57 Plymouth to be unearthed from 50 year Time Capsule

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IMHO the Contour was a very underrated car, and I'm still shaking my head that Ford let it die while continuing on with that POS Taurus.

mostly due to tires.

extraneous stuff I could do without

available since the '50s

Hmm, my "old" T-10 with a Hurst shifter shifts as well as any new car i've driven

more extraneous stuff I could do without

I disagree! My old cars have been quite reliable; I'm sure that a new car might have incrementally longer times between repairs but would undoubtedly be significantly more expensive to fix and/or jobs that I'd do myself on an older car would have to be jobbed out to a mechanic.

A perfect example of what I'm talking about. The original GTI was a light, nimble, economical "hot hatch" that was a blast to drive. The *new* GTI weighs more than some midsized cars of the 60's. Or to put it another way, an original GTI probably weighs about 2/3 what the new GTI does. I've owned A1, A2, and A4 chassis GTI's, of all of them I think I'd rather have the A1 back than either of the others. The A4 comes a close second, but I wouldn't consider it a sporty car at all - more like a small luxury car that happened to be fast.

I'd *love* to have one of those TDI engines in an older VW body! I bet it'd be a hoot.

better brakes are good, but I really could care less about the "improved ability to survive crashes" - first of all, it's irrelevant to my life, and secondly, cars have been pretty good in that respect for decades. The latest round of "improvements" only incrementally improves the survivability at the cost of dramatically increased complexity and weight. Anti-lock brakes? IMHO they are a gimmick; some systems are very good, some are crap, in all cases they are completely unused by motorists 99% of the time, if the driver is any good. Decreased pollution, I'm all in favor of that, but that could have been accomplished without tacking on all the other stuff I'm complaining about.
Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a retro-grouch. So be it :)
nate
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I'll agree. Th 2.5Liter V6, in particular, is one sweet little machine. A royal pain in the rear to work on, but a joy to drive.
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Same reason when I bou ght my new car I did not consider

I was a little interested in the 500, but found out it was essentially an upper market abortion of what Ford did with Volvo.
I liked Volvos okay, but Ford could screw up anything.
Wife and I have finally made up our minds. We will buy an Avalon, and hope GM comes back from the ashes.
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Nice car. I know one Lexus owner that prefers his wife's Avalon.
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wrote:

My friend Don does too, and he loves the Lexus. His lexus replaced his Bimmer, and the Avalon replaced his wife's Caddy, officially.
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We also have bodies that generally do not self destruct in 5 years or less(both my vehicles are over 10 years old and still look good, and yes, one is a Mystique). They also generally last their full lifetime without regrinding valves or replacing rings. We don't have to replace exhaust systems every year or so. Spark plugs last several years, to the life of the car. A car with 100,000 miles on it now is just nicely broken in, not worn out. About the only thing that has gotten less reliable, or at least has not improved a LOT is brake life. Asbestos linings beat the cheap crap they use now in a lot of ways - but todays brakes, when working properly, definitely outstop the old stuff.
I'll agree the old stuff had more character. You'd never mistake a 57 Plymouth for a 57 (or any other year) ford, chevy, or Cadillac. The styling was WAY over the top. The mini and the MGB definitely had it over the civic and the miata for cute, but the worst civic or miata built in the last 10 years was 5 times the car, reliability wise, than the MG or Mini. (My first car was a 1961 Morris Mini 850. I've owned cars spanning from a 1928 Chevy National to my current 1996 Mystique, including cars from pretty well one end of the spectrum to the other - and as a mechanic worked on everything from a Moscovitch to a Rolls)
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I posted on that topic a couple years ago and was roundly beaten about the head and shoulders for suggesting it. But I still believe that there has been very little significant change in automobile design since approximately 1965. Putting aside the essentially meaningless gadgetry that has nothing to do with the basic functional needs a car should supply, there was all the basic stuff available in a deluxe 1965 car, you could get stick shift or automatic, air conditioning, power steering and brakes, windshield washer, two speed ELECTRIC wipers, radio, carpet, etc. There have been a lot of manufacturing improvements, better rust proofing, fancier radios (but that has nothing to do with car design), more speeds in the transmission, and stuff like that but really there is almost nothing new of significance to 90% of the people who drive a car. If you want to got to even more basic functionality, it was all there in the late 40's.

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Today's cars all are kinda bland and boring. They all are comfortable, practical, start up everytime thanks to their many sensors, computers, FI. So they're great, and I shouldn't be complaining.
But some of the old cars are cool to drive. I was driving along the Pacific Northwest coast a few summers ago, and in front of some people's small house was a sea foam green late 50's/early 60's VW bug. Not a full convertable, but it had the cloth top where most of the top slides all the way back. The bug wasn't in mint shape. It had a few battle scars, dents, faded paint in spots but you could tell it was a daily driver. Very cool car. With the top slid back, probably a blast to drive into the small town for coffee or errands. I guess I need to get me an old VW now!
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You iz correct! Old cars are cool...but an VW bug does not exactly fit that category. A 57 Chevy or old 67 GTO maybe but VW?,....naw.
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There will probably not be any major changes in functionality either. Improvements of existing systems, yes. Today's cars are more refined, more efficient and easier driving, but windows going up and down with a motor is still the same idea.
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Yet the idea of an electic motor driving the car along with the engine is a rather new idea, I think. And it has only been implemented successfully in the US in the last decade or so.
There is also an all electric car in the works, with a gasoline motor that drives a generator. This is something different, too.
Jeff
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Better and more reliable crash protection, engines, transmissions, fewer repairs, better radios and more creature comforts are significant to over 90% of the people who drive a car.
Otherwise, the cars from the late 40s would still be on the road.

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That's all true but the basic functionality has not changed. A plumber in 1949 would have had a panel truck with some tool boxes in the back and various other tools. A plumber in 2007 has the same basic vehicle as he goes about his business. If you gave him a brand new 1949 model to replace his 2007 model he would not miss a beat in doing his work other then missing the AC in some parts of the country.

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wrote: <...>

The same is true of a horse and carrage, except that it is bit slower.
Jeff
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In 1949 there was no equivalent truck to the F250/F350 or the E250/E350 type of trucks most plumbers use today.
mike
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No, the basic design of a horse and carriage is fundamentally different. But you are right that he could get by with the HC albeit he could not carry nearly the amount of tools or travel quickly, or "gas up" rapidly. That's the kind of fundamental differences I'm talking about.
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