Hooniverse Asks- Are New Cars Better or Worse Than Old Cars?

yesterday we asked about Forbes list of terrible, horrible worst cars ever, and you all found a lot to disagree with creepy Steve’s magazine’s choices. Today we want to know if you think modern cars are better to drive than old cars, or if, like the 1950s, those golden oldies were the best.

Obviously, there’s a lot more technology in cars today that make them safer, cleaner, and more efficient. That also makes them heavier, more expensive, and more complicated to repair when any of these new features goes belly up.

That being said, cars also seem to be more reliable than those of days past, however that may not actually be the case, as time has a way of clouding our memories. Quantifiably verifiable is the fact that modern cars will handily outperform their older siblings, and even a modest family sedan of today will mop up the floor with most sports cars of ten to twenty years ago. Of course, ultimate performance means little if the experience doesn’t speak to your soul, and slamming a Camry around a track may provide better numbers than doing so in a Dino 246, but I’d still rather drive the Italian.

Technology and consumer experience drive the demand for ever more capable products- whether they be cars that will brake for you when you’re too involved in what’s up your nose to notice the traffic stopped ahead of you, to lawn mowers that won’t chop off the fingers of the monumentally stupid. It’s just the natural evolution of things. And the fear of lawsuits.

So, what’s your take? Are the cars today better all around, and are better to drive because of that? Or, are old cars, with their quirks and potentially chest penetrating steering columns, more rewarding to drive?

Image sources: [thecartorialist, IDEI]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 64 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

65 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- Are New Cars Better or Worse Than Old Cars?”

  1. muthalovin Avatar

    Better? Maybe. In terms of reliability and unintended accelerations. Personally, I would rather have a 1993 Lightning F-150 than a 2004 Lightning. Why? Well, both are incredibly boss, and the newest Lightning is wicked fast, handles well (for a truck), and get good fuel economy (as long as your not doing doughnuts in the K-mart parking lot), but all that is of little consequence to me. The sound and the fury of the 350 blaring to the 5500rpm redline makes it better.

    1. legion Avatar

      Please tell me you didnt put a Chevy engine in a lighting. lol

      1. legion Avatar


  2. Black Steelies Avatar

    New cars are better in just about every imaginable way. They are harder to work on, but they need less work. Fit and finish is universally better in a new car and more standardized. Electronics on cars today are reliable to the point of dismissal. Onboard diagnostics can even tell you which systems may be troubled by certain components. New cars burn less fuel and belch less unconsumed hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. Safety is unparalleled by the cars of yesterday– as the YouTube '59/'09 Malibu crash test showed us all. Ergonomics are better than ever and cars can adapt to specific drivers, some even have user-memory. Cars today outperform their ancestors and do so with less chagrin.
    There is just one thing that new cars critically lack however– and that my friends, is soul.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      I was going to comment, but I read your comment and it pretty much summed it up. How do we define soul, though? It's hard to define and, apparently, even harder to engineer into your car. My simplest definition of soul (to me), is the way that the car makes you feel. How the car looks and sounds go into this, as well as how it goes. The noises, vibrations, and smells that it makes all serve to elicit an emotional response. When you're driving and you can hear your engine, hear the whine of your transmission, and feel the road through the steering wheel (which takes a manly effort to turn), you become almost a part of the car, not just someone telling it what to do.
      So I guess that modern cars have lost the soul by making everything too easy, and removing you from the experience.

      1. lones Avatar

        very true , i bought a new infinity sedan and kept my old 1991 toyota pickup 4×4 . thinkin that the newer car would suffice, I almost never use the sedan drivin feels non-existant in it .thank god i didnt sell the pickup which has never shutdown on me since purchase, i love to drive, just not in newer cars

