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Renault Oroch Has Taken a Style Item from the 1950s

Renault Oroch Has Taken a Style Item from the 1950s

Some weeks ago, Renault facelifted the Oroch to mimic the new Duster despite being a full generation older. The SUV had a mainly evolutionary makeover, so it was easy for the pickup to pull that off. While the facelift was quite predictable, it came with a surprise. More specifically, an intriguing surprise for car fans with a penchant for design and history – like me, in case you were wondering.

Take another look at that picture. Renault updated the front grille to pursue that goal and made the lower portion to look more rugged. Now, when you look from that angle, you can notice two things. One is that not many cars bring two pairs of auxiliary lights. The other is that the upper ones are protuberant enough to evoke the aforementioned penchant: they remind of Dagmar bumpers.

Dagmar bumper on a 1951 Cadillac Sixty-Two (source: WheelsAge)

What are Dagmar bumpers?

Basically, bumper guards with conical design as depicted above. GM first executed the idea in the 1940s to take advantage of the Space Age: they were inspired in missiles. While the intention was to create just another styling resource, the trend of the moment made it popular. What no one expected, though, was that the item would engage in yet another trend of the moment.

Actress Ruth Egnor, artistically known as Dagmar, was popular at the time. She was a star in early 1950s television thanks to a succession of comedy, music and dancing shows that included an appearance with Frank Sinatra. However, she was also famous for her bullet bras, which were in fashion at the time. People quickly associated them with the styling item used in cars.

Those bumpers became referred to as “Dagmars” and were all the rage until the end of the decade; the 1960s would bring drastic changes. Now, seven decades later, the Latin-American compact pickup uses styling elements that cause a strong déjà vu. While the Dagmars on the Oroch do not use chrome trim, they are just as pointy and even use a set of lights, which only makes them flashier.