Sunday, April 1, 2012
What Happened to Cars?
I have often felt that maybe I’m in the wrong place at the wrong time. I see TV shows or movies set in the ‘50s or ‘60s and I can’t help but think how cool it would have been to live in such times. Mostly, for the cars. It’s always the cars.
Have you noticed that most of the ‘new’ cars seem to smell the same? Have you also noticed that no matter how many ‘old’ cars you get into, each one has its own, unique scent? I drove a ’73 Beetle for a while, and I have never smelled a car just like it. My ’68 Plymouth is completely different, but also very unique. I would know the smell anywhere.
Those were also the days when making bigger cars was actually a marketing plus. Family automobiles weren’t Honda Civics or Toyota Corollas; they were Chrysler Imperials, Ford station wagons, Chevy Suburbans. Sure, they still have vans and stuff today, and some of the SUVs are pretty big, but where’s the luxury? Where are the cars Grandma and Grandpa drove that we were embarrassed to be seen in as children? You want to talk about embarrassing, watch a big dude tooling down the street in a ‘Smart Car’. I think I’d rather be seen in roller skates, dancing to a Justin Bieber song.
And what about cars we could freaking work on? Have you even bothered to look in the engine bay of your new ride lately? You can’t even see the spark plugs in a lot of them. I like a car I can fix in the driveway with simple hand tools and a small bit of know-how. If I have to pay $300 dollars for a code-reader and then secure specialty tools for my auto, I’m doing something wrong.
Also, where has style gone? Remember when car manufacturers cared about what their cars looked like? I’m not saying that fins and huge, swooping lines should necessarily come back (although, now that I think about it...), but I can rarely tell one car from the next on the freeways these days. Is there no pride in ownership anymore? Why do a huge majority of people seem to want something that simply gets them from A to B? Maybe they’ve never driven a car that netted them the ‘thumbs-up’ sign at every stoplight, but it’s a super cool feeling.
I understand that with gas prices today, everyone wants to get 50 mpg, but what happens when you are t-boned in your tiny car? Nothing good, that’s what. I’d rather get 18 mpg and walk away from an accident, myself; I’ll never drive a small car. Yeah, I had a couple Beetles back in the day, but at least they had style. Also, I was nineteen; nobody knows anything at nineteen.
On one hand, I’m sort of glad they “don’t make 'em like they used to”, because that sets my ’68 Plymouth apart from all the other cars on the road. However, I cant help but shake my head at the sheeple who buy into the ‘must have something new’ mindset. Oh well, their loss, I guess. :)