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Sunday, June 4, 2017

OLD CARS

OLD CARS
This cranky re-run is from Jun3 2013
Where have all the old cars gone?  While driving around the other day, on the highway, through the streets and in the mall lot I noticed something, or I didn’t notice something, there are no more old cars on the road.  Well I am sure there are old cars, but they are hard to spot these days.

Years ago old cars were easy to spot.  Every car maker changed their designs each year. There were only a few manufacturers, so every kid over age seven could identify any car by make, model and year.  If a car was old, you knew it was old and you knew exactly how old it was.

“Damn, look at that ’49 Ford coup…still running.  Man if I had that baby I would chop it, nose it, lower it, and add some duel exhausts.”

You could also tell old cars because they burned oil like there was no tomorrow.  From miles away you could spot (or smell) an old car. 

Old cars used to rust after about three years.  If you did not wash it, and wax it every week or two the old paint jobs would not hold up and old cars would rust away.  Apparently paint jobs today are far superior.  I had a red jeep for fifteen years.  I washed it by leaving it out in the rain, and never waxed it.  When I turned it in there was not a spot of rust on it. When is the last time you heard the term “rust bucket?”

Some old cars used to have vinyl roofs.  These were really sharp looking for about two years.  After two years, even if you Armor-Alled regularly these tops turned to dust and underneath the rust came shinning through.

You used to be able to hear an old car from miles away.  It has been years since I’ve heard a car sputter or backfire.

What happened to old cars?  I think competition from abroad has forced manufacturers to improve their paint finish and technology has improved efficiency and dependability of engines.  Government regulations with respect to emissions and safety have undoubtedly taken “old cars” off the road and helped the development of better longer lasting cars. Maybe it is good that government does sometimes force improvements down our throats.

I’m not complaining, merely observing.  I know there are plenty of old cars on the road, but they are just not as “old” as old cars used to be.   

18 comments:

  1. I see a few oldies here now and again, but what's going on with the new cars? They all look alike now, the only way you can tell the model is to look for the logo. And each year's model is the same colour. All new cars last season were silver-grey, this season they're all white. What's the point? Imagine searching for one in the supermarket carpark?
    Her: I've lost the car
    Her 2: what does it look like?
    her: well it's white....

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  2. I remember the excitement of seeing an old car - or banger as we knew them. Don't ask! I wanted an old car to take me to the church when I got married first time. Got my wish, as well, I think it was an old Ford that took me there. Wish I could remember!

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  3. I get mad when I see historical plates on a car from the 80's. WTH?

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  4. Now that you mention it, old cars ARE getting harder to find. Maybe they're all in Cuba.

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  5. You're right. I haven't seen a 'beater' on the road in a long long time. When you do see an old car it is vintage and well cared for. Cars had so much more style than they do now.

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  6. You just described about half of the cars I've owned, you are right you hardly see any rust buckets around, there are a lot of people in this area who have restored some old cars, but none are chugging and smoking down the road.

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  7. It's a good thing we have lots of old car shows around here or I wouldn't be seeing any old cars either. I'd not thought about this, but you're right.

    Have a fabulous day, Joe. ☺

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  8. The old cars I see these days look spiffy and sport "Historic" plates. Beaters are far between.

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  9. Since they started making all the cars look alike, they don't really look all that old. Some cars have similar shapes as their 10 - 15 year old counterparts and it is rather hard to check out how old they are or what, in fact, they are. Most states let you get vintage plates after 25 years, they're cheaper and though there are a few restrictions, the insurance is cheaper.
    You live in a bad area, Joe. You have snow and ice - and salt trucks ... Salt causes rust ... There are more older cars here in the south, where the 'powers that be' let us take our chances on bad winter roads, sans salt.
    I do miss being able to tell what a new car is from a distance, the way we could in the 'old' days.

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  10. We drive old cars! Old Volvo Estates (station wagons) both are over 20 years old and not a sign of rust -- those Swedes knew how to do it!) But the old cars from the days of my youth -- every once in a while one turns up in Europe -- where they are somewhat venerated! And always recognizable. And with gasoline the price it is here very expensive to run...

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  11. When I was a kid, you counted yourself lucky if you drove your car for more than 50,000 miles. By the time I was buying my own cars, you more-or-less expected to get 100,000. Nowadays, if you don't get 200k, you feel like you're getting screwed. . .

    Road salt is hard on cars, fersure, but even here in Michigan, which has to be the road-salt capital of Western civilization, you don't see nearly the number of rusty-panel-flapping jalopies that you used to. . .

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    1. I also remember 100,000 as the mileage benchmark. If you hit that you felt very lucky, and it was time to turn it in.

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  12. I did have an old VW bug until a few years ago but like most old car owners, I had it show ready in no time. But a beater, they are the dinosaurs of the automotive industry. I'm closing in on 170,000 miles on my 14 year old vehicle but it hasn't a bit of rust or a dent on it, plus it has never needed a repair beyond standard maintenance. Think we are doing better building them.

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  13. Hey, you gotta move yerself to a better kinda neighborhood! We have old car rallies every weekend from mid-May until the end of September. Better yet, many of the rallies drive right by our house on their way to/from the local parks. Stop by any sunny Saturday, enjoy the view! Followed a restored Model T the other day almost all the way to work ...

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  14. If you are wanting to reminisce about old cars, maybe someday you can come down here and see my Jalopy. It's all an old car should be, and then some.

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  15. My husband has a copper-colored 1980 Olds Toronado that he still drives like a regular car every now and then. No vintage plates. Regular insurance. It was owned by a little old man who kept it in the garage, mostly. I think it only had 30,000-something miles on it when Hick got it ten or twelve years ago. The old man died, and his son, Hick's boss, said he could have it if he came and got it. Hick has kept it in the barn or under a cover on the carport, but it still has a few patches of rust.

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  16. If you want to see old cars, you gotta head over to Lowandslow's blog!

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  17. I'll tell you what happened to all the old cars - Obama's Cash for Clunkers back in 2009 or so. People were turning in their old clunkers, right and left and the salvage companies were forever destroying the old clunkers, teens used to buy to learn to drive. You could always find an old clunker...I'm afraid those days are over. Teenagers drive newer cars than I do. With the exception of classic car shows, I don't see any old cars on the road at all. Sad!

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