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Paul Dobbin

A New Perspective on “Old Cars”

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Nothing..., until someone starts a thread about how "old cars" don't age as fast as they used to because cars are simply better built today than our antiques, and the thread gets taken over by people who think nostalgia trumps reality.

Appreciating the past does not preclude a reasonable perspective on the present or a hope for a better future, automotive or otherwise.

Now if that past reality really had 25 mpg, 200 mph Mark IV's......:rolleyes::D

I never said my Mark IV got 25 mpg and went 200 mph. I said I don't care what gas mileage it gets, I like it better than an econobox.

How can anyone say which car is better built?

A. A new car that goes 200,000 miles and gets 45 mpg but won't be able to be used in 25 years due to the technology being outdated and no longer available

or B. one that might need some things rebuilt at 100,000 miles but will be able to be used 50-75 years later. If you are only interested in daily driving until you dump it in a few years maybe A, if you want a car you will keep for life, I'd say B.

If I wanted a 1975 Ford 2 door in green, I could have gotten a Pinto, Mustang II, Maverick, Torino, Ranchero, Granada, Elite, Custom 500, LTD, or Thunderbird in your choice of 3 shades of green with 6-8 interior color choices, with 3-4 engine choices for most.

If you want a 2 door Toyota in 2010, I don't see any available on the website, just a 3 door Yaris. I guess the Solara is gone? No green. No 6-8 interior color choices. How is that better? Personally, I like choices. Maybe you don't. And going to the auto show this year, I do not see more choices becoming available in the future. I see less. The 2 cars I was most interested in, the Camaro and Challenger, I think would have been canceled if they were in the planning stages now instead of already in production. They don't fit with the current gas mileage and eco-friendly thinking.

My furniture is all solid wood except for 2 pieces. Why? Did I have it custom built from a cabinetmaker? Is it all very high end designer stuff? No, it is just ordinary furniture that was readily available at any store in the 1920's-1950's. Except now you get particle board with wood-look paper at those places. My furniture can be refinished, darkened, lightened, painted countless times. My 2 particle board pieces will fall apart if I move them around too much.

My house is now worth less than it was 10 years ago, I am worried about losing my job, my bank account pays .01% interest instead of 2.5 to 5%, My 401K and stocks are worth less. And I do not think I was that heavily affected by the current economy as others. So how is that better?

So if I want to remember when times were actually better, why do I have hear that you don't think it was because you like your Prius?

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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An interesting take on the Escalade was in a magazine article around 2001 or whenever the second generation debuted. In 1998 I observed that the new Lincoln Navigator attracted a whole new breed of well-to-do 40somethings to Lincoln, and as the Escalade evolved it would too.

As a traditionalist I sneered at the prestige of a Cadillac version of a GMC truck, thinking it was just more GM badge engineering. So the writer road tested an Escalade in Detroit and noted the enthusiastic attention of passers by. He pointed out that one should not think of the product as a gussied up truck, but realize that it was just the modern rendition of what Cadillac once did best--a large, chromed and trimmed up vehicle designed to be a blatant, top of the line status symbol.

I think that said it exactly right, and if you think about it an Escalade today is indeed what an Eldorado was in the 1970s--in your face and top of the line for a buyer ready to spend the extra money for such "street cred" (or country club cred as the case may be). Somewhat derided by more sophisticated import types but beloved by the bigger is better domestic buyer. I think in the future an Escalade will be not a Monaco or Fury VIP, but of the same interest type as a 1970s Eldorado today. Not a zillion dollar icon, and junkers not valuable enough to restore, but good survivors collected and fondly remebered by some as the big, cushy "last of the dinosaurs". Likewise with Navigators, they will be like a Mark V (hello Linc400), and in the vein of the 4dr Plymouth reference, Explorers will be like LTDs & Country Squires and Durangos will be like Monacos and Coronets. Assuming we can still get gas for them all, that is. Todd

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LINC400, Do you really think they will let you drive these old vehicles 75 years from now?? Do you really think there will be the parts / oils / fuel for these cars?? As time progreses what we consider freedom will be somewhat restricted. Now I don't like it, but those are the facts.

When I think of growing up in the L.A. suburbs near LAX in the early 50's and my next door buddy and I would get our 22's and WALK to the fields nearby our houses and go dove hunting and walk back with the birds so our mom's could cook them for dinner. Try that today, they would put you in jail.

You can't even build a car today without going through a million hoops.

It's coming boys, drip by drip. If my dad or grandfathers were alive today I know where they would say this is all going, and it's not just the cars.

D.

Edited by helfen (see edit history)

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I think that said it exactly right, and if you think about it an Escalade today is indeed what an Eldorado was in the 1970s--in your face and top of the line for a buyer ready to spend the extra money for such "street cred" (or country club cred as the case may be).

