By on June 16, 2016

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How old do you think the average new car buyer in America is? Go on, take a guess. Based on all of the ridiculous advertising strategies you see lately, you might think that the average new car buyer was a hip, trendy, Generation Y hoopy frood, wearing his beanie to buy organic, fair-trade coffee at the Park Slope Starbucks. (Confession: I went to the Park Slope Starbucks daily during the New York Auto Show this year. Parking was surprisingly easy.)

But no! According to the NADA, the average new car buyer is 51.7 years old, and earns about $80,000 per year. In comparison, the average age of Americans is 36.8 years, and the median income is roughly $50,000. In other words, Baby Boomers are buying all of the new cars right now. There are all sorts of people on the Internet who will tell you why this is a horrible comment on today’s bleak economic landscape (oh, here’s one), but I’m here to tell you that the future of new car sales could be changed with just a bit of clever marketing.

If you’ve logged on to any social media outlet lately (and if you have, why aren’t you following my Twitter and Instagram?), you’ve undoubtedly seen some version of an article floating around that links to this recently performed study that says we’d all be so much happier if we spent our money on experiences, not possessions. You know, the whole Eat, Pray, Love lifestyle that nearly everybody in the whole world (other than you and me) seems to be able to effortlessly afford. Go backpacking across Europe! Spend a month meditating in Thailand! Live in a hut in Zaire! Drive a Volkswagen van across Central America! Actually, don’t click that last link. I hate those people. But, I digress.

In fact, many of these articles specifically point out how owning a new BMW won’t make you as happy as visiting the Louvre will. Sometimes I feel bad for the boys from Bavaria — they’ve become a symbol for everything that #feelthebern people hate about America. But I suppose they did it to themselves. Anyway, more digression.

The reason all these people target luxury car ownership as being a wasteful expense is because they’re failing to realize what luxury (or sports) car ownership should be about — it should be about the experience, not the ownership.

At the middle of every great story in my life, whether it be a story of heartbreak, adventure, love, anticipation, regret — doesn’t matter the emotion, there’s always been a car directly in the center of the story. I bet if you think back in your life, you’d say the same. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you read these pages, along with our colleagues at Road & Track, Jalopnik, and others. At some point, a car meant something to you, and it wasn’t because you enjoyed writing the payment check to the bank every month, I’m guessing.

It was because you shared a first kiss in the front seat. Or maybe it was because you watched a door slam as somebody you loved disappeared from your life forever. Perhaps you raced in the ice and snow to the delivery room, only to have your wife’s water break in the passenger seat of your car.

Maybe it was that moment that everything slowed down around you as you heard the awful, jarring sounds of a car crash, and you realized that your hands just would not. Let. Go. Of. The. Wheel. Possibly you remember touring across America with five guys you alternately loathed and loved as you brought your music to dirty little college bars, playing for the adoration of literally a dozen people a night.

Nothing about any of those moments has anything to do with car ownership. Or maybe it does. The car is the literal and figurative vehicle that takes us to every experience we ever have. Unless you grew up and live in an urban environment where a car isn’t necessary, every day until you turned 16, you dreamed of getting that license — not because you wanted to own a car, but because you wanted the freedom that a car, a license, and five dollars’ worth of gas in the tank would give you.

For me, my first Jetta, along with an October birthday, meant that I was the first of my friends to have a car. We could pile five kids into it and go literally anywhere we wanted. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday that summer, we’d go directly from football workouts to Pizza Hut for an unlimited $5 lunch buffet, and then we’d drive across town to the go-kart track, where we’d get kicked out every time for bumping. One time, my girlfriend and I got in the car and drove two hours south, just because we wanted to cross the river into Kentucky and say we’d gone to another state together. I remember her actually shaking a little bit with fear, because she wasn’t allowed to leave the state, due to her parent’s nasty divorce, and holding her hand as we drove over the bridge.

I’ve got a million stories for each car that I’ve ever owned, and I know that you do, too. So why aren’t automakers selling that experience to Gen Y? Toyota’s “Let’s Go Places” was a good start, and maybe it’s no coincidence that kids would rather own a Corolla than an iM. But it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Some brilliant ad agency needs to free young people from the idea that a car is a possession and convince them that a car is an experience. Gen Yers aren’t so far removed from their first car. Take them back to that excitement they felt, and then recreate it for their first new car.

There you go, OEMs. My brilliant idea, at no cost to you.

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237 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Spend Your Money On Cars...”


  • avatar

    So many monthly payments

    • 0 avatar
      FerrariLaFerrariFace

      Get a used car! Contrary to popular belief, car-related experiences do not require spending twice your annual salary on a brand new German luxo-barge!
      In fact, the older and cheaper the car, the more “experiences” you can have without even leaving your garage or driveway!

      • 0 avatar

        Have you take a look at the pricing in the used car market?

        Used cars around here with low mileage cost as much as brand new cars.

        And NO I’m not buying any 10-year old soul-less import econoboxes.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Supply has finally started to be replenished and I imagine a good chunk of dealers are sitting on last years (or earlier) purchases which they are underwater on. Serves them right for not turning over inventory, f*** ’em. Take your losses now boys on the block and move on, a storm is coming.

        • 0 avatar
          FerrariLaFerrariFace

          I think you’re missing my point. If “automotive experience” is the goal, go buy a $1000 Miata or something. Maybe a well-kept MG for a couple grand. Your experiences don’t have to be limited to a daily commute to work or a cross-country trip. Also, fixing a blown head gasket counts as an “automotive experience”.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          This morning (while on my garish commute), I was followed by a Lamborghini Aventador, which was followed by a Ford GT. I figure those two owners were definitely spending their money on cars… and the experience.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatist

        Agreed. You can be a car buff without ever buying a new car.

        Unlike a new one which starts getting dated within the year, the right used car, if maintained, retains its class and its fun. My wife has an 88 Mercedes 560SL which is her ‘baby’ and probably gets more compliments from strangers than most any new car.

        I drive an old Jeep (which gets more character with age).

      • 0 avatar
        JustPassinThru

        …a used car…and a new motorcycle; or a good used one…and LIVE.

        You’re exactly right; money spent making payments is money NOT spent on camping or cruise trips or having breakfast at Tiffany’s…or even Denny’s. Been there; done that; been payment poor.

        There’s a happy medium somewhere. I want from being car-broke to having two beaters and a new Suzuki bike…given the weather where I am now, I can ride that bike nine months of the year, most days. I put less than 5000 miles each year on my beater Tacoma.

        Having a car gives you options on how to live. Having a crushing car PAYMENT, takes them away. Know your budget and judge your future.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Zekas

      Well said, Bark! Payments. My answer: Dad co-signs the loan. My 24 year old son has had amazing car experiences (he was famous in high school for his ’68 Galaxie “Blue Bomber”). He also has had amazing non car experiences (Thailand, Cambodia); works as a HotShot fighting fires to pay for those trips. Hell, he owned a BMW after crashing the Ford, but it sucked him drier than an ex wife. Now, with my blessings (and credit) he has a Tacoma 4WD, perfect for a guy who works the backcountry, carries chainsaws, and jumps out of choppers. The key is money: Gen Y has bad credit, so without pops or grandpa signing, it ain’t happenin.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        Did that 68 Galaxie have a 390 high compression 4V dual exhaust V8?

