But when the aerodynamic Fords appeared, stamping technology didn't force large-radius window corners; stylists apparently chose strong rounding as a means of emphasizing the curved design theme derived from the wind tunnel testing. At the time, I felt that all that curving wasn't really necessary and resulted in designs that seemed excessively soft looking; more crisp styling elements in the details would have been better. And of course others came to the same conclusion, so today's aerodynamically efficient cars include many crisp elements along with the curves.
So why, when it came time for a complete 1996 redesign on the Taurus, did Jack Telnack and his crew decide to emphasize curves even more than they did for the original Taurus design? I have no idea, other than they might have decided to zig while the rest of the industry zagged. Or perhaps corporate management interfered.
In any case, while the Taurus design had some nice features (I like the subtle sculpting around the front of the hood and fenders), other parts of the car are simply odd -- especially the windows at or near the rear along with the instrument panel.
In fact, I now entertain the amusing thought that surrealist artist Salvador Dalí of drooping watches fame could have been on the Taurus styling team had he lived long enough. This is especially true for the station wagon model, the subject of this post.
Also posted at Car Style Critic