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Two not snide, but comical remarks yesterday. We drove the two cars in two separate parades, and I believe these were sincere, but amusing comments:

For the Model A, by an older gentleman looking at the car early in the morning at a supermarket lot "did you buy it new" - honest to God, FYI I may be gray, but I am 43, so that would have been an accomplishment. He also commented on remembering them when new, unlikely, he looked to be around his mid 60s - and asked if it was for sale.

For the Cutlass - younger guy, "nice Dodge Cutlass" - thanks.. Actually refreshing, since every time we go somewhere someone will ask if it is a 442.

I think sometimes there are those who just want to chat, and in the end, does it really matter? Still fun to answer even silly questions most of the time - <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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I am puzzled by your "post" regarding engine failure in a '71 Toyota Corona. We bought one new, used it to go to Las Vegas from Los Angeles numerous times, often in the midst of summer heat (Mojave Desert = 110+ in the afternoons) had no trouble keeping up with the flow of traffic at 70 - 75 mph. When we sold it to a friend's kid, it was still running great some 15 years and 160,000+ miles later. It ran well over 200,000 mi. before the kid wrecked it when he ran a red light. Our next Toyota was an 83 Tercel wagon, also bought new, and also subject to Southern Californicated driving conditions. At approx. 150,000 mi, we had to replace the air conditioning compressor. Sold that at approx. 180,000 mi; do not know what happened to it.

What Toyota is doing, isn't that clever - just taking a page out of what Packard did from the start - made certain it had a good reputation for value. As I have noted many times in here, no matter WHAT price class your particular Packard falls into - ranging anywhere from the "cheapo" Packards to the biggest and most powerful, I will BET you that your car is at LEAST as fast and as good a buy when it was new, with ANYTHING in its particular price class.

One of the Packard clubs keeps re-printing one of Packard's advertising slogans..."Reputation", which says it all. If you have a good one, work to keep it. Once you screw up...if you once had a GOOD reputation, screwing up is far more serious than if you dont have a good reputation.

Again, as I have noted before, there was still enough left of Packard's reputation for "delivering", that when Packard announced "Packard is Back" in late '54, they sold cars like crazy - within the first few months of '55 sales, they sold close to 50,000 cars. Trouble was, "word got out" on their horrid reliability and "build" quality, and that killed Packard VERY dead, to the point that they had trouble giving away the cars after, oh, roughly June of '55.

The new car buyer typicaly is NOT interested in "tinkering" to get a car right. Of course we car buffs can make anything run right, given enough ingenuity, time, and money. Of course the Packards built in the last few years of production, once you get the "bugs" out, can make decent, reliable cars.

My 2001 Toyota Rav 4 is at least as fast, reliabile, and comfortable as ANYTHING in its price class. Just like Packard used to be before it got greedy and plowed its fat war profits into exec. salaries and stock options, when it SHOULD have spent some of that on product development.

Wish real world history wasnt the way it was...but...well..it WAS ! I refuse to take ANY blame for the death of Packard.

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  • 1 month later...

Sorry I missed your post, 6686L.

I do not know why the Toyota failed. Dad ran cars very hard and most stood the test. Chrysler did well until the 1960s when the best he got out of one was 48000 miles. But then again, Dad is cheap. Any problem that will cost him outside of the warranty is grounds to dump the car. As far as the Toyota goes, I remember he had burned three of its valves. It was toast. Personally, I think Toyotas look and drive like crap. I have had many of them. Good, reliable cars... read: boring, hard or mushy, and about as intrisically valuable as a used hanky. Sure they are well made and have a good reputation. I look for that but also something indefinable that tells me it is a car of choice and taste. Not many modern cars even come close. But that time is past. I have no need of a new car, warranteed or otherwise. And the old '56 still looks better and gets more turned heads than a 2007 Bentley Continental. For what it is worth... <shrug>

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