What the future holds

It occurred to me today that I really am a 20th century boy when it comes to transport. Do you know how many 21st century cars I’ve owned? It isn’t many, and one of them is the Perodua.

The answer is two. The second was a Rover 75 Connoisseur CDT Tourer I owned several years ago. I didn’t really get on with it, which surprised me.

Rover estate diesel

I’d always liked the Rover 75. Until I owned one.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a lovely place to sit at night.

Rover 75 interior is GORGEOUS

But, ultimately, the car itself left me cold. Not through any major failing, just because it felt too new. The electrics were flaky, the clutch hydraulics nightmarish and the engine a horrible, clattering diesel. It didn’t stay on the fleet long, even though (unlike the Lexus) it had heated seats that actually worked!

The Nippa represents my other foray into ‘modern’ cars, but let’s face it, it’s only a 21st Century car by fluke. It’s a cast-off Daihatsu from much earlier – the early 1990s in fact.

Not really 21st century…

The Nippa even clings on to a 20th century number plate style, whereas the Rover had the ‘new’ style, introduced in 2001. The Nippa is the last of the ‘old plate’ line. I like older plates.

Generally, I love 1980s and 1990s cars. To me, they represent peak cars. They got as good as they were ever going to be, and everything since then has been more airbags, more gadgets, more weight and precious little improvement. Yes, a Nissan Qashqai is very nice, but does it really do more than a 20-year old Nissan? No, I’m not sure it does.

But, there is a problem. Much as I love using 1980s and 1990s stuff as daily transport, the good times cannot last forever. Already, a lot of Japanese 1980s cars are facing a parts crisis, while corrosion is forever ready to rip away at survivors. It’s very hard to preserve a car AND use it as daily transport.

So, what am I going to do? I don’t like 21st century cars. Well, ok. I don’t like 21st century cars with internal combustion engines. Frankly, I don’t think the engines are good enough. Complexity has gone through the roof, but where is the improvement for the end user? It isn’t there.

Electric on the other hand, now there’s a modern car technology which interests me. For a start, the power delivery is exceptional. I won’t go on about it, because I’ve spent plenty of time singing the praises of electric power before. Suffice it to say though, I’m definitely getting closer to the time in my life when I own an electric car. Sure, it might be a bit of a leap to jump from a petrol-engined car over 20 years old into such recent technology, but that’s because to me, the cars between the two are simply not worth having.

Nissan Leaf

How long must I wait to own a LEAF? Four years since I tried this one!

It’s going to be an interesting jump, when it happens. Mind you, if I didn’t spend so much money on rubbish cars, I could probably have made the leap already. Oh well. I’m not a fan of depreciation, so I guess I’ll wait a bit longer, until electric cars are more affordable. Hopefully, there won’t be long to wait. The problem is, as the values drop, electric cars are suddenly viable for an awful lot more people, which conversely can stop the values dropping. Nissan LEAF values have definitely reached something of a plateau now. These cars were £25,000-35,000 brand new, but values have firmed up in the £5000-6000 range. Problematic! I just don’t spend that much on cars. Well, not buying just one anyway.

So, we’ll see what happens. Until then, I’m going to make the most of having a V8 soundtrack in my life because one day, it might not be possible.

3 thoughts on “What the future holds

  1. I love old cars. But I can see the day when the only ones you’ll see on the road will have been converted to electric.
    Id like my next car to be an EV. They are (as yet) though just too expesive for me.
    Even the used (£5k) ones are beyond me at the moment.
    I don’t believe in leasing cars, I’d rather actually buy & own them (old fashioned I suppose)
    I have considered converting my Mk2 Astra. But I need to do more research and find out just how feasable a conversion would be. I’m sure it can be done but the money and knowledge required may be one step too far for me.
    To pay someone to do it professionally, would likely be as expensive as buying a new one 😦
    Ah well. Maybe one of these days…

    Enjoy your blog and videos.
    Nice to know I’m not the only “old car” nut out there 🙂

  2. Same here. I´ve only owned two cars from past-2000 in my life, out of 19. And after I sold the last one, a 2007 Mazda6, my wife is the one in our family to own the sensible new family-car.

    I´m driving around in my 1989 Pajero V6 every day. Which does between 18 and 21 mpg, but is a lot of fun. Mainly because you can look out of it properly (huge windows, boxy exterieur) and the engine is huge fun. No by-wire-accelerator, no EURO-emission-restrictions built in. Just fun to drive.

    And just because it may come the day, my beloved 28 years old Pajero V6 might break or rot away, I´ve bought me a 1989 BMW 730i. The same like above, huge fun, drives like a tank and compared to new cars, you have that feel for the road and for the car, almost every new car has not.

    So I guess, as long as it will be allowed to drive old bangers (with catalytic converter!), you will be able too. Mainstream-cars like old Mercs or old Yankee-cars will always be driveable, because there is no problem like parts-availablity with these.

    But from the day I will not be allowed to drive my 1980s-cars anymore, I´ll go and buy a Plug-In-Hybrid or even an electric car. For all the reasons you mentioned above!

    Lukas

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