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Car Rules We No Longer Live By.

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Car Rules We No Longer Live By.


‘This generation have never had it so good.’
When you reach a certain age and have been around cars for a few decades, you feel you have the right to regurgitate sayings of parents and grandparents, just like they were told to us and ohhh it does feel good!
But in the case of the progression of car technology, we can look at the youth of today and see how they have literally a far easier ride than we had just a few decades ago.

In all honesty, I don’t miss the cold winter mornings where I had to gauge the right position of the choke or the car wouldn’t start, etc.
Those days were character building, you almost had to earn your right to drive your car sometimes.
So here are a nonexhaustive list of some of the things we had to regularly deal with before our more modern car luxuries became commonplace.
Some of them good, some of them bad.

A sticking choke – flooded engine.
If you own a classic or muscle car you look after your carburettor like a well cared for pet.
It must be fed regularly, cleaned, have regular injections….but seriously, a car with a carburettor usually means a manual choke and on some cars, it was an art form of how much ‘choke’ you needed when starting the car and the first few miles of driving. Get it wrong, and your car would cough and splutter or even refuse to start.
If you kept pressing the gas at full choke, you risked flooding the engine if the car wouldn’t start.
But then, a miracle happened. Automatic choke! Yes, we could then confidently start a car knowing the correct amount of choke would be applied, wow!

Does it have a clock and radio?
This is actually a personal one of mine as a criteria for my dad when he bought a new car.
As long as the car had a clock and/or a radio, I was happy, but it shows how much simpler vehicles were back then and what we required from them.
The irony though today is that although we have connectivity to so many things now in most new vehicles, I still predominantly just use the radio and check the clock, the rest are just nice added extras.

S****y gas mileage.
‘Something with reclining leather seats, that goes really fast, and gets really sh***y gas mileage!’, Miller, RoboCop.

Even today in our fuel conscious society, it can be a badge of honour to have a car that does 7 miles per gallon on a good day. It denotes an air of wealth and prosper where we can afford to own a car and not care about its gas consumption.
It also implied power. The less miles a car could do per gallon the more power it had, right? Well, we found out it wasn’t always the case.

Is the chrome rusted?
In the days before our nicely moulded, safety conscious plastic bumpers, we had good old chromed metal bumpers.
Back then, if you hit a wall, you would get a dent in the car bumper and a sizeable dent in the wall. These days, if you hit a wall, you’ll destroy the front of your car. Although this usually means ‘bye, bye’ car, it also means if we hit a pedestrian they are more likely to have less injuries due to our modern bumpers. A good thing.

But chrome parts, no matter if they were on the bumper or not, were a factor in a car’s worth and chrome car parts were an industry in themselves. Get a few rust spots on the chrome part of a otherwise spotless car and it was a nightmare getting it fixed.
But overall, you can’t beat the look of chromed parts on a car. Just not the most safety conscious.

Can the windows wind up?
Can you remember the days when we had to manually wind a window up and down? such work!
I’ve lost track of the amount of cars I’ve owned where one of the windows stopped working. The window had stuck in one position, the window couldn’t be wound up or down.
The usual fix – takeoff inner door panel ( very easy to do back then), accidentally destroy some of the clips that attach inner door panel when taking it off, sulk for five minutes, fiddle about with the wires and the glass to get it to line up right and work properly – 5 mins.-2 hours job, sulk, replace the door panel but accidentally bend it, celebrate. The job is complete when the inner panel is reattached, but hangs off in places as you broken some of the clips and it doesn’t line up straight anymore.

Car Security.
Car security only a few decades ago was almost hilarious compared to today.
I remember a friend saying if you had lost your car key, just ask somebody with the same model car, can you borrow their key and it will probably fit.
Cars of a few decades ago simply didn’t have the security we have now. If your car didn’t have a third-party alarm system, than a half skilled car thief could easily pull up the manual door lock and unlock a car.

Once in the car, it was just as easy to drive away or steal the car radio.
The advantage of having a simple dash also meant its easy access was straightforward to quickly un-hook a radio and steal it.
A whole industry of second-hand car radios that was stolen lived for decades. The introduction of the built into the dashboard media system, now means that market has gone or at least, mostly.

Simpler car = simpler to work on.
Although cars from a few decades ago may on the surface seem less reliable, less well built, they were simpler and easier to work on.
A car owner knew that they only needed to carry around a few tools to do the majority of work on their car.
Now it’s a few tools and a laptop.

The only wiring in a car I used to be concerned about was the wiring to the headlights and having to feed some wires to the back of the car to fit some speakers. If you see the average wiring harness in a typical modern family car, you would think it’s part of a broadband wiring job.
Cars of the past may have been arguably less reliable, but they were also arguably easier to fix.

It can be very easy to view the vehicles of the past as being antiquated, but they are the forerunners of today’s vehicles and it’s easy to forget we got around just as well back then as we did today, just in a more basic style and sometimes, simplicity is best.

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