The 600 block of West Broadway in Eugene is a time worm. It’s like stepping back into the late 20th century.
One of the first things I noticed when we moved to the PNW was that vehicularly it
did feel like stepping back in time by a couple of decades, at least. It is quite the treat
to see things in use as daily drivers that were only dim memories in Maryland.
It is indicative not only of how much longer cars can last now than decades ago, but of the huge losses to the pocketbook that corrosive snowmelting chemicals cause in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware and other Eastern states. Cars there don’t wear out…they dissolve. With the use of more galvanized steel, things have improved some, with American makes leading the way. But rusting away of a valuable asset seems to still be considered the norm there.
That is truly bizarre!
I have witnessed similar here in Phoenix. Obviously, snow removal chemicals are not used here, But The abundant sunshine can eat away soft materials on cars. Paint suffers, atleast on older cars, It seems paint and clearcoats have gotten better. However interiors can be baked to death if a car is left constantly in the sun. Why there are so many garages and carports even on entry level homes. Many parking lots offer shade structures, so that helps as well. Here in North Central Phx and in high end parts of Scottsdale and Paradise valley. Many older cars still looking new are seen as daily drivers. Some are lovingly cared for as they grow near collectible age (25 years in Arizona) My own 2000 Lincoln LS Sport is one Have had it since nearly new. Other than normal wear has not been an issue and today has “Only” less than 124 K miles. Have heard all the snark regarding these. Our other DD is a late model Edge. My husband wanted something with a higher seating position than his 04 Sebring Conv. The Edge Limited fit the bill with all the power princess toys.”He wanted the Lincoln version, but this edge featured everything the Lincoln had, for 1000s less. My 87 Buick T-Type. aving been always carported (previous original owner in Prescott, Az, prior to that A garage in Nebraska) or garaged, (me) has no rust and very little fade. Vehicles are machines and subject to wear form use and environment. Care for them and they last longer.
During my time in Texas, I was surprised there were not more old vehicles in use.
My theory is that lack of AC or the cost to repair it send many functional units to
their grave. Overheating of engines and transmissions probably plays a significant
role as well. Up until recently, in the PNW, AC could be easily dispensed with,
and cooling systems were not highly taxed under normal conditions.
That seems to be changing do to climate change. I know that I would not
purchase my current old, non AC truck if I was looking now.
I would love to have had that Camry Wagon as an alternative when we bought our 1999 Honday Odyssey van. Always thought it had a very efficient design and was handsome for a wagon to boot.
These 1994-1996 Camry’s will go for a long time if their bodies anch chassis don’t rot out. Also, they got great fuel economy. I rented a ’95 sedan for an Oregon trip. The combination of four cylinder and large fuel tank gave me about 500 miles before fillups. I was very impressed.
Even in snow country, those Camry’s last a long time as they seem to resist the tinworm quite well. That generation of Camry are easily the most common early-mid 1990’s vehicle to still see on the road, many with little or no rust on them even after 25 years of road salt.
Yup! Salt sucks no matter how well built a car is. It makes maintenance a royal PITA by rusting brake and suspension parts. Even if covered by a plastic splash guard moisture and salt still get into every place and corrode it. The second thing is how bad it is when it gets into lakes and rivers. Although It still amazes me that my stock Volvo C30 stainless exhaust remained intact (just barley) at 240,000 miles or 386,243 Kilometers.
What is happening with the headlights on the Suzuki Swift?
Those late 90’s early 2000’s Camrys are prime demolition derby fodder here in Australia, as the supply of late early 70’s Fords and Holden has almost disappeared.
There was a tongue-in-cheek Email circulating on the net – a hilarious spoof Toyota memo announcing the recall of the Gen III Camry “because owners were keeping them too long”!
I’ve had a 96 4-cylinder LE sedan for 10 years. It’s still in decent shape – original paint, engine, tranny, and cold AC, though I’ve had to deal with a lot of deferred maintenance & repair since the original owner gave it to me.
Biggest gripe was the mushy suspension. A set of used Camry wagon rear springs was a huge improvement, and I finally had to replace the original exhaust system last year!
Happy Motoring, Mark
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