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Thread: A Rather Depressing View of Cars and A Counterpoint

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    Speedster Member Stude Shoo-wop!'s Avatar
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    A Rather Depressing View of Cars and A Counterpoint

    I was exploring YouTube just now and happened across a review for the brand new Toyota 4Runner. While the review itself was excellent, I made the fatal mistake of scrolling down to the comments section. In it, I saw this ghastly view which I find to be rather soul-crushing but none the less present in the automotive world. Here it is:

    "I agree having a reliable car is very scarce nowadays. Other companies are now just making cars for design because many idiots think a car has to look nice, like I dont understand a car should not look nice, it is a tool not an intimate thing. It should be relaible and only reliable and safe. Thats why I only buy Toyota cars."

    Here is my response:

    "I heartily disagree with the notion that a car should not look nice. In my case, it should be like a finely tailored suit, perfectly matching my wants and needs. Additionally, the world would be much more bleak if cars were only tools, as that cold, impersonal functionality tends to spoil motoring for me. That is the primary reason I purchased a 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk as my first car. Go ahead and laugh at my 'idiocy', but at least I have a car that I am truly satisfied with and is (for the most part) a financially appreciating asset."

    What do all of you think of this whole mess?
    Jake Kaywell: Shoo-wops and doo-wops galore to the background of some fine Studes. I'm eager and ready to go!

    1962 GT Hawk - completely finished in driveable condition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stude Shoo-wop! View Post
    I was exploring YouTube just now and happened across a review for the brand new Toyota 4Runner. While the review itself was excellent, I made the fatal mistake of scrolling down to the comments section. In it, I saw this ghastly view which I find to be rather soul-crushing but none the less present in the automotive world. Here it is:

    "I agree having a reliable car is very scarce nowadays. Other companies are now just making cars for design because many idiots think a car has to look nice, like I dont understand a car should not look nice, it is a tool not an intimate thing. It should be relaible and only reliable and safe. Thats why I only buy Toyota cars."

    Here is my response:

    "I heartily disagree with the notion that a car should not look nice. In my case, it should be like a finely tailored suit, perfectly matching my wants and needs. Additionally, the world would be much more bleak if cars were only tools, as that cold, impersonal functionality tends to spoil motoring for me. That is the primary reason I purchased a 1962 Studebaker GT Hawk as my first car. Go ahead and laugh at my 'idiocy', but at least I have a car that I am truly satisfied with and is (for the most part) a financially appreciating asset."

    What do all of you think of this whole mess?
    Jake,

    I applaud your effort but you will probably not persuade the poster. My mother taught me years ago to never try to reason with an unreasonable person. He has his mind made up. The comedian Mort Sahl made an observation years ago that if the Federal Government designed and decreed that everyone should buy and drive a car it would probably be a Gray 1967 Plymouth Valiant 4 door. Now before all you Mopar guys start yelling at me, I took my drivers test in a 1967 Valiant Signet. That was the car that replaced mom's 1959 Lark. Mort at the time he said that drove a Ferrari.

    My days started out as styling around in a 1955 Speedster. It was/is a joy and also transportation. Packard used "Ask the man who owns one" Also " A car which announces it's occupants by there arrival" Well, millions of people announce their arrival in a Toyota and may just feel the same way.

    I have a good friend that his wife says he is a car snob. He is. The car has to be a 56 Ford F100, 65-6 Mustang Fastback or a Lexus. I had the last laugh. For some reason after Sunday Morning Worship, his Lexus would not start. Gave him a jump from a 2012 Dodge Grand Caravan. Never have let him live that down. I also mentioned the newer Lexus models drop down grille was stolen from the 1961 Plymouth Fury. Will he ever own a Studebaker? Nah, but then again, I won't own any of the cars he favors.

    Enjoy your beautiful 1962 GT. I love my 1962 Lark, but always looking to add to the stable. When my 97 Olds 88 goes out, the Lark will become the daily driver. I have never ever been let down by a Studebaker.

    Bob Miles
    Different by Design
    Different by Delight!

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    President Member 48skyliner's Avatar
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    There have always been people who have no appreciation for the visual aesthetics of cars. Lest we forget, people actually paid money for the Pontiac Aztec. I remember the day when I was driving with a friend and we saw an Aztec for the first time - my friend said "where did that thing come from?" I explained that "They designed that for the movie 'Road Warrior', but it was so ugly the director refused to have it in his movie, so they shelved the design until years later Pontiac decided to build it."

    I think you will find that the people who have no appreciation for the visual aesthetics of cars also have little appreciation for good handling, steering, braking, etc, and probably don't care much about visibility, heating and ventilating, smooth ride, good lighting, good instrumentation or anything else that we would identify with a well designed, well built car.

