57 Plymouth to be unearthed from 50 year Time Capsule

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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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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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wrote:

My great great great grandfather was a plumber in the early 1800's and he drove a pimped out Conastoga wagon with 40 inch rims. His horse power was provided by a team of Budweiser Clydesdales.
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We hope that tradespeople have the right tools. My wife got suckered into paying $200 for a duct cleaning from a HVAC company. The kid gets here in his beat up rusty old GMC van, and he's hooking up some tubing to a side outlet port of the van. And there's a giant vacuum cleaner inside the van to suck out the debris from the ventilation system.
There was this gasket thingy to seal the tubing to this inlet thingy to keep air from being sucked in (which would decrease the vacuum effect and thus the cleaning effect of the system). Anyway, instead of using bolts to secure the tubing to the gasket which was how the system was designed, the kid instead used a couple of those hook thingies that people screw into the beams in their garage to hang bicycles from. I put my hand near the gasket, and it was sucking in all kinds of air. I said: "you need to get some bolts for this to work properly." The idiot shrugged his shoulders and said he lost the bolts. I suggested he go down to the hardware store down the street and buy some more. He didn't reply; I should have thrown him off my property right then and there. Also, the 200 feet of tubing had many cracks in it that I pointed out, and he got some masking tape (masking tape! not even duct tape) out of his truck and taped up the holes. I should have demanded to see the dust trap in the van to see if his shoddy equipment even sucked any dust out of my ventilation system. probably not.
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Putting aside the essentially meaningless

That gadgetry didnt necessarily make things better, did it, Ashton?
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Personally, I wish the days when there weren't windshield washers, power brakes and air conditioning weren't around. Nothing like not being able to see out the window in the bad weather. It is always fun trying to get warm before heaters, too.
I suggest that if you leave in the Northeast, you just go in your car. Don't turn on the windshield washer. Keep the off. And simulate not having power brakes by stopping real slowly. And just for fun , don't turn on the heat. Then tell us if they make things better.
Jeff
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Don't
The electronic gadgetry doesnt make much better. Electric windshield wipers were a great step forward from those manifold vacuum driven Ps.O.S. We always had heaters in our cars, even back to the 41 Ford we drove.
Air conditioning came later, but was a godsend. It did not have a $600 computer. It had an on/off position and a thermostat. Not bad, really.
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Odd that windshield washers have been available since at least the early 50's, and that power brakes don't actually let you stop any faster, isn't it?
nate
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The point is not that modern cars are not "better" in that they have more features, the heaters and wipers work better, the transmissions are more efficient, etc,. But that's just refinement. The basic design of the vehicle is the same, the functionality is the same, and in many ways there's not much different even in the "better" part. A 1960 Caddy didn't have great handling perhaps but it was comfortable and had all the creature comforts of any significance unless you think cup holders constitute basic functions of a car.
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Electric wipers that run when you push down the pedal going up a hill are a huge improvement over the vacuum motors. I don't think that is a gadget at all.
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They've also been around for close to 70 years now. I'm not aware of any mainstream vehicles that used vacuum wipers past the mid-50's. I'm guessing that Packard was one of the last; and by the end, most vehicles used an auxiliary vacuum pump off either the fuel pump or the oil pump instead of manifold vacuum. I will grant you that there were some pretty dramatic improvements in vehicles during the first half of the 20th century; the difference between a "brass era" car and a 50's car is incredible.
You could pluck anyone off the street today and put them behind the wheel of a decent 50's car and with a little familiarization they could drive it safely and comfortably in today's traffic. Which was the whole point that several people were trying to make earlier in this thread.
A case could be made that the American automotive industry peaked around 1971 and it would be difficult to argue with that; certainly the period between about 1976 and only a few years ago was witness to some seriously suckful products put out by once-proud manufacturers.
nate
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