Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Well, Damn

It kinda hurts to find out I'm just average... one of the crowd... as far as cars go.
As a stubborn recession made drivers wary of new purchases for several years, the average age of vehicles on the road in the United States stretched to a record 11.1 years in 2011, according to the research firm R. L. Polk, which tracks vehicle sales and registrations. 

Multiply that number of years by the annual miles driven — the E.P.A. uses 15,000 for the cost calculation on fuel economy labels — and it becomes evident that one pearl of conventional wisdom has become outdated. 

In the 1960s and ’70s, when odometers typically registered no more than 99,999 miles before returning to all zeros, the idea of keeping a car for more than 100,000 miles was the automotive equivalent of driving on thin ice. You could try it, but you’d better be prepared to swim. 

But today, as more owners drive their vehicles farther, some are learning that the imagined limits of vehicular endurance may not be real limits at all. Several factors have aligned to make pushing a car farther much more realistic. 
That's from a NYT article called "As Cars Are Kept Longer, 200,000 Is New 100,000."  The Green Hornet might be 11 and a half years old, but her odometer says she's still young.  She only has about 57,000 miles on her clock... so it's entirely possible she'll be the last car I ever own.  That's a comforting thought, innit?

Related, but not... I got this pop-up when I went to the Times' site that said beginning in April non-subscribers will get free access to only ten articles a month instead of 20.  So?  I'm still not gonna subscribe.  You can take away my access entirely, for all I care.


  1. My 2002 Malibu puts me above average! I'm finally above average at something! WHoOo!

    Too bad it is so boring.

  2. Buck, I think that 57000 odo reading means Ms. Green Hornet is only about 28 or 29 years old in female human years which is prime time in my book. But I remember you were lusting after a Caddy CTS a while back. That one would be a nice one to drive for a good while too.

    And the NYT can sink into a well deserved oblivion as far as I'm concerned. The grey lady or whatever they call her used to be an objective source of info back in the day, now it's just another whore in the liberal brothel.

  3. TGH is a lovely lady worth keeping. She's done right by you, hasn't she?

    Dapper Dan, you know how to turn a phrase. Well said re the NYT.

  4. I'm still well ahead of the pack, but as I look at the crowd from the outside-in I'm much more concerned about a different kind of "mileage" that as gas. Bessie regularly scored 40 without half-trying. Here we are all supposed to be so concerned about globular wormening and balancing the fragile household budget and rising fuel costs while still setting aside six and a half every morning for a frothy drink at Starbucks, and I perceive a consensus among my fellow motorists that 26-28 is doing better than anyone should expect. Hmmmph.

    I don't mind that consumers are not holding designers & manufacturers to any sort of standard...I just think they should admit it. But at the end of the day, what do I care?

  5. My Camry has 200,000 miles and is still going strong. I'm hoping for another 100,000 out of her. The Subaru, on the other hand, is really pissing me off.

  6. Roddy The Wondercar is a '98, but only has 81,000 on him. I'm hoping that I never have to buy another (and that he goes to 350,000!)

  7. GVD - The Green '94 Subrban is going strong with 228K and the '02 Mercury Sable has 138K on it so I guess I average to "above" average. Keeping both until they die or I can't afford to fill them up anymore. I put $120 in the subrban a week these days; insanity.

  8. Inno: Any car that lasts over 100K miles is NOT boring.

    ...Ms. Green Hornet is only about 28 or 29 years old in female human years which is prime time in my book.

    She IS in her prime, Dan, even though she might be called a dowager by those less informed. But like all dowagers, she has been pampered and provided with loving attention and the best of care. And she's a MOST willing accomplice when it comes the twisty-turnies and back road flaunting of the law.

    The NYT has some residual value if you discount politics, foreign affairs, and environmental issues. The car articles and other cultural thangs are usually pretty good.

    She's done right by you, hasn't she?

    Ab-so-frickin'-LUTELY, Red! But I've done right by her, too.

    I don't mind that consumers are not holding designers & manufacturers to any sort of standard..

    You're too cynical, Morgan. I think we do hold manufacturers to standards, and those standards are pretty high, too.

    Lou: I'm surprised at your Subaru experience. As noted before, SN2 loves those thangs.

    Jim: Long live Roddy!

    Leonard: $120 a week IS outrageous. I couldn't afford that these days. I currently spend about $40.00 a MONTH on gas...

  9. I'm still lovin' big time on my '97 Black Beauty. She's only got 140,000 or so, so I'll probably keep her for five or six more years.

    I DO understand the sentiment of the deal, though. When I was a kid, a car with 70,000 was OLD, and had to be worked on every weekend. (At least we COULD work on 'em ourselves...just sayin'.) Technology truly has changed all that. Of course, they cost about 4 or 20 times more than they did back then, but they damn sure last a lot longer.

    1. I hear ya about old cars. I used to have to replace points and plugs on my cars back in the '60s about every four or five thousand miles... if I was lucky. By comparison... my '92 Vette still had the original plugs in it when I sold it in '99 and I replaced TGH's plugs last summer just before her 11th birthday. TGH's plugs really didn't NEED replacing (no misses, or rough idle, yadda, yadda), it was just part of the scheduled maintenance at 55K miles.

  10. If you really need to read the NYT after you hit 10 articles, clearing the NYT cookies usually gives you a restart on the count.

  11. 2003 Acura TL just hit 130,000, which is just warmed up. I'm hoping she lasts me for at least one more year. If she does it will be the longest I have owned one car.

    That said, one of my favorite armchair and passenger seat exercises these days is imagining what I will get to replace her.

    1. Get a Caddy CTS (or the new ATS) or a 3-series Beemer. Or a Mustang convertible. ;-)


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