        Mine was fun for preying upon the “rich” kids in their T-top IROC Camaro’s and FireChickens.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      ” Average new Buyer is 51.7 yrs old” That cannot be right, does that include Pickups? Must be geriatrics behind the wheels in the US, if that is the case.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        What do you do in Oz? Kill everyone who makes it to 65?

        All 12 of them? Every year?!

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Your other Alias, sounds better. I like the mountain areas in the US

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Fullsize pickups are about 1 in 10 new cars, and your average Ozzie may be 36, but they don’t normally buy cars under 18. Translation: Your average new car buyer would be 54 if everyone of buying age, bought new cars equally.

            And it’s just as hard to climb into a fullsize pickup as it is to climb out of a Camry.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            They actually do buy cars under the age of 18. Either the Parents give the money, or they buy a “cheapie” .Seeing you get your driving licence at 17

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Dude, they were way out of warranty. Better to put them on the ice flow, or in front of the Tasmanian Devil, ya know?

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Crap! We’re going to be out of ice flows before long.

            Ah.. Soylent Gray.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Lost your meaning? Av New car buyer is 51.7 yrs, just wondering how did they get that. Used cars would be a different issue
            “no! According to the NADA, the average new car buyer is 51.7 years old, and earns about $80,000 per year. In comparison, the average age of Americans is 36.8 years, and the median income is roughly $50,000. In other words, Baby Boomers are buying all of the new cars right now. ”

            Here ,that above statement would be thoroughly bizarre, 20-30yr olds buy them

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            “Av New car buyer is 51.7 yrs, just wondering how did they get that.”

            Lead and Copper Rule, Safe Drinking Water Act, 1991. That evil EPA again.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Soylent Gray: Now without trans fat!

          • 0 avatar
            DearS

            Median income is $46,000 per HOUSEHOLD, not per American. Median wage is $15/hour.

            http://www.mybudget360.com/how-much-does-the-average-american-make-breaking-down-the-us-household-income-numbers/

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Was Logan’s Run filmed in Australia?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Av New car buyer is 51.7 yrs, just wondering how did they get that.”

            Add up all of the buyers ages and divide by the total number of buyers.

            Maybe Pch101 can explain it better ;)

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I can say that there must be a worry with the Millenals actually buying vehicles

          • 0 avatar
            Johnster

            According to Wikipedia it was mostly filmed in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex—including locations such as the Fort Worth Water Gardens and the Dallas Market Center.

            Ah, Texas.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            I think they killed off anyone over 30, and thus, there was no one 51.7 years old to buy new cars.

            And now I see why the movie was named Logan’s Run and not Logan’s Drive.

          • 0 avatar
            Mandalorian

            At least where I live (Deep South) late-model hand-me-downs seem to be the norm. Dad buys a new pickup or mom buys a new Tahoe and JR either buys (at a low price) or inherits the late-model old one.

  • avatar
    jmo

    “Sometimes I feel bad for the boys from Bavaria — they’ve become a symbol for everything that #feelthebern people hate about America.”

    Dave Ramsey, Mister Money Mustache, it seems like that position exists fairly evenly on both sides of the aisle.

    The only place I find that position surprising is here. I recall someone going off on the guy who bought the C300. Why would someone on a car blog have a problem with someone getting a nice car? It makes no sense to me.

    • 0 avatar

      A car isn’t just a car anymore.

      We are driving our wealth.

      Projecting our philosophy on the road.

      Projecting our wealth on the road.

      A car is an extension of the ego.

      Smartphones and video game consoles have become the same way.

      People want other people to buy what they themselves want in order to make the company do better and ensure continued production of that vehicle.

      Keeping Demand high for certain products.

      The manual is BRAINDEAD but being kept on life support by a handful of emotionals who just can’t understand that the body is withering away.

      I’m tired of people telling me “you shoulda bought a manual Hellcat”.

      • 0 avatar
        kvndoom

        What’s funny is I don’t think anyone on TTAC ever told you that. You must have odd friends.

        I buy manuals because it’s what I enjoy driving. Saying I shouldn’t drive one is like telling you that you should. Let everyone do what they wish and enjoy what they wish… OMFG I must sound like a liberal now.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          kvndoom – you sound more like a libertarian.

          The political compass has 4 cardinal points. Libertarian on one end and totalitarian on the other. Then Liberal on one side and Conservative on the other.

          “Live and let live” is usually liberal libertarian.

          “Live and let die” is usually Libertarian Conservative. (or a Bond movie.)

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        There’s absolutely no reason for you to learn to drive a stick. As you state, you, BTSR, buy cars for “projecting,” not for driving.

        It’s still odd that you feel self-conscious when others choose to “project” a manual. Maybe because it’s not something you can tell from the outside, therefore it’s mysterious and potentially dangerous? We fear what we do not understand.

        • 0 avatar

          Everything I do is about efficiency.

          TIME for example.

          My right hand has other things to do like comforting my girlfriend or texting.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          (This occurred back in 2009 but is tangentially relevant)

          It was after school hours, I was still teaching and I was in my soon to be wife’s classroom. We were talking and she was tidying up. The teacher next door (female in her early 30s – wife was in her late 20s) came over to ask a question. She was one of those Texas raised, “bless your heart”, a little bit of a debutante.

          My now wife bent over to put something away and her white blouse got tight against her back showing that she has one small tattoo of a Japanese flower (she does have Japanese heritage). The debutante exclaimed: “You drive stick and have a tattoo? You are a bad girl!”

      • 0 avatar
        Pinzgauer

        In your defense, the 8 speed in the Challenger is fantastic. So much so that I almost got one in my Scat pack, but as a lover of manuals in the end I couldn’t do it.

      • 0 avatar
        Mullholland

        You shoulda bought a manual Hellcat.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Why would someone on a car blog have a problem with someone getting a nice car?”

      People just have different definitions of “nice car”. I could pull up plenty of examples where Porsche or BMW fans make fun of someone for liking an American or Japanese car.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    But does it come with a ‘safe space’?

  • avatar

    I’m half-expecting the young motorist on the right to start screaming about “BATS! THE DAMN BATS!” any moment.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    This experience hunting is just the latest slick packaging of the whispers. Find the next thrill, live the next experience – it is held out at the end of a mundane existence wherein you are to maximize the amount of taxes you pay the government and otherwise do as you are programmed to do.

    Finding happiness in the everyday is the secret to life. It keeps you from suicide, too. There are lots of formulas for this, but, sadly, they’re all old and not written in emoji.

    A car should put a smile on your face when you fire it up, even if you’re going into gridlock. You’re going to spend a whole lot more time in the modern equivalent of a Hyundai Pony penalty box than the forty five minutes at the Louvre, and, further, with how modern research shows that the instagram facebook culture of taking photos of everything means you actually do not remember the experience, it’s yet more hollow garbage they peddle with this “have experiences not things” crap because they then empty out the experience with the selfie stick. “I think I went there, and I’m supposed to be happy, but, Facebook’s down right now, so I can’t remember.”

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      Traffic jams, traffic congestion, horrid state of roads, the idiotic way cities and especially suburbs were/still are planned –

      – these things kill the motor vehicle leadership experience as much as anything else.

