Only in the 1980s and 1990s
It is easy to tell what decade a car came from based on the shape of the car. For example, fins on the back of a car screams 1950s and the torpedo look screams post-war 1940s. In the late 1980s and 1990s, there was a distinct look that drivers either loved or hated. The shape has distinctive curves and the cars usually came with a spoiler of some sort. These unusual shaped cars often had a distinctive front branding that set them apart from the traditional family car. These are a few that fit this distinctive late-century look:
Alfa Romeo 164: This little gem was available from 1987-1998 and it was meant to be a competitor with the German cars that were so popular at the end of the 20th century. The Alfa Romeo 164 had heavy lines from the side view and the front end was dominated by the placement of the logo, like a big nose square in the center of the grill. Alfa Romeo used computer-aided design, which was rather new at the time, to craft this gem.
Saab 900: While this Saab saw a few years of the 1970s, this really is a car that defined the unusual look. The big windshield was curved, just like nearly every other part of this popular car. This Swedish car was a favorite with people who loved a slightly unusual car with serious performance. The only problem with the Saab 900 was the cost to repair it.
Merkur XR4TI: You could only buy this one new in the last half of the 1980s. It was manufactured by Ford through Karmann in Germany and was a serious conversation starter. The Merkur never made it into the 1990s because of mandatory airbags and the cost to change the design. There were not many sold, under 50,000, but the look of the car was pure late century 1900s. Even the branding plate in the massive space in the center of the grille gives it a similar look to the Alfa and the Saab with similar curves.