Coke bottle styling
Coke bottle styling is any automotive body styling that bears an overall body shape resembling the Coca-Cola soft drink's classic glass contour bottle design when viewed in profile. It is a style of automobile bodies with outward curving fenders with a narrow center. In contrast to "straight-edge" designs, automobiles such as the sixth generation AMC Ambassador featured "swoopy lines ... in the 'Coke bottle' mode."
The design was used in airplanes as a way of greatly reducing the sharp drag rise that occurs at transonic speeds. Using this design often results in a pinch-waisted fuselage shape that National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) labeled the design principle 'area rule,' and variously identified as coke bottle, wasp waist, or Marilyn Monroe shape.
As tailfins were influenced by jet aircraft of the 1950s, stylists were inspired by supersonic planes. Automotive designers incorporated the "wasp waist" body shape among numerous passenger cars, as they found that the previous "ponton" appearance seemed dated. Cars with this style treatment earned this term "by having more rounded body panels with arcs over the wheelwells, making them resemble bottles of Coca-Cola laid on their sides." Aircraft such as the F-102 were designed with narrow waists and bulging forward and rear fuselages to conform to the area rule to achieve supersonic speeds.
Studebaker introduced the Raymond Loewy-designed Avanti with pronounced Coke-bottle look in 1962. The 1962 Pontiac full-size models also "had a subtle horizontal crease about half way down [the bodyside] and a slight wasp-waist constriction at the doors which swelled out again in the rear quarters" One of the cleanest examples of the “Coke bottle” styling was the 1963 Buick Riviera. Chevrolet first tried the coke bottle look on Bill Mitchell's 1963 Corvette Sting Ray as a styling theme since the area rule does not apply at road speeds.
By 1966, the General Motors A-body sedans received a mid-riff pinch and "hop up" fenders. Intermediates such as the Pontiac Tempest, Dodge Charger, and Ford Torino soon followed suit, as well as compacts such as the Ford Maverick and Plymouth Duster. General Motors also styled their "B" body full-size cars from 1965-68 with this style, which is most prominent on the "fastback" 2-door hardtop models. Chrysler's "interpretation of the Coke-bottle styling treatment to its struggling B-body cars ... [resulted in] ... smooth lines, subtly rounded curves, and near perfect proportions." Notable automobiles with this style include many of the muscle cars during this era, such as the Pontiac GTO, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Charger.
Design "themes" such the "hop up" fenders became so pervasive across the industry that American Motors' all-new 1967 Rebel was criticized because "viewed from any angle, anyone other than an out-and-out car buff would have trouble distinguishing the Rebel from its GM, Ford, and Chrysler Corp. competition." Moreover, AMC discovered that compared to slab styling with deeply sculpted ridges, "the rounded "Coke-bottle" panels would be easier to make and the dies would last longer — an important cost consideration."
Author Clinton Walker described the archetypal product of Australian suburbia, the muscle car, with its "Coke bottle hip bump but the bare midriff of a go-go dancer?" According to automotive historian Darwin Holmstrom, Chevrolet "took it to its illogical extreme with the 1968 Corvette, though that car more closely resembled a prosthetic phallus than a Coke bottle."
This styling "was to be seen right across the marketplace and, before long, around the world." Japanese, European, and Australian automobiles also adopted this style during the 1970s. Japanese automaker Nissan offered this appearance on 1970s era Nissan Cedrics, Nissan Glorias, Nissan Laurels, Nissan Bluebirds, and Nissan Violets. Toyota also offered this appearance on the 1972-1976 Toyota Corona Mark II, and their limited production sportscar called the Toyota 2000GT. Mitsubishi also adopted this appearance on the 1973-1980 Galant, and the 1973-1979 Lancer. The smallest car with this style is usually considered to be the 1967 Suzuki Fronte 360, which was less than 3 m (10 ft) long, while the Subaru 360 also used similar styling elements, notably the curvaceous "belt line". The appearance was even used in popular culture in the Japanese anime Speed Racer's Mach 5.
Not all cars displayed the full "plan-view" Coke bottle styling, with the waist narrowing. Some of them, like the British Ford Cortina Mark III achieved a similar look in their profile with the front wing curving up over the front wheel area and a much more pronounced curve over the rear wheel arch.
There have been modern examples showing a return to this appearance, such as the 1998-2004 Oldsmobile Alero, 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and 2008 Dodge Challenger, as well as the Nissan Fuga, Nissan Juke, and the Infiniti QX60. The revived Dodge Charger and similar Dodge Avenger does not have a complete Coke bottle body, but they have a rear fender line evocative of the second generation Dodge Charger. Other examples include the 2006-2010 Hyundai Elantra, and the 1996-2001 Hyundai Tiburon.
