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Thread: What has happened to the once great automobiles?

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    Cool What has happened to the once great automobiles?

    Once upon a time way long ago, there were several auto manufactures who had designers that made sure the cars even from the same maker of several makes, Ford, GM, Chrysler etc were different from each other. When a person bought a new car, they purchased the basic probably lower cost car, then they moved up. In those days, cars were different. I remember sitting on a corner with freinds and we would tell the make and sometimes years of the cars that went by. Now, who knows what anything is. One has to look for a name ingraved in a plastic bumper or there might be a plastic name plate stuck on the car somewhere. Cars, with the exception of our "real cars" from the past are not exciting or even interesting anymore. The big difference to me is how much one is willing to pay for the overpriced, plastic throwaways of today. Yes cars of yesteryear needed more manitainance but we could do much of it ouselves. Now days, you break a bank just for minor repairs. Thats all I have to say for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hudsonrules View Post
    Once upon a time way long ago, there were several auto manufactures who had designers that made sure the cars even from the same maker of several makes, Ford, GM, Chrysler etc were different from each other. When a person bought a new car, they purchased the basic probably lower cost car, then they moved up. In those days, cars were different. I remember sitting on a corner with freinds and we would tell the make and sometimes years of the cars that went by. Now, who knows what anything is. One has to look for a name ingraved in a plastic bumper or there might be a plastic name plate stuck on the car somewhere. Cars, with the exception of our "real cars" from the past are not exciting or even interesting anymore. The big difference to me is how much one is willing to pay for the overpriced, plastic throwaways of today. Yes cars of yesteryear needed more manitainance but we could do much of it ouselves. Now days, you break a bank just for minor repairs. Thats all I have to say for now.

    The problem with "one upon a time" is:

    Once upon a time, spark plugs, points and condensers were good for 20K miles. Today ignition parts are good for 100,000,maybe more.

    Once upon a time, engines were worn out well before 100k miles. Now they go three times as far.

    Once upon a time exhaust systems lasted two or three years, now they last for 20.

    Once upon a time, bodywork rusted through in three years or less. Now maybe 15 years.

    Once upon time tires lasted 15k miles, now it's 40.

    One upon a time paint was good for 5 years, now it's good for 15.

    Once upon a time, a fast car would, maybe do 90 mph before it blew up. Nowadays, you can run them balls out almost forever.

    And, once upon a time, a simple bacterial infection would kill you. Today we have antibiotics.

    But, if you really think cars and other things were better once upon a time, you can find somewhere a perfectly restored 1954 Studebaker. It will cost at least as much as a new Honda. And with minimal maintenance, that perfect Stude will be junk in 50k miles, and the Honds will go 200k.

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    I've heard they don't make them like they used to.....good thing.

    The old cars do have character though. I remember naming the cars and years of cars out front our house when I was pretty young. Can't do that now, except for the same ones i memorized in the fifties and sixties!
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    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    All cars made today look the same? Well, I suppose the same thing could have been said of the automobiles built back in the 1920's. But just like automobiles made back in the 1920's, there are exceptions as there were some makes/models of automobiles that were very unique. I have a 2015 Dodge Charger which I believe is unique, it doesn't look like anything else on the road except for other 2015-2017 Dodge Chargers. Of course, that is just my opinion.

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    In the 1950s I remember my Father saying that all modern cars looked the same. "In the 20s and 30s each car was distinctive." It all depends on your perspective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hudsonrules View Post
    Once upon a time way long ago, there were several auto manufactures who had designers that made sure the cars even from the same maker of several makes, Ford, GM, Chrysler etc were different from each other.
    "Once great" to me is NOT style so much as build quality, refinement and prestige in the high-end luxury car market.

    There were 'Once great' offerings from each of the (once) Big Three which handed over their high-dollar, high-profit car market to the likes of Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Audi starting back in the late 1960's, early 1970's. Cadillac, Lincoln, and Chrysler Imperial were all world contenders for the premium luxury car market in the 1930's, but in the interest of volume after the war, the big-three started lowering the status of them, such as replacing genuine wood trim with plastic wood trim, increased sharing of engines and other components with the much lesser lines of cars to the point where they have never recovered in the case of Cadillac and Lincoln. On the other hand, the German marques maintained their status despite lower volume than the once-Big Three's luxury contenders.

