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
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
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
Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a retro-grouch. So be it :)
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
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.
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)
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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