Newer cars


#1

I’m one of the younger members here. Most of my driving years I’ve had a 99 Cavalier; I remember every repair I’ve done, a starter, water pump, wheel bearing, other things, all minor stuff.



After a quarter-million miles I now see a possible clutch hydraulic failure, which may require removal of the transmission to fix. Finally a challenge.



Cars these days are great. I’ve abused my car, and it still runs as well as the day I bought it. I appreciate the engineering that went in to it. But I remember a previous car, a 1979 LeSabre. On a cold day, I had to pump the accelerator and try a few times to make it start. The Cavalier starts on the coldest of days (here in Texas) just by turning the key, and requires almost no repairs.



There’s no adventure in travel, no wondering if the car will start or if you’ll arrive at your destination. I understand if the older people have had enough car problems, but I want to know if I’m the only one wishes for an older car. A happy medium between adventure and reliability. A car that needs work every month or two, and gives a challenge more than once in ten years.



I appreciate that my current car has never left me stranded, and never given me a roadside problem bigger than an underhood fuse that powered the fuel pump that needed to be scraped. I appreciate such a car for long trips. But I miss the days when I had an old car that was a challenge to start in winter and had problems that needed to be diagnosed and fixed. I know it’s easy and cheap enough to get an old clunker that eats up time and effort and money, but I’m wondering how many people long for “the bad old days” and miss the challenge of such cars.



Of course, with 11 years and a quarter-million miles on my car, I may be pretty close to “the bad old days” and regret my words soon.


#2

So, you want a car that will, potentially, make you late for work?
You want a car that will occasionally leave you stranded in an inconvenient place, at an inconvenient time?
You want a car that may put your health and safety in danger?

That may be what you desire, but I want to retain my ultra-reliable cars.
If I want adventure, I will rent an appropriate movie, or go to a theme park, or take an appropriate vacation.


#3

If you miss an older car so much, go out and find one to buy. In Texas there must be some old pickups and sedans with bodies in good (not rusted out) shape. Early to late '60’s is a good era. Good power, few emission controls, decent brakes, and at least a few safety features like padded dashes and seat belts.

You can find a car that is simple to work on, sure to break now and again, that when it is running is fun to take out for a drive.


#4

Buy a British sports car from the 50’s or 60’s.

Plan to use it as a daily driver.

Your wish will be granted.

You’ll have all the adventure you can handle.


#5

Something tells me the nostalgia will wear off as soon as you get stranded by the side of the road.


#6

I appreciate the insight. I do like reliable cars. Being stranded, in the days before cell phones were universal, and walking 25 miles to get home, taught me that.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites, facing hardship in the wilderness, wished for “the good old days” of slavery in Egypt. I guess human nature doesn’t change.

I guess what I really want is a project car, which would give me something to spend spare time on, but I wouldn’t give it too much opportunity to leave me stranded. I like the idea of a big 60s-era American car.

Thanks for your perspective on the matter.


#7

http://autos.aol.com/used-list/year-1950-1959/make1-Rolls_Royce/

Buy something like that. They’re fantastic-looking cars, and drive wonderfully when they’re running, but they go pretty cheap these days because it takes a LOT of work to keep them running.

Especially since you’ll probably be unable to locate parts for some of them, and will therefore have to machine your own, which should slake your thirst for challenge.


#8

And when you do find the parts you need, the price will be STUNNING!


#9

“Cars these days are great. I’ve abused my car, and it still runs as well as the day I bought it.”

The amount of abuse a car can take is a poor measure of its quality.

Suppose I said 'Dogs these days are great. I’ve abused my dog, and it still barks as well as the day I bought it."


#10

Those cars are beautiful.


#11

I agree with this. I’ve never driven the car hard, but there were times when, for various reasons, I didn’t take care of it as well as I should have. To me, the measure of quality is how many miles it’s gone and how many repairs it’s needed. I meant that even though it wasn’t always maintained perfectly, it’s still demonstrated high quality as I defined it.