2008 Ford Focus Long Term Road Test


2008 Ford Focus: Fake Vents are Nothing New

May 04, 2009

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As noted before , our Focus' fake quarter panel vent is cheesy as Cheeto nachos. But I realized this weekend that fake vents go way back -- at least half a century back without even looking further.

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In the case of a classic Thunderbird, the hash mark "vents" were certainly a stylistic accent to fill-in an otherwise featureless expanse, but most aficionados agree it's not terribly offensive. Why then, does our Focus' vent draw the ire of the motoring public?

Quite simply, because it's ugly. It seems to have nothing in common with the rest of the car and serves no purpose. In a previous incarnation, I went to art school to study transportation design, and a professor commented on such needless accents with a simple and wise adage that sticks with me to this day. "A pretty woman doesn't need a lot of jewelry." Translation: if you have a pleasing overall form, don't clutter it with superfluous junk (he was speaking of the newly released Mitsubishi 3000GT)

Looking around the parking garage this morning, I quickly found several examples of vent fakery, but these examples aren't nearly as wince-inducing as our 2008 Focus. No surprise that Ford killed off the vent in favor of a cleaner look for the 2009.

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Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor @ 19, 870 miles

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