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Retro & Novel Dart?
OhmsLaw   2/7/2012 1:54:02 PM
I agree Puclic wants boring qiality over Flakey quality with style. Remember when Accord was best car years in a row and eveyone copied the best selling boring designs for decades.

But the deception of pizazz obscures the quality but can sell in short term.

Like chaser lights or rings of LED's. It is cheap to implment and not a huge quality feature.

Quality is subtle to the eye, like body parts. The public become educated on quality factors and look at statistics more than fancy LEDs. So marketting is after emotional buys rather than rational quality buyers.  Oh well.

Give me a reliable, safe, economical car 1st. Pizazz factor is all flash in the pan. 

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led lights
uniquity@uniquitypsych.com   2/7/2012 12:36:44 PM
I am glad to see more uses of led lighting.  I have long been critical of automotive lighting.  Too much of it has been poorly designed and has taken a second place to styling.  Now that I see more led designs on cars the more I appreciate their bright light.  It is much easier to see these taillights and daytime running lights.  I just hope that some of the basic ideas of visibility and perception  get some attention.  Too often front turn signals are too close to the headlight to be seen because of the bright white light.  I think it is important to be able to see turn signals at a distance, not just a few feet from the car that is going to turn.

As for the problem of repairs, I do not hold out hope of car makers giving that much importance.  Just look at the high style headlights on almost all cars now compared to the standard replaceable modular headlight design of years ago.  Most items produced now are throw-away commodities.  This appllies to cars. appliances, electronics, and many other everyday things.

By the way, Dart is not the only old name to be reborn.  The Lancer name is now used on a Japanese car, not a Plymouth.

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Re: But is it really a Dart?
BillFZ1   2/7/2012 12:19:30 PM
First, The Dart and sister car the Plymouth Valiant were VERY Reliable cars both with the original slant six and later 318 and 340 V-8s. They frequently were NOT pretty, but to quote Car and Driver magazine, "These cars won't die even when their owners WANT them to!" The mopar slant six was a staple in taxi cabs also frequently passing 300K miles with little internal repair. I owned a performance 340 version is the 70s. The car could have used an infusion of the build quality of current domestic cars, but it was a hammer, you just couldn't stop the thing.

I agree that the LED's, (of the new Dart), must be replacable in either single or small portions, otherwise the owners will love/hate them. They may like the look but just a few failures and they will turn on the feature. It is certain that more and more leds will find their way into car designs, it's a natural since they have become cheap and are easily drivenby the cars DC power sources.

Bill J

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"Dart" = brand equity
RobLewis   2/7/2012 11:57:27 AM
People wondering about the revival of the "Dart" moniker need to brush up on their branding theory.

Virtually ANY name that a substantial fraction of people even vaguely recognize has huge "goodwill" value (unless of course the name has bad associations like, say, "Pinto", and even then it's not clear-cut). That's because taking a brand-new name from "Huh?" to "I think maybe I've heard of it." costs eleventy-zillion dollars in advertising. And most people would rather buy something that they've heard of before. Hence "Dart". Slant-six be damned.

That's why you often see bankrupt companies that have virtually no assets except a brand name sell for big dollars. Remember Packard-Bell PCs?

Historical footnote: despite all the controversy and lawsuits over the Ford Pinto's "exploding gas tank", a follow-up study reportedly showed that the Pinto was no more fire-prone than other cars of the time, and that its fatality rates were lower than comparably sized imports (Wikipedia).

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Re: Names and Designs from the past as seen today by the next generation
kenish   2/7/2012 11:40:57 AM
LED's are increasingly used on motorcycles.  If they can stand up to the vibration there's a good safety benefit.  Incandescent tail/brake bulbs fail often and most bikes have two bulb assemblies.  Also the slightly faster "on" time could make the difference so an inattentive driver reacts in time. 

Several recent motorcycles add the rear turn blinkers into the tail/brake assembly- the outer 25% on each side alternate red/yellow to signal a turn.  Front blinkers integrated into the mirror housings are becoming common. Of course LED's assist in styling too.