    Craig

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    For me, new vs old is a double edge sword. Modern vehicles, when they are good, they are fine. When something goes wrong, they are a pain in the backside. EG; I had a 2000 Dakota with the 4 cyl engine. Had a check engine light come on. Went to a buddy that ran a shop and the code (gotta have a code for EVERYTHING) said throttle position sensor. Replaced it, but a few days later check engine light was back. Went back to my buddy, same code. Figured it was a bad part and replaced. Same thing happened a week later. Did the same, replaced the sensor. Week later, same thing AGAIN. I happened to be near another buddys shop so swung by him. Now, I have to add that there was an issue with the speedometer, needle was starting to "bounce". Had this gentleman check out both issues. Turns out, the speed sensor (located in the differential) was giving out. What was happening was the speed sensor fed thru the ECM. Being as the speed was NOT matching what the ECM thought it should be, based on the throttle position sensor input, the ECM thought the throttle position sensor was bad and would give that code. $12 for a new speed sensor and everything was fine.

    My question. Whats wrong with a cable? Worked fine for 100 years. I'm having an issue now with a newish motorcycle. Throttle is "fly by wire" and I'm having issues. Bike is under warranty so there isn't much expense, but it's a pain. No rhyme nor reason for when it will act up, and each time the dealer fixes something different, based on the code. Again, what was wrong with a cable? Simple, effective and fairly reasonable to buy. I've seen the cost listed of the parts that have been replaced, and I know that I have spent far less on an intake, carb and headers for a V-8 engine.

    On my older vehicles, I know what to work on, and even know how for the most part. Anything new, not so much. Brakes, oil change, hard parts yes, engine/running issues not so much.

    I also am a fan of the styling of older vehicles. I was one who could also tell the make, and often times the year, by looking at the tail lights. These days, everything looks the same. Last Thanksgiving, I was visiting with my dad. As we were leaving a restaurant, he needed to make a pit stop so I just went on outside and waited for him near his vehicle. He came out a few minutes later and walked over to a different vehicle. I wondered what was up, until he unlocked the door. He has a 2016 RAV4, and I was waiting at a Ford Escape(I think). Same color, same design, slight difference in the tail lights, and C pillar, but so close that at a casual glance you would have thought they were from the same manufacturer.
    Money may not buy happiness, but it's more comfortable to cry in a Mercedes than on a bicycle.

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    The way I see it, the "once great" auto makers have had to adjust to be more competitive in the market place. It costs more than ever to retool a new car. So, the car makers have adjusted well I think. There's more competition from foreign makers and U.S. companies seem to be doing well.

    Rog
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    I think the Great automobiles ended when they quit using metal to build them. The new cars have more plastic, than steel. They must be far cheaper to build, because they can mold any shape that they need, rather than trying to stamp it out of steel.

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    Automobiles are now appliances. You use them up and toss them out. They're engineered to the minimal structural standards required to pass Federal Safety/ crash inspections and built by robots. There's no need to put a lot of craftsmanship into one any more. No one would appreciate it

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    I'm sorry... but a 1957 Ford was certainly different looking than a 57' Chevy or Chrysler or an AMC or a Studebaker. The designers were drawing these bodies with an artistic flair in hopes of drawing a buyer to their creations. Today all vehicles are "drawn" by computer to consider air flow characteristics and fuel mileage, Government regulations, ect. This dictates their design rendering them all to look basically the same. Certainly not my idea of creative art. We all know new car advancement is amazing but the style of older cars is certainly more interesting. Some prefer yesterday's designs with today's technology. That may explain the rise in the "custom" market at today's auctions. ( more interesting older cars with modern running gear and electrical technologies.) For me...keep the old car as original as possible. Either way, at least we can recognize what make of car is coming down the road from a distance.

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    President Member j.byrd's Avatar
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    My take on this is sort of a two-sided take I guess. We have a 55 Studebaker and a 63 Austin Mini at the present time which we refer to as our "real" cars, and keep in a garage. Then, we have a Ford Sport-Trac and a Miata which we refer to as "our throw-away cars". I wouldn't want to be without either type, but if the late ones give up or something else happens to them, I have a "so what" feeling...they are easy to replace...however, if the oldies got smacked or something, I'd be wallowing on the floor like a baby over my precious car, ha ! The old cars are so fabulous, but the new cars these days are near perfect for ANY occasion, so we're gona' stay with the "two-type" family thing. Love 'em all !

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    Quote Originally Posted by raprice View Post
    The way I see it, the "once great" auto makers have had to adjust to be more competitive in the market place. It costs more than ever to retool a new car. So, the car makers have adjusted well I think. There's more competition from foreign makers and U.S. companies seem to be doing well.