    I have a friend who makes his living working on modern cars, including a lot of high dollar performance cars. He says the Nissan GTR is the standard against which many cars are judged, and he says there are so many electronic safety features, skid control, traction control etc, that the driver feels insulated from the road. He drove my Skyline powered 84 RX-7 and commented that it drives really well, and that he felt "connected to the road", which he does not feel when driving the GTR. Perhaps that is part of the attraction of classic cars.
    Trying to build a 48 Studebaker for the 21st century.
    See more of my projects at stilettoman.info

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    President Member christophe's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, less and less people seem to be concerned with transporatation "élégance" as there are more and more SUVs on the roads. As most current cars are designed by computers instead of designers or sculptors, no wonder they all look alike. But, maybe, we should be grateful to all the people using impersonal transportation as they make us stand out from the crowd. Every old car has its own personality but only a few new ones does. As far as reliability goes, modern cars are less reliable than older ones, due to their complexity. My preference goes to cars that can be fixed on the side of the road with standard tools. A reliable ugly car can grow on you but a good looking unreliable car won't. Fortunately, with Studebakers, we get style AND reliability.
    Nice day to all.

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    The person who replied to the Toyota review obviously wasn't around when good styling DID matter to buyers. Don't listen to such people and don't let them drag you down.

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    I often wonder if many people "lust" after a specific car which I always did in the past due primarily to it's fine, handsome and unique looks as well as it's performance and handling traits. I sure don't get it wherein the front of a new Lexus to me is like a face only a mother could love. To each their own I suppose but I heartily agree with Jake in that we are lucky our specific brand is as alluring today as it was 50 or 60 years ago. As Christophe states: modern cars are less reliable than older ones, due to their complexity. I agree to the extent that is true when something has failed. However, when EVERYTHING is working as designed the new stuff is hard to beat. Who would have thought we would be able to purchase 700-800 Horsepower vehicles WITH a warranty?
    A little example: our 2005 GMC Denali had a terminal battery failure, mostly from lack of use while wintering in Arizona. After that the sunroof, which we never use anyway, was cracked open ever so slightly and I can't stand wind noise in new vehicles probably because they are so much quieter than older cars. After a visit to a supposed specialty shop it was deemed that the sunroof required replacement at our cost of over $1200 plus labor to remove the headliner in the process. It turns out that lack of availability precluded our repair prior to returning to Canada (did I mention I can't stand wind noise). Now this is one good thing about the internet as a last resort I got on Utube and did some digging. It turns out there is a body ECM which through a series of button activation sequences has to be re-booted after a terminal power failure. I walked through all the steps and after 10 minutes, lo and behold I had a functioning sunroof again at a $1500.00 saving.
    I'll bet a Stude Skytop never had this problem.
    I'm sure we all drive Brand X's out of necessity so thanks Jake and Christophe for bringing this topic to the forefront.
    Cheers, Bill

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    Different strokes for different folks. There were some who thought this was beautiful - but not many -



    And many, many people thought this was reliable and inexpensive transportation, and cute too -




    So: different strokes for different folks. Many here think Studebakers are fine looking, good performing, reliable cars.

    As Jack V would say - "your money, your choice"
    Last edited by jnormanh; 05-18-2018 at 11:58 AM.

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    I think you need to look at this again:

    "I agree having a reliable car is very scarce nowadays. Other companies are now just making cars for design because many idiots think a car has to look nice, like I dont understand a car should not look nice, it is a tool not an intimate thing. It should be relaible and only reliable and safe. Thats why I only buy Toyota cars.

    This person obviously doesn't know what they're talking about. Cars are more reliable today than they ever have been in most respects. I suspect this is a form of "virtue signalling". Like the person who buys the Prius to "prove" they care more about the environment than you or I. In this case, the poster extols his own wisdom...over dummies such as you and I who do not share his/her great wisdom in choosing a Toyota for purely utilitarian purposes.

    Just IMO.

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    President Member Noxnabaker's Avatar
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    Today Josephine passed the test so now my daily driver Gaston (a Citroen AMI6) has a pal who also will be driven all year around.
    & I just couldn't care less about Toyotas even if they're called Lexus & I still think Subaru is better even if just as dull as any modern car & hopefully never will be owned by me.
    & that's how silly I am!


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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzard View Post
    A little example: our 2005 GMC Denali had a terminal battery failure, mostly from lack of use while wintering in Arizona. After that the sunroof, which we never use anyway, was cracked open ever so slightly and I can't stand wind noise in new vehicles probably because they are so much quieter than older cars. After a visit to a supposed specialty shop it was deemed that the sunroof required replacement at our cost of over $1200 plus labor to remove the headliner in the process. It turns out that lack of availability precluded our repair prior to returning to Canada (did I mention I can't stand wind noise). Now this is one good thing about the internet as a last resort I got on Utube and did some digging. It turns out there is a body ECM which through a series of button activation sequences has to be re-booted after a terminal power failure. I walked through all the steps and after 10 minutes, lo and behold I had a functioning sunroof again at a $1500.00 saving.
    I'll bet a Stude Skytop never had this problem.
    I'm sure we all drive Brand X's out of necessity so thanks Jake and Christophe for bringing this topic to the forefront.
    We discussed here why one should have a battery maintainer attached if left for more than two weeks: http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.c...t=battery+dead

    Craig

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    Bob Lutz nailed this a few years back by calling most cars "Angry Kitchen Appliances" He also nailed it when he said the Pontiac Aztec would have been well accepted if it wore a Honda Badge.