Yes, but with a difference. The Eldorado (1953/1967/1977/2002/whatever), the V16, and other Caddys did just what you say, but with unique and state-of-the-art products and engineering. The current (car) line of Cadillac still does, and Cadillac sales reflect the quality nicely (unique in GM). The Escalade, especially the first generation, was just about the nicest truck you could buy. So was the Navigator. But there was nothing really state-of-the-art about them, except from a marketing perspective.

A Sixty-Special or a 1957 Seville was not just a giant Chevy with all the bells and whistles. They were cars that were engineered and built to be the best, most advanced on the road, not just the most outrageous. It's a little unfair to call an Escalade a giant Chevy, but it's a far more applicable term than for any other Cadillac I can think of.

As for the Navigator, it was even more a Ford than the Escalade was a Chevy, sharing major body and interior panels with surveyors' trucks.

And now that that fad (SUVs) has run it's course, those shortcomings (in my view) don't bode well for future collectibility. They'll both be worth more than the Fords and Chevys they're based on, but in a manner more similar to a 1957 Packard than to a 1957 Eldorado. But that's just my view.

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Dave, I think most everything you point out above is correct. But I still think the top of the line excess is still the common thread of the various Cadillac generations as far as most people are concerned, not so much the technical differences underneath. I really think my Eldorado comparison is valid in contemporary public thought, especially since by circa 2000 target buyers assumed such similarities under the skin and did not really expect much difference beyond super-deluxe trim and equipment.

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No one would have thought that station wagons (non-woodies that is) would become the hot new collectibles 15 years ago. Yet now they are. I think the SUV's are lot more similar to Buick Estate and Impala wagons than Eldorado or Mark V's. Except no one thought wagons were cool and loaded them with bling when they were new. You did that with your Superfly Eldorado. :rolleyes:

I do not think we will see the end of SUV's too soon. People might say they want good gas mileage and talk about trading in their gas guzzling SUV's whenever gas prices go up. Some might even do it, and SUV sales might even drop for a while. But these thoughts are usually forgotten as soon as gas prices go back to normal. Americans like big vehicles, and an economy car just does not work for everyone. Whether they need the space for a big family, use it to tow things, or just want to spread out all their crap while they look cool driving it.

People actually saved the last of the full size Marks and Eldos because they thought that nothing like them would ever be made again. And they were right. However, they overestimated their collectibility. There are now many more nice examples than people interested in collecting them. I don't think that anyone will be saving Escalades and Navigators the way they did with Eldos and Marks. They just discard the old one for the newest version. There is no "they won't make them like this anymore" thinking. But I think their high production numbers plus the fact that they change so little from year to year will result in the same more examples than collectors result.

However, I think they will still be more desireable than an Accord or Taurus.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Linc400, I am with you on all that. So, what do you think of my Eldorado theory? Do you think that, status-wise, a Navigator today is positioned like a Mark V was then?

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LINC400, Do you really think they will let you drive these old vehicles 75 years from now?? Do you really think there will be the parts / oils / fuel for these cars?? As time progreses what we consider freedom will be somewhat restricted. Now I don't like it, but those are the facts.

When I think of growing up in the L.A. suburbs near LAX in the early 50's and my next door buddy and I would get our 22's and WALK to the fields nearby our houses and go dove hunting and walk back with the birds so our mom's could cook them for dinner. Try that today, they would put you in jail.

You can't even build a car today without going through a million hoops.

It's coming boys, drip by drip. If my dad or grandfathers were alive today I know where they would say this is all going, and it's not just the cars.

D.

I was talking about cars that are 50-75 years old now. And I think I have a better chance of being able to drive my Mark IV or any 1950's - 1970's car 25 years from now than a new Prius or any computer laden car. Parts for those may be readily available now. But when new technology replaces what is used in those cars 3 or 5 times over 25 years from now, who will be interested in making outdated parts for a car not many people collect? My friend likes 1980's cars. He has a hard time finding parts for the few computer controlled things in them. Maybe you can find a digital dash for a Reatta, but think how much more computer crap there is in a new car, even more in a hybrid. Much of it will not just result in the dash lights or a/c not working like now, but the car not being able to run at all.

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Maybe you can find a digital dash for a Reatta, but think how much more computer crap there is in a new car, even more in a hybrid. Much of it will not just result in the dash lights or a/c not working like now, but the car not being able to run at all.

No Kidding. How about the car that keeps getting mentioned here, that is now under recall for "software problems that are causing lack of proper braking". I will never own a vehicle that has a computer handling the brakes...especially in a snow climate with the nasty road chemicals causing corrosion to connections, etc.

See, the problem with book-learnin' and PHD educated opinions is that it does not figure in "real world conditions". Real world could mean a nice dry life in Nevada with overheated computers or "rust city" in Rochester NY...plus there is no way to predict how many years an owner will try to keep the car on the road.