    Rog
    You mean the two surviving (U.S. companies) out of more than 100?

    EDIT: I am discounting low production specialty companies like Tesla (and previously Avanti).
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    I think what we need is quality retro styling and mechanical simplicity. The Japanese love all things 60's from the USA, maybe they'll do something interesting. Of course, the Great Sleeping Monster is the inevitable invasion of Chinese made vehicles. Who knows what this will lead to. •••••

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    One reason cars seem to appear alike is that gas mileage in now a factor for manufacturers to meet. Think of a drop of water falling. Being a liquid it conforms to the shape necessary to pass though the air. Want cars to get better mileage..., make them in a similar shape to a rain drop (and still make it a functional car). Part of that process is the molded in bumpers that create smooth air flow. So, now you have a common shape and a common bumper blend. Lastly if a manufacturer builds a popular car others jump on the bandwagon and create something similar.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    One reason cars seem to appear alike is that gas mileage in now a factor for manufacturers to meet. Think of a drop of water falling. Being a liquid it conforms to the shape necessary to pass though the air. Want cars to get better mileage..., make them in a similar shape to a rain drop (and still make it a functional car). Part of that process is the molded in bumpers that create smooth air flow. So, now you have a common shape and a common bumper blend. Lastly if a manufacturer builds a popular car others jump on the bandwagon and create something similar.
    Something about that statement remindes me of some cars from long ago with streamline styling.. Nash 1949- 1951, Studebaker 1949-1951 and a few others with fast/back styling.. Obviously though sadly, it didn't work then either..

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    I agree that the more diverse car market sixty years ago brought us automobiles with more character, more individuality... even if technology, durability and efficiency have advanced much since then. Of course, a lot of the marketing back then was carefully planned. GM had a carefully conceived program of makes and models offering a steady upward progression of price and perceived prestige. Ford and Chrysler followed with varying success. DeSoto was an early casualty. Nance tried the GM strategy (with few resources) at Studebaker-Packard. South Bend offered the low and lower mid-priced cars (mirroring Chevy and Pontiac) and the truck line. In '56 the three series of Clippers, the Packards and finally the flagship Caribbean tried to cover the same bases as Olds, Buick and Cadillac... while they lasted. Advertising from the Nance era often touted S-P as "one of the world's four major full-line producers of cars and trucks."

    It's still remarkable that for so many years Chevrolet, Buick Oldsmobile and Pontiac divisions each continued to build a distinctly different 350 cubic inch V8.

    Governmental regs (safety, emissions and economy) all helped change the auto world. So did changing consumer tastes. SUVs and "crossovers" are the hot tickets. Sedans and large coupes are an endangered species. And some American products of the late seventies, early eighties are still remembered for the depths of impracticality, poor quality and lousy performance. Huge luxo-barges with opera windows were not a useful contribution to the motoring world.
    Last edited by riversidevw; 07-15-2017 at 10:40 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsenecal View Post
    I think the Great automobiles ended when they quit using metal to build them.
    Corvette owners would disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    Corvette owners would disagree.
    Possibly a couple of Avanti guys too!
    , ,

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    I used to be an auto news junkie. Subscribed to several industry magazines and email alerts. The conversation on "Stove Huggers" used to be mostly about what was in the Brand X Pipelines, and what everyone thought about them. In the last decade, that's all come to a complete stop. Deserved or not, the industry has been forever changed, very negatively in my opinion.

    I've canceled all my automotive subscriptions. All the focus seems to be on types of cars and a newer company that builds them with a certain type of propulsion system. One of the Big Three is Italian, the other is adrift trying to find it's own identity again after total mismanagement, and Wall Street is doing it's best to make the one that was able to keep it's identity conform to it's view of the "new normal".

    Either the "new normal" wins, or there's going to be a more traditional path forward. One thing for certain, even the oldtimers never lived through the changes we've seen. But, some heavy hands have made darn sure things will never be quite the same. I'm hoping I can get interested again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetolbob View Post
    Possibly a couple of Avanti guys too!
    Also Lotus and Ferrari owners.

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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    When I was just a kid I read Tom McCahill's articles about the new cars, and for the next 50 or more years the American public was being constantly told by the manufacturers that "ours is better because it is bigger". Even as a child I was puzzled by this nonsense. Then there was the issue of fit and finish - I always thought all the chrome was to distract us from the poor quality of the body and interior. Except for a few actual "car guys" like Duntov, DeLorean, Shelby etc, the big manufacturers were mostly run by people who really didn't care about cars. Apparently Studebaker was an example of this.

