Categories: Modification

[Hundred Questions]Why did the hardtop disappear? Introduction to the trendy cars that sold well during the bubble economy

table of contents
●Which hard-top car was the best-selling car during the bubble economy?
●Introduction of stylish 4-door hardtop car
●Why did the hardtop disappear?
● Is the low demand for "cars" in Japan the main reason?

What was the best-selling "hard top car" during the bubble economy?

Nissan Cedric Turbo Broughham (1982)

In recent years, the term "hard cap" has been heard less and less. It is a body design that was all the rage during the bubble economy and had a high market share in cars.

In the past, various factories launched cars such as Carina ED, Cedric/Gloria, etc., and the competition was fierce.

However, the number of hardtop cars has gradually decreased with the changes of the times, and it has become an "extinct car" in retrospect.

The "hard top" mentioned here refers to "no B-pillar model"

Nissan Cedric V20 Turbo Brougham (1987)

"Hard top car" has two meanings, one refers to the body type of "no B-pillar". Just like the convertible hardtop design, there is no column body, window frame, and clear vision.

The advantage of the hard top is that it does not have B-pillars and window frames, which looks very stylish. When the windows are lowered, the opening space is larger and has a sense of openness.

The ancestor of the hardtop design was the Cadillac Coupe DeVille, which was launched in 1949. In 1956, the 4-door "Sedan DeVille" was launched, pushing the hard top to the pinnacle.

Because the design of this model is very popular in the United States, Japan also launched 2-door and 4-door hardtop cars without B-pillars.

different meaning on a convertible

Mazda Roadster RF

The term hard top refers to the meaning of "hard top", the antonym of soft top, in convertible cars.

It mainly refers to the convertible car roof made of metal, FRP (fiber reinforced plastic), etc., which can be divided into types such as manual disassembly and electric storage.

Compared with the soft top, it has higher weather adaptability and safety. In addition to improving the comfort of the cabin, it also has a coupe style.

Introduction of fashionable 4-door hardtop car

Toyota Carina ED

Toyota Carina ED (1985)

Launched in 1985, Toyota Carina ED is Toyota's first 4-door hardtop without B-pillar. Its sleek design is very popular among all age groups.

Nissan Cedric/ Gloria

Nissan Cedric 2000 Custom Deluxe (1973年)

The Cedric (third generation)/Gloria (fourth generation) underwent a major facelift in 1971. In the following year, the "4-door hardtop without B-pillar" was added to a domestic car for the first time, capturing the hearts of consumers.

Nissan Laurel

Nissan Laurel 2000SGL-E (1980)

In 1968 Laurel debuted as a sedan. It is the ancestor of the "luxury sedan", and it has been a hardtop model since the C230 (third-generation model) in 1977.

Nissan Skyline

Nissan Skyline GTS Twin Cam 24V Turbo

The seventh-generation Skyline (R31) launched in 1985. Because of its excellent performance appearance and the setting of a 4-door hardtop model, the popularity of this car has been pushed to another peak.

Why did the hardtop disappear?

Toyota Carina ED

The hard-top car was originally designed mainly with 2 doors, but with the evolution of the times, 4-door models have also begun to be used.

The refreshing vision mentioned above and the sense of openness when the windows are lowered are all the charm of 4-door hardtop cars without B-pillars such as "Carina ED" and "Nissan Cedric/Gloria".

However, after entering the 1990s, "collision safety" began to attract attention, and hardtop cars ushered in a period of change.

Among them, hardtop cars without B-pillars lack B-pillars and the body rigidity is weak. To ensure the safety performance of side collisions, the cost must be greatly increased.

Of course, car manufacturers want to avoid "cost increase", so they gradually move closer to the "window frameless design" and "4-door sedan" with B-pillars, which also makes 4-door hardtop cars without B-pillars gradually disappear.

In addition, in recent years, in order to ensure the rigidity of the doors, improve the sound insulation performance, and widen the door openings, the number of car models without window frames has dropped sharply, and almost no domestic cars except coupes have adopted this design.

However, European cars such as "Mercedes-Benz CLA/CLS", "Audi A5 /A7 Sportback", and "BMW 2 Series/4 Series Gran Coupe" continue to sell models with windowless designs.

European automakers are even offering convertibles with a more frameless design.

Is the low demand for "sedans" in Japan the main reason?

Audi A7 Sportback

The disappearance of hardtop models can be attributed to low crash safety performance, poor sound insulation performance, and increased costs.

In addition, among domestic cars, there are also lightweight high-roof station wagons that focus on the convenience of getting on and off and adopt "no B-pillar design". In other words, as long as there is "demand", the car factory will still produce models without B-pillars.

As mentioned earlier, European cars also have a 4-door coupe with a windowless design, which still has a certain popularity.

In the modern age of technological advancement, it is not difficult to create a 4-door hardtop car with both comfort and safety. But the harsh reality is that without demand there will be no production.

Original source:Why did hardtop cars disappear?Stylish cars that boasted explosive popularity during the bubble period
Want to see more:MOBY

This post was last modified on August 17, 2023 3:55 am


Dreamer is what I am, but unlike many, I struggle to make my dreams come true. I own, seo, admin and site editor. I am a father, married, Christian, Northeastern/Brazil and Libran. I love cars <3

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