Model Life - Revcounter 451

By: Guy Allen

Presented by

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Is updating your car over-rated?

Are we demanding so much of cars that the whole plot has run off the rails? A recent encounter got muggins pondering this, and there is potential for fierce arguments either way.

Here’s what got it going: Down the other end of this issue, you’ll tip over a charming young bloke named Luis, who owns a 1962 Ford Futura. Lovely car with a fantastic history, where it had been owned by two generations of the one family from new, up till last year.

Now Luis hails from Argentina and he remembers herds of these things populating the streets as he grew up. Then he casually mentioned they were built right through to 1991. Say what?

Okay, they weren’t exactly the same car as the sheet metal was changed over time to modernise the look a little, and some of the spec altered over the years. But essentially they were the same platform, used for nearly three decades. Amazing.

In some ways that seems like a very efficient way to manufacture. Update and refine where necessary, but otherwise if it ain’t broke, don’t touch it. For owners, it means there should be a long-term and deep knowledge and parts base to support them. Heck, there’s even the risk you could fix it yourself.

That rumbling you might be hearing in the background is the safety side of the debate building up a head of steam. But they will be dangerous, is the argument. They won’t be as good at staying out of crashes thanks to a lack of driver aids and, when they get into one, the survival rate will be much lower.

Yep, I get that and don’t have a good answer for it.

Maybe I’ve got a tin ear for this stuff, as my ‘new’ vehicle is reaching 20 years old, while the cars I do most miles in are generally 30-40-plus. And the older jalopies feel perfectly safe to me. Then again, I also regularly ride motorcycles, so perhaps I’m working with different goal posts.

Just for a moment, pretend Ford Australia was still making cars and we were happy to work with a 30-year or longer lifecycle. What would we now be driving?

That means circa 1991 and perhaps the EB Falcon, with XR6 and XR8 as a highlight. I could live with that...



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