the look of a sleek, modern metallic vehicle.

Does a wooden car have more perceived value? Am I meant to gaze enviously at such vehicles as they pass by and think, "Wow, look at that! A car made out of wood! Shucks, my old jalopy's nothing but chrome and steel."

Maybe it's a throwback to a more innocent time when households had one TV set, families dressed up when they went to a restaurant and everyone had basement "rumpus rooms" that were covered in wood paneling?

Perhaps it's some kind of misguided status symbol. I can see it now: a social-climbing suburban housewife looks out the window and sees her neighbor's wooden car parked across the street. "Murray!" she screeches. "Come look! The Goldblatt's have a new car! And it's made of wood! One of the expensive ones, no doubt, like oak or teak. That settles it, we're going car shopping tomorrow night!"

Now that I think about it, why do the panels only cover the sides of these cars? Why not go all out and cover the whole vehicle so that it looks like the entire thing was carved out of wood? Now that would be stylish! You'd have style seeping out of your ears if you owned a totally wooden car!

Once a common sight on the nation's roads, the wood-paneled car's popularity has waned in recent years. No doubt because drivers wised up and thought, "Why am I sitting inside a gasoline powered wooden vehicle?" There are still plenty of them out there though if you look hard enough.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I prefer my car to look like it was manufactured on an assembly line in some sort of factory. I don't want to drive around in something that looks like it was cobbled together by the Professor from Gilligan's Island.


  1. The wood paneling trend didn’t get much positive reception. So you probably have company wondering about them. ;D I have a theory, though, about why companies opted for that design for a time: Because they wanted to come up with a new look for the car. I mean, it does make sense. At that point in time, they probably thought there was no other way to change up the appearance of cars but to do something completely out of the box, and that was the idea they came up with. Well, that’s just a theory. Anyway, what’s your favorite automotive trend? :D

    Leisa Dreps

  2. I've always been partial to tail fins.

  3. I would like to make my van "rtrtro"


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