  3. engineerd Avatar

    The answer is simply yes…and no.
    Modern cars are engineering marvels. Four wheel anti-lock brake systems tied into stability control programs and engines producing 400 hp but emitting less byproducts of combustion than a cow fart. We have 10-way adjustable seats, 8-speed automatic transmissions, DSG transmissions that let you shift faster and more seamlessly and without causing a charlie horse in your left leg while sitting in traffic. Air bags, and even seat belts, are standard courtesy of Uncle Sam. NHTSA and the IIHS have convinced the market that anything with less than 4 stars is a death trap and should be shunned. Even my Mustang has a LATCH system making it easier to stick a specially built seat into it to protect my mythical progeny, not that I'd want to try and get a kid back there in the middle of winter. Modern cars require much less maintenance. Oil change intervals are up to 7500 miles or more if you use full synthetic oils. Electronic systems monitor vehicle and environmental conditions and adjust spark and fuel so you always are operating efficiently. We don't have to lash valves every couple months, and re-jet carbs if we're going from Omaha to Denver. We don't have to fiddle with points and dwell. We don't have to grease the chassis. Transmissions are, for the most part, sealed. Hell, even coolant is good for 100,000 miles nowadays.
    The problem with modern cars is too often they lack soul, character and style. Even the high-end ubercars like a Bentley Mulsanne pales in comparison to a Type 57C. A Taurus SHO with a 365 hp twin turbo V6 is great, but it's too predictable. Too easy to drive. It doensn't force you to pay attention or to learn it's quirks and traits. You get in, turn the key (even those are missing on some cars, now…Nissan) and go. Get on the freeway and set the cruise control. There's a growing disconnect between the road, the car and the driver. The car is insulating drivers from what's going on outside. No real skill or knowledge of ones limits is required.
    Car design has become bland. In the pursuit of aerodynamics and mandated fuel efficiency standards (again, courtesy of our government) we have lost a lot of the freedom to provide unique styling. I think, too, that experiments like Edsel and Rambler have turned the car company designers into overly conservative copy machines. Don't ruffle any feathers. Don't go out on a limb. A Taurus looks like an A4 which looks like every other Audi which all are eerily similar to a Honda Civic and a Toyota Camry. They all look like blobs.

    1. AteUpWithMotor Avatar

      The taste in driving experience goes in phases. The typical American sedan of the late fifties or early sixties, for all its delirious stylistic excesses, had anesthetized power steering (try Chrysler's "full-power" steering of that vintage, which is so numb that it makes a modern Camry look like a 911), oversensitive power brakes, and soggy suspension. The only way you could call it less bland than a modern Acura TL, say, is the harrowing lack of stopping power and the tendency to scrape its door handles on the pavement in sudden maneuvers; the TL performs competently, if without any particular enthusiasm.
      I think part of the issue is simply that providing feedback and feel is something of a black art, and manufacturers are only beginning to sort it out for electric power steering and throttle-by-wire systems. The complaints made about electric p/s, notably, are very, very similar to the complaints originally made about hydraulic steering. There's no intrinsic reason it can't be made to work — and some newer electric p/s systems are becoming pretty decent — it's more a matter of tuning and intent.
      The problem I have with questions like this is that they come down to a sort of moral judgment on the worthiness of new technology, rather than the mentality that applies them. Cars look bland, if not ugly — and honestly, there are maybe three or four modern cars of any type that I find even moderately attractive — because the manufacturers have chased what they think will sell in the greatest volume. The MBA mentality that runs most businesses can't abide distinction for its own sake; it says that it's always better to have a blander product that sells 500,000 units than a unique one that sells 200,000 units, even if the unique product commands a higher price.

