Opinion: Big U.S Bumpers Look Cool

A lot of people do conversions, but I believe we should leave the big bumpers alone.

To be honest, nobody can really predict how we'll be looking at things in around 30 years time. We could be thinking that veganism is normal, or that One Direction was a great band that nobody in the future can match (God, forbid!)

However we see things in the present, for some reason, we always tend to reminisce on the past and think that life was somehow better back then. I admit, I'd prefer a world without social media and overly-sensitive children, but we can't deny the fact that we have far better facilities than we did in the 1970s.

For example: if it wasn't for google, I'd have to push to finish my Uni assignments by endlessly dragging myself to the library and spend more time looking for the right book and page than the Pope does to take a sh!t.

A lot of people will disagree, but I love the bumpers on this E28!

A lot of people will disagree, but I love the bumpers on this E28!

That said, with the present, comes the past. And to be fair, many things from the past were shunned by people so much, that they endlessly attempt to erase them from existence.

In the case of genocides and bloody wars, that's a wise thing to do. But bumpers on European and Japanese cars sold in the U.S throughout the '70s and '80s? I think we ought to change our thinking.

You see, have a look around any Foreign car dealer in the United States today, and you'll see that they look (apart from a few tiny details) exactly the same as their Euro-market counterparts. But things were very different 30-40 odd years ago.

In case you don't know, U.S Federal safety regulations at the time forced European car makers like BMW and Volvo to design massive, bulky bumpers before they could be sold stateside. It was often pointless, as owners tend to just change them to the thinner, more elegant European bumpers.

But as I said earlier, the European and U.S market cars now look the same. So, despite what you may think, big bumpers symbolise American history and great deals of nostalgia.

If we were to take that away from retro cars across America, then you'd just be left with something that looks the same as a car somewhere in Europe.

Let me ask you though: don't you think that huge bumpers would bring back memories of '80s movies and culture? Only in Scarface, would you see some U.S-spec W123 Mercs in their hometown of Florida - you just don't get that anymore in America - and wouldn't owning a W123 with big bumpers indulge you in those types of vibes?

I may have a Euro-spec W123, but that doesn't make me hate the ones with big bumpers - I personally think they're cool.

California in the '80s - awesome!

California in the '80s - awesome!

To sum up then, these huge bumpers can remind us of times when music was better, when the cinemas were full of iconic hits like Ferris Bueller's Day Off, E.T, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and all the rest of it.

It's strange to reference car bumpers to cultural icons, but they're a reminder of how things used to be. Driving a car with big bumpers would put me in the mind of a high school student cruising down the California coast in a baseball jacket and bright blue jeans - it's just cool!

I love big bumpers, because of that. They just scream what America looked like in the '70s and '80s. They're a little reminder of history - which is why I think we shouldn't take them off and replace them with Euro or Japanese-spec ones.

Nonetheless, I hope this article made sense to you. Do you agree? What's your take on fat, U.S bumpers? Comment below.

Thanks for reading :)

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Comments (6)

  • Sorry fellow Americans, but I think USDM bumpers are butt ugly

      2 years ago
  • I mean, i think american bumpers looked very ugly on european cars, that's my opinion though. But I don't want every owner of such car to sell his big american bumpers, it's part of the car's history.

    You have to admit though that the U. S spec Citroëns looked like crap :)

      2 years ago
  • "when the cinemas were full of iconic hits like Ferris Bueller's Day Off"

    Well, you can't possibly be saying that Ferrari 250 GT wouldn't have looked absolutely ridiculous with American bumpers.

      7 months ago
  • Sorry but I'm with the majority opinion that US spec anything looks awful. Save for us spec sidelights (or parking lights for you Americans) where the indicators come on with the sidelights, that's neat and weirdly legal everywhere else as well despite not being implemented anywhere else.

      1 year ago
  • Living here.... I never knew American bumpers were bigger than Euro cars while I was growing up, so I don't have an opinion either way. If you grow up with something, it looks normal until you are introduced to something else. Most Euro cars look some what bland to Americans IMO. Granted I have a couple in my garage anyway. :)


      1 year ago