      I’m at a much older age than most 13 to 19 year old Jalopniks, though, so I don’t want to kill their dream of daily driving that Z06 OR BETTER YET – LaFerrari – that is posted on their bedroom wall that they FAP FURIOUSLY TO IN BETWEEN CALL OF DUTY ONLINE.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      MrGreenMan – oh so very true.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      “Finding happiness in the everyday is the secret to life.”

      Well, I’m glad Mr. Happiness came here to read into it with the most negative skew. I interpreted “have experiences” as more road trips with my kids and an annual solo hike to some gorgeous corner of my state I haven’t yet been to, but I guess it can also be interpreted as “empty social media-addicted Millenials using Instagram to gut all meaning and memory of their lemming travels”.

      Live and let live. If cars are not one’s interest then it makes perfect sense to me that people would be better served by spending the money on things that actually are. A 235i may make an enthusiast truly happy even on the gridlock commute, but for a lot of other people it’s just lost hours in traffic behind the wheel of a car with a fancy badge. Why spend the extra money when a Hyundai will perform the same task for less?

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    My nearly 2 year old daughter has a little scoot along car plastered with “Sophia the First” stickers and lots of little buttons that make noises. Her favorites are the noise of the push button start and the horn. She’ll flip it over on its side and grab the play kitchen utensils that someone gave her and act like she’s fixing the car.

    There is hope for the next generation of enthusiasts.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      I was a girl in the village doing alright
      Then I became a princess overnight…

      • 0 avatar

        No, bbal. No. I get enough of that at home :)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Lol. It’s stuck in my brain. My daughter was Sofia for Halloween last year. However, PAW Patrol has been her jam lately.

          • 0 avatar
            jkross22

            Boys dig Ninjago. Girls like princesses. Luckily both like Octonauts.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Octonauts is the $hit.

            We are going to the live show for my daughters birthday in November.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I find all of Disney Junior amazingly tolerable given that I am within 12 months of being 40 years old.

            And if I really want to make the Mrs. laugh I just have to say (with apologize to Capt. Hook’s henchmen): “Good thing I’ve got my sneaky pants on.”

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Kate & Mim Mim and Goldie & Bear can die in a fire. I’m okay with the rest of it.

            We don’t watch Sprout because of the high probability of a Caillou sighting. What’s the matter with you Canada? Keep your $hitty children’s show to your self. Caillou’s mother is named Doris and his father is named Boris? Get the [email protected] out of here.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            You know, I can’t stand Peppa Pig – Nick Jr – or the stupid series of books.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            My wife thinks the heads of all the characters in Peppa Pig look like poorly drawn dicks with balls.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            POCOYO RULES, YOU TASTELESS M**HERF*CKERS!!!!

            (But seriously, it does.)

            Teen Titans is kewl, too.

            The Wiggles, Yo Gabba Gabba, My Little Pony, etc. can all die in a flaming fire in the pits of he!!.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Won’t you be my neighbor?

  • avatar
    slance66

    Bark is mostly right here, for people maybe late 20’s and older. Younger kids will have Uber and Lift, and the means of getting places will be more removed from the places they go and people they are with.

    Subaru has been marketing this way for ages. How are their sales among Gen X and Gen Y (I’m nearly 50 and I am not a boomer)? I think much of the marketing I see, people driving along US 1 in CA, etc., does take the suggested approach.

    The failure here is the connection to more expensive cars. My best automotive memories occurred in a 77 Cougar I drove in HS, a crappy brown Buick Century a friend had, a 65 T-bird another friend had (and his mom’s Javelin), my 1983 Accord hatchback from college, my 1985 Prelude used on a few road trips, and my 1997 Contour SE I used to cross the country. There are others too, but those stand out.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Subaru does an excellent job selling their Kool-Aid.

    “Subaru is love”, etc.

    Also implied: “you’ll die without standard symmetrical AWD”.

    It works.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Spend your money, and more importantly your time, on experiences – automotive or otherwise.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Excellent advice.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        @JuniperBug

        The basic premise was actually made clear to me by a Hungarian girl I met in Zurich. She said of the Swiss, they are working eight to ten hours a day and they want that of us (foreign workers I think). I said, that’s what we do to which she interrupted: but that’s not normal! Perhaps to you but only because that’s what you’re told. She said, I want to be free. I want to spend my time doing things I want to do.

        • 0 avatar
          RHD

          She wanted to be free and do whatever she wanted to do (and not earn a living), while you were working.
          You are lucky she didn’t pressure you into marrying her.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Yeah, I read that “free to be” as kind of a cop-out. Everyone wants to be free and do whatever the hell they want. But that’s not how life works. Not if you want food and clothes and a phone and car and a place to sleep.

            Everybody pays up.

            Your “time” is what’s left after you give most of it to work.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            She actually had quite a plan. Something about if you work five years as a legal worker in Switzerland you are eligible for some kind of pension. This combined with an inheritance in Hungary would have allowed her to survive, I presume in Hungary where costs are less. I actually gave her my email addy but she hasn’t written. She very much reminded me of my late fiancé, I was quite smitten.

        • 0 avatar
          JuniperBug

          There are worse things to be than Swiss (although I admit that we’re not always fun at parties; I like to think that my French-Canadian side balances me out a bit).

          The Swiss as a people – and I’m not talking about the Geneva and Zurich bankers, but the populace at large – are eminently frugal and responsible. They also like to enjoy life. Yes, they work, but on average comparable to what Americans do, although the time they spend at work is usually more productive and stressful. The standard is also a minimum of 4 weeks paid vacation per year, during which you travel. A pension that pays up to 90% of your salary once you retire is fairly standard. Everything is closed on Sundays because you’re expected to have a day to spend with family and not worry about business. Lunch time is long enough that workers often go home in order to eat. Purchases focus much more on quality than anything else. I have a cousin who owned a $10,000 table in his condo, for example. The ones who are spending money on luxury items are the ones who can afford it, and many of them can. Debt? Almost nobody buys a house with less than 20% down, and houses in Switzerland go for a little more, to say the least, than in the US.

          There’s a reason why your Hungarian was in Zurich, and it’s not because the standard of living in Hungary was superior to Switzerland’s. Doing what you want to do is great, but someone, somewhere has to pay for it. The Swiss understand this in a way that a lot of other cultures don’t. There are reasons why the country works as well as it does, and that reason, in large part, lies in the culture of its people.

          Personally, I was happy to come back to Canada after a few months in Switzerland, but I definitely appreciate the country for what it is. If circumstances directed it, I would go back.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I enjoyed my time in the country, although at the tail end of the trip I fell ill and got a chance to experience Swiss medicine. The doctors were quite knowledgeable and kind, although the technique, equipment, and offices were dated compared to the US.

            I noticed an emphasis on quality in some of the goods I purchased, although of course you are paying for the quality. I also noticed in many of the medications and vitamins a “Made in Switzerland” on the box. This goes the same for the Valser mineral water I frequently drank, which also advertised a 52% magnesium content. I find it difficult to even source quality goods in the US no matter the price.