Bad enough there is no mechanical link to the throttle.... Count me out.

I started and drove my 32 Nash 30 feet into the heated part of my shop today. It was a short ride, but I enjoyed it :) barely needed the throttle or the brakes :D

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Linc400, I am with you on all that. So, what do you think of my Eldorado theory? Do you think that, status-wise, a Navigator today is positioned like a Mark V was then?

I would say there there is no simple yes or no answer to this.

As far as price point and pulling up the country club in something that is flashy and says "look at me" yes.

As far as the Navigator and Escalade being the replacement for the Eldo and Mark the way the minivan was the replacement for station wagons, I'd have to say no.

When station wagons were phased out, the next logical move was to minivans. Some went with SUV's which were the next logical move from minivans. But when full size personal luxury coupes were phased out, people went in all directions. Some got 4 door sports sedans, some got 2 seater sports cars, some went to Escalades and Navigators, and some, like me, hold out out for the last stand of any 2 door coupe bearing the slightest resemblence to what was the personal luxury coupe. One guy I know had a Mark VII, then a Mark VIII, then another VIII. When the VIII was dropped, he held onto it for a long time. Finally bought a 2000 whatever T-bird when they announced those were being discontinued, but hated dropping down from a Lincoln to a Ford. Someone said, well now the hard part is over. You're now in a Ford instead of a Lincoln. So the next drop down to a Mustang, the only remaining Fomoco 2 door, should be much easier next time. - At least the Mustang seems secure, so he shouldn't have to drop down to a Focus :eek:

Plus the Eldo and Mark in spite of the back seat said, "We are single and swinging, and don't care about kids. Or at least we have enough money that we have a seperate vehicle for transporting them." In spite of their price tags and some examples being loaded with aftermarket bling, the Escalade and Navigator will still have a soccer mom quality about them that the Eldo and Mark never did.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Plus the Eldo and Mark in spite of the back seat said, "We are single and swinging, and don't care about kids. Or at least we have enough money that we have a seperate vehicle for transporting them." In spite of their price tags the Esacalde and Navigator will still have a soccer mom quality about them that the Eldo and Mark never did.

Hmm....that is an interesting slant I had not thought of, I guess my theory does not quite cover the whole picture at that. Oh well, it still holds for pricey and flashy at the country club, thanks, Todd

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If you say some of the SUVs will not be worth much because of high production numbers, how many 55,56,57 Chevys were made and what is their collector status and price. I still believe that these vehicles will be on the collector radar in the future.

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That's pretty good. My 1960 Falcon (144, automatic) would get an average of about 25 on the highway, but it would vary w-i-d-e-l-y because it was so un-aerodynamic. I once made a drive back and forth across Iowa and Illinois with it on a very windy weekend, and got 18 mpg in one direction and 31 mpg in the other.

Dave,

When I was running my '62 Falcon ( Deluxe 4 dr, 170 cid, 3 speed), we picked-up a second one for my Mom - a nice '62 Tudor ( white w/ red & white interior) that had the 144 and two-speed Dog-O-Matic...:rolleyes:

The difference in performance between the two cars was like night and day.... Mom's might do 70 MPH on level road with the wind behind it.

Mine was good for at least 85 or 90 MPH...

No creature comforts beyond the heater and windshield washer, but it was a good reliable car, and I do miss it !

:)

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This car fits two people only and at that you better like each other a lot because you won't fit a cold drink between yourselfs. It doesn't have a radio, AC, a heater, side windows, overdrive, disc brakes or even hydraulic brakes. It doesn't have vacuum or electric wipers. It has one wiper blade that is operated manually. The gas gauge is on the gas tank and you can't see it unless you exit the car. It doesn't have a GPS thingy that I don't need even in a new vehicle. It has a speedometer, an amps gauge and an oil pressure gauge. It gets a little more than 12 mpg and cruising speed is 40-45 mph. It does have an electric starter though. I have no idea how many cubic feet is in the passenger compartment but it's a lot bigger with the top down.

I call it an old car. I don't care what others call it. I wouldn't take 20 of any new car on the market for it. I have a newer vehicle that offers me all the creature comforts I need.

Y'all go back to arguing. I'm done now. :D

DSC00010.jpg

Hey Bill,

Nice Chevy, and good comments. :cool:

Your Chevy and my Ford will be running as long as there are some sort of fuel and lubricant available to make 'em go !

Happy (cozy) Motoring ! :D

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post-31530-143138174451_thumb.jpg

Edited by DeSoto Frank (see edit history)

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No creature comforts beyond the heater and windshield washer, but it was a good reliable car, and I do miss it !

