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Philosophizing on keeping cars for more decades - prompted by a broken throttle cable


Jedi Knight
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We mounted four minilite imitation wider rims and tyres on the 59 Yellow BE this afternoon and I took her out for a test drive, which ended when the throttle cable broke, whilst merging on a 4 lane divided road. (Fortunately no problem - nice wide shoulder; and I phoned 67hardtop jeff and asked him to come rescue me after he pulled the cable from the Silver BE we're working on).
But - standing on the side of the road, I got thinking about what cars a person could keep for another 57 years....
My perception (the newest we own is a 2003 BMW) is that modern vehicles have just continuously increasing complexity as we demand more and more comfort etc. etc. everywhere, and performance features on the more expensive vehicles. Four wheel steering? drive by wire? computer everything? Check! What are the chances of being able to keep a 2016 vehicle operating and roadworthy in 2063?
Worst case, the local lawnmower shop will be able to service the Sprite. Throttle cable breaks again? Well, something can be cobbled together.
So, I guess I'm asking a bit of a question: if you wanted to have a unique vehicle that your grand-children's grand-children will be able to drive, do you buy (for example) a 2016 Mazda Miata, or an LBC, or Meyers Manx dune buggy clone based on a mid-sixties VW Beetle, or ??? Doug


Good points, Doug, for quite some time we have been buying new vehicles that are good for nothing but crushing when they get some age on them. They even all look pretty much the same!The self braking and future self driving cars seem to me to be the most idiotic. The self braking would have to leave a safe following distance between it and the car in front of it and in most American cities if there is more than a car length between you and the guy in front of you someone will pull into it! I can see the self braking car coming to a halt on the free way! And then there is the self driving car.... I think we have trains and buses that will do the driving for you!

Cars that have nothing but an electrical connection between the steering wheel and front wheels......brrrrrr!




Darth Vader
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"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain." - Mr. Scott, Star Trek III - the Search for Spock

I was having this same discussion with a friend of mine today. It's ridiculous that even a simple task such as changing a headlight has become an incredibly complicated task. There are several times that something happens with one of my other cars (both 2012s, a VW Jetta and a Toyota Corolla -- fairly pedestrian offerings), and I lament that they are not like the Sprite, where the same repair may only take an hour or so to fix (I tend to move slow), but are nearly impossible to fix without a trip to the dealer or mechanic.

The second question you have to ask yourself is, what cars made today would people actually want 50 years from now? We're sort of seeing this with "Malaise Era" cars from the mid-70s to the mid-80s. Other than a handful of cars such as the Regal Grand National or the Omni GLHS, who really wants something from this era? Even those of us who came of age in this era avoid it like the plague, unless we're doing a custom build or a restomod. Many of us go "retro" for the 60s muscle, or, in my case, the LBCs, and some of us jump to when horsepower came back in the late 80s and early 90s, as well as the current sporty offerings.


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Speaking of changing a headlight, I recently had to change one on my 2004 Saab. The front bumper had to come off to get to it. The cost was a bit over $300. I still do enjoy driving that car though.
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