      1. facelvega Avatar

        I would say that across the board design was better on old cars, particularly from the mid-fifties to the mid-seventies, and in a different way as something more like craft than design in the years between the world wars. Independent design firms had far more power then, particularly in Europe, and they set the tone that in-house designers had to live up to. Also, before all the technology we bemoan and particularly before the unibody, the design object was a much simpler proposition and involved a much smaller team of designers, engineers, and subcontractors. That simplicity is what makes old cars so much easier to maintain once they are old than car built within the last ten or even twenty years.
        However, I’d like to propose that the decline has not been so much a failure of design (though maybe it was a failure of initiative in design) as it was a failure of vision on the parts of the engineers, guided as they are by the marketers and product planners. It is perfectly feasible today to design a lightweight, efficient car or trucklet with a planned service life of thirty years and modular parts most of which could easily be replaced with a small set of hand tools, and then just keep the more complex and electronic bits largely within these components. Moreover, engineers are now quite as capable of designing a car with a minimal set of electronic gadgets and a very simple wiring harness as they are one that is extremely complex and has a plastic lid over the engine. It’s just that right now the culture of the industry is such that nobody is asking them to do this.
        For instance, you could take a classic long-lasting car like say the Volvo 240, and a handful of engineers could rework it with easily-sourced parts to be faster, a few hundred pounds lighter, and get 30mpg, and then change the sheetmetal to make all the usual rust spots last ten years of salt exposure longer before they start to go, and finally tweak the frame for stiffness and competitive crashworthiness. There are people for whom this would be a weekend project. But the current mentality of corporate mergers, added weight, size, and “features,” and planned obsolescence would make this an incomprehensible project for the automotive industry.

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          The problem with your last paragraph's example is there's no way to actually produce that. You'd need a factory and a gazillion subcontractors.
          Secondarily, certifying a new car costs millions and millions, which is why regardless of content, the cheapest cars you can find the US are about 13k.
          "Service life" isn't a significant enough driver of sales in the market, particularly for cars.
          This narrative you have about "lack of vision" on behalf of engineers doesn't really match the way car companies actually work. They're run by business people, finance and marketing and the like, not engineers. The engineers built to the design requirements handed to them by marketing.

          1. facelvega Avatar

            I think I agree with most of your points, which are generally among the points I was trying to make above. However, I think you let the engineers off too lightly– it's not like they have no say in product development after all, and engineers are often enough chosen to lead brands. The bean counters don't really care about good engineering if the bottom line looks good, so there's room to do both the same old thing and something at least semi-revolutionary. Or do you think there is no market room for a pickup truck designed along the lines I mention with the 240 rather than the toys-and-chrome model?
            but also, I'm not sure what you mean by "certifying cars." Off the top of my head I think of Local Motors, Factory Five, Ace Cyclecars, the various iterations of Chuck Beck's company, and at least a dozen or so lesser versions of what Beck has been up to, all of which offer small batches of handmade cars without sinking "millions and millions" into any certification process. They don't get crash ratings, it's true, but you can buy, register, and insure them. A lot of the smaller makers force you to have an independent garage install the engine, but this is more of a formality.
            Obviously that sort of thing isn't for the ordinary car buyer, but what I was trying to think through is a model by which a major manufacturer could offer a car engineered along very different ideas than the ones that are currently near-universal.

          2. Tim Odell Avatar
            Tim Odell

            Re: low-volume manufacturers, yeah, these guys get exemptions based on volume. I don't know the specifics, but you have to sell under 1000 cars/year or something. The next problem is cars like this are nearly impossible to finance or insure.
            This is all cool if we're talking about Ariel Atoms or the like: low-volume, high-dollar cars, but if your'e trying to put together a Simple Car for The Masses, that's gonna be tough.
            Re: your 240-esque pickup…didn't we just have a discussion about the death of compact trucks?

        2. engineerd Avatar

          I've worked for one of the Big 2.5 as a contractor, and I've seen their engineering process from the inside. Trust me, it's not a failure on the part of the engineers. These are bright people who are handcuffed by their management. One test I worked on we were testing different insulating materials for the bottom side of the vehicle along where the exhaust ran. The engineer, based on the temperatures in the region and engineering principles, knew which insulating material needed to be used. The trouble was, it was $0.05 more than the standard material they used. So, he had to run a series of tests to prove to his management that the more expensive heat shield was really required. Now, you take that same mentality and spread it across the entire development of a vehicle and you can see why we wind up with the designs we do.
          I would also say that cars today are, in many ways, easier to work on than cars 30 years ago. They are modular. Rather than rebuilding a carb, you replace an injector or MAF sensor. A code reader will give you a good idea of what's wrong, which cuts down on troubleshooting time. Yes, there is more stuff to go wrong, but in general that stuff is fairly simple to replace.

