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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

A Brand-New Car!


A Brand-New Car!
When did getting a new car become so blasé?  Oh, sure it is exciting for the new car purchaser, but no one else cares any more.  It wasn’t that way when I was a kid.  A new car used to generate great excitement.

New cars today do not generate any excitement.  Your next door neighbor might make a casual comment about your shiny new ride, but that is about it.

It may be because all cars today look the same. All have most of the same fancy gadgets and add-ons.  In fact, they are not add-ons at all, virtually everything comes with the car whether you want it or not.

Today, when you buy a new car, you go to the dealer after shopping on- line to decide which model you want.  You then take whatever is the closest fit on the lot.  There is not the same kind of excitement built up from anticipation as there was in the good old days.

The few new cars my Pop ever bought were ordered from the local dealer.  There were days of choosing interior and exterior colors, automatic or manual transmission.  Brakes, steering, and windows were either power or manual.  There were options like a radio, extra chrome, whitewall tires and even fake spokes.  Once ordered, the car would not be delivered for several weeks if not months.

Cars in those days could be identified by grill and fins from hundreds of yards away.  The design was changed every year so a new car stuck out.  Children could identify the make and model of every car for the last 10 years…of course there were only about eight brands and they each had one model, four door or sedan, hard top of convertible, and maybe a station wagon.

Neighbors were alerted of the pending arrival of a new car.  When it finally arrived, it was instantly surrounded by everyone on the block.  The men would pop the hood and stare at the engine while the new owner bragged about the engines power.  There was talk of straight eights, turbo something and super glide.  No one knew what any of it meant, but there were nods feigning mechanic expertise and admiration.

The engine was fired up and it always “purred like a kitten.”

Women gushed about loving that “new car smell”, the roomy glove box and the comfortable seats.

Then there was the trunk.  The trunks on the old new cars were huge, and bragging about the size was a requirement.

“Look at the size of this trunk, you could fit five suit cases, three beach chairs and a beach umbrella and still have room to spare.”

Loose change was tossed in the back seat for luck.

A family’s status was often based on the age and model of your car.  A Ford or Chevy did not carry as much status as a Lincoln or especially a Cadillac, still, all new cars were revered.

Those old cars may not have been as efficient as today, did not have the fancy features as today, did not ride or handle as nicely as today, but they sure did bring “oohs and ahs” from everyone on the block…and oh, the size of those trunks!


   

14 comments:

  1. I know next to nothing about cars, but even I used to be able to tell a Ford from a Holden or Toyota. These days if I want to know what it is I have to walk all around the car trying to spot a logo. There's often a logo on the front grill, for instance a Holden has a rampant lion, Subaru has the southern cross stars and so on, but the body of most cars are so much alike I'm surprised anyone can find their own in a supermarket parking lot. Especially when they are all the same colour.

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  2. Hick used to take care of an 80-year-old man who let him take his Studebaker to car shows. I couldn't believe how roomy the back seat of that old car was. Not that Hick and I were in the back seat, of course! It was solid, too! The metal didn't pop in if you leaned on it.

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  3. This was an accurate trip down memory lane. We did not have much money for a new car, but the few times we got one, it was a very big deal.

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  4. I agree, there's not much excitement because all the cars seem to look basically the same. I do notice new shades of blue that they've come out with the past few years, but that's about it!

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  5. I remember one of the long-trip car games as a kid was identifying the car and the year. Now most all cars look alike to me, only distinguished by size. Except for those toasters on wheels.

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  6. I agree, cars do look the same these days. Gone are the days when we would scream out 'HEY, LOOK AT THAT!

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  7. I too agree that the cars look the same these days. That's why I've been known to stand in front of a totally different model car than what we drive (Rogue) and be flabbergasted why my fob won't work only to realize its not my car. Only fun thing about a new car these days is the smell of one and that doesn't last too long either.

    betty

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  8. Your third paragraph said it for me. They do all look alike and there seems to be only three basic colors on the road. I do like the smell of a new one and it never lasts long enough. You are right, the excitement is gone. Sigh.

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  9. Yes, cars look very much the same these days, and a new car is not exciting any more. Here in the UK you can tell the age of the car by the registration number plate. The number plates change code every six months. So by looking at the number plate you can tell when a car was registered and delivered to your door. Also, here in the UK, many people don't buy cars any more. They hire them for 3 years with an option to change every year (or earlier). So when your neighbour has a new car you don't know whether he bought it or not.

    God bless.

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  10. Those were the days.......our car has stuff onn it I haven't even explored let alone used and it's 8 years old now.

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  11. Back in the day it was a wonder to have a new car, a fancy car, or more than one car. Now it's all just another day ....

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  12. I've often said that my (used) 1948 Chevvy was the last car I owned on which I could fix anything. When I told my mechanic (former) neighbor that I couldn't fix anything on my 2013 Nissan, he said "Oh, it's simpler now. You just replace circuit boards."

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  13. I still get excited by a new car and yes I love that smell! Growing up I was fascinated by the neighbor who always got a new car every year..well, it seemed like every year! My Dad and brothers spent most of my growing up years under the hood of some car my older brother would drag home, make it work, then junk it when it finally died. My Dad came home with a new VW bug one year..boy that brought excitement...especially since we were a family with 6 kids! We all squished in and loved every mile we rode in it!

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  14. It's been a long time since I bought my car...11 years. I remember the excitement (mine, not anyone else's - ha!). And I think it looks very distinct. My son calls it the "mouse" because he says it looks a bit like a computer mouse (it's a Honda Fit). When I got it, it was way in the back of the lot. The salesman had to get someone to drive it to the front because he didn't know how to drive a stick shift. LOL.

    In a few years I'll have to think about buying another new car.

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