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Thread: The Joyof Old Paint

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    Senior Member Century7667's Avatar
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    Default The Joyof Old Paint

    I was doing some leisure browsing in my spare time at a conference this week and ran into a snippet from this:

    https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/20...mouth-valiant/

    Hal and his Valiant had a lot in common.

    “Could be a winner boy, you move quite well
    Stroke me, stroke me
    Good morning. 630 KHOW, got your traffic.
    Starting to build near the I25/I70 interchange…”

    Hal pushed his glasses down his nose so he could peer over the frames into the distance. The Denver skyline was off on his left. Down below on the right, he could begin to make out the rolling parking lot on I-25. The Signet plodded along slowly at 55mph in the right lane. An angry Lexus SUV driver made an aggressive overtake. Hal’s road rage was minimal. He simply shook his head, and then smiled. The RX350’s brake lights illuminated as soon as it occupied Hal’s lane. The lady had become so enveloped in crafting the perfect scowl at the rusty Plymouth, that she failed to notice the backup of cars merging into her lane. Hal said “Ohhhhhhhh…”, taking in the sight of the 350’s full undercarriage, it pitching forward under the panic braking. Bang. Little bits of Lexus reflector shot sideways. Hal watched the 80% piece of Subaru tail light rocking on the pavement. He grabbed the metal turn signal stalk downward and completed his exclamation. “…Mama.”

    The slow and steady beat of the turn signal flasher’s “tick-tick” provided the soundtrack for Hal’s lane change around the calamity. He gawked at the woman as he passed, struck dumb in her seat, clutching her cell phone. “Was it worth it?”, Hal asked to himself. Long forgotten were the days when he was in such a hurry to commute to the power plant in his trusty old Dart. Traffic thinned as he headed west, with the drones plying off of the interstate towards their work day. The slant six’s ticking lifter increased in pace and assumed a din at it’s cruising speed.

    What he thought was a nice Toyota glided past. He admired it, although, without want. The Valiant was as it’s name implied, trusty. He imagined what life with the Tesla would be like, trying to get a jump with the hood open, a dead battery from sitting for two weeks. Hal exited, and soon the Plymouth turned up the mountain road. The asphalt was in a bit of disrepair. The suspension squeaked on tired bushings. The tapping of fishing tackle on sheet metal emanated from the trunk. He glanced at the creek below out the passenger window, then pulled the sedan off to the side.
    “I-70 is backing up due to a fender bender…”

    Hal pushed open the door, and it spoke with a “Crun-crunk”. He stuck his leg out, and felt that feeling again. His palm fell to his chest, then to the bottle of aspirin. The old man tossed back a few, and relaxed for a moment. When he brought his right foot back, it crunched something strange on the floor. “Where the hell did those come from?”, he said at the rouge safety pins. The pins had come out of their hiding place after the Lexus incident, now seeing the first light of day since the late 80’s, when the seat cover was installed.

    Hal opened the trunk lid. He saw his beautiful fly rod. Then there was pain, searing pain. He still gripped the trunk lid, and passed the weather beaten paint and brushed aluminum Plymouth strip on the way down.

    “Can somebody go get my car? It’s probably still out there.”
    “Sure Dad. Sure.”


    I found the story kinda inspiring. Next month will be the 10th anniversary of my ownership of my '95 Century. Most of those 10 years it was my daily driver, 40 miles per day to work and back, and even a trip from Texas to Wisconsin. Multiple trips up into east Texas. It's not pretty. The headliner has fallen, got a few scratches, and a dent (I inflicted upon it in the driveway; don't try to drive when you have food poisoning!). It was my ride, and I have witnessed many high class vehicles grace my commute from the big 3/4 ton diesel trucks that cost as much as a modest home to sports cars, luxury cars, and those thousands and thousands of Camcordarollama's. I don't think I am ready to kick the bucket, but I kinda relate to "Hal" in the story as I and my "A" did the daily run.

    My son has the car now, but he doesn't want it long term. He appreciates it for what it is (reliable!), and even tells me one of his coworkers complimented it when he drove her home. Like the '67 Valiant, the a-car is from an era long gone. It really is, because the car is essentially a 1982 design, which really is a made over 1979 design. It drives and runs like.....an American Car. Something special, that I think has been lost in today's transportation. Everything is so Uniform now. I think my 2001 S10 was the last gasp of an American mini-truck from GM. I really like my 2018 Colorado, but feels Asian and it drives Asian with twist of Americana on it. Even our 2012 Silverado has design queues from Asia despite the LS engine. It's just different now.

    I'm think I am going to hang on to this a-car. It just feels right for me.

    Ken T.



  2. #2
    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    Everything is so Uniform now
    Competition affects production line techniques.....which are aimed at reducing costs.

    In earlier days of Honda motorcycle parts (pre 1975 or so), there were individual parts that could be bought...then, where applicable, they sold complete assemblies, which reduced inventory. In earlier days, these bikes were assembled at dealerships, then later, were shipped in larger crates so assembly was not required.

    Also, I recall an article about GM producing similar engines....in large volumes at different locations....this reduces logistic headaches, and production costs.

    GM announces new engines to be built in 4 countries - GM plans to be producing engines in China, Hungary, Mexico and South Korea by 2017, when annual global production should reach 2.5 million. The engine family will range from a 1.0-liter three-cylinder to 1.4- and 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder models. Power will range from 75 horsepower to 165 horsepower.

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    Senior Member Zaloryan's Avatar
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    That was a great read Ken, thanks for sharing!

    I highly recommend the book, Shop Class as Soulcraft written by Matthew Crawford.
    What is this & what does pulling it out do?

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    Senior Member 85_Ciera_Rebuild's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Century7667 View Post
    Everything is so Uniform now
    "VW plans to increase productivity of its factories by 30 percent by 2025 by building more vehicles from different brands on the same production line. It wants to lower the carmaker’s research and development ratio at the group’s automotive division to six percent of revenues from 2020 onward.
    ...
    ...
    Jobs are under threat because a combustion engined car has 1,400 components in the motor, exhaust system and transmission, while an electric car’s battery and motor has only 200 components, according to analysts at ING. "

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