What makes "cool?" - These three cars (plus one) weren't instant hits.

Sometimes a new song is an instant hit, but then the Top 40 radio repeatedly plays it to the point you hate it.

Or the fashion trend of being "cool" in-season, only to look absurd the next (We all have that photo from high school).

It takes time to appreciate quality. 

To us, the most interesting car designs aren't always instant hits. So many cars seem like they were on yesterday's Top 40 radio, only to be copied and rehashed over and over. If it weren't for the manufacturer's logo, it would be hard to tell one car from the next.

We picked a few cars to prove the point that cool isn't necessarily what everyone is drooling over the instant it comes out.

The public as well as automotive enthusiast used to call these cars unattractive, too weird, or the dreaded "special." Now enthusiast/cars collectors are seeing the beauty in these older cars. Sometimes Its worth manufacturing a design that tries to break the status quo, tried to exert some extra creative force.

The Lamborghini Espada

source: Lamborghini

 The Espada was manufactured 1968 to 1978. Once viewed as a too-radical car design, it's now viewed as cool, stylish and a wonderful super touring car. A car design that stands out. Values today are around $100-150K (cars in good condition).

The Citroen SM

Source: Unknown  

The Citroen SM was manufactured in the early mid 1970's. Again, though, considered to be too extreme for its time.

Today, collectors desire this car. People even call it "beautiful." No matter what you think of it's styling, you can't help but wonder what it feels like to drive.

Values today are rising fast with great examples reaching for the $100K mark.   

The Volvo P1800 Estate

Source: Unknown

The Volvo P1800 Estate is a bit of cult classic. At the time, once again, people called it "special", said it was too outside the norm for the Volvo brand. Some say it's ugly, some say it's weird, and some just dig it. Regardless, the P1800 Estate gets your attention.

Maybe that's why the market is strong today with outstanding examples selling in the $40-60k range. 

Shouldn't we celebrate or at least admire today's manufacturers for opening the design envelope, and explore new creative areas within their brand?

It's a question we love, and while looking back can be useful, it's even more important to look around at our present situation. Is there a car out there right now that is creatively exploring? Yes, the Porsche Panamera. 

Photo: Ehrlich Motorwerks - Coolness comes from those with boldness. 

In 2009 Porsche introduced the Panamera model to their sports car line. Automobile journalists talked about how great the car was to drive, but wasted time talking about how it was unattractive and weird.

Hmm. Sounds familiar. To be frank, I think they were missing the point. 

Why would one of the most iconic names in automobiles want to blend into the crowd? Why manufacture yet another 4-door sport sedan to go along with or look similar to all of the other 4-door sport sedans?

The Panamera needs to be unique and we like that is it unique. PORSCHE's effort to manufacture a high performance luxury sports sedan that is comfortable for its occupants, as well as standout in the crowd. There is nothing cool about being average or common, which is why we think the Panamera is cool.  

We think the future of the Panamera will be interesting to watch just like the cars we talked about above.

We love driving this car. The length of the car first feels stately, with a lot of poise. Then when we take it on the back roads, it jumps to life, aggressive and well balanced (Porsche perfection).

Yes, it's styling is different than everything else out there, and we can understand why some would be unsure. But for those that are more confident will find the styling to beautiful. 

While driving we notice many people turning their heads. It's as if we were in an iconic PORSCHE 911, or a traditional beautiful super car.

For more into on our Panamera, click the following image.  

Photo by EMW

Photo by EMW

2012 PORSCHE Panamera V-6 with only 18,170 miles. $55,911 Road trip?