23rd Jan 2013, 16:08
I think some missed the point I was previously making when comparing what passed for "fancy" food circa 1970 versus now. Sure - back in the day, going to a fancy restaurant meant an iceberg lettuce salad with yellow cheese, cherry tomatoes, and some cellophane packaged wrapped crackers on the side. You'd follow up with a limited number of cuts of meat with some sort of bland and overcooked vegetable, followed with a piece of cake with canned whipped cream all over it. These restaurants still exist, and yes - they're typically popular at early bird time.
Totally tasteless, bland food. That is compared to what now passes for fancy food, where much more effort is put into the craft and attention to the ingredients, versus simply sticking maraschino cherries on something and calling it a day.
Same with beer. Used to be you had about 4-5 major brands. They were all the same of course - watered down, low alcohol, tasteless swill. Now there are 100's of microbreweries, making many, many different kinds of really good beer.
The same was true with cars: back in the day you'd get some huge carcass of a car, stuff it with crushed velor and foam rubber seats, gobb on loads of chrome, and put in a massive engine to haul it around and bingo - "Fancy" car.
So just like all of those mentioned above, those who likely grew up with or were in their prime when these things were popular, they will SWEAR up and down that those things (the things that they are comfortable and familiar with) are the BEST things, and they will then totally diss any and everything new. Not because they are actually worse, but because they are unfamiliar with those things, and thus have no means to actually make a judgment call.
So just because someone thinks that something from 20-30-40-50 years ago was "The best" doesn't mean they're right. They're simply using nostalgia to make the call.
24th Jan 2013, 09:22
It's the opposite of what you just said. Food now is bland, highly processed, and homogenized using food additives to make up for the lack of taste. The same with cars. Evolution has driven cars to be bland, front-wheel-drive econo-boxes that have monotone interiors and paint jobs.
The '50s, '60s, and '70s really were better.
24th Jan 2013, 14:54
16:08 makes a good point. Although I DID grow up and do much of my driving in the 60's and 70's, I'll readily admit that modern smaller cars are better, faster, safer, more economical to drive and far better handling than any of those barges from the 70's.
Having a beautifully restored older car (and my family has several) is a great hobby. Actually driving them daily is a whole different thing. In point A to point B daily commuting, I want my fast, nimble and safe, 34-mile-per-gallon, newer mid-sized sedan.
24th Jan 2013, 16:16
16:08, how old are you? I am guessing not more than 40. I am guessing this, because you are mistaken about the past, and I am guessing you either didn't live in the time you are commenting on, or were too young to appreciate it.
Your comments about "fancy" restaurants in the 50s serving cheap cuts of meat etc. are way off. Do you think filet mignon, prime rib, salmon and so forth were just discovered in the 80s?? There have always been high end restaurants and budget ones.
24th Jan 2013, 21:58
A lot of us are younger people who never experienced the older days, so your comment is redundant. By the way, no way in hell a Toyota or Honda or whatever passes for fancy in any sense of the word, unless it's a Toyota Century or Nissan President, which are not available anywhere else but Japan.
All the cars today are more of the same than back then as well. All the cars today share that distinct turtle styling, and are only uniquely distinguished by their grilles. At least back then differentiation was appreciated. That's why I'm starting to get into SUVs; they still retain that differentiation between the brands; something that doesn't happen with cars anymore.
25th Jan 2013, 06:08
And yet I can go back in time and see vehicles that are absolute fine crafted pieces of art. From steam vehicles to the present.
My Great Grandfather had a beautiful Pierce Arrow. My Grandfather had a new Studebaker Black Hawk. My father had a 1957 Thunderbird among many others. I drove a 1963 Split Window Corvette in college. Today I drive a new one. Instead of eating at diners, we ate at the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, De or in Greenville, De. in establishments that have been there for many decades. Poor analogy.
There are very fine vehicles from every era. In our area we have Hershey, Hagley and Carlisle to admire these vehicles. Some were not pulled off as well in each era, but your comments are too broad based. Your only limitations on great vehicles then and now, is limited only by those that want champagne, but are on a tight beer budget.
25th Jan 2013, 09:56
I agree with you. Most car guys I know drive a newer SUV to get around all week. Safe to take to the mall. Safe too at a stadium. If it gets a nick or scrape, or even stolen, so be it. They also tow and have room for the family. But then they have high dollar classics and sports cars. My insurance limits the exposure and theft issues of mine. Given a preference, I like driving the older ones with the top down on a nice day. The others are an insulated cocoon; basically a means to just get there, and not worry where it is parked.
25th Jan 2013, 14:33
It's not just people from the older generation that love these cars. I drove my grandparent's Cruze, and luckily it was only around the block, because I despised it! Ugly, fat, stubby, un-proportioned, useless console shifter, FWD, unibody, 4 cylinder. I was so glad when I hopped back in my treasured and excellent condition Crown Victoria. Nice and long, well proportioned, column shifter, RWD, body on frame, V8. I'm 24 by the way.
When I go out to a nice restaurant, I hate seeing all the trash in the parking lot. Even when I was growing up, you'd see majestic Fleetwood's, Town Cars, Delta 88s, Caprice's, Grand Marquis, etc. everywhere.
Oh, and something else for the new trash crowd, I have leather seats, but I love crushed velour!!!
25th Jan 2013, 16:03
It seems that the entire manner in which car buyers identify with their cars has completely changed over the past four decades or so. Cars were once an extension of ourselves. We cherished the individual styling that clearly marked each brand as unique. It now seems that we all want cars that look alike and are a bland shade of gray or some other non-color. It's as if we are horrified by the idea that someone might actually notice us. Even very expensive luxury models now look nearly identical to a Ford, Chevy or some other average (and boring) car.
I recently read that the basic criteria for U.S. car buyers now is how much electronic gimmickry a car has. The article also stated that that electronic gadgetry can add up to as much as 30 to 45 percent to the price of a new car. In other words, if Ford didn't insist on cramming all that complicated and unnecessary infotainment crap in all their new cars, they could sell them for thousands less to people like me who don't want it.
I suppose the idea of a car as the expression of ourselves is a concept that is now outdated. I hardly think everyone now sees themselves as boring gray turtles. Call me odd and outdated, but I still enjoy being noticed. That's why I choose to drive a customized Grabber orange Mustang.