Partial list of cars with Coke bottle styling
- AMC Ambassador (1967-1969) 
- AMC Javelin (1968-1974) 
- AMC Marlin (1967) 
- AMC Rebel (1967-1969) 
- Aston Martin DBS V8
- Buick Apollo
- Buick Electra (1965-1970)
- Buick LeSabre (1965-1970)
- Buick Riviera (1963-1970)
- Buick Skylark (1966-1972)
- Buick Wildcat
- Chevrolet Bel Air (1965-1970)
- Chevrolet Biscayne (1965-1970)
- Chevrolet Camaro (first generation)
- Chevrolet Caprice (1966-1970)
- Chevrolet Chevelle (1966-1972)
- Chevrolet Corvair (1965–1969) 
- Chevrolet Impala (fourth generation) (1965–1970) 
- Chevrolet Monte Carlo (1970-1972)
- Chevrolet Nova (1968-1974)
- Chevrolet Opala
- Chrysler 180
- Chrysler by Chrysler
- Chrysler Centura
- Chrysler Valiant (1971-1981)
- Dodge Challenger
- Dodge Charger (B-body)
- Dodge Coronet (1968-1976)
- Dodge Demon (1971-1972)
- Dodge Monaco (1969-1973)
- Dodge Polara (1969-1973)
- Fiat Dino
- Ford Capri
- Ford Cortina Mark III
- Ford Escort (Mark I)
- Ford Fairlane ZF, ZG, and ZH
- Ford Falcon XA, XB, and XC
- Ford Galaxie (1967-1972)
- Ford Landau
- Ford Maverick
- Ford Mustang (1969-1973)
- Ford Thunderbird (fifth generation)
- Ford Torino
- Hillman Avenger
- Holden Kingswood HK
- Holden Monaro (1968-1971)
- Holden Torana (1967-1974)
- Hyundai Elantra (2006-2010)
- Hyundai Tiburon (1996-2000)
- Infiniti QX60
- Kia Stinger
- Mazda Capella (1970-1978)
- Mazda Grand Familia
- Mazda Luce (1972-1977)
- Mercury Comet
- Mercury Cougar (1969-1973)
- Mercury Cyclone
- Mercury Marauder (1969-1970)
- Mercury Marquis (1967-1973)
- Mercury Montego
- Mercury Monterey (1967-1973)
- Mitsubishi Galant 1972-1980
- Mitsubishi Lancer 1973-1979
- Nissan Altima
- Nissan Bluebird
- Nissan Cima
- Nissan Cedric
- Nissan Fuga
- Nissan Gloria
- Nissan Juke
- Nissan Laurel
- Nissan S30
- Nissan Sunny
- Nissan Violet
- Oldsmobile 442 (1966-1972)
- Oldsmobile 88 (1965-1970)
- Oldsmobile Alero
- Oldsmobile Cutlass (1966-1972)
- Oldsmobile Omega (1973-1974)
- Oldsmobile Toronado (1966-1970)
- Opel Commodore A
- Opel GT
- Opel Rekord C
- Plymouth Barracuda
- Plymouth Belvedere (1968-1970)
- Plymouth Duster
- Plymouth Fury
- Plymouth Road Runner (1968-1974)
- Plymouth Satellite
- Pontiac Bonneville (1965-1970)
- Pontiac Catalina (1965-1970)
- Pontiac Firebird (1967-1969)
- Pontiac Grand Prix (1965-1968)
- Pontiac GTO
- Pontiac LeMans (1966-1972)
- Pontiac Tempest (1968-1970)
- Pontiac Ventura (1971-1974)
- Studebaker Avanti (1963-1964) 
- Subaru Leone (1971-1978)
- Suzuki Fronte 360 LC10
- Toyota 2000GT
- Toyota Celica (1970-1977)
- Toyota Corolla (E20)
- Toyota Mark II (1972-1976)
- Vauxhall Cresta PC
- Vauxhall Firenza
- Vauxhall Victor FD
- Vauxhall Viva HB
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Rebel, Marlin and the new, larger Ambassador wore sleek "Coke bottle" styling that was the fad at the time.
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... in profile, it had a real Coke-bottle effect.
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Coke-bottle styling was being used on cars everywhere; AMC was staying abreast of fashion and came up with their first family car with style that rivaled function.
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The Impala was redesigned and had a "coke bottle" shape that similar to the 1963 Buick Riviera.
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