Why are younger kids no longer interested vintage cars? Could it be because of government?
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The cars themselves are also much more expensive — both to buy and to keep up — to a great extent because of all the emissions (and “safety”) gear. Kids today can’t afford to buy the pre-government muscle cars of the '60s and '70s. But the newer, government-mandated cars of the '80s and '90s have computers, fuel injection, dozens of sensors, complex wiring — which makes them much less affordable to fix up.
An example: I recently rebuilt the three carburetors in the S1. Even after sitting for 20-plus years, all it took was some solvent, a toothbrush and elbow grease to clean up the castings to as-new condition. Got a rebuild kit (floats, pilot and main jets, gaskets, needle and seat) for about $70. That’s it. Contrast that with the cost of replacing an EFI unit — or even just a few critical sensors — each of which can cost more than I spent rebuilding the entire fuel delivery system (which consists of just the carbs) on the S1.
Exhaust: Back in the day a set of headers cost about $75 (even today, they’re not much more than that for a pre-smog car) and the rest was just pipes (cheap) and mufflers (affordable). Today, you’ve got at least two converters in a V-8 application — and unless you use the low-flow POS generic ones, you are looking at $200-plus for each of them. Plus O2 sensors. So, easily $500-plus for just the converters and O2 sensors (and that’s a lowball figure).
Who can afford this? I sure couldn’t at 20!
* Mandatory insurance — Back in the early '80s, you didn’t have to buy insurance. If you owned your old fix-it-up special outright (as most of us did), you could tell the insurance mafia to bugger off. Not anymore. Today, insurance is mandatory — which has made insurance even more expensive. For teens and twentysomethings especially. They get Group Guilted into paying exorbitant rates — even if a given individual teen/twentysomething’s driving record is spotless. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the insurance mafia can charge exorbitant rates based on Group Guilt — backed by government force. Fail to pay up — and you risk severe sanctions. Even though you’ve never caused anyone any harm. The bottom line is that insurance costs on performance cars especially are unaffordable for teens and twentysomethings. So, they don’t buy the kinds of cars that teens and twentysomethings did when I was in that demographic.
In the final analysis, all the red tape — the hassle and the expense — is a turnoff. So, the kids find other things to do — like online gaming or whatever else they can still do relatively free of government interposition and obnoxious cost.
So, the older crowd continues to carry the torch. We’ll do it for as long as we can. But how much longer can that be?
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?