Thursday, November 8, 2012

Will we be talking about today's small cars in 40 years?

2005 Scion xB
Will be be talking about the xB as a classic in 40 years?
Due to my faulty alarm clock going off an hour early, I had a bit of extra time this morning, so I stopped by my local coffee joint for a latte. Being it was early, the only people in the shop were some police officers and four gentlemen in what I am guessing to be their early 70s.

"The Packard still had a flathead eight cylinder engine when Cadillac and Lincoln were running an overhead valve motor," remarked one of the men. My ears perked up as I waited for my overpriced foamy beverage. They continued talking and I overheard remarks about Nash automobiles; Asian cars; something about Subarus; and automotive styling.

"What's gone in today's cars is elegance," said another man, as the group listened casually while sipping coffee. I thought to myself, I wonder if they've driven a modern Jaguar, or a high-end Infiniti? Then again, I'd wholeheartedly agree that even the most luxurious modern cars don't possess that same elegance as a Packard, a '30s Cadillac, or even some of the '50s staples, like the ubiquitous '57 Chevy.

As I walked back to my vehicle, coffee in hand, I wondered: In 40 years when I'm in my 70s, will I be one of those elders sitting in a coffee shop at 6:40 in the morning on a Thursday discussing how cars weren't like the used to be, and what's missing from "today's" cars? Will I be there with old cohorts singing the praises of the first-generation Scion xB and how they just never made a car as practical and fun as it, even with the Nissan Cube and Kia Soul on the market? Will we be remarking about how the Chevy Sonic Turbo was a lot of fun, how the Smart ForTwo was so terrible, and how Suzuki just never made it in the States despite having solid cars? Will today's small, hip, modern subcompacts be the thing of discussion in 40 years?

I'm sure I will be one of those guys in 40 years who is reminiscing about cars in a coffee shop early in the morning. But I wonder what we'll be talking about?

1 comment:

Ducati Scotty said...

I agree with the old farts. Cars today look more and more the same, more and more like melted bars of soap. Few cars produced for the average buyer in numbers great enough to have a few make it to 40 years have any distinctive styling or character like the 50s Chevys did. Also, steel is in high demand. Cars don't sit in scrap yards any more, they go to the crusher. A very green and responsible practive but one that grinds up out history.

The cars that we'll no doubt talk about are the ones we owned and loved, like my bargain basement '97 Honda Civic CX with 200,000 miles. I'll tell stories about it forever.