2nd Jul 2011, 17:50

We are for the most part a GM family, Chevy stuff pretty much. To be honest, our older Chevy cars and trucks always seemed to run decent and lasted awhile up here in the rust belt. We also have an older (1991) Camry from our in-laws that I was always impressed by when they would visit. After buying it from them with 83,000 miles on it 11 years ago for $500 (all we could afford at the time), it is still holding up well with now 253,000 miles.

If you think about what comes from Japan and the quality of those products, ie. Kubota tractor and Bobcat engines, Nissan diesels, electronic merchandise, hi-performance products, it's easy to see they build some really good stuff. This is not China here people!

I hope our domestics improve over past generations of vehicles, and show the world the USA can make good products again, but Japan has been doing it for quite a while now, and old habits die hard. They helped push us to be better, and imagine if Toyota/Honda didn't exist, what our American cars would be like now? 2011 Ford Pinto or 2011 Chevy Vega anyone?... Not here!

3rd Jul 2011, 11:54

My family owned both Chevy Vegas (a 1974 GT) and 2 Pintos. These cars were built like tanks and ran for well over 100,000 miles with nary a problem. My last Pinto was sold in 1998 with just shy of a quarter million miles. Both the Pinto and the Vega got a bad reputation because of a few over-blown incidents the media made too much of. The 1974 Vega had a 100,000 mile warranty, the first such warranty in the auto industry. It was a very well built and reliable car, on a par with anything Japan made.

3rd Jul 2011, 14:35

FYI, the Pinto and Vega were built to compete against the imports.

5th Jul 2011, 10:52

I have had 2 brand new Crown Vics as company cars and no issues. Also a new Grand Marquis. I drive 200 miles daily mostly highway. Since they are not mine, I am not opinionated one way or another. They are very safe as well

11th Feb 2012, 20:07

325,000 miles on a Ford? With $500 in repairs? That has to be a world record for a Ford. I have personally never made it past 100,000 miles on a Ford without major repairs (and yes, I've had a few Fords).

On the other hand, my 2003 Toyota Camry has 223,000 miles on it, and I have only had one repair on on it ever (water pump at 185,000).

I have no doubt that I'll make it past 325,000 miles on my Camry, as it is not uncommon to see Camrys with 350,000 miles.

My Camry runs, rides, drives, and looks like a new car. Every Ford I've owned felt like it was falling apart at the seams by 100,000 miles.

So congrats on getting that many miles on your Ford with so few repairs; that is truly a monumental feat, that is not likely to be repeated by any other Ford owner, any time soon!

12th Feb 2012, 07:46

Whoa, a Chevy Vega built like a tank? I can't let a comment like that go unchallenged! My dad bought three of them because they were cheap, and they were consistently the junkiest cars we ever owned, or have still ever owned (perhaps only rivaled by a 1983 Chevy Cavalier).

There was always a Chevy Vega beneath every cloud of thick blue smoke on the highway, thanks to its rattle-can block. The door panels rusted off, the hinges sagged, the engine rattled and knocked over 60 mph, burned and blew smoke, rust magnet, cheap, falling apart interiors.

Cheap junk is the only way to describe a Chevy Vega, so let's not make out like they are better than they really were. The Chevy Vega was an embarrassment that everyone would just as soon quietly forget. Please don't hold it up as a paragon of American manufacturing quality.

12th Feb 2012, 09:21

And now the same exact thing is happening to Toyota. The media has made a circus out of the recall fiasco, when in reality the actual number of faulty parts is low. Funny how that works huh?

12th Feb 2012, 13:40

Try again, but my Crown Victoria will downright slaughter any Camry in a reliability contest.

13th Feb 2012, 10:10

I bought a 69 Camaro SS 4 speed and a 1971 Camaro Z28 back then instead of the Vega. I have zero regrets, other than being weak enough to sell them with high price offers to buy.

I bought a 1970 Chevelle SS 4 Speed air conditioned car last year. Another great car at 6 times the cost new, and with 90000 miles on it. Wonder if your Camry will appreciate in value?

14th Feb 2012, 10:02

Comparing a classic muscle car to a family sedan like a Camry isn't really making a point. People buy cars like Camrys because they want no hassle, worry-free transportation. As someone who actually owns a classic myself, it would make zero sense for the average family to drive a muscle car to work, given that these require constant maintenance, don't have much if any safety features, tend to be less fuel efficient, and cost a lot to repair in the case of certain parts failures, due to either their rarity or desirability.

Lastly, not all old cars are instantly worth piles of money. But every car maker will have valuable models. There are many older Japanese cars from the 60's and 70's that are now selling for sometimes 10's of thousands of dollars. Some cars like Datsun 510's and 280Z's are highly prized. So too are old Toyota Land Cruisers and Coronas. Likewise, there are valuable American cars and trucks as well. On the other hand, some of the less desirable models are still quite cheap. Mine happened to be very cheap, just because it's a 4 door.

15th Feb 2012, 09:32

That is a pretty weak comparison really. Even 4 door basic transportation type cars in 1970 didn't hold any value. I wouldn't expect any mainstream best seller to hold its value, as they sell so many of them, and they really aren't looked at as a sporty model like a Chevelle or a Camaro is.

15th Feb 2012, 17:48

I had a 280ZX new. It is not even worth its new selling price in 2012.

Secondly, just because I chose Super Sports, note that they basically all share an extremely popular American family sedan platform. These cars all were extremely popular family sedans made by Chevrolet, Buick, Pontiac, and Oldsmobile as well with the same frame.

I drove a 68 Cutlass and a 72 Buick Skylark for business trips, which share the same frame. The 350 engine was extremely reliable. They also are very comfortable. The same full frame is on the GT0 442 Chevelle Buick GS as the family sedan. If you want to look up 60s Impala production, also SS or family vehicles, look it up.

Someone brought up Vegas as an example. There's far more American sedans to discuss that were very durable as well. If anyone is paying big money for a Datsun 510, it's probably modified, not of great value as a stock American car would be.

At any rate, I will be surprised to see an old Camry appreciate. My opinion.