Monday, July 4, 2011

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cars of Yesteryear

Just had a conversation with someone about cars and the "old" days [not really so long ago] and thought I would share this while I remember. Pretty soon no one will even remember all this. 

*Cars are much easier to start now. Used to be, you could have a darn good car the envy of everyone, but fact is you never knew if you were going to get it started or not. Today you turn the key without stepping on the gas and it's *varoom* no sweat. That was never the case with the cars of yesteryear, you always had to crank them, with just the right amount of gas and the choke set just so too. That engine would turn several times before it caught, and if it was cold or something maybe you couldn't get it started. The engine might flood, and if someone who was inexperienced tried to start the car it was touch and go. [Aggggh! You flooded the engine! Now you wore the battery down too!]

*As a matter of fact, back then you had better know what to do if the engine flooded. Either that or wait hours while it dried out. 

*The way cars start so quickly now, that actually can be a different problem. With the old cars cranking away you got a test of the battery every time. If the battery was getting weak, the tail end of the cranking would clue you in. Now the cars just start instantly and you don't get warned the battery is going. One day you go out to start the car and you just hear a click from the dead battery, which gave up the ghost, no warning at all. This has happened to me a couple of times. 

*Everything is easier about operating cars now. It isn't just convenience to have power steering and automatic transmission, it makes the difference for some people whether they would ever learn to drive or not. Dealing with manual transmission and unassisted steering meant, if you go back far enough, less women learned how to drive. The difference in the physical demand of it meant women who did learn would be pretty proud of themselves. 

*Power brakes are better brakes, believe me. 

*Cars run better now on this unleaded gas too. When it first came out, the engines were experimental or something, and a lot of the cars would be "pinging" all the time. You could get "dieseling" gas engines too, that got too hot and even when you shut off the engine it still ran! If you had manual transmission you killed it by putting it into gear, but if you had automatic and just put it into park this running of the engine could go on for a minute or so!

*There's probably some other things I've even forgotten. Power windows standard now makes a difference. In our '94 Dodge Truck the previous owner opted for roll down windows and that's OK until you need to roll down the window on the other side and you are the only one in the vehicle.

Just thought I'd share.