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.