30th Jan 2011, 02:02 <-- There is a wealth of knowledge in the above comment here that new car buyers, foreign and domestic, refuse to acknowledge.
I'm actually glad cash for clunkers happened. It makes the future value of my 1967 Ford Galaxy 500 (126,000 miles), 1977 Oldsmobile Cutlass Salon 143,000 miles), 1983 Oldsmobile 98 Regency (278,000 miles) and my 1992 Mercury Cougar XR7 (189,000 miles) that much more valuable.
All of these 4 cars are V8 equipped, and run excellent. The only true gas hog of the bunch is the 1967 Ford with a mildly modified 390 V8.
Most new cars are built and designed for people who don't know how to drive. They ride like the suspension is made of cinder blocks. The focus today seems to be designing cars with thin 1 inch tall shopping cart tires that can take a 20 MPH curve at break-neck speed. No crack or pebble on the road, no matter how minor, must be left unfelt by the passengers.
It is hard today to find a truly smooth riding car. Even Buicks, Lincolns, and Cadillacs which used to have a smooth ride as one of their signature trademarks, have succumbed to this modern yuppie way of thinking. Young people who ride in my Old Ford or one of my Oldsmobiles are amazed at how smooth they ride and drive.
I don't care if gas gets up to $12.00 per US Gallon, I will continue to ride in style and comfort, not plastic.
Old GM V-8 engines are the most durable ever. I have owned a few with over 300-400k on the clock, and they still run like new. I had to sell them just because they would not die!
Since I have stopped buying post 1990 fuel injected front wheel drive disposable crap, I have enjoyed nothing but reliability and low operating cost from my cars and trucks.
I used to buy imports when I was younger, and knew nothing about cars, but after learning from bad experiences, I have switched to older V-8 domestics.
Of course you have plenty of misguided people out there who think the only way to get a reliable car is to spend 30-40k on a new Honda or Toyota. What a waste of hard earned money, these cars are nothing but junk.
I can spend $500-$1000 on a Chevy Caprice, Vandura van, or Chevy pickup, and not have to worry about repairs at all. They can always be resold for more than I paid as well, after using them for a year or 2 as well.
Why would I ever want to buy a flimsy, fickle, cheap plastic import at full retail, with interest and steep depreciation, is beyond me.
I am a business owner who invests my money wisely, and for me the best investment has always been an older, full size, rear wheel drive GM with a 305 or 350.
Just my opinion, would like to put it out there, as from my personal experience, older cars are better!
I appreciate your well thought out response. Well done. However, I think we're not in agreement on numerous things, which is fine.
"I'm afraid you are sadly mistaken. Those are far from even the most extreme cases I've ever heard of. I work in a alignment shop, and about every "newer" (post 1990) car I see with sealed grease or no zerks has suspension problems, especially after about 120,000 miles. This is especially the age and mileage (6 years and 100,000+ miles) when most under maintained cars begin falling apart at the seams. It usually becomes clear at this point who never washes their car, never changes their oil, and generally pounds and beats on their car on a daily basis. "
We have owned 2 Camrys, an 88' Celica, A 4Runner, A Tacoma, A Tundra, and now a Prius. We've also owned a Ford F-250 and a Chevy Silverado. Of all of the suspension components, only the Ford and 4Runner had issues. The 4Runner wore through 2 wheel bearings. But these were after well past the 200,000 mark. The Ford had a faulty wheel bearing as well. Neither were big deals. Perhaps you see more vehicles with problems in your line of work, but the lack of serviceable grease fittings on our vehicles has been a non-issue. We live in the sticks and don't have a paved driveway either.
"ONLY about 200,000 miles on a 1955 Ford? A 1955 ANYTHING that makes it to 200,000 miles deserves a round of applause. Most cars from that era never saw 100,000 miles. People simply didn't drive as much back then as they do today. Never mind the fact that the car is 56 years old. Oil and grease itself has improved by leaps and bounds in 55 years, as well as the rubber in those suspension components. By that logic you might as well compare a Roman Chariot to Air Force One."
My car was babied its whole life. The previous owner LOVED this car. So it got better than average attention. Since it's as old as it is, I continue this attention. Even so, it has a lot of play in the steering and suspension system from wear. This was the same experience I had with my first car - a 72' Plymouth Fury. It seems that of all the old cars we've had - including my Grandad's 70's era Ford trucks had some rather severe wear and play issues with their steering systems. We never made that big a deal of it. It just came with the territory with older cars an trucks.
"Again, you couldn't be more wrong. As a matter of fact, most of the GM/Ford/Chrysler cars that are still on the road from the late 1970's to mid 1980's are in fact the mid size and full size rear wheel drive models. The only rotten aspect of these cars was GM's 350 Diesel, and the fact that some came standard with anemic gas V6's that weren't strong enough to last hauling 2 tons of steel around. None of the cars from this era were fast or powerful, but the V8 powered full size ones were very reliable."
We can agree to disagree on this one. I personally think both Ford and GM have made huge strides in their latest products. I've test driven numerous Ford and GM cars and trucks over the last 2 years. (I'm a car nut) and honestly, most of what I've driven has been leaps and bounds better than the junk I grew up with in the early 80's.
