What do you do when you buy a new car? For one thing, you trade in your old one. But have you ever wondered where your old car ends up? Used cars don’t last forever.
One day, your old car will die. If it dies in the city, it will be hauled to a junk yard. But if it dies in the country, it will be hauled nowhere; it will remain where it dies — along the road, in back of a store, or in a front yard.
Travel the backs roads as I do, and each trip you will see 30 dead deer, 60 dead jack rabbits, 3 dead coyotes, 34 dead snakes, 23 dead squirrels, 17 dead skunks, and 6,000 dead cars.
I believe that in 50 years people will consider our present day automobiles primitive. If you really think about it, they are already primitive. But they’re the best thing we currently have for personal transportation.
They are terribly noisy, especially when they are not running well, and they pollute the air. We can probably thank Henry Ford for his contribution to global warming. Little did he imagine!
Cars are also unsafe. Every day people crash in them. Hundreds of those people die. Others survive and spend the rest of their lives in wheelchairs. Still, we drive, because there is nothing better than a car for going when you want when you want.
Cars also break down a lot because there are so many moving parts. Auto makers have improved the performance of cars through the years, but in doing so they have made them so complicated that a backyard mechanic can’t do his own repair work anymore.
My old 1958 Volkswagen was a bit more powerful than a go-kart, but I could do a lot of the mechanical work myself. Now, with all sorts of sophisticated electronic gizmos, you need a PhD in mechanical engineering to figure out what to do when something goes wrong.
Someday they’ll look back at our slow, gas-eating, polluting vehicles and laugh — sort of like the way we think of Stanley Steamers today (you’ve heard of those, right?).