As semi-promised... we bring you, Grizzled:
At some point, I decided I was only going to buy American cars. As a kid I remember reading the twine bundles as I loaded them into the hay baler on my uncles farm, "Buy American." I asked my grandfather what that meant. He said buying American made goods meant that I was supporting our economy and maintaining American jobs. Seemed easy enough. American cars were cool, fast, cushy, powerful and gas was 35 cents a gallon.
By the time I could afford a car, gas was 90 cents a gallon. Eight years had passed. American cars were awful boxes that were horrifically underpowered, used marginal technology, and handled like horse sledges on ice. I bought a Toyota pick up truck. Parts were more expensive, but it rarely needed parts. It had a slick, fuel efficient engine matched with a 5-speed gearbox. It was a blast to drive; a sports car that could handle a payload.
I watched as American manufacturing slumped, witnessed first hand the shift to a service economy. Sixteen years had passed. I bought a Chevy pick up truck. Awesome truck. Base vehicle with a V-8, throttle body fuel injection, automatic transmission. Of course, it was a first model year GM so it had a number of manufacturing defects. I tried not to let that bug me. It worked for me and I was supporting our economy. Gas was $1.82 a gallon.
Now I own a 12 year old Ford pick up truck, and an 11 year old Cadillac. Both substantial vehicles that have been remarkably reliable. Gas is $3.95 a gallon. Forty years have passed since my "Buy American" discussion with my grandfather.
But I'm getting geared up to buy again and I find myself in a quandry. I'm due for a mid-life crisis and I think it's going to be difficult to fulfill if I buy American. I need something impractical, without a roof, to truly accentuate my fat, American middle agedness. I'm not sure a Mustang convertible is going to do it. I may have to hold out a couple more years until Alfa Romeo returns to America.
Note from the administrator: Grizzled, you left out Blue Lou and the E.coli, aka, No-Class... not to mention that beater Malibu you had that Scott and I killed by ignoring the oil light.
Note to the rest of you... I am not a car person. Sure, there are ones I think are breathtakingly beautiful, fun, or cool... I would take a Shelby Cobra, I would die and go to heaven if I had an 60's VW Bug, I would love many, many that I see, but I really don't care. The running joke around here is that if someone asks me what kind of car just went by, I'll tell them the color. :-P I had no need for a car for the longest time, and when I did have the need... I have more or less driven what's shown up in my driveway, most not being my first choice, but being more than adequate for what I needed at the time, which is usually to get around, and have enough room for 4 people and two dogs. At some point in my life though, I think I need to actually purchase one... and one I want... if I can figure out what that is.