Will you help settle an argument between my uncle and me? He is so stuck in the past. He says the cars of today aren't nearly as good as the old ones and that they are just overpriced junk! I say baloney! Cars are much better now than ever before. Give me some pointers on how to convince him.
Coincidentally, I received this letter as well...
I need your advice right away. My nephew is all head-over-heels in love with these new tin cans. I tried to tell him that nothing compares to the cars we had way back when. What I need from you is some examples to prove my point. You know, big block Chevys, chrome bumpers, that sort of thing. Come on, let's blow him out of the water on this one.
Don't you love it when people argue about things that they can't do anything about, anyway?
Ever notice if someone is customizing a newer car they never look for older technology to substitute for the new? For example, I have seen many antique cars refitted with tilt steering wheels and McPherson struts, but I never have seen a late model Corvette retrofitted with knee action suspension. Ok, uncle, I can see that rose colored glasses fit you the best. Of course, it may seem from this distance that a 1962 Chevy Impala SS convertible is a much better chariot than any of this stuff we have today, but let me ask you, "Have you driven one lately?" Occasionally we get an old car or pick-up truck in to work on in our shop. Let me tell you, cars have come a long way. Oh, the old factory hot rods take off fast enough, but try to drive one at 70mph on the road. They don't handle well, they don't ride comfortably and they don't stop well. In fact, in a hard stop they are all over the place with at least one brake locked and skidding and you wonder if it is going to stop at all. Additionally, where is the cruise control? How about the air conditioning? The power mirrors? Ever notice how dependent we have become on the passenger side mirror to navigate traffic? Where is it? Bias ply tires make me feel like the steering wheel is only there to suggest direction to the vehicle. It seems to wander pretty much where it wants.
Undeniably, cars have lost a lot of the sense of freedom once designed into them. As safety features become more prominent and the car seems to do more of the driving for us I guess this is the price we have paid. Yet, try to compare any of yesterday's vehicles feature-by-feature with a new Impala effortlessly navigating rush-hour traffic at 70mph, air conditioning on, cruise set, CD's or DVD's playing all while turning in an impressive 34mpg and you will be hard pressed to make your point.
JB Griffin is an ASE Certified Master Technician. He owns and operates JB's Japanese and American Auto Repair in Evensville, Tennessee. You may e-mail your car questions to email@example.com