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Hagerty Employee

Avoidable Contact #78: New cars with no excuses necessary

Yesterday we published an introspective column by Aaron Robinson, the accomplished and highly-regarded Executive Editor of the Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. Although Aaron's time in the business far exceeds mine—I was still doing midnight street racing for pathetic amounts of cash when he joined Car and Driver as a marquee contributor—he and I are basically of an age so I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for much of what he writes.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/opinion/avoidable-contact/avoidable-contact-78-new-cars-with-no-excuse...

16 REPLIES 16
Instructor

Vehicles today are built for much different reasons today. 

In the past they were styled and built for that emotional reasons to get people to buy them and use them as an extension of their personality. 

Today most are built to be of great utility while meeting strict mpg regulations, crash regulations and trying to keep it affordable. They have been called appliances and they really have become that. 

Years ago a 32 Ford was a canvas for an artist with a cut off saw. Chop a roof today on a car not a easy or practical task. 

While we still have some interesting vehicles they are in great decline. 

The vehicles supporting the performance aftermarket is the truck and Wrangles being sold. These can still be modified in their own ways and personalized but even they are at risk with today’s regulations. 

Many of the post 1980 cars are not going to be restored. Lack of parts and tech to restore them will be a problem. Then you face. The value vs cost of restoration. Most of these cars will cost much more than they are worth to restore. 

I am glad I lived mostly in that sweet spot of cheap 60’s muscle cars of the 80’s and new cars today better than we ever saw for performance. Yes we will have electric performance but it will lack that sound, smell and vibration that made you feel as part of the car. 

The bottom line is Rush would never write Red Barchetta about a Tesla. 

 

Intermediate Driver

You see glimpses of the future today in how easily you can unlock extra power from modern turbocharged engines. Plug a handheld computer into your car to reflash the ECU, and bam, the 70 HP difference between your GTI and a Golf R has disappeared.

Intermediate Driver

Someone in a Miata cut around me the a few nights ago and tucked in to make the next exit. The headlights on my Tacoma were about the same height as his mirror. He spent a very uncomfortable quarter mile or so before the exit ramp ended. I recall having the same sort of problems with my Opel GT back in the day. They're just not fun cars for traffic at night.

Intermediate Driver

Someone in a Miata cut around me a few nights ago and tucked in to make the next exit. The headlights on my Tacoma were about the same height as his mirror. He spent a very uncomfortable quarter mile or so before the exit ramp ended. I recall having the same sort of problems with my Opel GT back in the day. They're just not fun cars for traffic at night.

Pit Crew

Being a very happy owner of an ND2 Club I can't help but agree with the recommendation!

New Driver

Jethro Tull, Living in the Past. One of my favorites and yup, I just turned 65 y/o!!

Intermediate Driver

Beautifully said, Jack!! As my kids became teens I began to understand how aggravating I must have been to my parents. Long hair, bell-bottoms, loud cars and motorcycles.  Your kids need to see themselves completely different from you. It's their job.

Yesterday I looked at an iphone picture a friend took and I look exactly like my Dad. How cool is THAT?!

Pit Crew

"The whole purpose of young-person music is to exclude old people." Absolute truth. The first time I heard AC/DC, with loud three-chord rock & roll and a singer who sounded like a cat in a blender, I assumed they were going to be huge. I knew the parents would hate them and the kids would love them. 

As to average cars, well, they have always been average, but we are still in the tail end of the golden age of combustion engines. My co-worker's Focus RS would run circles around my old Shelby KR Mustang, and I recently drove my friend's Challenger SRT Demon. It was docile until it wasn't.

As long as we have fuel, we can drive them. That, I think, is the key.

Pit Crew

It's interesting to be talking about generational changes in music a day after Eddie Van Halen died. I'm 65 and I'm guessing there are lots of baby boomers who respect EVH as a guitar player but can't stand the band Van Halen, in any of its iterations. I respect success but that doesn't mean I always agree with its aesthetics.