In the latest “Tom & Ray” newspaper column, someone – presumably someone frugal – writes asking about the wisdom of purchasing a car now that will last them for 60 years, and 600,000 miles. Plus, according to the writer, it has to be parked outside!
I’m not sure about parking a car outside for 60 years. But let’s say for argument you could garage it so rust wasn’t a problem. Does it make sense to think a car could last 60 years and 600,000 miles? I think it possible. I got to thinking about it when I was taking a walk around the block the other day when I came upon a teenager, a high school student, playing basketball in his driveway. I asked him about the VW bug parked nearby. Was it for sale? I’ve always wanted an older VW bug to put around town in.
“Hell no!” he says. He explains it’s his first car and he likes it and drives it every day. He said it’s a 1962 model. He bought it for $100. It didn’t run when he bought it, so he pushed it home with a couple of his friends helping. He installed a rebuilt engine, prettied it up a bit, and now it is totally functional. The top speed is a little over 70 mph, and he says it gets good gas mileage, 35 mpg. The seats need some work, but the outside looks pretty good for a 50 year old car. I see no reason why it won’t last another 10 years. As long as parts and rebuilt engines are available, it may remain on the road another 50 years! A 100 year old car!
Anyway, what do you think? Is 60 year/600K possibile for today’s cars? Besides the VW Beetle, what other car would you even consider to keep that long? Cars worth keeping would have to be classics in some sense or the other. They’d have to be among the most popular cars ever built. My nominations would be the Ford Model A and T, the Toyota Corolla, and the Ford Bronco (pre-1976). Any others?