          1. Tim Odell Avatar
            Tim Odell

            Agreed on not being harder to work on…just different.
            I've had to do more learning in how to work on my old cars than my new cars no one's ever going to convince me electronic ignition and EFI are more complicated than a 4-barrel carb and distributor.

        3. legion Avatar

          I was reading an article in a 1980s Popular mechanics where they took a 1970 Dodge Dart with a 340 v8, and tweaked it, and it had lower emissions than new production cars at the time

    2. Møbius Avatar

      How is that answer "simply" in any way, shape or form?
      But it is so right, says it all.

    3. Thelaneman Avatar

      Blobs is a good way to describe the apperance of most newer cars. The problem is that cars are no longer designed by humans, they are designed by computer programs, politicians and lawyers.(ok, the last 2 are partialy human). These days It seems that the ability to be creative and imaganitive in auto design or ANY endevour has been severely restricted by an ever growing list of regulations.

    4. Thelaneman Avatar

      I recently found a 1968 mustang coupe that is in need of restoration on a car lot and my 14 year old son fell in love with it, it turns out my father knew the owner so we got a great deal on the car. After working on the car at the lot for a few hours, we were able to get it running and shifting, so I drove it to my father's garage. OK,… I drive a 95 dodge mini van, so when I fired up that 289 and heard those glasspacks rumble as I took off looking down that long metal hood, I felt like Neo on the matrix when he took the red pill. Sure this car was rusty and the drivers seat was mostly duct tape, but it was a REAL CAR!!! I have'nt been in a car like this since high school, and it immediantly made me feel 25 years younger! My son an I have decided that we would rather rebuild a rusty clasic than drive a shiny new blob.

  4. Festiva_Movemnt Avatar

    The 2007 Subaru Legacy was, in my opinion, the pinacle of the Legacy range. 2008 meant the discontinuation of the Legacy Wagon in the States, and the successive generation of the Legacy saw it bulk up to nearly Impala proportions. 2007 FTW.

  5. Alan Avatar


    1. dculberson Avatar

      Beat me to it, that was going to my response exactly.

  6. Black Steelies Avatar

    I got your back, brah

  7. tmthayer Avatar

    I find new cars much more comfortable to ride in, but much more uncomfortable to _drive_. Real road feel has become a thing of the past, and we're given a simulation in exchange. I'll take a throttle cable any day over drive-by-wire!
    I realized this the other day as I was taking a hard corner in my little Ranger. The back end was scrubbing and I could feel the rear wheels tucking under a little bit. The steering fought back hard and came to center with enough force to nearly break my thumbs, and it just felt amazing. I'll take the heated leather seats and numb suspension when I'm 80 (and hopefully my keys will be taken away soon after that).

  8. joshuman Avatar

    This is a lot like the slow car fast or fast car slow question. For hauling the kids and getting the flowers at the nursery, I have something new. Sure, it is nearly impossible to work on but it shouldn't break down much. For a fun sunny day, I would rather have something older and slower that I can wring out within my abilities. Of the two 911s above, I choose the one on the right.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      I'd take either one of those 911s, but I don't really like Targas. Instead, I'll take a 993 coupe, and a 912 coupe, both with a sunroof. Also, wouldn't the newer 911 be easier to wring out because you can lift off the throttle mid-corner without spinning?

      1. dragon951 Avatar

        They are both Targas, the new being a 996 Targa.

  9. straight6 Avatar

    Without defining what "better or worse" means: Worse.