"It has been proven time and time again that hybrids are not truly cost effective unless the price of gas soars to over $7.00 per gallon. The toxic chemicals used to make those batteries come from three different continents. Get into a crash with one of those gimmicky junkers, have the batteries break, and let me know just how "environmentally friendly" it is."
The thing is that the Prius is a midsized sedan and not a compact car as most claim. It's more in the same class as a Ford Fusion. Both cost between 25-30k. Seeing as how cars in this class typically got between 20-30MPG both the Fusion Hybrid and Prius get much better fuel economy. In regards to the battery, well what do you think the battery in your current cars are made out of? Lead and they're full of toxic acid. As of now, close to 90% of those lead batteries get ground up and re-used in new batteries. The metals in hybrid batteries are too valuable to throw away, thus these are also recycled. In fact, Toyota will pay you $600 for your old battery. Much has been made about how "dangerous" these batteries are, when in fact your laptop, power tools, cell phone, and a lot of other stuff in your house runs on the same type of battery. So what's the issue? The batteries in these cars are usually in the trunk and encased in a tough case. It's extremely unlikely that getting in an accident would cause an issue. Lastly, these batteries have proven to last a very long time. They only charge between 30-40%. Thus there is very little stress placed on the cells. Our Prius is 10 years old. So far the battery has held up just fine.
"Then why did every full-size front wheel drive car powered by GM's Fuel Injected 3800 V6 get over 30 MPG highway, from 1985 until they finally dropped this motor a few years back? This is one of the engines that usually exceeded its advertised fuel economy ratings. It took Honda, Toyota and Nissan nearly a decade and a half to match the performance, fuel efficiency, and reliability of this ancient pushrod motor, which was, believe it or not, essentially an old Buick 350 V8 with 2 cylinders chopped off."
Yes - some of those old 3800's were pretty decent, but my Grandmother owned numerous cars with that engine, and even though she drove conservatively, she hardly ever got 30MPG unless she was on a flat freeway on her way to Florida. 22-25 was usually the case with her cars.
"I'm sorry, but the Chevy Cruze is not fast, even by 1990's standards. The US versions of the 2011 Chevy Cruze DO NOT have direct injection. 0-60 in 9.0 or even 8.5 at best is anemic in the here and now. The reason the Cruze has a turbo is to make up for the small 1.4 liter motor's lack of torque. It even states this in so many words in the sales brochure and on Chevy's website, that the turbo supplements low-end torque and does not really do anything for high end performance. One of the mechanics at the Chevy dealer told me the turbo is very weak, and hardly puts out any boost to begin with. This motor is slightly more efficient than most of the 4-cylinders of the past, but not by much. And the tiny Cruze engine coupled to a 6-speed automatic the car constantly searches for the right gear, but never finds it. That's what I noticed WHEN I TEST DROVE IT."
On this you are correct. My bad. No - the Cruze doesn't come with a direct injection engine. But I test drove the car as well, and honestly the car was pretty freakin' fast for an entry level econo car. As someone who owned a 88' Celica, which was supposed to be a "sports" car, the Cruze was smokin'. To me it was amazing that you can get that amount of power out of a 1.4 liter engine. My 96' Tacoma has a 2.4 liter engine and the best it will do is about 9 seconds 0-60. 8.5 seconds for a 1.4 is pretty good in my opinion.
"Twenty years ago, I owned a 1983 Oldsmobile Omega with a 2.5 Liter pushrod 4-cylinder, Electronic Fuel injection, and a 3-speed automatic. Yes, it WAS slow, and noisy, but it still got close to 35 MPG highway. When you get down to it, even in 2011, there is still no replacement for displacement. What were you saying was so special about the Cruze again?"
What's special about the Cruze is that GM finally made a small car that has a lot of appeal for younger urban buyers. It's a good value for the price with decent performance, good fuel economy and a generous interior. It's a 1000% improvement over both the Cavalier and the Cobalt. I remember cars like the Celebrity and Cavalier in the 80's. Those cars were AWFUL, and had zero appeal to younger buyers.
"And reliability of today's motors versus late 1970's to late 1980's GM V8's? For their simplicity and reliability, the old V8's can't be matched. My '84 Caprice is still rockin after 27 years. With the way modern cars are designed and built, I'll be happy if this new Hyundai I bought lasts half that long."
As mentioned, my Brother owns a 98 Avalon. He does not take very good care of this vehicle. He just uses the cheapest oil and air filters. We changed the original timing belt at 280,000. It's still running at 300,000+. I would call that pretty good. Besides - most people seem to sell their cars every 5 years. Not me or my family. We keep em' till the wheels fall off. The fact that modern cars are packed with technology and equipment, and somehow tend to run 200,000 miles before they start showing wear, is indicative of improved engineering.
I have owned 2 Buick Park Avenues with the 3.8 Series II engine, and I can get over 30 mpg with both of them. This is very common on both late model LeSabres and Park Avenues. The Series I was not as fuel efficient.
I owned a 1987 Oldsmobile Delta 88 with the same fuel injected Buick 3.8 liter V6 (the predecessor to the actual 1st generation 3800). If driven conservatively under 70 MPH on long highway trips, I could easily average over 32 mpg with it. From my experience, the new motors have a lot more power, but actually get slightly worse fuel mileage.
This was one of the best cars I ever owned. I got rid of it simply because of the age and high mileage (234,000) 5 years ago. I regret selling it to this day.