            In addition to Sunday, I also noticed most things closed at 5 in Zurich and 7 in Geneva, which was quite a foreign concept to me. The country is certainly family focused in many aspects, I has not seen so many mothers with very young children in many years as I did walking around Zurich. There are also children’s play areas in many places, including the airport. I don’t see this much here at all and when I do it is frequently foreigners we don’t want here. The Swiss do understand how to conduct themselves as a society and as a people, and they will survive long after the fall of the EU and of the United States.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            Very astute observations about Switzerland.

            You’re definitely right about the “made in Switzerland” observation (along with the Swiss flag plastered on products everywhere). Patriotism isn’t just for the US, and the Swiss bring it hard. They’re the only people I’ve ever heard complain about the Germans doing things half-assed, for example.

            It doesn’t surprise me that you found them not to be on the cutting edge of medical science. The culture is more about perfecting and refining established practices than innovation – leave that to the Germans. I remember hearing in the 90s when everything was going computerized, that it took them a while to accept and adapt to the new technology. But if you need someone to perform a traditional skill well, they’re tough to beat. My dad made a pretty good life for himself when he immigrated to Canada as a skilled machinist. My grandfather was a 20th century wooden wagon wheel expert. Then again, there’s a company in canton Uri which bears my family’s name that produced aerospace parts for NASA, so they’re not always that far behind the times.

            It’s a country that’s hard to define, especially given how varied it is for a place with a similar area as Lake Ontario. You have to appreciate a country which is militarily neutral, hasn’t been involved in a war in over a century, yet has the largest army per-capita of all Western democracies, and has stocked military bunkers in most residences, as well as most of its bridges and tunnels armed with explosives ready to blow.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thank you. The Swiss do “bring it hard” regarding their patriotism, and at least in Zurich I picked up a “German” element (although I chuckled at “Germans doing things half-assed”). I saw less of this in Geneva although there the people are very schedule oriented as they are in Zurich. On weeknights, 22:30 the city is nearly empty, and by 23:30 I was walking down Rue de Riv and thought I wandered into 28 Days Later. No police, no drunks, not a soul the whole walk back. In fact the only human being I saw was a man walking his dog about a block from Rue de Granges. Several had made remarks at the pub about “having to get up for work” at 22:00 and evidently they were quite serious.

            I think its funny you mention computerization as both the prescription sheet and the notes on what was done from the first doctor to the second were done on paper. Since I had grown up with this, it didn’t phase me much but I did find it curious in a First World country 2016, but I am grateful for the excellent care I received.

            I took a tour up Lake Geneva, but other than Cantons Vaud, Geneva, and Zurich the only other thing I did was a train trip Sargens to see Lichtenstein. Just from this limited exposure I can say the country is complex and isn’t easily as defined as some others. Canada despite its variety largely shares a common English language, a common sport, and other common practices throughout its provinces. Switzerland is truly closer to being several different cultures united in confederation. But as you point out, they are united in their neutrality and also a common defense need. The other thing I noticed, other than much more graffiti than I expected, is the people seem to be in harmony with the authorities and each other. There is a great deal of unspoken trust I observed, almost if there was no dishonesty between citizens or between citizens and government. Both a foreign concept and refreshing to me at the same time.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Yes, it certainly has it’s own separate cultural areas. Even the ” German” , SwissDeutsh is very hard for other German speakers to understand. In fact that they have their own TV/Radio stations. They do get about 30 multi language TV channels from outside Switzerland as well

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I speak about a dozen words of French and no German, but I wasn’t aware their dialect was so different from “regular” German.

          • 0 avatar
            JuniperBug

            Oh yes, Schwyzerduetsch is very different from standard German, and the dialect varies a good bit from region to region, although all signs and official things in central Switzerland are done in the standard German. All German Swiss speak standard German, although many don’t like to, sometimes preferring to speak English instead.

            My sister-in-law is German, and my girlfriend and I also speak it together at home, but neither of them understands us when we break out the Swiss German at my parents’ house. We invariably end up speaking English.

            Actually, I’ll be in Geneva for work on the weekend, which happens fairly regularly. It’s a nice city, but doesn’t feel much like what my idea of Switzerland is. For one thing, I find the prices eye-watering, even by Swiss standards (although Zurich isn’t really any better). They never recognize me as being one of their countrymen, although that’s partly due to my English-tinted quebecois French. The French and German Swiss each have a way of kind of pretending that the other doesn’t exist, anyway.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            When I landed in Zurich (after coming back from Geneva) I was relating some of my Geneva experiences to the girl at the information center (next to baggage minding area in the Service Center). Her response: “Yes, well they’re French…”

            I highly recommend the Britannia Pub across the road from the main train station in Geneva (its next to a jewelry store). Great people, decent food.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Bark, the elder statesmen, advising Millennials, who are the most indebted generation pre and post 1st real job (and jobs that are paying lower real wages, consistently), to sink more money into the worst money pit imaginable aside from perhaps a boat or RV, because somehow “it’s good,” and then asking car manufacturers to aggressively market to Millennial, because they still have debt-blood to give.

    Bark, the elder statesmen, who recently traded in his Boss 302 on a Fiesta, now in his own words “relieved of a $650 per month car payment,” advising BOTH MILLENNIALS AND VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS ON HOW/WHY TO GO INTO MORE DEBT AND HOW TO MARKET TO MILLENNIALS TO GET THEM TO DO SO – SIMULTANEOUSLY.

    Never mind that MANY millennials can’t buy a new car (or even a relatively newish used one) as they lack the cash or access to credit to actually – you know – do so. Just do it!

    But manufzcturers – heed Bark’s salient, brilliant advice and aggressively market to broke a$$ Millennials with already have large debts, huge expenses-to-wage living standards (thanks food service jobs that replaced high wage manufacturing jobs and H1-B body shop labor!).

    All hail Bark!

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      p.s. This beautiful wisdom gem from Bark is both sad & hilarious, and can’t be overempathised (literally), because it’s literally INSANE:

      “…but I’m here to tell you that the future of new car sales could be changed with just a bit of clever marketing.”

      It’s a MARKETING PROBLEM THAT WE FACE!!!!

      I KNEW IT ALL ALONG!!!!!!

      MARKETING CAN CHANGE REALITY AFTER ALL!!!!!!!

      AHAHAHAHAHHAHAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!awww!w!w

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Marketeers cannot do anything about the fall into the abyss.

        The band must play on until the ship sinks underneath them.

        But Bark’s heart will go on…

      • 0 avatar

        You must really look forward to Tuesday and Thursday.

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        You said half of what I really want to say…that silent half is the half that shouldnt be said about debt slavery…

        Anyways Bark is completely wrong about median income. Individual median income is about 28,000 per individual and 55 per family. He is way way off. No one earning 28,000 should be buying a new car, hence half the market that should exist doesnt…this extends to all aspects of purchasing, not just cars. I dont think folks realize how bad our society is messed up. One giant crrdit bubble to prop things up…

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Snark aside, I agree with you.

      Millenials have a higher debt-to-income ratio than I ever did. They can’t afford new cars. Even I didn’t buy a new car until I was 38.

