The car must be inherited or a gift to despise it so much. Why not sell it and buy a classic that appreciates, has modern amenities like A/C, power options, nice stereo CD, iPod etc and love driving it?
My grandmother gave me a 66 Ambassador station wagon (garage kept). But it was not me. I sold it and bought an older classic 15 foot Boston Whaler with it. Not a car, but every time I use it with my kids, I think of her.
Again, my guess is it's a gift. No one typically keeps something they hate for 10 plus years!
First of all, I in no way "hate" my classic. Where on earth did that idea come from? I have not, nor have ever made any statement to indicate otherwise.
Secondly, I'm sorry but people today buy cars for the SAME reasons as they did in the past: They are still an extension of that buyer's personal tastes, and yes - they still carry just as much pride in owning it from any other era. I have yet to meet a single person who thinks of their car as an "Appliance". To me this sort of notion goes right back to the previous observation I made, which is to indicate that people who grew up in one era will forever put whatever they are familiar with on a pedestal, while at the same time criticizing anything new.
In addition, it's very obvious that the point I made about owning a classic was totally misunderstood: Someone scoffed that a Toyota owner shouldn't be making comments about classics, when in fact I OWN a classic. Nuff' said to that point. Hopefully now that is crystal-clear.
Secondly - CAFE standards didn't "Ruin" anything. If anything were to have been ruined - it would have been our lungs and health had these standards not been passed. Take a look at most any photo of LA or any other major city from the 50's-70's: The air is orange. That's all those particulates and pollution spewed from cars with no pollution standards. So please let us all know why we would all be better off with no CAFE standards.
As far as the comments made that a lot of 50's cars looked the same, well that was in response to the commentary that today's cars look the same: Every era of car design tends to follow popular design themes: Without a doubt, the 50's cars used a distinct set of common design elements: Boomerang, crown, and various aeronautical themes. Frontal and rear elements such as large good ornaments, large chrome bumpers with teeth, fins for the rear, and so on. But as a personal piece of anecdotal evidence to backup my claim, I'd say that 75% of the time, MOST people who see my Mercury actually mistake it for a '56 Chevy Belair. I kid you not. Even people in their 70's and 80's who actually lived in that era. Take a look at any picture from the 50's in a town or city: It's not like the cars are grossly distinct from one another. There is a reason for this. In design there is a thin line where if you design something that is too "different" or out there, then you risk alienating buyers. People buy what either looks familiar or in keeping with the times. In car design, these design themes are slow to change. The early 60's retained many of the themes from the 50's and the 70's designs clung to some elements from the 60's. That's how it works. That's simple marketing. So it's not like the cars were all exactly the same. But they were for the most part similar and blended together - just like many cars do today. It's the small details and the brand identity that sets them apart.
In addition, yes - there are more parts and components to the average modern cars. But more parts doesn't automatically = less reliability. My Brother owned a 1998 Avalon up until last year. This car had power everything. Power steering, windows, mirrors, heated and powered seats, CD/tape/8 speaker stereo, moon/sun roof, and so on. That car had almost 300,000 miles on it when he traded it in. That's been the experience most have these days. It's due to the additional knowledge that has come in the advance of automotive technology.
Anyway... I suspect predictable responses will soon follow.
11:43's comment pretty much sums up all of these comments.
Modern cars are pretty impressive once you think of the work that's put into them and the technology that most of them use. Yes the styling isn't the greatest, but you're not looking at a car 90% of the time that you're driving it.
Each decade has its own styling fads; some of those fads have aged well and some haven't.
How many cars still use four square headlights? Big chrome bumpers? Pop-up headlamps? Landau roofs? Wood trim?
If people are confusing your 55 Mercury Montclair for a 1956 Chevy Bel Air, they must be blind.
My comment on the Toyota owner is that they say they own a classic. Then they down it. It's never complimentary, it's always frame, crash tests, air pollution etc.
I have scrapbooks and trophies on my classics. I put a lot of hard work, cuts, scrapes, burns and pain in each and every one. Before I go off taking on the world's problems, I look at the purpose of it. Mine have truly kept me healthy, and I have many friends in the car clubs. So I truly love mine. Far more than my new cars, which are great in themselves.
What do you like about your Mercury, and I am sure many on here wonder why you bought it? You have had it over 10 years. Do you show it or what's the appeal? Or is it about smog again?
Actually there's no unbiased proof that the older cars were necessarily worse for the environment at all (except the leaded fuel thing of course), but leaded fuel was gone by 1978 anyway. Believe it or not, but hybrids are actually worse for the environment than almost any unleaded 1970s car.
The batteries have lead and other heavy metals in them that cause birth defects, and almost all of them wind up at landfills, where they seep into the ground and wreak havoc on the ecosystem. Plus, go to Canada and see the strip mining taking place to gather the battery materials.
"I in no way "hate" my classic"
Nobody said you hate your classic (at least I can't find the comment that said you did), but we all definitely wonder why you even own it, seeing how it's unsafe, and a burden on the environment.
"CAFE standards didn't 'Ruin' anything"
They most certainly did, what do you think killed the true muscle cars of the 70's, and the recent demise of the Ford durable Panther platform? I don't care how high horsepower ratings are on new V6 and 4 cylinder engines, they are still not muscle cars
"Take a look at most any photo of LA"
BINGO! You said it right there, LA, located in California where there are very high altitudes and the tightest emission laws anywhere. A moped would have difficulty passing. Remember in the late 70's when Oldsmobile built a diesel and it wasn't available anywhere in that state?
"MOST people who see my Mercury actually mistake it for a '56 Chevy Bel Air"
There is only on car that looks like a '56 Bel Air, and that is the '56 Bel Air itself with its distinctive two-tone paint scheme; even the base '210 models can be told apart. This happens to be my favorite full-size Chevy outside of the '59 Biscayne.
As far as your brother's Avalon reaching 300k, I'm sure it did, I read about it on other threads, but failing or faulty power windows, mirrors, power heated seats, CD players and sunroofs are not going to affect the way the car runs. You must have this stuff confused with electronic EGR valves, computers, O2 sensors, TPS, mass-air flow, all of this can fail on these newer cars and cost tons of money. Even my'96 Town Car, as old as it is, it still has a lot of these parts, and on that car they are easy to service, but still can take their toll when they fail.