Well, let's see; back in the 60's, most cars were ready for the scrap pile by the time they hit 80K-90K miles, whereas now many will go 150K miles or more without needing any major work.
Is that enough achievement for you?
17:08's statement doesn't apply to the 1960's cars that I've owned. My 225 Slant-6 Dodge easily reached 150,000 miles; our 383 1969 Dodge Coronet station wagon ran perfectly to 110,000 miles and was still being driven by the next owner at 150,000 miles; my 383 1967 Chrysler Newport would smoke the tires off at 95,000 miles and ran perfectly. In fact when I sold it, a guy bought it for the engine to put in a Roadrunner.
I agree with the original reviewer that some of these old engines were great. The 1968 Dodge 318 is sure as hell a better, more reliable engine than the 1999 4.7 L in the Durango.
Oh, you are absolutely right, they should go back to building engines the way they did 40 years ago: carburetors, a mechanical distributor with points and condenser ignition, mechanical fuel pump and no diagnostic electronics whatsoever. Why be able to go 100K miles without a tuneup when you can do one every 15K miles? And just think of all the leg exercise everyone would get pumping the gas pedal to set the choke everytime they start the car, just like in the old days...
Who cares about diagnostic electronics on such a simple, durable engine? And how could anyone possibly worry about getting leg exercise pumping the throttle once to set the automatic choke? Did it not occur to you that it's easy to put throttle body fuel injection on an old engine, if you're concerned about getting tired out?
Or think that it is any hardship to change spark plugs every couple of years?
Or not know that electronic ignition (no points or condenser) was standard by 1972? You can put electronic ignition on any older engine, converting it from points.
I think you're on the wrong review, bud. That's right, just go back to reading about how wonderful the Honda Accord is if you're scared of machines.
These "automotive Luddites" that post to this site are always amusing. They would have you believe that all worthwhile progress in automobile technology stopped around 1975, or 1968, or whatever year the car they happen to own is, and cars built since that date, up through the present, are not only not improved, but are worse than the relics they are trying to keep on the road.
"they don't build 'em like this anymore!"
Well, yeah, they don't, and for good reasons.
There may have been advances in efficiency, but durability has decreased. At least the automatic transmissions in my 1967, 1971, 1973, and 1985 American cars never failed. Can you say the same about "your" new Dodge Durango, Honda Odyssey, or Lexus RX330?
Nor has my cast iron V-8 ever seized up from blowing a head gasket, like new aluminum engines. Nor has my early '70's car ever simply died at a stoplight because the computer needed to be reset.
Old cars were built to last, and you just can't refute it, regardless of how much you blather on about "automotive luddites". Cars today will not be here in another 40 years. Sorry this pains you so much.
At least today's cars aren't buckets of rust within 10 years like the older models were. I agree, thank God they don't make them like they used to.
Yeah, except the rustbuckets were made in the 1980's, not the 1960's and 1970's.
I had a few rust issues on my stock 1969 SS 396 Camaro 4 speed which were easily resolved... for some reason I like this 38 year old car better than my 2007 GM. I doubt the appreciation will ever be there with my 07 as well. I like most older cars and can appreciate those that have a passion to appreciate them as I do.
Original Poster here: My point is that my old car is simple to own, operate and maintain mostly because it is just a very basic car.
I own a 2000 Lincoln Town Car and I love it, but I have no idea how to fix this thing when I get the computerised warning lights.
Some of the best cars that I have owned, in terms of reliability, were the most spartan ones. It would have been nice if some of these "best" ones were also my "favorite" ones, but that's why I've kept buying cars, old and new, over the years: Because I may eventually find The One!
I'm glad that the OP has found his "The One"!
In 1963 my parents purchased a new Rambler Classic 550 wagon, in Calais Coral (brownish). The car had the standard small 6 cyl and "3 on the Tree" (my father would not pay for an automatic). This was the car I learned to drive with.
Even though this was the low-end Rambler, this was the most expensive car in it's class (Dodge Dart, Plymouth Valiant, Ford Falcon, Chevy Corvair). As we lived in NE Illinois (Chicagoland), Ramblers were known as "Kenosha Cadillacs" as they were made just over the border in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
This car was GREAT!! In the 6+ years we owned it, only 2 things went wrong; the throw-out bearing and the exhaust pipe from the engine to the muffler.
1963 was the 1st and last year AMC made a profit. The 1963 Rambler was Motor Trend's Car of the Year. These cars did not rust - AMC dipped the complete body in liquid zinc. The exhaust system was coated inside and out with ceramic and had a lifetime guarantee - AMC was paying to replace them well into the 1970's.
OP here: Well that would explain why my 63 Rambler Classic has no rust. It is still going strong!
I can't believe these arguments.
The old cars our parents owned when we were kids evoke fond memories.
To actually own & drive one of them today gives us a real kick.
Yes, today's fuel injection is more efficient and easier to start than the old 2 barrel that my old Chevy had.
Yes most of today's vehicles have better rust resistance than the cars our parents owned (which is a very good thing since most of today's cars are uni-bodies).
However, it is refreshing to be able to work on your own car with a fairly basic set of tools, and the old cars had "STYLE" and a sense of individuality that few cars possess in today's look-alike automotive world.
The new cars are engineering marvels, but vintage cars are sentimental favorites - what's wrong with that?
Ultimately the real problem with the newer cars is they are enormously more expensive as a percentage of the average wage than the old cars of the 60s, 70s, and early 80s. This is partly a function of the cost of technology, but it has a lot more to do with the declining American standard of living.
Look at it this way - in 1969 an average income was something like $10-20,000/year, but a car was only $3,000. Nowadays the average income is $30-40,000, but a car is $25-30,000 dollars!