The killer is income has not kept pace with auto costs. Much has played into this. Cost of materials, cost of labor, Cost of technology, cost of raw materials. all add up.
Back in the 60's it was possible for a high school kid with a decent after school job to buy a new car. Today it is a dream for many of any age to buy a new car.
My father had a 56 Ford and a 57 Ford. He got married and bought a house in 59 and then when the battery died in his Ford he walked to the Pontiac Dealer next to the store and bought a new Pontiac over a battery.
I recall growing up we had a new car nearly every year. But then the 70's arrived and the major killer was the regulations. Be it emissions, mileage and and crash standards added substantial costs to the new cars and it has all led to a decline in the American new car market.
People complain why do all the automakers pay attention to China? It is the only market with much growth. In fact a number of companies would be gone if it has not been for sales in China even if they have to split the sales with government MFGs.
We do have advantages today as high miles and rust are not like they once were. That 57 Ford my father traded in with the dead battery had a hole rusted through the floor in 3 years. So today even with the higher cost we have made some gains to where we can get more value from some cars today vs the past.
My uncle just traded off a S10 he bought new with 300,000 plus miles that he paid $9,999 for back when it was new. Water pump, brakes and one clutch and some tires was all it needed.
Kinda doesn't matter which bleeping word it was, because it doesn't matter the bleep because the system has gone bleeping hayware for bleeps bleeps bleeps as far as I can tell.
Very good point, which is something we considered adding, but The Manifold needs to be as short and sweet as possible. We just really wanted to show that old cars are growing in demand for a reason, and the growth of Autozone proves it (perhaps not even mentioning Tesla would have helped that.)