    In the 1970s, what I call the "Harvard business school" mentality took over corporate America. NOTHING matters except the bottom line. Even if you have good profit and your customers are happy, you must have more profit and more market share this year or you are not being successful. I knew we were doomed when I saw this happening in the banks. I am old enough to remember when a banker thought his most important responsibility was to take care of my money. Have you had that feeling lately? During my last few years at Boeing, they did not even try to hide the fact "our responsibility is not to the customers or the employees, but to the stockholders."

    All this change in emphasis, plus the proliferation of computers to control every function in our cars, has inevitably led to what we have now. Today a "great car" is only great when all the computers are working properly.
    Last edited by 48skyliner; 07-16-2017 at 02:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48skyliner View Post
    In the 1970s, what I call the "Harvard business school" mentality took over corporate America. NOTHING matters except the bottom line. Even if you have good profit and your customers are happy, you must have more profit and more market share this year or you are not being successful. I knew we were doomed when I saw this happening in the banks. I am old enough to remember when a banker thought his most important responsibility was to take care of my money. Have you had that feeling lately? During my last few years at Boeing, they did not even try to hide the fact "our responsibility is not to the customers or the employees, but to the stockholders."
    No disagreement with your argument, but I would like to consider why these changes took place, at the expense of taking the discussion even more off-topic. When the Studebaker brothers started their company, they had three objectives, more or less in this order: (1) Provide a good product for their customers, (2) Make profits for the stockholders (at the time, themselves), (3) Provide good jobs for their employees. Profits were either paid to the stockholders as dividends or reinvested in the company. Companies like the Pennsylvania Railroad became famous for paying dividends every quarter right through the Depression. The total value of existing stock was not a major consideration, except when money had to be borrowed -- and even then, the value of a company's fixed assets were more important.

    By the mid-20th Century, big companies started providing pensions for their employees – a novel concept (getting paid while doing no work). As long as company profits covered these expenses, all was well. But when the P&L statement showed red ink, these payments to unproductive retirees became a real burden (Studebaker never fully funded its pension obligations before it quit the car business). So in the 1970s, big companies began abandoning traditional pensions and instead invested the pension money in new vehicles: IRAs. Companies could thus rid themselves of being responsible either for managing these accounts or making the payments to retirees. IRAs were generally run by outside managers, though some public agencies, like the California state employee retirement system, did it themselves. Outside managers (ie, Wall Street) made THEIR money by charging fees on every stock and bond transaction. These fees, the total value of the IRA account corpus, and the compensation paid to CEOs, all came to depend on the value of the company, as measured by the stock price, and NOT just the amount of business or profit.

    "Stockholders" came to mean the big investment-management houses, not small-timers like you and me. They are the people who elect the board of directors, and it's the board who sets executive compensation. The regular payment of quarterly dividends to stockholders no longer matters much and has actually declined. The result of the above is that company managers now devote much more of their time to increasing the value of their stock, and less to items 1, 2, and 3 in the first paragraph.

    IRAs really seemed to be a good idea 50 years ago – but they have had a number of unintended consequences, of which this is one.
    Skip Lackie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skip Lackie View Post
    No disagreement with your argument, but I would like to consider why these changes took place, at the expense of taking the discussion even more off-topic. When the Studebaker brothers started their company, they had three objectives, more or less in this order: (1) Provide a good product for their customers, (2) Make profits for the stockholders (at the time, themselves), (3) Provide good jobs for their employees. Profits were either paid to the stockholders as dividends or reinvested in the company. Companies like the Pennsylvania Railroad became famous for paying dividends every quarter right through the Depression. The total value of existing stock was not a major consideration, except when money had to be borrowed -- and even then, the value of a company's fixed assets were more important.

    By the mid-20th Century, big companies started providing pensions for their employees – a novel concept (getting paid while doing no work). As long as company profits covered these expenses, all was well. But when the P&L statement showed red ink, these payments to unproductive retirees became a real burden (Studebaker never fully funded its pension obligations before it quit the car business). So in the 1970s, big companies began abandoning traditional pensions and instead invested the pension money in new vehicles: IRAs. Companies could thus rid themselves of being responsible either for managing these accounts or making the payments to retirees. IRAs were generally run by outside managers, though some public agencies, like the California state employee retirement system, did it themselves. Outside managers (ie, Wall Street) made THEIR money by charging fees on every stock and bond transaction. These fees, the total value of the IRA account corpus, and the compensation paid to CEOs, all came to depend on the value of the company, as measured by the stock price, and NOT just the amount of business or profit.

