Thursday, July 08, 2004

Beltline indicator -- Hemlines are supposedly good economic, social, and political indicators. What does it say about the country that vehicle beltlines keep going up? Exhibits A through C: the Hummer H2 and it's slits for windows, the high-shoulder Chrysler 300C, and the new Mercedes CLS.

In the Downshift P-wagen, the sills are so high, it's impossible to hang out an arm out the window without dislocating the left shoulder.

Besides ruining an all-American pose, it strikes us that this new look caters to an anti-social proclivity, especially on an already intimidating SUV. This can't be good.

It's ironic that while the high beltlines are reducing the vertical greenhouse, fixed roofs are becoming more and more open to the skies. Exhibits D through F: the panoramic roof on the E-class Merc, the multi-sunroofed Subaru Outback, and the various sky-vista Nissans.

Keep out the marauding hordes, but let the sun shine in.