      Their best “experience” will be to drive used cars and pay off the debt early.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Yep, get rid of that college debt – don’t take on big new liabilities until your old ones are under control. And don’t overspend on silly -monthly- expenses, it’ll just keep you in debt longer.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          The issue is the post 1990 generation’s amount of debt to enter the workforce -because “education” is a f*cking joke outside of a few majors- is nearly impossible to overcome. FRED shows from about 2006 the amount of owned student loans going from 500B to 1.35T in ten years. This is simply staggering and has occurred while new jobs coming online have been of the retail and wait staff variety.

          https://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/series/SLOAS

          What I find particularly interesting is of the rhetoric I have heard from Senator Sanders and Senator Warren, none of it fully addresses the $1.35T dollar problem, nor does any of it address the root problems: the education cartel and lack of high quality jobs to pay for debt incurred of the first. Granted both of the primary issues are multifaceted, but instead of Senator Sanders touting “free college” or whatever his drivel was I want to hear him say lets bankrupt the motherf***ers. Schools *are* part of the problem, cut off the loan spigot and let the weak ones fail the way his wife bankrupted Burlington College, then the survivors will fall inline with economic reality. This just shows how out of touch the charming old Communist is with reality.

          FWIW: I met an interesting character in Geneva, a University of Miami professor on his second sabbatical in eight years of UM employment, who was in town to give a lecture. I certainly enjoyed his company but two paid sabbaticals in eight years and touring Europe? You paid for it Millennials. I’ve been on four one week and one two week vacation in eight years myself, but then again I occasionally work for a living.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Maybe if (actually it is the case) Big Gove didn’t collude with Big Secondary Education to make it so easy for 17 year olds to access debt to pay for secondary education –

            1) College/University costs would drop precipitously;

            2) Colleges and universities would have to get as efficient (cost and value and feature and quality) as LCD Television or Tablet manufacturers.

            3) There wouldn’t be a huge generation of Americans, many with useless or only marginally useful degrees, with college debt as large or larger than most home mortgages shackled around their ankles, non-dischargeable, also (nice coup, banksters and Big Education! College Presidents need $750,000 a mail salaries plus excessive fringe benefits, too!)

            It’s all a scam, people.

            The government-backed lending and drilled-down-marketing has literally created the college debt crisis.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I agree the colleges are part of the problem. There’s no reason for tuition to increase 38% over a four year period other than “because we can.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            This is where it all started.

            “The Student Loan Marketing Association was originally created in 1972 as a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) and began privatizing its operations in 1997, a process it completed at the end of 2004 when Congress terminated its federal charter, ending its ties to the government.

            1973: The Student Loan Marketing Association (nicknamed “Sallie Mae”[by whom?]) opens its doors as a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). It is designed to support the guaranteed student loan program created by the Higher Education Act of 1965.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Mae

            Gov’t colluding with private enterprise cartels is sorta fascistic, isn’t it?

            I also find it curious your two front runners for dictator don’t have real plans for dealing with the problem.

            JOKER 2016: Burn it all down [and start anew].

          • 0 avatar
            tonycd

            28, what are you talking about? How in the world does free college not address the problem of leaving college with debt?

            Is “fully” your weasel word to try getting away with being this incoherent?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @tonycd

            Two fold:

            1. Nothing in this world is ever “free”. There are already too many colleges of which a sizeable percentage would fail quickly if not for student loan corporate welfare keeping them afloat. What becomes “free”? Tuition to the existing system whose costs are already out of control? Who pays for it? What happens as costs continue to outstrip funding? More debt as bonds? The cartel needs to be nuked so costs can be brought in line.

            2. There is already $1.35T racked up in debt, which is unsustainable and drains the free cash flow of the current “next” generation. What happens to this debt? You cut it off increasing the figure tomorrow and its still a staggering sum for a large amount of younger people. If the debtors cannot generate the income to pay the debts due to economic conditions and their own choices, what then? Default?

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            I dont like to get really political on TTAC but it drives me *crazy* that “Wall Street”, banks, etc. get tons of grief (and a lot of it is deserved) while colleges and universities that have absolutely financially nuked an entire generation get off scot-free.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @ajla

            Ideally all guilty parties should be held accountable, but the truth is we are beyond the rule of law for the rich and powerful. The most we can hope for is an end to federally backed student loans (or perhaps starting with 50% reduction in amount) followed by a slow bankruptcy of the weakest links in the chain. Any institution with a trust won’t be leaving us, and any entity which was at least reasonably managed can cut back expenditures. But to the poorly managed, Chapter 11 or 7 awaits just as it does any poorly managed company.

          • 0 avatar
            seth1065

            Collage kids who go heavy in debt are crazy it can be done cheaper, state schools live at home if needed, work in the summers, most of the huge student debt is grad school most undergrad debt is pretty well controlled or mom and dad are paying it, do not go to Duke and get a Masters in art history and wonder why you can not pay off that 125k in debt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’ve done it again. COLLEGE. There is no letter “a.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @seth1065

            I have a friend who is 23 and lives in California, PA, which is also the location of a PA state school (Cal U). She is actually doing the whole adult thing correctly, has had a full time job as a secretary for five years, bought a small cheap house, and bought a new Fiat 500 with manual [!] I think two years ago. In all seriousness, I myself was not this far along in real adulthood at 23.

            So she says to me, my job sucks and has no future, I think I want to be an accountant because I help keep track of financial records at the clinic [in which she works]. A quick tap on the phone shows me, in PA, a baccalaureate degree with a minimum of 24 credits in accounting/finance/tax etc is REQUIRED to even sit for the CPA exam. What a load of horsesh*t. I know people who have taken this exam, its no joke and random proles such as myself are not going to plunk down money just to fail it. But still, GFY if you haven’t spend five years of life and tens of thousands with the Education Cartel before you can even *sit* for the test and hope for anything better than entry level positions in accounting (ditto for the Bar Exam). Here are the pricks now to tell us why the CPA is important:

            https://www.nasba.org/licensure/gettingacpalicense/whygetlicensed/five-popular-reasons-for-earning-a-cpa-license/

            So with a general hatred of the education cartel and a desire to help my friend, I did some research on how she could as easily and cheaply as possible get the baccalaureate degree while still working her 9-5 and paying her bills like a normal adult. Right here on my desk I mapped out a two year A.S. program in bus mgt/accounting at our local Community College for her. Oh and guess what, you can CLEP about 3/5th of the A.S. program (about 39 credits). What is CLEP? Its credit by exam administered by College Board, a flat $80 a test and the passing score is 51%. You pass, you get three college credits. GUESS WHAT THEY DON’T TELL YOU ABOUT IN UNDERGRAD? CLEP!

            So at $215 a credit for the business courses she can’t CLEP, and the bullsh*t ones she can, I have a calculated cost of $5,701 for an A.S. program of 66 credits (time varies based on when classes are available and how quickly she can pass the CLEP tests in a number of subjects). She can then transfer those credits to the four year of her choice (Penn State Online or possibly Cal U) and save about $10K in the process based on the figures she gave me for Penn State tuition over four years. This is just a secretary from a poor area trying to find a career which allows her to go beyond being a secretary. I agree with you in that I too loathe the $125K basket weavers and I’m to the point where I want to burn them all at the stake for good measure. But the real enemy is the education cartel, it has to come down and all the other for-profit non-profits with it.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I’d better not mention my vacation allotment. LOL

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Lou

            I get a fair amount of time, I just haven’t traveled much until the past sixteen months or so. I used to just burn up time taking Fridays off for most of Q3 and Q4.