  10. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    The comment is logged in just fine (and I +1ed you just to prove it).
    IDC is very sensitive to cookie and cache weirdness. Clear both, close browser, then come back usually fixes it.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      I was having trouble with my old intensedebate account here, and I ended up just creating this new account. I would type a comment, then click the intensedebate button to log in. It seemingly logged me in, but my comments would not submit. I tried on firefox and chrome, and the problem was the same with both browsers. I wish I could describe better what the problem was, but I don't really know what was going on. I just deleted the old account, and this new one works fine. No big deal.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        I know that behavior, and…I got nothing for a real solution.
        I used to get that a lot on Speed:Sport:Life (who also uses IDC), but don't get it here.
        Again…cache and cookies are the best I've got for IDC.

  11. Tripl3fast Avatar

    I like the mechanical feel of older cars. It is a machine after all. Keep it simple and direct.

  12. Maymar Avatar

    Just to echo the sentiment here, the answer is both. I got a new Civic last week, and I'm completely pleased with it. It's quick enough, efficient, I'm told it's safe (but don't plan on testing that one out), has all the gadgets I need (re. aux. in on the radio), should give me no problems over the three years I own it, and since it's got the manual, it's reasonably fun to drive. And the Spaceman Spiff styling even gives it a bit of character. But give me the keys to an MGB for a weekend, and I'm sure as hell not going to turn you down.
    So really, the right answer is Mazda Miata.

    1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

      The little Hondas with manual transmissions are really nice cars, probably the best econoboxes out there. My mom's got an '07 Fit 5MT, and it's wonderful. Quick enough, stops well, turns on a dime, roomy, light, and efficient. 35 city and 40 highway MPG are pretty easily attained; we once saw 43 MPG on a weekend trip. Compared to my 924S, the Fit is bigger inside, better equipped, faster, handles better, more efficient, (much) more reliable, and it's 200 lbs lighter. Yes, it's 20 years younger, and cost a lot more than the 924S, but that's progress right there. I'd be okay to drive a FWD econobox someday, but it has to have a stick. Any car with a manual transmission is fun.

      1. dragon951 Avatar

        Really? How can the Fit be faster? If the Fit has 117hp, carries 2500lbs and sits on 175mm tires, I don't see how it could be faster than a 160hp, 2600lbs car on 195s with perfect 50/50 weight distribution. It looks like the diff ratio is higher in the Fit, but the gear ratios are higher in the 924S. Regardless, its time for some engine massaging to get it closer to 200hp. Also time to put the 924S on a 100lbs diet.

        1. Mechanically Inept Avatar

          Well, my Porsche is not in the greatest of condition. It doesn't start at the moment, so the Honda is the better car by default right now. The Fit does 8.7 seconds to 60 with 109 horsepower (it's an '07), and I don't think the 924 could do better than that.

          1. dragon951 Avatar

            In good condition it's supposed to be good for 0-60 in 8.0s.

  13. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    For most people whose main use of a vehicle is transpotation to and from _______, modern cars are superior in every way. Reliability is better, ride and handling on even the cheapest econobox surpasses that of older vehicles, and safety is head and shoulders above anything on the road even 10-15 years ago. You can, however, make a case for the character of older cars versus new, and that's an argument that is easily won. A 2010 Honda Accord, as great as it is for driving to the office and back everyday, doesn't have the soul of a '64 Galaxie 500. All I know is that there's no way I'd trade my 2008 TrailBlazer in on a 1983 S10 Blazer.

  14. Dr Jomamachubby Avatar
    Dr Jomamachubby

    For a daily driver EFI > carb every day of the year and double better in January, February, July and August. No other automotive innovation in history compares to fuel injection for shear awesomeness and simplicity. Those old farts that grouse about how you can't fix EFI on the side of the road with a paper clip are the ones you see on the side of the road fishing in the seat cushions for paper clips.
    Breakerless ignition and radial tires are also high on my list.

  15. Froggmann_ Avatar

    Honestly, it all depends on what you are looking for. If you want something comfortable, reliable and has some decent performance by far modern cars are where it is. If you are looking for something that is easy to work on, has style and is unrefined go classic.
    If you don't want any of the above, buy something from the 80s.

