pdp1@EARTHLINK.NET on wed 20 jul 05
I remember in...what was it, 1972? The Aye-Rab Oil Embargo and so on?
Gasolene prices lept way WAY the hell 'up' to 32 or 34 Cents a gallon?
Had been 22 Cents-a-Gallon just before that, where I bought it, at 'White
Front' in South San Francisco..then...
All them lines, in California anyway, even-odd-days as for your licence
plate number and so on...tempers flared, shootings and beatings and
car-rammings and so on at
the gas pumps...on and on...mostly still 'real' Gas-Stations then, no
All sorts of people dumping their Cads and larger series GM or Mopar or Ford
or Lincoln Cars
and buying 'new' silly little Japanese peanut-cars, that would get 'better'
milliage...(Well, anything much after the '66 or '68 model years was kinda
pathetic anyway, but for some few Mopar and GM exceptiones, but...) not
gave a damn 'about the environment', but because the psychology of spending
32 Cents or 34 Cents-a-Gallon for Gasolene had freaked everyone out so
bad...since a week before it had been 22 to 25 Cents-a-Gallon.
My dad was flipping out about all of that also, and was trying to decide
what 'new' Car to buy that would get 'good' milliage ( he had a '68 Ford
Galxie that was a real donker in my view, where if he'd have had say a '69
Pontiac Bonniville or something with some engineering integrity and class, I
would have approved, and sincerely...)
The more I looked at all the available options, the 'worse' it all looked to
So... I fanned through the want ads in our local paper, and found a really
REALLY nice, peppy, clean, two-tone ( Yellow and white) 1959 Nash
'Metropolitan' with the optional
Hi-Compression (4 Cylinder 1000cc OHV Austin ) Engine, low miliage, nice
paint and interior and so on, first year those had the Trunk you could get
to from the outside, and still had the factory original "Lucas" Battery in
it that lasted from then on just as nice as pie... for $225.00 and I
benevolently played him with how I wanted
him to evaluate it for me, would he go look at it with me and so on, and I
prentended I was gunna buy it and wanted
him to check-it-out and so on to advise me...test it out and so on...
Well, the more I told him about it, and him kicking the Tires and closeing
the doors and looking under the hood and all...and once he got behind the
that 'test drive'...well...he loved it...!
Those drove like a miniature '51 Desoto...and never ever felt 'small' even
though they were small. They felt 'solid', and handled well, too.
You could see it written all over him, even though he was trying to conceal
So I kinda said, "Gee dad, this Car is very cool and I sure like it! But...
ya know, I really need something bigger to haul plywood and other things
in...but thanks for looking at it for me..."
And since I could tell HE liked it so much, but that he in a way needed
someone to bless that for him, I kind of diplomatically steered things to
give him, or let him find in his own head, permission TO
do what he wanted...and, so he went ahead and got it...and he was so happy!
And he really loved that little Car. It was a great Car too in it's way and
I also was very fond of it. He was like a teenager again, having a Car he
really LIKED...he took great care of it and was allways trying to find
little things to work on it about, even though it needed about nothing to be
done to it.
All his pals at work vied and bragged on how their 'new' silly-assed lack
luster style appeasement tee-vee-dinner-tray peanut-cars got such great
miliage and so on, and by gosh, my dad had a cool Car that got
justuhsgooda-miliage and looked one whole hell of a lot better doing it,
No one else had a Car they were proud of or enjoyed...no one else had a Car
they wanted TO work on even if it needed nothing, no one else had a Car they
wanted to wash and wax on Saturday in the driveway, all they had, was a
'miliage figure' they could say was stuck onto a bent-up tee-vee-dinner-tray
that was car-chaped in a boreing way anyway...so...who had the most fun?
And as far as anyone pretending they 'care' about the environment when it
comes to these matters...
The energy it takes to BUILD through all phases unto rolling off the line,
anyone's 'new' Car or
Truck...is far in excess of what in milliage, that Car will ever make up
If you buy something old, and intrinsically interesting and meritorious,
something cool and fun and way practical to own and maintain and drive,
something that was a good design to begin with, you
also get no, zero, nada energy
deficit over it's life from then on. That is if you 'care' ebout the
'environment' ( whatever it is really, in practice, that that means
anyway...) and, care about how having a Car CAN be something fun ( 'again'?)
If you get a few miles less per gallon than some $25,000.00 or $40,000.00
computerized, nobody but some hi teck shop can work on it anyway and every
little part you will ever need is "expensive" as hell, and recalls, and
wierd problems and ugly insectoid dashes and so on, (what about the
translation of energy expenditure it took you to pay for the damned
...and you are into your cool old Car a few grand or something instead, and
parts are way WAY
less expensive and YOU or anyone can Work on it, and take care of it...
I have a '33 Buick, I am (WAY) behind on some things with it, so it is still
sitting on Jack Stands in here, but...even the
WORST, most hard-to-get or expensive parts for it, are less dough than the
equivelent parts for your
Cars, so...what the hell...ya know?
Whatever their age, this was so with all the Cars I have owned.
You need a new Tail light lense ( likely a whole unit for you) for your
saturn or cad or daihatsu, what is that gunna run you?
...a lot more I will wager, than one for mine...(for one or the other of the
two part flat glass lenses, or, if I just need a new Bulb, where you gotta
buy a whole new unit...)
I can install a new set of generator Brushes or Starter Brushes for about
what a pack or two of Cigarettes cost.
You will pay a hundred or several hundred bucks for a whole new unitzed
component AND it will likely be one ( "1" ) big, giant pain-in-the-ass to
install, too, for your Car...but, not for mine...where most anything that
would ever occur IS easy to get to, easy to do...
And usually too, if I need a part, I can deal with it myself, too...no
mysteries, no bullshit...no junk made offshore and called OEM while having a
short , cynical lifespan.
I make a few calls, locate what I am after, it shows up fed ex or in the
Mails...and is what it is.
And my Car is kind of extreme for an example, say, compared to getting parts
for a '62 Chevrolet, or a '56 Dodge or something...too...
On and on...
You have 'won' on many fronts...
And might just look good doing it, too...
And, it is something you can like, for real, and not just 'cause some tag is
hung on it about how it gets three miles to the gallon more than say, my
Buick...and will be junk in five years anyway.
Believe me, I can haul a Trailer just fine with it too...or, haul your Car,
with a Logging chain, even if you got the Brakes on full...and it is hopping
and making skid marks, like it was a sled full of rocks, for that
matter...that Buick would pull that just fine...
I like low end torque, donchaknow...and low rpms...
Seems to me...
Snail Scott on thu 21 jul 05
I drove an old truck for a long time. Not great
mileage, but I had to wonder how much energy
gets used to maufacture that new, more efficient
vehicle, and how long it would take before the
net fuel savings offset the environmental cost
of manufacture. Quite a lot, I suspect.