          • 0 avatar

            Every one needs to go to college
            Every one who applies needs a Bachelors degree
            It’s a self defeating circle that keeps new entries out of the workforce too long and keeps the university system cranking along.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Did you buy the M2 yet or are you looking for something else?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        He previously told me he was very close to purchase on several C63 models, but has since changed his tune and said they’re too hard to find now.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I’m waiting on two dealers to get me a magical document (I can’t or won’t speak its name) at my max price offered.

          If either does, it will likely be a cash purchase that same day.

          I told them I don’t need to and won’t come up on that price, as I really don’t need the car – I’m NKT ONE OF BARK’S MILLENNIALS THAT CAN BE HYPNOTIZED INTO SELLING ORGANS OFF TO PAY FOR AN M2 BECAUSE OF CLEVER MARKETING, YO!

          The low-mileage, 2010-2011 C63s are like unicorns on the used market, and many of those few have been I intentionally hideously modded.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Thanks for the update :). Keep prodding them for the “offer” document!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Initials BO (has nothing to do with Obama, either).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Why can’t you say it? You’ve lost me here as I haven’t dealt with dealers. :(

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Buyer’s order, signed by the sales manager, pertaining to specific VIN# vehicle, setting forth total price, and binding as contract once buyer counter-signs.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Ahh, okay. Is that a bad word to say on a Bark article?

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            No, it’s just that if one has cash or financing lined up, and wants to know if a dealer is serious on a final, total price, without the ability to play games after the fact, and the vehicle has been identified, this is the shortest, most efficient route to testing the dealership.

            Dealerships see this as an extremely aggressive negotiating tactic on the part of buyers, partly because they relatively rarely encounter it, but any competent sales manager understands that it creates a binding, enforceable contract once someone with authority at the dealership signs it.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Right on, be tough!

    • 0 avatar
      windnsea00

      So this whole millenials have no money theme seems rather peculiar to me, being a millenial myself (30) and most of my friends being a few years younger or older from my age. Now admittedly we are out of the immediate post college world where most of us were living check to check, grinding it out, until we pushed ahead.

      Going through my social circle at the moment, I realized most people are driving a decent late model vehicle (Audi/BMW/Benz, Lexus, Mini, Porsche, Prius, Tesla, VW, etc.). All of these people are paying for these cars themselves because they are driven and are paid for their efforts, from lawyers to tech to engineers to architects to the entertainment industry and so on.

      I take it there are lots of millenials who have found out their Arts degree isn’t worth much but there are also plenty of successful millenials who are doing well and grinding it out, at least from my experience.

      • 0 avatar

        Statistically taken as a whole millennials are worse off financially then the preceding generations. It depends on where you live and what you do for a living thou.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “Going through my social circle at the moment,”

        your “social circle” is not representative of society at large.

        jesus, talk about myopic.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I don’t trust people who say things like “grinding it out,” and “Going through my social circle.”

          I’m sure his LinkedIn contact list is yuuuge.

          • 0 avatar

            You don’t “fix” the college system with “free college”. All that’s doing is kicking the can for a while.

            The issue that affects college prices is the same that created the housing bubble: easy credit. Whenever you inject easy credit into the market, more people have a given commodity at the cost of that commodity rising dramatically in price. This is the exact same thing that happened in the housing market, and it’s happening now in higher ed. Much like the rise of the McMansion, federally-backed student loans have spurred on colleges to likewise become wasteful and opulent. More people are going to college, yes, yet they’re consequently being crippled by the now-outsized tuition costs the easy credit has made possible.

            The education bubble bursting will make the housing bubble pop look like a burp.

            28 is right. The solution is not universal federally-backed tuition. I don’t trust our own government to do anything more than lob money at the problem and hope everything works out.

            What we’re left with is a politically tough alternative. Someone has to fall on their sword and begin scaling back federal student loans. Higher Ed must be re-exposed to market forces, and it isn’t going to be pretty, and it’s going to be called racist and any number of other nasty things. This will be resisted tooth and nail by many, whom will go out of their way to resist criticizing higher ed itself.

            The alternative is switching to “free education”, in which case the national deficit will continue to grow, as colleges and universities now totally removed from market forces continue to raise tuition in a way that continues to outpace inflation. This is unsustainable long-term, but will probably be the approach taken, eventually, as politicians are all too happy not to be in office when the fan is slammed with fecal matter.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            I went to a private college, graduated with a Bachelors and more dept that I’d care to discuss. I’m down to $4,000 of it remaining and I graduated in 1999.

            If I had it to do all over again I’d have went to a state school and had far less debt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Crikey! I went to a private as well, got BA, graduated in 08. Paid mine off last year.

          • 0 avatar

            Here in Georgia we have the HOPE scholarship program. That did help, but I think the choice of school did also, to a large extent. I enrolled in a state university, not a prestige school, and grabbed with a Bachelor’s in IT. My wife and I collectively had no college debt within a few years of graduating. Very blessed.

            Edit: I hope that doesn’t sound like I am rubbing it in. That is not my intent :-/

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @MazdaThreeve, I did get lucky in that when I was ready for a Masters the local area was so hard up for people who had Masters in my field that there was grant money available to take care of those costs as long as I was willing to pledge a certain number of years to the district. (And be judged as a promising candidate in the field.)

          • 0 avatar

            “available to take care of those costs as long as I was willing to pledge a certain number of years to the district. (And be judged as a promising candidate in the field.)”

            Good stuff. Work-study programs are overlooked and very good, if folks can find them. Honestly, if it weren’t for the GI Bill being savaged, the military would be my first recommendation for many young folks looking to get their toe dipped in a technical or healthcare career.

          • 0 avatar
            windnsea00

            “I don’t trust people who say things like “grinding it out,” and “Going through my social circle.”

            I’m sure his LinkedIn contact list is yuuuge.”

            Lol, it is actually! I didn’t realize the old saying “It’s who you know, not what you know,” would be so relevant.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            You’re really filling in for the type of millennial we try to avoid round here, by the way.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @CoreyDL

            I might go back to 28-cars later “don’t get married” – the first wife ensured that I was paying bare minimums and mortgaged to the hilt as soon as I moved up the salary schedule a bit. It only took me 5 years to payoff the $14,000 of credit card debt she left in my name.

            My corollary would be “don’t get married to the wrong person.” Mixing economic classes (that you were raised in) is much harder in a marriage than mixing race or religion. My parents were high school graduates (full stop) while my ex-wife’s parents were both in fully unionized positions and didn’t have kids until they were almost 30 years old.

            My 2nd wife grew up in a double-wide trailer in a community that was a company town for a coal mine until the mines closed. She understands living within your means very well.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’ve already opined quite a bit on the subject, but there’s just no reason for the divorce horror stories other than it is intended to be a deliberate means to destroy wealth and families.

            Even in the original Soviet doctrine, neither party had any legal obligation to the other (the idea being you all belong to the state, anyway). Funny how we based our concepts on it but then conveniently leave out the legal “reset” at the end. Oops.

            I also like how when homosexual marriage was debated, the idea of polygamy was still considered abhorrent. Polygamists, while lesser in number, are just as disenfranchised as the homosexuals were but well you’re still second class citizens folks so GFY.

