18th Aug 2012, 10:12

At 50,000 miles my 1977 Grand Prix was just getting broken in, not "worn out".

18th Aug 2012, 12:07

Again, I believe you are selling cars of that era short, if you REALLY think one with 50,000 miles was the equivalent of a modern car with 200,000 miles. I bought a few cars back then with around 50,000 on the odometer, and they were by no means "used up". In fact my first two cars, a 1967 VW and a 1968 Chevelle, both had approximately 50,000 miles on them when I purchased each, and they were both in excellent condition. Nothing like a vehicle with 200,000 miles on them, and I live in the Northeast where lots of salt is used on the roads.

19th Aug 2012, 22:16

I never saw a domestic car from the 50's, 60's or 70's that was anything other than just broken in well at 50,000 miles. I have no idea what planet that the commenter lives on where they wore out in 50,000. Yes, they required more frequent oil changes and servicing, such as plugs and ignition points (which modern cars don't have), but none of the ones we had ever had any engine or transmission repairs before 100,000 miles, and every domestic we owned was driven at least that far, because we couldn't afford to trade every few years.

20th Aug 2012, 11:44

Again - exceptions can always be made. But the overall experience of the average car owner of the 50's - 70's was completely different than than those today. Thee days a car will easily do 200,000-250,000 miles no problem. Back then? Far less often.

20th Aug 2012, 20:50

We all must be the "few people somewhere in America".

21st Aug 2012, 20:23

Our best family cars were Mopars with 318 and 383 motors, strong transmissions, and great rear ends. The late 60s and early 70 models before smog technology was developed. The same engines were used in fleets, taxis, and police vehicles. Those engines were tough.

We had a garage. I remember my dad trading a 71 with 160000 miles on it, and the dealer thought it was 60000. Always clean and immaculate. The Chevrolet small blocks (327 and 350) were likewise, and installed in many body styles. The technology such as getting away from points and adding electronic ignition, disc brake conversions, retro air added, is readily available. I have a 42 year old GM with modern upgrades that I can drive anywhere. I may go with a Tremec 5 speed for higher MPG.

Cars should last a lifetime. And keep appreciating, as it is very hot right now value wise. I had late 70-80s 350 V8s that easily went 150000 miles racked up quickly on long trips. 4 cylinders cars, overworked with air conditioning, were never considered.

22nd Aug 2012, 08:11

The early-mid 70's was the era when every GM division outside of Cadillac made their own 350 V8 engine; all of them were rock solid and exceeded 200,000 miles all the time.

22nd Aug 2012, 11:55

Many of the 4 cylinder cars of today have more horsepower, more torque, faster 0-60 acceleration, and of course - better fuel economy than most of those muscle cars from the 60's and 70's. Also - as someone who also owns a classic - you most definitely do not want to get into a wreck in anything from that era, because they simply lacked most of today's safety features.

But if people want to drive big ole gas guzzlin' cars... good for them. Last time I checked, gas was over $4 a gallon around here. I'll save my money, thank you.

22nd Aug 2012, 18:09

That's not true at all. I've been in the market for a 1977 Lincoln Continental and I've seen many of them with high mileages (190,000+). They looked and ran great, as if they were brand new.

Most cars of today would never be able to claim such a feat at 200,000-250-000 miles, because most advances in automotive technology in the past 30 years have gone towards less durability and more complexity. Believe me, none of those fancy computers in today's cars will still be running 30-40 years from now after heavy use. I also don't think the engines nowadays are really as good in terms of construction and materials either; most today are cast aluminum, which is light, but not great for the long haul. Engines built back in the 50's to the 70's are cast iron, which is great for durability over a long period of time.

If you want to talk about bad 1970s cars, Toyotas, Hondas, and basically all Japanese cars fit into that category. They were infamous for their lack of rustproofing and mechanical issues, as it wasn't until the mid to late 1980s to the early 1990s when these makers started getting it right.

22nd Aug 2012, 18:41

Back in 1974 my friend's daughter bought a brand new Ford 351 Cleveland Torino. The engine seized at 53,000 miles. However it had good reason to. The crazy woman NEVER OPENED THE HOOD for five years. She never took the car anywhere for service. I'm surprised the factory battery lasted that long actually. Finally, the oil got so low it locked the engine up. That car could easily have gone 200,000 if it had been serviced. Of course modern cars that don't burn oil and have synthetic oil in them could probably go 200,000 miles without opening the hood, provided the battery held up.

23rd Aug 2012, 08:26

I have a big ole gas guzzling Lincoln, I also save money too, because it's paid for and it never breaks down.

23rd Aug 2012, 08:59

Are you talking about a commuter car or a classic car? My classic car gets 10 MPG, but is also worth over 50k. Insurance is 300 year and it's fun. It is on one side of my garage, ready to go.

As far as accidents; I have had a minor fender bender in 40 years of driving. I have a relative with a Mini Cooper; great MPG, but believe me, I would hate to be in an accident in it. Get hit by a truck; it's gone.

It seems your argument is all about cheap transportation. That's fine, but many love driving. My home is paid for, and I have a good retirement nest egg. I have a relative (retired engineer) with a 4 seat Cessna airplane. The way I see it, the enjoyment keeps him alive and healthy. I would rather do that then sit at home admiring my bank balance and laying on the couch.

23rd Aug 2012, 10:55

Newer cars won't last 200-250,000 miles? Really? Where on earth do people get these sort of ideas?

Sorry, but these days just about any car will last 150,000-200,000 miles easily. It's also flabbergasting to suggest that somehow new technology was invented to make cars worse? Come on! For example - fuel injectors. They're computer controlled to inject the absolute right amount of fuel on various engine and demand conditions. These are wayyyyy more precise than the older technology used - namely carburetors. I own an old car, and as anyone who works on them knows, carburetors just generically spray fuel into the cylinders. They're glorified spray bottles. But as a result of fuel injectors, not only do you not have to spend hours and hours fiddling and adjusting with settings and so forth on a carb, but it's also more reliable and more efficient.

But anyway, ALL of the cars in my family have gone well beyond 200,000 miles easy. Several past 300,000. All were from the 80's all the way to 2007.

Oh - and voila, I save money too, because not only are all of my cars and trucks paid for, but they ALSO get good fuel economy and they are reliable.