So what's the question? I had six Darts and Demons. Still have two Volares with six cylinder engines. They consistently get 28.3 mpg in the summer. I have to disagree with a couple of points though. Power steering wasn't needed on older very heavy rear-wheel-drive cars from the '60s because they had very low caster settings. That was fine when lots of people never went faster than 45 mph. At higher speeds steering wander became a problem. Directional stability is greatly increased by increasing caster which is one of the three main alignment angles. Increased caster means you are raising one corner of the car when you turn the wheels left or right. That's where the effort comes in. Three degrees more caster is a night and day difference in handling but makes it almost impossible to turn the wheels. That's why power steering is necessary. It is to overcome higher caster. You will also notice that with a manual steering gear box, it takes more revolutions of the steering wheel to go from lock to lock. The higher ratio makes it easier to turn the wheels when you don't have power steering, but you will also be turning the wheel further to make each minor steering correction on the highway. That can get tiring on long trips. To see the effects of higher caster and a lower ratio steering gear, carefully shift to neutral and turn the engine off while driving at highway speed, then see how hard it is to steer.
I've been preaching for years how much I hate new cars with all their unnecessary, complicated, unreliable, expensive computers. But t warmers are not necessary. It's winter and I expect to be cold for a few seconds when I hop in. It is not important that she be two degrees warmer over there than I am over here. I don't need dome lights that fade out slowly. My cars use a simple switch. All of these gimmicks and toys rely on computers. People continue to buy cars with the cutest toys then complain at the cost of repairs. As long as people keep buying the current products, they'll keep giving us no alternative choices.
There's no way I would choose to go back to breaker points and carburetors but electric fuel pumps only draw around 6 - 8 amps. My '88 Grand Caravan daily driver will run on ten amps. It has the old non-computer-controlled automatic transmission, and I regularly drag around a tandem axle enclosed trailer that's bigger than the van. It's had only one transmission fluid and filter change in its life of 224,000 miles. If I want the doors to lock, I press a button. If I want the lights to turn on, I pull a switch. I'm not so stupid as to need these things done for me by a computer.
If you want to meet other like-minded people, stop and see me at the Iola, WI old car show. Attendance two years ago was 254,000 people who feel the same way about new cars. I'll be under the solar panels running my radio display and refrigerator. There's a cold rrrrroots beer waiting for you!
Sunday, March 6th, 2011 AT 5:39 PM