:)

You had a windshield washer!!! notworthy.gif:D

One of the very last times I used the Falcon as a car I drove it from Pittsburgh to Akron in -10 degree F weather. I followed semi-trucks the whole way, because I discovered that that made it about 10 or 15 degrees warmer inside the car. I still needed a hat and gloves inside it, though!:eek:

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Hey Bill,

Nice Chevy, and good comments. :cool:

Your Chevy and my Ford will be running as long as there are some sort of fuel and lubricant available to make 'em go !

Happy (cozy) Motoring ! :D

I can make my own fuel. Whether I share it with my old car or not is another story. :D

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I can make my own fuel. Whether I share it with my old car or not is another story. :D

One of my great-great -grandfathers down in Central Virginia was known as "Stiller John"... :D:D

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Long ago in a world far away I dated a girl in Ga. whose father had run a still. He told some very interesting stories.

Then there was the time in Alabama on a back country road where we were doing some construction work when another man and myself walked to an old half fallen down barn that sat off the road a hundred yards or so. As the song goes, we uncovered up a covered up moonshine still. I did not delay my departure. :eek:

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Long ago in a world far away I dated a girl in Ga. whose father had run a still. He told some very interesting stories.

Then there was the time in Alabama on a back country road where we were doing some construction work when another man and myself walked to an old half fallen down barn that sat off the road a hundred yards or so. As the song goes, we uncovered up a covered up moonshine still. I did not delay my departure. :eek:

Was it still warm ???

:P

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I don't recall seeing any fire or smelling any smoke but I do remember seeing many gallons of something resembling clear water in gallon jugs. :eek:

And no, I did not take the time to grab a few of them.

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" Oh they call it that good-ol' mountain dew,

And them that makes it is few...

I'll shut-up my mug if you'll fill-up my jug

With that good-ol' mountain dew ! "

:cool:

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Linc400; Big slug cars from the 60's-70's are some of my favorites. I still have a 66 Cadillac DeVille convertible that I rarely drive. Why? Because the mileage is terrible. 70's Lincoln were the worst cars I ever owned for fuel mileage. That's why I don't have one around anymore. I may not like Prius' anymore than most on this forum but if you think they only get 5 more mpg than a 50's Metro, your wrong. a 70's era VW gets about the same as my 06 Charger, which I find hard on fuel. That's why I drive a 2000 Beetle to work and save the others for a occasional weekend jaunt. Yes I do live in Canada so our gas prices are higher then USA. But the rest of the world prices are going to come knocking on your door soon. Besides, don't you just hate handing over your cash to an Oil company?

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Linc400; Big slug cars from the 60's-70's are some of my favorites. I still have a 66 Cadillac DeVille convertible that I rarely drive. Why? Because the mileage is terrible. 70's Lincoln were the worst cars I ever owned for fuel mileage. That's why I don't have one around anymore. I may not like Prius' anymore than most on this forum but if you think they only get 5 more mpg than a 50's Metro, your wrong. a 70's era VW gets about the same as my 06 Charger, which I find hard on fuel. That's why I drive a 2000 Beetle to work and save the others for a occasional weekend jaunt. Yes I do live in Canada so our gas prices are higher then USA. But the rest of the world prices are going to come knocking on your door soon. Besides, don't you just hate handing over your cash to an Oil company?

The worst cars I have seen for gas mileage are 1970's Chryslers, not Lincolns. As already stated, the 1976 Lincoln with 7.5 liter gets 11 mpg., 2006 Chevy with 5.3 liter gets 13 mpg, and 2010 Buick Enclave with 3.6 liter gets 16 mpg. Not very impressive considering they had over 30 years to improve the gas mileage. And the little improvement there is, is from reduced weight and engine size, not any actual improvements. I don't like giving my money to an oil company, but I would much rather give my money to an oil company for a car I love to drive than give it to a bank or insurance company for a car I hate. Besides, you can control how much your car is driven and uses gas. You make payments and pay insurance whether you drive it or not. It costs my retired friend more for her new car, which she has driven 300 miles since last May, than it costs for both my Lincoln and Buick. Oh but she gets good gas mileage with her car.

Edited by LINC400 (see edit history)

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Linc400, I agree with you. Even someone driving 15000 mi per year is paying through the nose to drive a new fuel efficent car.Their interest alone on the car loan is almost as much as your[ or my] total gas bill for the same miles. So gas milage alone is not saving money. BUT we will never change some minds. And there are other reasons for owning a newer car. But I can' seem to remember what they are. Oh well.

Ben

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My dad had a 1967 Plymouth sport fury with a 383 2bbl auto with 2.73 rear end. We took it on our honeymoon and got over 20 MPG cruising I-5 through Wash-Or-California. It was a big car and would go 100 with very little noise...almost got us in trouble being it had no cruise control!

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