Mike C
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Names and Designs from the past as seen today by the next generation
Mike C   2/7/2012 10:50:49 AM
This may or may not be a generalization. A week ago my 24 year old married son and I were running errands. I think we were driving up Beach Blvd in Huntington Beach throught the Auto Mall area when we passed a new Mustang which had its right turn signal on. This is one of theose sequential turn signals. Mike saw this and said what in the heck is that? Dad did you see how dumb that was? I said yup it was dumb in the sixties too.

So now we get the wrap around tail light, and next what. Wind wings? Maybe if the same money in tooling engineering and materials was spent on say QUALITY, and RELIABILITY, Chrylser would what make cars people want to buy and keep  and own with pride. That is the best advertising and  brand management  and identification thier is. Ask Honda, Toyota and Nissan for how they do so well here. They build dull boring GOOD cars.

But Detroit give us ....ne Camaros with gunslit windows designed to keep the driver oblivious to traffic hazards.

Mustangs with stupid light systems.

Corvettes with seats in a 50K car that Japan would not put on a tractor.

Caddys that look like bad origami that have lousy repeat buyer statistics.

Fords...well ford looks like thay are doing dull and boring well. time will tell if they are good. so far they seem to be.

Chrysler with thier Fiat partner bring in a mincar that is cute....forgetting cute only sells for 8 months (witness the Smart car)....and if no follow on models come up the dealership fills up the showroom and goes broke. (Fiats are now easy to get a deal on as the cute factor is satisfied.

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New Dodge Dart
averagejoe72677   2/7/2012 10:42:30 AM
I fail to see any similarities between the old Dodge Dart and the new "modern" version. The last models of the old version could be had for around $3000, was a rear drive car and could be ordered with a variety of engine and transmission combinations, from slant sixes to performance V8's. In no way is this new version a comparable car. It is a front drive, four door econobox that will not get too many people excited. While I am glad to see the name revived, comparing the two is an apples to oranges comparison. Chrysler missed the mark on this car as they did the Charger. Had they built the Charger as a sleek retro styled two door coupe like the original, they would have sold tens of thousands more of these cars than they have. The only similarities the two cas share is the name. I am afraid the Dart fits this description also.

Newel Stephens
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Re: But is it really a Dart?
Newel Stephens   2/7/2012 10:39:01 AM
Your idea about changing the flash rate based on braking effort has been around a while.  There are numerous patents on it.  However, NHTSA has never allowed for it in the regulations.  Chasing right and left for the turn signal might be possible, as long as the implementation fell within the regulations.

bob from maine
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Re: Function and style
bob from maine   2/7/2012 10:25:21 AM
It seems almost every post regarding new and improved machines, from refrigerators, stoves, wasing machines, and now Dodge Darts are discussing the addition of "Gee Whiz" electronics for the singular purpose of brand recognition. The race-track LEDs are no different. When you buy a brand new Dart, you want it to be distinguishable from all the other cars being sold in that price range. Audi headlights are very distinctive, but also very expensive to repair when one LED dies. Multi LED tail-lights are very noticable in limited visibility but when one LED out of 9 goes out, the vehicle manufacturer has seen to it that the entire assembly needs replacing rather than one single LED. Also, imagine, out of several thousand different LEDs commercially available, exactly which one is the correct color and intensity? Just what you want is a different color LED in the middle of your Brand-Recognized Dart. In the Navy, when you had a compartment that was difficult to keep clean, you put lots of chrome fittings in it to take attention away from the dirt. Kind of makes you wonder why they put these LEDs on a low-end compact.

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JPW   2/7/2012 9:38:50 AM
There's good reason to use the Dart name if it's a registered trademark that the company does not want competitors to use to confuse consumer. Probably not telling anyone anything they didn't know, but you have to keep using your trademarks in order for them to remain valid. - Jim

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