Cybertron Downshift's alt mode - a case study

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Nevermore, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Across numerous reviews I read, the question regarding Cybertron Downshift's vehicle mode popped up quite frequently. Many people believed having identified the inspiration behind the vehicle, and yet it seemed that everyone cited a different model.

    I've decided to check into this and compared the various suggestions. I'm presenting my results in this thread, together with comparison photos.

    All photos of Cybertron Downshift are lifted off Seibertron.com and BWTF.com. So Ryan and Ben - please don't sue me for stealing your pics. ;) 

    Photos of real-life cars have been taken from various websites. By far the best source for a first overview on the various models was Musclecarclub.com.

    So, what's the story with Downshift?
    Unlike, for example, Cybertron Hot Shot, Crosswise or Red Alert, who are clearly based on a Chrysler ME 412, a Bugatti Veyron and a Dodge Magnum, respectively, Downshift's vehicle mode is an homage to 1970s muscle cars in general, using elements from various different models.

    Interestingly enough, many elements found on Downshift aren't specific to one particular model, but rather shared between various different cars. It's possible that this might be HasTak's way of avoiding legal trouble - even if one of the car manufacturers in question might still claim property rights to the design of a car model that's been out of production for several decades, HasTak could just insist that the design feature in question was shared between different manufacturers, and thus isn't the property of one single company.

    Another possibility is that the use of "shared" design elements was just intended to make the vehicle mode a broader homage to 1970s muscle cars rather than just to a specific model.

    Anyway... without any further ado, on to the models.

    The front end

    Ben Yee suggests that the characteristic "W" shape is based on a 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...t_models/downshift_chevrolet_monte_carlo1.jpg

    Sounds quite plausible... unless you know that that design feature can also be found on a Ford Gran Torino (as featured in the popular TV show "Starsky & Hutch").

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...nshift_models/downshift_ford_gran_torino1.jpg

    As you can see, the two models are quite similar, and Downshift basically uses a shared design feature.

    The color scheme and the hood

    The lime green color with a black hood and black stripes is one of the primary color schemes of the 1970 Dodge Challenger T/A (called "sublime").

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...nshift_models/downshift_dodge_challenger1.jpg

    However, it's also a famous color scheme of the 1970 Plymouth Barracuda AAR.

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...hift_models/downshift_plymouth_barracuda1.jpg

    Also note the shaped vents in the hood, another feature shared between the Challenger and the 'Cuda (although the Challenger's hood vents are closer to the Downshift toy).

    The exposed engine, meanwhile, appears to be the fabrication of the imagination of Hasbro and Takara's designers, although I won't rule out that this is a design element of yet another muscle car model which I haven't been pointed out the identity of yet.

    The rear end

    The rear end of Downshift's vehicle mode is where Hasbro and Takara's designers have apparently taken the biggest liberties. Ben Yee suggests that the rear end is once again based on the Dodge Challenger.

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...nshift_models/downshift_dodge_challenger2.jpg

    But then, other than the overall shape, there aren't actually that many similarities.

    Also, if we compare this to the Plymouth Barracuda, we see some more vague similarities, but nothing that clearly seems to be based on anything in particular.

    http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d...hift_models/downshift_plymouth_barracuda2.jpg

    So, is that it? Or did anyone else think there are elements that are based on yet another car which I overlooked?
     
  2. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    Okay, I showed Downshift to my girlfriend's father, who has organized car shows since 1987 and knows classic cars by heart, and his observations were honestly along the same lines as yours.

    -He noted that the rear of the car had a 1970's-era "butt" that resembled the 'cuda, the '70s Mustang and the Challenger. However, he stated repeatedly, "that really looks like a Challenger butt. If they smoothed it down a bit, it'd look a lot like a Challenger butt."

    -He said the front of the car - grill and etc. - resembled a generalized version of the Grand Turino, and that the squared off headlights reminded him of the '70's Impala headlights setup.

    -As for the paint scheme, he noted that it looked a lot like the paint scheme for the 'cuda.

    I know this isn't 100%, Q.E.D. stated fact, but this dude KNOWS HIS CARS. I figured it might help.
     
  3. meetoblivion

    meetoblivion aka chazzy

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    ops was a truck, can you ask him if the two cars (cuda and challenger) are based on the same concept? dodge and plymouth have always shared designs, if not full production models.
     
  4. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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  5. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I think it's pretty clear his backend is a combination of a Cuda and 69 Charger. The cars backend is all Cuda, with Charger taillights. It's easy to miss because Hasbro left off a bunch of paint aps ( most likely on purpose to disguise the design ). I fixed the paint aps according to the molded in details. Compare to the back of the General Lee, and it's unmistakable.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Greyryder

    Greyryder Kitbashed

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    The front of the car reminds me a lot of a 71 Chevelle. But, there's definitely some Torino in there.

    For some reason reason I'm thinking they may have blnded in some late 70s Chevy Impala and Dodge Monaco/Fury styling cues. Not sure why I think that, but thats the feeling I get off it.
     
  7. Ops_was_a_truck

    Ops_was_a_truck JOOOLIE ANDREWWWWWS!!!!!!

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    On the '69 impala look...I assume that's what he was talking about. My girlfriend's Dad is an Impala enthusiast; I'll ask him if there were mod kits for the front headlights AND if it was a common mod. Because, at least in my opinion, that Impala front is just as close to Downshift as the Turino front is.
     
  8. Hiro Prime

    Hiro Prime Cybertronian Guru Veteran

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    While it's cool that everyone here is trying to nail down the exact model and year of car he represents, I'd like to point out another posibillity that most of you may have overlooked.

    With all of the custom car/bike shows that are popular these days and the celeberty hotrod builders that have become so well know because of the shows and their talent, that maybe Downshift is ment to be a custom Hotrod based on but not exclusively any given car.

    Just a thought.
     
  9. Fairy Princess

    Fairy Princess Banned

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    No Idea what car he is based on honestly, just thought I'd say he was so cool I had to buy one (after swearing off of all Transformers in the main line)_ and then one of my girlfriends who hates Transformers stole him because she loved the look of the car.
     

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