        • 0 avatar
          windnsea00

          ““Going through my social circle at the moment,”
          your “social circle” is not representative of society at large.
          jesus, talk about myopic.”

          Yes, but it demonstrates that you can be successful and a millenial at the same time, it’s up to the individual to choose how much effort to put forward to receive the results they wish for. I don’t doubt that’s harder than it was in the past but it’s merely a reality one must deal with.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    “At the middle of every great story in my life, whether it be a story of heartbreak, adventure, love, anticipation, regret — doesn’t matter the emotion, there’s always been a car directly in the center of the story. I bet if you think back in your life, you’d say the same. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you read these pages, along with our colleagues at Road & Track, Jalopnik, and others. At some point, a car meant something to you, and it wasn’t because you enjoyed writing the payment check to the bank every month, I’m guessing”

    And here we come to the Big Divide between regular folk and minority enthusiasts.

    For most of my peers, car ownership is about as special as owning a washing machine. Many view the mandatory insurance payment and monthly note as a drudge expense best forgoed if possible, especially in the Age of the Outsourced Professional Job.

    Another data point I’ll offer- some of the modern young parents and families grew up during the Fast and Furious heyday. Back when kids with Civics and Accords maxed out college student credit cards buying overnight parts from Japan while mom and dad travelled the globe on a HELOC.

    Then the party ended, big time. The house went upside down and foreclosed, the cards got charged off, & the boosted Civic tossed a rod .

    Now those modded Accords and Civics are in junkyards, and their former owners are working 9-5s driving CUVs. For that group , they’ve already done the enthusiast car thing and have moved on.

    The previous generation viewed the driving experience as something special. The next prefers to eliminate it entirely.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      You really touched on something deep with the ‘they’ve already done the enthusiast car thing and have moved on’.

      I know more than a few people for whom that’s the story. They used to have a cool car, now they need to schlep kids around and they actively seek out a car they don’t love because they don’t want to feel too bad when they wipe ice cream off the seat.

      And with rising insurance premiums (thanks uninsured drivers and police officers who don’t immediately arrest uninsured drivers and impound the car) and police who are inclined to pull over speeders but not the slow driving anti destination league, I wonder how much longer I’ll be driving at all. If I could just pay 30 cents a mile for a private car (driverless or not), I’d do it in a heartbeat and never look back except when I fall asleep on my commute and dream that my commute is though a mountain road rather than over a gridlocked freeway.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    Many of my greatest experiences (prior to meeting Karen) were in my Golf TDI, rest her poor soul. The vacation to NYC, the weekend trips to Roanoke Rapids, the costly 92 in a 45 ticket.. so I can relate to a car being a big part of my life.

    I remember my first ride, a 1997 Dakota.. getting a part-timer at Domino’s to help pay for it. Hitting a mailbox while fiddling with the AC… my first speeding ticket…

    So many cars, and yes many of them do align with memorable moments of my life. It will indeed be a sad day when I feel my car is just an appliance.

  • avatar
    Land Ark

    “According to the NADA, the average new car buyer is 51.7 years old, and earns about $80,000 per year. In comparison, the average age of Americans is 36.8 years, and the median income is roughly $50,000. In other words, Baby Boomers are buying all of the new cars right now.”

    Actually, someone 51.7 years old is technically an early Gen Xer. Gen X is said to start in 1961 – today a person born in ’61 would be 55.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Money can’t buy you happiness. But it can buy you a Cadillac so you can go look for it.

    /Not my quote/

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’ll add a spin to your hypothesis:

    An older car, perhaps less comfortable or less reliable, adds more memories, particularly if you as the owner are the one turning the wrenches. The car becomes the product of your blood and sweat and know-how.

    Now there’s a practical limit to this once one has adult priorities like a family they need to get safely and reliably to some place, and simply not enough time, energy, or desire to spend weekends in a garage.
    My dad has so many stories derived from our first family road trip in our sky blue Zaporozhets 966, to visit grandparents about 300km away. This was in 1990, nearing the peak of Soviet collapse. Our Zazik had a comfortable cruising speed of 60kph, and even then we needed to do some engine-off downhill coasting to let the rear-mounted air cooled 1.2L 40hp boxer cool off. Given the unpaved state of some roads back then, the lower speed was not too big of an impediment. The trip took about 10 hours with stops, including one when my dad had to go begging from fellow motorists standing in line for fuel, for some spare oil (a hard to find commodity) after he forgot to reinsert the dipstick at a rest stop. We have black and white pictures (used to develop them ourselves) of my dad leak testing an inner tube in my grandpa’s driveway, us curious toddlers looking on.

    As far as young people not buying new cars, I think that’s just fine. For myself, I just sold off my 4 year old low mileage Civic after realizing that I like having more in the bank and hate depreciation (however low it was on the Civic), and would rather scoop up a nice little beater/commuter Camry/Corolla/whatever for $2000. My favorite ‘hobby’ is keeping an older car on the road on the cheap, shopping for parts, getting cheap wheels/tires off craigslist, etc. I drove the Civic for 3 years and have almost no real memories associated with it, unlike its ’96 4Runner stablemate. A lot of that of course has to do with one car being used for errands and the other for various fun trips, pulling uhaul trailers and motorcycles when moving, etc.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      There’s a pretty cool PC game mirroring these old experiences you mentioned (still in alpha, but it’s fun). Jalopy – where you have to hold together some old Lada-ish vehicle on a journey across crumbling Bloc countries in 1990.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Haha are you serious? Man we lived it lol. My dad’s Zaporozhets had stainless steel mufflers welded up from scraps left from the construction of the particle accelerator where he worked (physicist), and he wired up his own battery booster device that can start the car (from the hand crank) using a wall outlet. He at one point had a battery from a T72 tank sitting in the trunk (ie “hood” on a normal car). People would use the links from tank treads to machine valve tappets due to the high quality steel (much better than what the car had from the factory). My parents waited in line for tires, they were given out two to a person.

        There’s a Russian word that encompasses all of this called “smekalka” It means craftiness/know-how/gumption all in one convenient word. It is a point of national pride, although the environment that necessitates its use maybe less so.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          The art style is fun, and you maintain and can scavenge parts for your Laika 601, East Germany’s finest offering.

          https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2016/03/jalopys-under-the-hood-gameplay-mechanics-explained/

          At the beginning of the game your uncle gives you the car, which is outside on blocks with no engine.

    • 0 avatar
      kobo1d

      This article presents a compelling argument to own A car, but not really ANY PARTICULAR car. Most twenty-somethings own a car. Maybe not a fancy, new car, but something. These “experiences” can be had in any car.

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      How much self-wrenching does your old 4Runner take to keep on the road? I see these come up in decent condition for $5-7k around here from time to time and know of their legendary bulletproof mechanical reputation which makes me want one as a side-ride, but I also know of their swiss-cheese frame rust reputation, which makes me want to run far away.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        1) As well as these are screwed together (and it is quite well indeed), 20 years old is 20 years old. Mine’s only needed preventative/wear sort of replacement parts, along with a fan clutch and a fuel injector over the past 3 years and 30k miles, oh and I messed around with putting in a different junkyard rear driveshaft ($20) to try and quell some highway vibes. It did need a full re-do of the tired stock shocks/struts and sagging rear coil springs and warped brakes when I got it. These sit high, with big tires, and not a very high curb weight to keep things settled. As a result, they’re very sensitive to wheel balance and any sort of worn suspension components (steering rack bushings, tie rod ends, control arm bushings) or bad ujoints. Stock front brakes are prone to warping, I swapped over to Tundra units, a bolt on affair. Also replaced starter contacts last summer.