    1. Thrashy Avatar

      If you go late enough into the 80's, you can get a car with electronic fuel injection, and then you've got the best of both worlds IMO.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        Early EFI (on a non-turbo car) is super awesome and easy to work on.
        The UberBird's Motronic system is perfect: measures air in, measures burn on the 02 sensor, adjusts spark and fuel accordingly.
        Some of the implementation could be better…like, they don't need a whole 7th injector for cold-start conditions, and the air intake sensor doesn't need to be a giant flap in a box…but on the whole it's a pretty easy system to wrap one's head around.

        1. Alff Avatar

          I concur about '80's Bosch systems. I've had a couple of L-Jet cars. What they lack in tuneability they make up for in reliability and simplicity, particularly when compared to mechanical FI or carbs. The weakest link is the miles of vacuum hoses that certain manufacturers (cough Alfa cough) used to ensure emissions compliance.

  16. coupeZ600 Avatar

    I wouldn't know, my newest car is a '72.
    Seriously though, on a long road-trip, when I ask my wife if we should take my '69 Volvo 145 or her '05 Honda Cr-V, she always laughs. While I would have no qualms about jumping into the Volvo with the kids and heading out, a little part of me is glad she insists on taking her car.

    1. CptSevere Avatar

      You've got to admit, though, if the Volvo broke down on the road, it would be easier to fix yourself.

  17. Alff Avatar

    New cars are safer, more reliable and generally perform better. The are also larger, heavier and harder to work on.

  18. KillerZomBee Avatar

    Old. But that's just because I happen to drive old cars (most 30-40 years old) and am used to them, so I don't miss things like in-cabin filters and electric windows. I can always rent something new if the need arises.
    Old cars are generally easy to repair, which makes them a winner if you have the ability and desire to do it yourself.
    They also have a much more satisfying tactile feel to them. The radios go "click" when you turn them on, the wing windows squeek when you open them, the vents go "clunk" when you pull the levers, and even the fresh air blowing in is more satisfying in an old car. New cars have an annoying buffeting if the windows are open. I like to hear birds chirp and dogs bark when I drive.
    I spend less on registration, insurance and repair costs for all 9 vehicles combined than my wife spends on her one new car. So the bang-for-buck meter is pegged in my favor. Plus, I always have a dozen backups. And I can sell most of them for at least what I paid. No interest, no depreciation, no payments.
    The downside, if a new car breaks down, people say "Aw, that sucks when it happens". In an old car they say "SEE?!?!?"
    Then I pull out my tools and fix it. In a new car you pull out a AAA card and wait.
    I'll take old any day.

  19. Luntburger Avatar

    Difficult question, but it depends on the car. I prefer my current (and only) <s>car</s> automobile, a 1991 MB 420 SEL, in every way over my previous car, a 2001 Chevy Prizm. Yea, the Benz guzzles gas, the clearcoat is peeling, it doesn't have working aircon or a working radio or a working sunroof. But it drives, accelerates, handles and brakes better than many newer cars I've driven.
    I recently drove my neighbor's new Suzuki SX-4, which was fun at first, but after 10 minutes gave me a headache because I felt every bump in the road. Then there's the company car, a 2008 Dodge Avenger. Oh, mercy.

  20. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    If we define "better" as being the best at being the vehicle you want to own–not just drive, look at, be seen in or appreciate, but own with everything that comes with that, then no.
    Online many of us seem to live in a fantasy world where we don't care about crash safety, fuel efficiency or modern convenience.
    In reality, I suspect most here are driving something less than 10 years old (definitely 20). The replacement for that vehicle will also likely be newer than 10 years old. You can claim all you want, but you vote with your dollars. If an older car were truly better, you'd be driving one. That you're unwilling to make the sacrifices required to do so proves my point.
    I view my '64 Falcon and a luxury item…a toy. For the real ownership cost it represents, I could have a faster, more efficient, safer, air conditioned commuter car. There's no way I'd trust it as an only car, or as a daily driver for The Missus with Jr on board. It's the male equivalent of uncomfortable, but oh-so-stylish shoes.

