Old cars suck


I’ve always wanted to own an old car. Growing up, my dad and I would talk about buying an early 1970s Chevrolet Chevelle to fix and fix ourselves. When I was older and bought my first car around 2009, I looked at countless 80s Porsches, 70s Mercedes and unloved 60s muscle cars before choosing a decidedly 2000 Ford Mustang GT. more recent. I’m glad I did because as I learned during MotorTrendCelebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Ultimate Car of the Year, old cars will only break your heart.

The ultimate car of the year was meant to be a celebration of 70 years of MotorTrend. We put together the biggest car of the year winner of every decade and judged them back to back. Starting in the 1940s we had the very first car of the year, a 1949 smooth black Cadillac Series 62 Sedanette. The 1950s was represented by a beautiful turquoise 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air convertible on white. For the ’60s we had nothing but the GOAT: a 1968 Pontiac GTO. The’ 70s were represented by a Citroën SM from 1973, the first foreign car to win the COTY. Speaking of which, from the ’80s we had a remarkable Import Car of the Year, a 1988 Mazda RX-7. From the’ 90s we had a 1996 Chrysler Town & Country (representing the winning Dodge Caravan. of that year), while the 2000s had a 2004 Toyota Prius. Last, but not least, was a Tesla Model S representing our 2013 Car of the Year.

Staged atop an abandoned nuclear missile site in the hills above Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, our immaculately preserved seven Car of the Year winners glowed in the sun. I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. At the end of the day, I couldn’t hand the keys over to their very nice owners quickly enough. While I won’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy having the GTO’s 6.6-liter V8 in front of me, or that I like to lean around corners with the SM, the experience was marred by poor quality – by modern standards – old cars drive. Slow acceleration, soft brakes, vague steering – how you baby boomers survived being driven by your parents and your teenage driving is beyond me (more power for you, though).

Not to mention the multitude of mechanical and electrical gremlins we endured throughout the day. The Bel Air, for example, was limited to 15 mph due to a tuning issue. The electronics in the Prius, ironically enough, were not working. And, at the end of the day, all of the cars except the Tesla and RX-7 had dead batteries.

Modern cars, on the other hand, work. Their engines start the first time; they burn relatively cleanly; and they make a lot more horsepower than their predecessors. They can also be more endearing than their ancestors. Take what was probably my favorite car of the day, the GTO, for example. While I can find absolutely no fault with its 350-horsepower V8 – an engine apparently designed primarily to turn hydrocarbons into noise and skew-pleated radials into smoke – its mushy drum brakes and over-boosted power steering are woefully inadequate. for a car with that kind of straight line performance.

Now there are obviously no direct descendants of the GTO today, but I would say a car like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Red Eye is the spiritual successor to the GOAT – loud, fast, childish and powerful. The Challenger is entering areas that its predecessors, even improved with modern technology, simply cannot match. It’s more than twice the horsepower of cars like the GTO, has a smart and fast automatic transmission with double the forward gears and, although the Challenger isn’t exactly the best in its class when it comes to braking or handling, the steering is still engaging and relatively precise, while the brakes have at least some bite.

Yes, modern cars are bigger and heavier, and for better or worse, more technologically advanced than their ancestors, they are not only more attractive than older cars, but they also perform reliably. I get the allure of old cars, but I have no doubts that they will only break your heart.


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