Walking among this year's crop of new models and design concepts at the Detroit auto show, you can't help thinking of Kirk Douglas.
That Kirk Douglas chin with the prominent cleft. Hollywood calls such features "character lines" -- a crease, a fold, a wrinkle that serves no real function other than to give character to a person. And they work on cars, too. At the show this year, the creases are standing out of side panels like folded paper. Body lines are swooping through freshly minted metal surfaces, leading -- in some cases -- nowhere. One line disappears at mid-door and another starts up elsewhere on a different arc.