    1. Black Steelies Avatar

      Yea i guess lady practicality usually triumphs in the end.
      We will always lust over Hollywood starlets or exotic models, but in the end, Prudence takes care of us and is less high-maintenance.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        I dated a girl named Prudence. She was pretty high maintenance and wasn't always good at taking care of me.

    2. engineerd Avatar

      Well said and absolutely right. For me, I'd rather have a car that I can get in and drive without having to spend every Saturday afternoon maintaining. When Mrs. engineerd is with me, I'm glad I have 4 airbags surrounding us and ABS. My next daily driver will probably be less than 10 years old. My next project car will most likely be older, more dangerous, and more soulful.
      I guess we are strange like that. We long for a car that represents some nostalgic, romantic ideal of what a car is, but when it comes down to it we want something comfortable and safe and are willing to give up feel and looks for that safety.

    3. Thrashy Avatar

      Granted, I'm a perpetually-single college student on a budget of no dollars a month, so my input is a little skewed, but still… my only car is a 19-year-old tin can that weighs half as much as anything on the road around it these days, and amounts to a rolling coffin in any kind of accident. Personally, I think in most respects it's a better vehicle than just about anything I could buy new. If you ignore the crash-worthiness, there's nothing currently made that can rival the directness and simplicity of my car.
      Once I graduate and find a job (ha!) I'll probably be on the lookout for a comfortable daily driver. However, the vehicles I'm currently considering are, with only one exception, *older* than my current car: Second-gen Celica Supras, E24s… and the new Fiat 500 (one of these things is not like the others…). Maybe my tastes will change when I've got a family — for one thing, some more doors might come in handy — but for me there's just nothing appealing in the current new car market.

    4. mdharrell Avatar

      Speak for yourself. My cars range from 1937 to 1982 (that last one I consider embarrassingly new, but at least it's British…), all of them are stock, and I don't give a damn about "crash safety, fuel efficiency or modern convenience" when driving them. These are my daily drivers; I have no other vehicles. My commute is about twenty miles (round-trip) each day and I regularly go on extended trips– on which I seldom encounter mechanical trouble despite the fact that all of my cars are unrestored and generally quite careworn. I've found that as long as the cars see regular use, they hold up okay. It's often said that sitting is the worst thing for a car and I'm inclined to agree; I suspect that may be one reason why people who use old cars only as occasional 'toys' don't trust them. I say drive them.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        That's why I said "most of you".
        I bought the Falcon a few months ago to be a daily driver. I'll be doing a >80 mile round trip commute in it. I'm in the middle of doing a clutch on it right now.
        I don't expect it to be unreliable, but the difference between "seldom" and "never" (like my Subaru and Jeep) is the difference between having it as an only car or not. I can't afford to miss a day of work b/c I need to screw with my car.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Ah, I took the "most" as going with "less than 10 years old" and the "definitely 20" as suggesting that people who regularly drive older cars are not to be found here. I wanted to provide a counterpoint: There are at least a few of us who do exactly that; we're not entirely mythical.
          I'm glad to hear the Falcon is on its way to daily-driver status. A friend of mine used a '64 Comet as a daily driver for many years before switching to a '65 Galaxie and was quite happy with it. Hmmm… which doesn't explain his switch to the '65.

      2. KillerZomBee Avatar

        See?!? YOU are the crazy one.

        1. Maleficus Avatar

          My daily driver is an Austin America, and most of the work done on it has been things related to age; clutch master, brake master, brakes (the original 40 year old brakes) etc. Aside from things like that going (I should have replaced them all at once, but being a student that hasn't always been an option, its been a great driver. Even though it isnt as safe as a new car on paper, I feel safer in it because I know exactly what is going on, I know how it responds, and I feel comfortable driving it, in other cars I realize they are technically better than mine in most aspects (not always mileage though) but I can't get the same feel in them and it makes me uncomfortable. Don't forget the most important safety feature of a car is the DRIVER.

  21. soo΄pәr-bādd75 Avatar

    I hit you up on both comments, just to make sure you're not losing that awesome +1 cred.

