Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Dave asks: I’ve been looking online at new Explorers. Engines range from 2.3 liters – the same one in my Topaz – to the “big” one, the 3.5 liter V6. Of 15 trims, the 3.5 was the biggest engine. These will all be turbo’d so they are not turtles. Turbos will blow – and cost I suppose $2,000 installed. Lowest price for the new Explorer: $56k. The Platinum model runs to $70,000. In 1965, I could buy a new Ford 150 deluxe for about I believe about $3,500. Wages labor in Pentagon was about $2.25 per hour. Today, it’s about $17.00 per hour. So. Do the math. Price of a new vehicle – increased by 20 times. Wages increased by about 8 times. Our world, 2019, is f—ed up. Total. No one tell me different.
My reply: In its defense, the new Explorer is loaded with luxury amenities that were the stuff of science fiction back in ’65. It is also much more powerful. But it is also loaded with government-mandated “features” (including its basic design) that have greatly added to the cost. These costs may – or may not be – worth it to the buyer. Who has no say over whether he wishes to bear the costs.
That’s my main beef with many of the “features” all new vehicles now come standard with. It’s not the “features,” per se. It is that they have been forced into our lives by a Nanny State ruled by people who believe they have the right to parent us – at bayonet point.
If government bayonets were taken out of the picture, it would be possible – it would be legal – to build a simpler, less costly modern vehicle analogous to the ’65 Ford you mention. It might not have six air bags and driver “assistance” technology. But my bet is it’d have AC and a good stereo as well as a powerful, reliable and much-more-owner-serviceable engine… as well as a price tag around $15,000. Which would make it cheaper to buy than its ’65 analog.
Ah, progress. Too bad we aren’t allowed to have it.
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