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Tuesday, August 11, 2015


No, I didn’t buy a new car; my old Jeep is doing just fine.  I don’t know what caused me to think of what used to be “New Car Excitement.” 

There is no new car excitement anymore, I don’t know when this phenomenon disappeared, but it no longer exists. 

What was it you young people ask?

There was a time the, 50’s and early 60’s and certainly before my time as well, when a new car in the neighborhood created great excitement.  I think part of the excitement was in the waiting for a new car. 

Today to buy a new car, you merely go to the dealer with money or credit and pick your car from the lot, or a computer that matches up your requirements with a car on another lot.  Either way you can most often drive home with a new car the same day you shop for it.

In days gone by, you chose your model at the dealership, decided on color, interior and exterior, extras like power brakes, power steering, power windows, fog lights, radio, clock, etc. etc.  You placed your order and then waited, often several weeks sometimes months, for your new car to be delivered.  The result was a great deal of expectation among family and in the neighborhood as everyone on the block knew you ordered a new car. 

The new car was a big deal.  Most of the neighbors bought used cars.  If they replaced their old car with a new one it was only every 8 or 10 years.  People did not lease a new car every two years as is often done today.

The new car was also a big deal because cars were so different every year.  Today a five year old car looks pretty much the same as a new car…regardless of the make.

When your new car arrived and you pulled into your driveway (always on a Saturday) it caused great excitement.  The whole neighborhood came out, led by the children.

“Wow Mr. Sanders, I love it! Hey check out the fins. Power windows…NO WAY!”

Then came the grownups.

“Nice car there Bob, how many horsepower?  What’s it get, twelve miles to the gallon?”

“350 HP and it gets almost 15 MPG!  Check this out, the trunk is huge, the clock is digital and guaranteed to work for three weeks, it has white sidewall tires, the glove department is extra large, the wind shield is tinted and there is a cup holder on the driver’s side!”

“It’s a beauty Bob!”

The neighbors would then all toss a quarter in the front seat for good luck and everyone remarked,

“Mmmm, I love that New Car Smell!”


  1. The clock was only guaranteed for three weeks? Hmm.
    I've only smelled that new car smell once in my whole life, on my wedding day. Dad bought a brand new car, his first ever, just to drive me to the church. The next day he drove home and took it back to the dealer because he couldn't afford the payments.

  2. I remember it well. The months waiting for the new car was agony but worth it in the end. New cars now don't have the same feeling because they're off the shelf, so to speak.

  3. I think these days it's more like "New car dread", when you know in the back of your mind that there's going to be a "recall" at some point. And then the fun begins.
    In Europe you still have to wait for a new car, at least those in the pricier range. Probably why the big three were in big trouble a few years back, and they were the only ones. Audi, BMW, Citroen etc. No problems....

  4. I waited six months for the best car I ever owned, a Chrysler LeBaron, turbo, dual stainless steel, five speed, with a built in tape player. Blue. You're right; when I got it, everyone wanted to drive it.

  5. That would be excitement to have to wait like that for a car. Also develops patience in the waiting. Now its too easy to get a car, even online, which makes no sense on why someone would purchase a car online without sitting in it and testing it out, yet this weekend we bought a new car and while they were processing the paperwork after we agreed to the deal, a purchase came in for that same car online.


  6. Today, all cars look the same to me. It's probably me, though.

  7. I still love the smell of a new car, but you're right, it's not the big deal it was back in the day. Oh well.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. My best to Mrs. Cranky. ☺

  8. I've actually never really heard of someone getting a car the same day unless it was a used car? We've always picked the model and color and the dealer goes online to locate one at a different dealer, sometimes out of state, and arranges the trade.

    Cars did seem to have more variety and excitement back then. It seems as though most people, like me, find driving to be a chore.

  9. Those were the days my friend! Not its ho hum and a bunch of gadgets and upgrades you don't really need much less want....:(

  10. It's been a long time since we've had a new car, we can't afford for something we buy to lose 60% of its value in 3 years, which is what cars do.

  11. I used to hate the dealing for a car and then I found out my wife was good at it. So she bought the last half dozen cars we bought over the decades. But this latest one (which is 2-1/2 years old and the odometer just turned over 19,000 miles so we'll probably wear out before it does) she went to AAA and they did all the work and all we had to do was sign sixty-zillion times and drive it home. I recommend them. And my wife.

  12. Ah ... anticipation. Almost as good as, and sometimes better than, the actual thing or event. I think most cars look alike now. At least, that's my excuse for why I can't find my car in the parking lot at the mall.

  13. You are so right. It used to be a neighborhood experience. I dated a boy in high school that was quite rich. His dad made sure he had the first new Chevy in town each year. I still remember the smell of that 57.

  14. You are right. It is not the same anymore about buying a new car or a lot of new things for that matter.

  15. I remember when my parents bought their first new call, and it was just like you said; all the neighbors came out to look at it. I was disappointed because I'd hoped they'd buy a red mustang convertible, but instead they bought a gutless LeMans

  16. The last two times we bought a new car, we walked into the dealership knowing exactly what we wanted. I was surprised how long the whole process took...price to be negotiated, stuff to be explained, papers to be signed (a million of them), extended warranties and service contracts to be declined. We were there for hours. It's not like going to the bookstore and getting a book...

    But yes, you perfectly described the way it used to be!

  17. I think the beginning of the end for ordering a new car from the dealer was heralded by Clark Griswold driving home the Family Truckster after his trade-in was crushed.


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