  22. Peter_Dushenski Avatar

    I’m going to base my answer entirely on the picture of the two Porsches in the article above because 1. I am unimaginative, and 2. Porsches hold a special place in my heart as they are the only non-Japanese car I desire to own. For Old Porsches vs. New Porsches, Old wins the battle. The air-cooled 911s were truly special cars, made to last for decades with proper maintenance. Perhaps further swinging the argument in favour of the Old camp is that the newer ones are primarily driven by “new haircuts”, and the styling of the 996 was pitiful. Driving an older air-cooled Porsche tells the world that you understand the finer things in life, even if in reality you don’t know the difference between Champagne and Sparkling Wine. Maybe Porsches of the 70’s and 80’s were unique because the company wouldn’t give up on the rear-engined formula, despite a movement among (German) automakers to make each car more inconspicuous than the last. To say that the last 15 years of Porsche 911 development was for not would be a stretch, but the older cars were lighter, fuel efficient, plenty safe, plenty powerful, and can now be had for a reasonable price. I’ll take a brown 964 Carrera S, please.

  23. Jim-Bob Avatar

    The biggest problem I see with a modern car is that it has an expiration date. Yes, it is better in almost every way compared to an older model, but the technical complexity of the electronics limit the possible lifespan of the vehicle. After 10-15 years or so, the wiring starts to have issues due to the lighter gauge wire that is used to save weight, and the plastic connectors that dry out and become brittle with time. Plus, while the car itself may be cheap to buy, it no longer is cheap to own due to the excessive expense incurred when buying replacement parts. If you found a simple old car in a barn from years past, say something like a Trabant, Zaporozhetz or Rambler American, you could likely figure it out and get it working again using basic hand tools and mechanical knowledge. Apply that same test to something like a Yaris, Accent or Versa after it has sat for 20 years in a barn and you are not likely to be able to resurrect it as easily. So, old cars are good if you are mechanically competent and just want to make it run while new cars are technically better, but only for a limited amount of time.

  24. CptSevere Avatar

    I've never owned anything with two, three, or four wheels manufactured before 1974, so it's easy to tell where I stand on this one. However, driving more modern vehicles is nice, I mean, having working air conditioning is convenient, so is fiddling around with a decent stereo. However, the fact that I can do all the work myself on anything I've ever owned is a real plus. So is the fact that the vehicles I've owned have all been distinctive, even the '74 Bug I had as a kid. I've never owned anything that would get swallowed up and lost in a parking lot, and rarely have I had someone pull up next to me at a stoplight driving the same thing. Yeah, new vehicles have all the bells and whistles, and may cruise effortlessly on the freeway at 80 while coddling you with satellite radio and GPS, but as has been noted above, they don't have the soul or eccentricity of older vehicles. I like the funk factor, myself, and the simplicity of the kind of cars that I'm into.

  25. Target29 Avatar

    This is why I want a Challenger. Modern machinery with old time presence and feel.

  26. Merrie Degner Avatar

    Hello, already been reading your blogging site for a long time. I manage a comparable journal however I always keep receiving a lot of spam responses, how do you maintain your blogging site so clean?

  27. Alcione Avatar

    was sailing by net and found your blog. Reciprocate the visit http://sensuaisegatas.blogspot.com

  28. dean Avatar

    Old cars are like "mechanical" and new cars are like "digital" yes digital is easy. . Cheaper. . Better.. lighter.. smaller. . And all that.. but somehow its just not as real.. and has no personality. . The soul has died. Like a vinyl compares to a mp3. Mp3 is easier.. but just not real.. I own 2013 polo.. 2014 cruz.. 2012 touareg…. and somehow my favourite by far is my w126 1991 500se merc.. its like she is the mother to the car kids.. she has soul.. she is real.. she talks to you.. the new ones just takes you to the shop.. the old car roles to the shop with you… and always asks to stop at the garage for a little fuel on the way back. Kind of like an old lady asking to stop by the teagarden for a cup of tea on the way back.. love them.. old cars that is.. not so much the old ladies. . Lol..