    There's nothing we can do to change the recent history of the Industry. Unfortunately, good design and well thought out product has been swallowed up in the highly politically charged hijinks conducted by forces outside the industry driven by clueless fads in investing, and over regulation and control. Only time will tell if normal market forces will ever be allowed to work again. Until then, the only thing that should be pointed out to this Toyota dude is no one would have ever predicted the service intervals all modern cars allow, and the fact you have to work to find a new car that isn't dependable. They truly are becoming kitchen appliances.

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    President Member bob40's Avatar
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    The cars I buy to be daily drivers only need to be cheap and reliable
    I might wash them once a year and don't give a dang about what they look like or what people think of me driving it.
    my fear is that in a few years the cars I will be looking at to by will be so electronic laden that simple service will be nigh impossible due to parts cost.
    Mono mind in a stereo world

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    Golden Hawk Member
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    This makes me think of a recent parking lot exchange that I had. I mentioned to a lady getting into her minivan that she was parked next to a (my friend's) Maserati. The reply was; "It is just a car."
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    Not everyone is passionate about cars like the members here are. And there's nothing wrong with that.

    I think there's room for both "genres" of cars. I have a Toyota 4Runner that's great for getting from point A to point B. Dependable, tough, and I won't feel bad about sending it to the junkyard when I've worn it out.

    If I want to enjoy the drive, I'll take the Avanti.

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    This makes me think of a recent parking lot exchange that I had. I mentioned to a lady getting into her minivan that she was parked next to a (my friend's) Maserati. The reply was; "It is just a car."
    And it won't get you home any faster in rush hour traffic.

    Craig

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    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8E45E View Post
    And it won't get you home any faster in rush hour traffic.

    Craig
    On Wednesday evening, I happened to keep track. The three miles home from that parking lot took 15 minutes. That is an average of 12 MPH. The actual driving was 0 MPH to 57 MPH with a lot of traffic lights. Not really rush hour, but enough traffic for around here in suburbia. I do believe that I would have been more comfortable and enjoyed the trip more in the lady's 2016 Maserati sedan than in the other lady's minivan.
    Gary L.
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    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    Golden Hawk Member 8E45E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    I do believe that I would have been more comfortable and enjoyed the trip more in the lady's 2016 Maserati sedan than in the other lady's minivan.
    In most instances, you'll get what you pay for as far as ride comfort and cabin ambience. (Provided you are alone, without any screaming kids occupying the rear seats.) But the time factor of being 'stuck' in traffic remains the same unless you're driving a police car or an ambulance in the line of duty.

    Craig

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    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by studegary View Post
    On Wednesday evening, I happened to keep track. The three miles home from that parking lot took 15 minutes. That is an average of 12 MPH. The actual driving was 0 MPH to 57 MPH with a lot of traffic lights. Not really rush hour, but enough traffic for around here in suburbia. I do believe that I would have been more comfortable and enjoyed the trip more in the lady's 2016 Maserati sedan than in the other lady's minivan.
    Ideal conditions for an electric car. Gary, have you tried a Tesla? In 10 to 15 years from now, I could see myself in one.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

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    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Milaca View Post
    Ideal conditions for an electric car. Gary, have you tried a Tesla? In 10 to 15 years from now, I could see myself in one.
    For the amount that I now drive on any one car, there is not much payback with an electric. I used to put 35K per year on my first car, now it is about 3K. I have not driven a Tesla, but know someone that owns one (loves it) and see others in the area. I have driven an all electric car and ridden in others. My two "problems" with a Tesla now are; 1) too expensive and 2) no dealership within a reasonable distance. Even though you do not expect problems, there are cases where there is a recall, etc.
    Gary L.
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    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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    Craig,
    [QUOTE][We discussed here why one should have a battery maintainer attached if left for more than two weeks:/QUOTE] You are so right as this Denali loves a diet of batteries, and I only buy the best. We live in the BC wilderness 35 minutes from town so a variety of vehicles is required as road and weather conditions vary enough to choose the vehicle best suited for the current road conditions(snow, ice, loose gravel, ruts and potholes or even smooth conditions etc.) and expend-ability of the vehicle. The Subaru Outback gets the back seat(who would've thought I'd own a Japanese car although it was manufactured in America?). Long wheelbase Suburbans and the Denali XL are the best. As for Gary's experience, the only traffic we have is a cow, moose, deer, lynx, bobcat, coyote and so on so our trip almost always takes 35 minutes at 40 MPH. As for electric, what if we got to town, did our errands and didn't have enough juice to return home? I'll stay with my gas pots for security.
    Bill

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    President Member StudeNewby's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=556063;1110nailed it when he said the Pontiac Aztec would have been well accepted if it wore a Honda Badge.[/QUOTE]

    As the Bard once penned, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." It works the other way, too. That car is ugly.
    Mike Davis
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    Golden Hawk Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by StudeNewby View Post
    As the Bard once penned, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." It works the other way, too. That car is ugly.
    The reception with a Honda badge makes me think of the Honda Element. It was not a well received box, especially the early ones with different color fenders.
    Gary L.
    Wappinger, NY

    SDC member since 1968
    Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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