    "Stockholders" came to mean the big investment-management houses, not small-timers like you and me. They are the people who elect the board of directors, and it's the board who sets executive compensation. The regular payment of quarterly dividends to stockholders no longer matters much and has actually declined. The result of the above is that company managers now devote much more of their time to increasing the value of their stock, and less to items 1, 2, and 3 in the first paragraph.

    IRAs really seemed to be a good idea 50 years ago – but they have had a number of unintended consequences, of which this is one.
    No disagreement with either of you, but the past decade has brought an end to almost all private conventional pensions, and the advent of the "Activist CEO" who isn't necessarily judged on financial performance. MBA's are taught their social posture is the way to win business. You can point to several companies who have never made a profit, but are Rockstars in the current business lore. My favorite boss had a saying I love. "You can only defy gravity for so long." With the disappearance of pensions, companies are focusing on social issues their products or services impact, creating resort type work environments, and other worthless perks to attract employees and customers. The old pension debate has been pretty much settled. They are toast. Let's see how long business leaders that don't have their eye on the real ball in real time can survive now. Their blindness is no different than the type that led to the mistakes that doomed private pensions.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 556063 View Post
    The old pension debate has been pretty much settled. They are toast.
    Caring for your future and ensuring financial stability should always be your own responsibility, not the employer's.

    In the early 1990's, many companies in Canada sold off their employee's pension fund to financial investment houses which would essentially protect their retirement funds in the event the employer should file for bankruptcy.

    Craig

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    There also seems to be little loyalty today...little shown by employees to their employer and vice-versa as well. Many businesses used to put new employees through a school to teach the untrained how to do their jobs. Now companies want employees already trained and will steal people from other companies if they can. Payroll and long-term benefits costs are a huge factor in corporate decision making. Government policies regarding healthcare mandates and taxes also play a huge part. It's not just deciding what's best for the company's profitability...it's also what reduces its tax liability and long-term benefits legacy costs.

    Back in the '90s Congress passed laws that effectively punished corporations for paying their CEO's big salaries. The effect of that was corporations came up with alternative ways to compensate CEO's such as big stock options and bonuses based on corporate performance. That led to a few less than honest CEO's who used creative accounting and outright crookedness and inflated their company's bottom line to enhance their compensation and used their golden parachute to jump ship before the excrement would inevitably hit the rotating oscillator. Sometimes it was the poor sucker who succeeded them to take the corporate heat in the media.

    The law of unintended consequences hit hard when Congress tried to punish corporations for being successful...they ended up creating the circumstances for what occurred with corporate failures. That doesn't excuse crooked CEO's but Congress set the foundation.
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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    My 36 years at Boeing included 11 years as an economic analyst in marketing, and I had a very smart boss named Reynolds. He often quoted what he called Reynolds' Law : "Whenever the government interferes in the economy in any way, the long term consequences are always opposite to the intended effect."

    He said that corporate executives should be paid only in cash, and that they should have retirement plans which are part of the same fund as all the other employees. This could be enforced by legislation on publicly traded companies, but as he pointed out, it would never happen because then all the people in congress would have to have their retirement in the Social Security system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48skyliner View Post
    My 36 years at Boeing included 11 years as an economic analyst in marketing, and I had a very smart boss named Reynolds. He often quoted what he called Reynolds' Law : "Whenever the government interferes in the economy in any way, the long term consequences are always opposite to the intended effect."

    He said that corporate executives should be paid only in cash, and that they should have retirement plans which are part of the same fund as all the other employees. This could be enforced by legislation on publicly traded companies, but as he pointed out, it would never happen because then all the people in congress would have to have their retirement in the Social Security system.
    Unfortunately, members of Congress don't have to worry about retirement income. Most are millionaires already, and those who aren't retire from Congress and become lobbyists for a couple of million a year. DC is now full of high-priced "public relations" firms with staffs of former members of Congress.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnormanh View Post
    Also Lotus and Ferrari owners.
    Most Ferraris are metal body.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

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    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 48skyliner View Post
    My 36 years at Boeing included 11 years as an economic analyst in marketing, and I had a very smart boss named Reynolds. He often quoted what he called Reynolds' Law : "Whenever the government interferes in the economy in any way, the long term consequences are always opposite to the intended effect."

