15 styling cues for the ages gallery

What are these timeless styling cues, these elements that designers love to flaunt? We took an unofficial poll of the The Car Connection staff to come up with our own 15 faves.

Gold-wrapped Bugatti Veyron
whitewall
Tailfin
File photo dated 15/07/2006 of a Porsche 911 Turbo, as the 50th anniversary of the sports car, the Porsche 911 will be marked at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to be held this week.
Porsche to celebrate 50th birthday
File photo dated 15/07/2006 of a Porsche 911 Turbo, as the 50th anniversary of the sports car, the Porsche 911 will be marked at the Goodwood Festival of Speed to be held this week.
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2014 Audi R8
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6. VentiPorts <br><br>Let us please have a moment of silence for the poor, ridiculed VentiPort. VentiPorts appeared in the 1940s and 1950s on the sides of Buicks -- in theory, as a way to draw air from the grill, over the engine, and out of the engine compartment. Before long, engineers realized that the ports weren't very effective at accomplishing that task and plugged the holes, but the VentiPort elements remained. Though they've since been discontinued, every two-dollar tuner from here to Timbuktu loves the VentiPort, as proven by the vast number of stick-on versions found at auto supply stores and on the sides of family vans.
Buick VentiPort
6. VentiPorts

Let us please have a moment of silence for the poor, ridiculed VentiPort. VentiPorts appeared in the 1940s and 1950s on the sides of Buicks -- in theory, as a way to draw air from the grill, over the engine, and out of the engine compartment. Before long, engineers realized that the ports weren't very effective at accomplishing that task and plugged the holes, but the VentiPort elements remained. Though they've since been discontinued, every two-dollar tuner from here to Timbuktu loves the VentiPort, as proven by the vast number of stick-on versions found at auto supply stores and on the sides of family vans.
7. Window-mounted evaporative A/C<br><br>Before the auto industry figured out how to take Freon and convert it into bone-chilling A/C, there was the car cooler, also known as the window-mounted evaporative air-conditioner. Using a few laws of thermodynamics, it evaporated water inside a window-mounted tank, then sucked air through that tank to generate cool air for passengers. And as you can see from the pic above, car coolers looked spectacular, like the unholy spawn of a missile-launcher and a vacuum cleaner. Our dreams foretell of someone bringing these things back one day, but our dreams also said that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet would never see the light of day, so we're not making any bets.
Thermador car cooler
7. Window-mounted evaporative A/C

Before the auto industry figured out how to take Freon and convert it into bone-chilling A/C, there was the car cooler, also known as the window-mounted evaporative air-conditioner. Using a few laws of thermodynamics, it evaporated water inside a window-mounted tank, then sucked air through that tank to generate cool air for passengers. And as you can see from the pic above, car coolers looked spectacular, like the unholy spawn of a missile-launcher and a vacuum cleaner. Our dreams foretell of someone bringing these things back one day, but our dreams also said that the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet would never see the light of day, so we're not making any bets.
8. Double-bubble roof<br><br>To be honest, we're not all in agreement on this one. Done properly, a double-bubble roof is a thing of beauty, giving a car a subtly rounded silhouette that screams "retro" and "futuristic" in one voluptuous breath. Done improperly, it looks like the most bootylicious of plumbers has gotten stuck doing a handstand on your floorboard.
Double-bubble Abarth
8. Double-bubble roof

To be honest, we're not all in agreement on this one. Done properly, a double-bubble roof is a thing of beauty, giving a car a subtly rounded silhouette that screams "retro" and "futuristic" in one voluptuous breath. Done improperly, it looks like the most bootylicious of plumbers has gotten stuck doing a handstand on your floorboard.
9. Split rear window<br><br>There are two schools of thought when it comes to split rear windows. School A deplores them because they're completely impractical; not only do they block vision, but have you have tried to get one replaced? School B adores them because, well, just look at them. (Added bonus: Split rear windows go great with a double-bubble roof.)
Stingray concept
9. Split rear window

There are two schools of thought when it comes to split rear windows. School A deplores them because they're completely impractical; not only do they block vision, but have you have tried to get one replaced? School B adores them because, well, just look at them. (Added bonus: Split rear windows go great with a double-bubble roof.)
<b>2. <a href="http://autos.yahoo.com/bmw/3-series-sedan/" data-ylk="slk:BMW 3-Series" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">BMW 3-Series</a> (compact)</b> -- 471 thefts
BMW 3 Series
2. BMW 3-Series (compact) -- 471 thefts
Like many concept cars, the Ciel features rear-hinged "suicide" doors that would not likely make it into a future production version.
Cadillac Ciel Concept
Like many concept cars, the Ciel features rear-hinged "suicide" doors that would not likely make it into a future production version.
<strong>Patrick Dempsey</strong><br><strong>Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG</strong><br><strong>Approximate Base Price: $202,000</strong> <br>We're thinking Patrick Dempsey was perfectly happy when paps snapped a shot of the "Grey's Anatomy" star in his <a href="http://autos.yahoo.com/mercedes-benz/sls-class/2013/" data-ylk="slk:Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG</a> recently. After all, you don't buy a $200,000 car with gullwing doors unless you want to be noticed ... and have a bunch of money in the bank thanks to starring in a hit TV series for eight years. He's clearly got a thing for cars; Dempsey also races them in his spare time.
Exclusive... Patrick Dempsey Shops For Furniture
Patrick Dempsey
Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG
Approximate Base Price: $202,000
We're thinking Patrick Dempsey was perfectly happy when paps snapped a shot of the "Grey's Anatomy" star in his Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG recently. After all, you don't buy a $200,000 car with gullwing doors unless you want to be noticed ... and have a bunch of money in the bank thanks to starring in a hit TV series for eight years. He's clearly got a thing for cars; Dempsey also races them in his spare time.
13. Sliding doors<br>Sliding doors have taken a bad rap because they're a standard feature on dull-as-dishwater minivans. But not all sliding doors on automobiles are made to facilitate getting rugrats to school. In fact, quite a few 20th century models used sliding doors like the pocket doors found in houses, with doors that slid into the front or rear fenders. Production problems and safety concerns nixed most of those cars, but one day, someone's going to figure out how to do sliding doors right, and we plan to be there for the celebration.
Dura sliding door
13. Sliding doors
Sliding doors have taken a bad rap because they're a standard feature on dull-as-dishwater minivans. But not all sliding doors on automobiles are made to facilitate getting rugrats to school. In fact, quite a few 20th century models used sliding doors like the pocket doors found in houses, with doors that slid into the front or rear fenders. Production problems and safety concerns nixed most of those cars, but one day, someone's going to figure out how to do sliding doors right, and we plan to be there for the celebration.
AMC Pacer
15. Rumble seats<br>Let's face it: rumble seats were a terrible idea. The thinking was, like, "Hey, what if we put a pop-up seat on the back of the car? It won't be as sturdy or as safe as an interior seat, and anyone who rides back there is liable to get soaked or sunburned, depending on the weather, and of course, it'll eat up all the trunk space, but man, won't it look cool?" We don't know who said that, but they were damn right.
Ford Deuce Roadster
15. Rumble seats
Let's face it: rumble seats were a terrible idea. The thinking was, like, "Hey, what if we put a pop-up seat on the back of the car? It won't be as sturdy or as safe as an interior seat, and anyone who rides back there is liable to get soaked or sunburned, depending on the weather, and of course, it'll eat up all the trunk space, but man, won't it look cool?" We don't know who said that, but they were damn right.

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