Old cars have their place in museums

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Whether it’s your two-car garage or the Petersen Museum, we need to lower the average age of cars on our roads.

Technology improves the average car. Modern metal is significantly safer for occupants and pedestrians. They are also cleaner, with the new transmissions being remarkably more efficient than before.

In fact, the cheap car has benefited the most. Take a look at the safety of a modern $ 20,000 car these days. You only have to look back five years to be shocked. Come back 10 and it’s terrifying.

This is only when you consider passive safety in isolation, such as structural cells and airbags. Once you start to factor in the real safety gains of active safety systems, it becomes even more telling.



Even the most affordable new cars are now equipped with technologies such as a rear view camera and autonomous emergency braking. In terms of standard active safety systems, Australian spec cars are among the best equipped in the world.

In the unfortunate event of a car accident, a new car can really be the difference between visiting your partner in the hospital rather than at the altar.

Rear view cameras, when used in public aisles or communal living situations, can change a situation of several ruined families for life, to mere anger when you saw the child.

Worse yet is a non-accidental scenario, where a grain-eating motorist crashes into a car and kills someone in the process. I imagine the victimized driver could never stand the guilt, but I know my old man’s taste for Froot Loops will never be the same again.



In case you haven’t, here are a few. Safety expert ANCAP says deaths in older cars (before 2000) are four times more likely to occur.

It’s all well and good to cast shade on commuter cars, however. For some strange reason, a different set of rules apply to performance cars. Ironically, while these are also cars, it’s a world of opposites.

Enthusiasts tell me that the old are much better than the new. They also cry out for the scandal of modernity. Even the more balanced say to me, “Justin, new cars are like the dentist – a necessary evil”.

Let’s call it auto the amateur’s dilemma, for the moment.

What I understand is that they understand why new performance cars exist and what services they offer, but think they are not very good. Or, figuratively speaking, they’d rather be somewhere else, and in this case, drive an old car instead.

When squeezed for details, these enlightened souls become lyrical about how technology and regulations have robbed cars of a “feel”. Complaints about increased curb weights, lifeless electric steering, and the death of the manual transmission, all of it is rhetoric. Keep in mind that the existence of electric steering was first designed to reduce emissions, but is now essential to the functionality of active safety systems.



I understand the sentiment and cannot help but agree in principle. In fact, we have the same discussions in the Car Tips office frequently. However, the threads we spin usually end when someone plays the best tricks with safety, as that really cuts down on any argument based on how you prefer your car to be.

After all, we to share the road with others. In addition, we will share the environment with future others too.

Also, we are living now. To be a car enthusiast and claim that new cars are inferior to old ones with subjectivity at the heart of your wisdom is like being a music lover who apparently hates new music.

As in, you are not an enthusiast. Hope this is clear enough.

UK based electronic music act Prodigy named an album after him – Music for the Jilted Generation.

Are there cars for the abandoned generation?



Absoutely. There are many, if you think clearly.

From a $ 19,490 Kia Picanto GT-Line with a five-speed manual to a $ 32,290 Ford Fiesta ST according to Alex Misoyannis, to a $ 190,000 Porsche 718 Boxster GTS 4.0 – there are cars for all budgets.

Think the Fiesta is too fast? Try a Suzuki Swift Sport.

Porsche too expensive? An Alpine A110 at almost half the price will get you started.

Doesn’t it make too much sense to buy such a small four-door Kia? Spend a little more dough and try an entry-level Mazda MX-5 instead.

If you’re lucky enough and the parents spend $ 20,000 on your first car, great! You can buy new, put their minds a little bit at ease, and still have fun. If you’ve worked hard enough to earn $ 200,000 for a weekend toy, it’s pretty much the same story.



Regardless of cravings, wealth or situation, car enthusiasts have never been so fulfilled. If you get off your chair and drive one of these aforementioned cars and hate the experience, I think you have bigger issues.

In 2008, the University of Leeds commissioned a fascinating study on how I am (like in you) is fundamentally shaped by something called “autobiographical memories”.

More precisely, that “Autobiographical memories are not distributed evenly throughout life; instead, memories peak between 10 and 30 years”.

It helps to shine some clarity on the the dilemma of car enthusiasts.

We need to start by understanding that describing something as “feeling” better is a clear subjectivity. In saying this, don’t think that I’m trying to undermine something that is loosely called nostalgia. Or in other words, how music, cars, memories, photos, or even smells can make us feel.

I’m a fan of nostalgia, that’s why I wear old band t-shirts. I also understood that I am not the only one who has this feeling. That’s why you love the smell that a 253 gives off on the choke. Or why you smile when you hear your kids peel off the hot sticky vinyl after a club run in the Mazda RX-7.



Perhaps this is the joy you feel in passers-by as they point to your Honda Legend coupe and exclaim to their children, “Grandpa had one, the same color too!”.

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The second you are objective, however, old cars never make sense. Already. The smell of this 253 contributes to a future that I don’t want to live in, but a future that I have to accept that my grandchildren could almost see. A vinyl bench seat with lap belts means people become projectiles, not passengers, in an accident.

They don’t stop either, or run as well as anything modern. Structurally, they are weak, even before considering issues like rust and damage from previous accidents.

FYI, I had old cars, and just bought another one. However, they are rarely used. Not because I don’t want to wear them out, but because I always consciously take into account the risk I take in using them. Not just for me, but for others here and later in life.

Moderation and mitigation are essential. Accidents that hit the prudent are usually never their fault either. There is a time and a place for the things we care about. In my case, I have learned to accept and appreciate the ornamental value of an old car as one of its best points. My shed is equally a workshop, as it is a museum.

Always be aware of the power and hold of nostalgia, and its power to keep us from enjoying the present.



Worse yet, being at fault in a disaster.

Recently, a 1977 Holden Torana sold for $ 425,000. Here you don’t lose anything other than your hard earned. Disaster maybe, but money comes and goes.

The worst part is losing someone you love because you or them wanted to drive something cool three times a week.

Twice long, hard and twice about life “too short to drive boring cars”.

If you ignore this nonsense, new ones might offer you more.

Justin narayan

After more than a decade working in the product planning and marketing departments of brands like Kia, Subaru and Peugeot, Justin Narayan has returned to being an automotive writer – the very first position he has held in the industry.

Learn more about Justin Narayan


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