    He said that corporate executives should be paid only in cash, and that they should have retirement plans which are part of the same fund as all the other employees. This could be enforced by legislation on publicly traded companies, but as he pointed out, it would never happen because then all the people in congress would have to have their retirement in the Social Security system.
    I agree totally with the second paragraph. First one I'm not sure about. Often true I suppose.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
    Most Ferraris are metal body.


    Most? Hmmmm. I'd have to look that up, but certainly there are many highly prized fiberglass Ferraris, including many 308s, which in decent condition are worth more than any Studebaker ever built. Ditto for the plastic Dodge Vipers. Or Panoz. Or even the puny little Lotus Elite. Try to buy a good one for the equivalent price of a real metal Stude GH.

    My point was, and is: The OP seemed to say that non-metal bodied cars are somehow inferior. And that's nonsense.

    When's the last time you saw a metal bodied FI or Indycar?

  32. #32
    Speedster Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    Way to much for me to read her & now but I rather drive & maintain my old car than drive a new or newer one, had enough of that, my wife does it, I'm done with it!

    I was just down in Holland to work on our ship & a pal there bought a -64 Buick Hard Top about 8 years ago & he drives it as often as he can, he has a "normal" car too.
    This time I was in the old hangar where they used to build ships & he comes in with the Buick & drives it up on the lift & goes under it so I walk over & asks what it's about...
    "Here, there's something wrong with the swaybar!" he says, but I can't see anything wrong, "The rubbers are gone" he says & they look a little dried out but only little.
    So I told him to get the front lifted to check for play & it shows a steering joint has a play, so I say "You gotta get a greasegun & use it here" & he says "What, can you do that?" so I respond "Yep, & here & here & here (& so on)..."
    Then he says "Oh, & I thought it's gonna be expensive!"

    This shows it all:
    Cars from yesteryears COULD be maintained!
    But not everybody knows AND most people rather sit & relax as much as possible of their life & if that means driving something that look boooring & that might drive you crazy 'cause the computer suddenly gets pissed off, then so be it.

    Different folx - different taste!

    (& I'm happy not more people think like me cuz then REAL cars would be worth even more & hardly any for sale.)

  33. #33
    President Member t walgamuth's Avatar
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    Some 308s are fiberglass. The rest AFIK are steel or aluminum. Possibly some of the really high enders are carbon fiber...F40? ....not sure.

    Nothing wrong with any of them really. Nothing wrong with plastic either if used appropriately. You know, it won't rust.
    Diesel loving, autocrossing, Coupe express loving, Grandpa Architect.

  34. #34
    Speedster Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    Old Land Rovers had bodies of alu & Citroen DS/ID had alu hood, trunklid & some even the roof, some had fiber glass already in -56.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noxnabaker View Post
    Old Land Rovers had bodies of alu & Citroen DS/ID had alu hood, trunklid & some even the roof, some had fiber glass already in -56.
    We debated who had the first fiberglass car here: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...hlight=woodill

    Craig

  36. #36
    Speedster Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    I didn't say Citroen made a fiberglass car, but panels & not the first either - just long enough ago...

  37. #37
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noxnabaker View Post
    Old Land Rovers had bodies of alu & Citroen DS/ID had alu hood, trunklid & some even the roof, some had fiber glass already in -56.
    In fact, the trunklid is in steel. As for the fiberglass roof, early models all had one. The alu roof came with later models, especially on Pallas. It was mandatory on cars equipped with a telephone or a radio transmetter.
    Don't forget that Panhard Dyna X's and early Z's had an all aluminium body.

  38. #38
    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noxnabaker View Post
    I didn't say Citroen made a fiberglass car, but panels & not the first either - just long enough ago...
    The 2CV-based Bijou was all-fiberglass.

    Craig

  39. #39
    Speedster Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    I'va had a Panhard just like the one on the picture, mentioned on Racing Studebakers site.
    The early DS & ID had alu trunklid; at least the ones on my dad's, & the Belgian made ones had alu roof & Sonja's French-built -69 Pallas had fiberglass roof.
    Facts taken right out of my own life...
    (I grew up in a Studebaker & Citroen DS/ID family)

  40. #40
    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    As far as I know the choice of the alu roof was greatly dictated by the color of the car. It seems that all DS 23 Pallas were equipped with. I'm not surprised that Belgian cars had them as there was a lot of differences between Forest-built cars and Javel ones. They might have discover earlier than us that the alu roof was less prone to leak that the fiberglass. My 59 model has a steel trunklid. I'll check this point in my litterature as this in interesting one.

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