Reader Question: “Continuation Cars”?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Jim asks: A Bloomberg article on “continuation cars” made by Aston Martin, Jaguar and others notes that “there’s that thing about driving them: You can’t on city streets in Europe or the U.S., nor in historic races and rallies. Most of the cars aren’t homologated to comply with modern safety and emissions standards on public roads.” For those who believe beautiful, powerful, iconic cars are meant to be driven, it’s an outrage. Do you approve of this outrage, Eric? Of making million-dollar automotive works of art unlicensable and unusable for their intended function? OR should the ‘crats who promulgated our zero tolerance emissions and sssssaaaaaafffety laws burn eternally in hell, as Ralph Nader and Joan Claybrook baste them, shovel coal onto the roaring fire and dutifully turn the spit? I ask you . . .

My reply: I think this is a very interesting counterpoint to the Electric Car Dementia. There is market demand for the old stuff (unlike for EVs) even to the extent of the exorbitant prices being asked – and paid, freely – for these “continuation cars.”

Contrast this with EVs – which have to be forced onto the market via mandates and regulations – and their purchase greased with multi-tiered subsidies.

Here we have an object lesson for Teslians, et al, to behold. Their beloved battery-powered Edsels cannot survive on the market without government force. Meanwhile, in spite of government force – including even prohibitions on their use – these CC cars still sell, on their own – without any subsidies whatever.

People will pay enormous sums just to have one parked in their garage. So they can look at it. But you have to pay most people exorbitant sums to drive an EV.

And they ask me why I drink . . .

Imagine if the government weren’t dictating vehicle design at all. Imagine if – as an example – it were possible for Ford to haul all the old tooling out of storage and restart the 1964 Mustang production line. The original car, exactly as it was – or perhaps updated in a few key areas on an a la carte basis, per the customer’s (as opposed to the government’s) preference.

Do you suppose that people would – or would not – line up to buy a brand-new 289 Hi-Po Mustang GT, perhaps with fuel injection and a six-speed manual (but no air bags, or maybe just two of them – available optionally – as opposed to six-plus and mandatory) for $25,000 or less vs. the $35,000-plus that it costs to buy a government-approved 2019 Mustang GT?

How about $10,000 economy cars that are actually economical because they’re inexpensive? And which could also be much more economical to drive than anything government-mandated and approved because they could be 500-1,000 pounds lighter?

If VW’s diesel’s hadn’t been fatwa’d out of existence – and if those diesels could have been put into cars that weighed 2,500 pounds or so – we would have access to new cars with all the amenities that averaged 60-70 MPG (or better) and could travel close to 1,000 miles on a full tank and be refueled in five minutes and which cost maybe $20,000 or so.

Imagine what the presence of such cars on the market would do to the “market” for electric cars.

The mind reels… we can dream…

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This is basically a market response to the demand. The prices of the “authentic” vehicles in recent years due to the very effective marketing by Barrett-Jackson have gone through the roof. Getting a better than restored vehicle, with a clear traceable linage going forward makes a lot of sense both as an investment and a track day car. I’ll guess that a lot of these will have plates from another vehicle slapped on from time to time too.

    That said, I’m of the school that says nostalgia is a mental illness. Yes, there were many beautiful designs back then, but hell even Eric is quick to point out that today’s family truckster has horsepower and torque specs that would be unheard of in the 1960s.

  2. Oh, Invisible Power In The Sky – how I wish I could by a 1973-1980 Chevy/GMC 4wd pickup, with a TBI 350 and SM465 4 speed !!!!

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