Tastes change as we grow older, and I’m not just talking about how you used to hate the pickle in a McDonalds’ quarter pounder and now it’s your favorite bit. Our automotive tastes can change too.
Some of that can be explained by other changes that have taken place in our lives. Keeping a stripped-out Miata with a 120 dB exhaust, no interior and a six-point harness as your daily driver and only car might work when you’re 22 and single, but it’s not much use 10 years later when you’ve amassed a wife, two kids and a Home Depot habit.
But some changes in attitude can’t be explained away so easily. Don’t you find that some cars you thought butt ugly years ago suddenly look impossibly cool and desirable, and you’re not sure exactly why? That could be because the design was so bold when it was new, and so different from the one it replaced, that it’s taken a few years to make peace with it. Plenty of BMW fans swore blind they’d never buy another when Chris Bangle’s flame-surfacing revolution introduced us to the E60 5-Series and E65 7-Series in the early 2000s, but BMW’s faith in Bangle was proved right, and most of the dissenters came around eventually.
I never really had a big problem with those BMWs, expect for perhaps the non-Sport, SE-badged 5-Series on the stock wheels which looked, and will always look, terrible. And I think the original Z4 looks as fresh and fabulous as it did when we first saw it out in the open in 2002. But I’m definitely finding the first-generation Porsche Cayenne significantly more appealing than I did 20 years ago. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s aged more gracefully than its Mercedes ML and BMW X5 rivals.
I’ve had the same change of heart over countless old cars, too. Take the Fiat 130 Coupe. I remember a time when I thought this handsome Pininfarina-designed coupe from the 1970s looked like it was drawn by a pre-schooler, but now I think it looks incredibly elegant and I’m kicking myself for not buying one when they cost beer money. Likewise, the 1965-66 Mustang that I always ignored in favor of the fastback most people still want, now seems strangely appealing. Or that could be because they’re the only ones that are still affordable…
What cars did you once hate but now love? Leave a comment and let us know.