Cars of the Future May Not be Treasures of the Past

Cars of the Future May Not be Treasures of the Past
Writer Geoff Wheatley compares the cars of the past to cars of the future
Published by: All Car Central Publishing
Date published: 01/29/2014

MG TD 1953 Lexus concept LF-LC 2013

A friend of mine recently purchased a new modern Japanese sports car that looks like it would get a speeding ticket just standing still. He once owned an early Ford Mustang but for reasons best known to him decided that the new sports car was a better investment. I have no argument with such decisions except when these owners start to tell me that this is the type of car that manufactures should have made years ago and these modern cars represent the classic of the future. I recall the same comments some years ago when BMW produced the then new mid engine MG.F (Later to be revamped into a modern MGTF) Today this once popular car is now the problem child of the so-called new generation of sports cars in fact you can't give them away in the UK where they first saw the light of day.. Unlike my sixty year old TD that I can work on with a set of wrenches and a screwdriver, the modern sports car with its computer controlled engine is beyond the average owner's ability and certainly could not be renovated in their home garage.

Although rust, once the cancer of most vehicles has now been almost banished from our new vehicles modern electric circuits have taken its place that can not be tested without a range of specialist equipment that I certainly could not operate. However, I can take my T Type MG apart in a weekend, work on any component with my set of second hand garage tools and have it back on the road by Monday. Try this on my Jaguar that has to go into the specialist dealer to have an oil change. Sure it's a delightful car to drive and will give me little trouble for the next 50,000 miles, the period of its warranty, but will it still be around in fifty years like my TD? I think not. I suspect that the same analysis applies to any modern vehicle but only time will tell and I certainly won't be around to see if I am correct. I suggest that the reason why such vehicles like the MG T Type and the Early Ford Mustang are still with us in respectable numbers and in regular use relates to the fact that the power unit is a basic component, simple in design and easy to maintain.

Now add the fact that in the case of the MG, I can take the whole car apart section by section and repair any defects. Try to do this on a modern vehicle and all you will have is a rear view mirror and four hub caps. In my garage right now is a 1959 MGA it is stripped down to the frame with the various parts located in any convenient storage spot that I can find. In the fullness of time each item will be restored to its former glory and assembled back into a delightful and truly classic car. I can do this without any electronic machine or what ever else they use today to find out if the engine is still operative. Further more my son and even my grandson can do the same thing in their home garage so the future of this MGA is reasonably secure. It's now almost fifty years old and I can see no reason why it can't make the big One Zero Zero with a little help from its friends.

In simple terms the success of these old cars is that we, the current owners, can keep those on the road like our fathers did and I hope our grandchildren will. I am not in any way belittling the modern vehicle which is comfortable, fast, reliable and nice to own but to suggest that these are the classic cars of the future is a touch ambitious. Some may be but they will represent the expensive range of modern vehicles unlike the MG or Mustang which by any standards was a cheap mass produced product in its day yet has become a true classic in its old age. I enjoy my modern vehicle and know that it will get me to where ever I wish to go. However, when it wears out and it will, neither you or myself will be able to do very much to keep it on the road and it will not be economical investments to have the local garage patch it up every few months. So I will purchase another new reliable modern vehicle to rest next to my sixty or seventy year old treasures in the garage. .
Geoff Wheatley ©

click here