        So as you can see, it ends up being a nice little laundry list. I could have literally not done any of that (except the injector and starter contacts) and had a technically fully functional vehicle, but I like my cars to drive as new as possible.

        These are not Tacoma frames made by DANA, they are fully boxed and made in Japan. While nowhere as big of a rust liability as Tacomas or Tundras of the era, with how old these are getting, I’d be VERY weary of a northern truck’s frame. They will rot out by the muffler towards the back by the axle, as well as by the rear trailing arm.

        Overall I think they make a fantastic secondary weekend hauler type of SUV. One could argue that a Montero Sport or Trooper could be a better value, same for an Explorer or Blazer. None will be as well put together or have as few weak points, and the Mitsubishi and Trooper will be harder to find parts for. The 3.4L V6 is as well built as any engine in the past century, racking up 300-400k miles even with mediocre maintenance. Same goes for the transmission, with a caveat being to bypass the stock radiator-internal transmission cooler with a standalone B&M unit and forget about it. No known electrical issues or anything like that. Bodies stay tight and rattle free and resist rust well for the era (except the steel bumpers). Lower ball joints can fail catastrophically and unexpectedly on high mile trucks that haven’t had them replaced. Common practice is to simply replace them every 120-150k miles, regardless if they still feel tight.

        Sorry for the diatribe, but hopefully that helps.

        • 0 avatar
          Coopdeville

          Extremely helpful thank you! I wasn’t aware I had these confused for Tacoma’s, thought it was all the trucks from that era, so that helps.

          We’re not exactly the rust belt, but we’re close, and the only ones I would consider would be some garage queen that lived in some upper middle class garage for 20 years and was maintained properly. I see both rusted out POS’s and spotless examples weekly around here.

          But I can’t get over the mental hurdle of nearly $5k for 200k miles, even as nice as some of these look: https://cargur.us/95gSg

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            At the end of the day, I think condition trumps make. I would not turn down a clean one owner S10 blazer in favor of a super high mile 4Runner.

            I actually think a really sweet spot is a ‘jellybean’ 95-01 Explorer/Mountaineer. Super common which equals low prices, cheap parts, and lots of spares in junkyards. The V8s got a sturdier transmission but also an AWD t-case with no low range as I recall. SOHC Cologne is known to lunch timing chain tensioners at higher mileage, if the rear one goes (yes it has timing chains on the front and rear of the motor, awful design that it is), you can basically scrap the truck at that point because it’s an engine-out job to repair (or throw in a used motor). Earlier OHV 4.0L Colognes are more robust but less powerful. V6 auto transmissions have some solenoid pack trouble (flare 2-2 IIRC). Front ends crap out early and often, but cheap to rebuild. There’s a ton of these rolling around with 200k+ miles, they are cockroaches.

            If you’re not going offroad where the 4Runner really dominates with its fat tires, clearance, skid plates, and optional rear locker, a much cheaper Explorer could be a more comfortable option.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Be careful with the 95-01 Ford twins, as they’re quite rust prone on wheel arches, rocker panels, door sills, and around running boards (if applicable).

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Correct Corey, one would have to be careful to check the body over carefully. But assuming you could find a clean rust free unit, the mechanicals are pretty hardy and easy to fix if they do need attention. I’d also argue a Explorer is roomier and more comfortable to sit in. The 4Runner has a rather narrow passenger compartment, and you sit with with your legs straight out, rather than in a chair position.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I seem to recall gen 2 and early gen 3 Explorers as being, well Exploders.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            28 days, 3rd gen (02-05 gen) certainly earns that term with distinction. In no particular order: wheel bearings, transfer cases, transmissions, engines, suspension, differentials. Some/All potential failure points on any given V6 truck. 2nd gen compares favorably, but not without some of its own issues that I outlined above. I think a lot of the reputation came by way of the rollover fiasco. There’s way too many gen 2 explorers with 200k+ miles to call them bad trucks IMO.

  • avatar
    Jim Broniec

    As some have already aluded – Everyone’s broke – Gen X & Y are still house poor from the Great Recession and some of us still have student loans hanging around.

    The boomers are the last bastion of spend what you make, live for today generation. They’re also the generation that ran up our deficit, didn’t invest in infrastructure, and are profiting the most from the robust stock market rebound.

    For the rest of us it isn’t even close – stagnant to depressive wages,
    highest health costs in history, a warming planet, and I don’t know if you’ve gone grocery shopping lately, but eating healthily costs far more than it did – analysts say prices for wheat or corn-based products are up 30-45% what they were just a scant 4 years ago.

    What I do when I have the urge to drive something fast, or to get a whiff of the new car smell is I rent one for the weekend – it helps that I have good relationships with Avis/Budget & Enterprise – but for $80-100 I get the thrill and the fun of the new car experience and then I come back to my paid for car satiated.

    I’d love to buy a new car – and if we weren’t 50K upside down on the house I would probably have an RX450 Hybrid in my garage as I type this.

    But that’s not the reality of now.

    • 0 avatar
      MBella

      Except you can’t rent really fun cars anymore. Everything is an automatic. If Hertz rented Miatas with manual transmissions the argument would work.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    Why do those two little kids get great greenhouses and I, core Boomer, get mirror-in-face?!

  • avatar
    brettc

    As a 39 year old, my memorable car experiences happened in my parent’s 1994 Accord DX and ’91 Dodge RAM 50 along with an ’85 Jetta diesel that I spent a lot of time fixing since it was 13 years old at the time.

    If car companies are going to appeal to young people to buy new cars, those new cars are going to have to be below $10000. Which pretty much goes into used car territory, which is what young people with high debt loads should be buying before throwing their money away on what will most likely be an endless cycle of lease payments.

    New cars are nice, but the associated debt of payments and insurance get old quickly. I can see why old(er) people are buying most of the new cars.

  • avatar
    madman2k

    A lot of people spend a TON of money on BS (jewelry, luxury clothes, dining out, going out drinking and clubbing, shopping for stuff that will just end up getting donated to a thrift store or thrown away, etc)

    I would rather just have car payments and have decent, reliable cars instead of wasting the same amount of money on random stuff throughout the month.

    I am a millennial, will be 27 in a few months, and I have bought two new vehicles so far; one is for my wife who is a stay-at-home mom of our two kids.

    I’d be willing to bet there are quite a few 26 year olds who spend the same money we do on two car payments, on consumables or one-time experiences.

    Of course situations are different, we don’t have student loan debt and I am in the military so when I hit my 20 year mark I will be 39 and can retire with a pension and still get a full time job if I want. I am planning to have a master’s degree by that time which will have cost me very little of my own money to get.

    We have credit card debt because I chose (probably poorly) to sink the proceeds of selling our last house into a fixer-upper house instead of paying off the credit cards. When we move and sell this one, there will be enough equity to pay the cards off at that point though.

    I read the Mr. Money Mustache site sometimes, but when it comes down to it I don’t get any pleasure from hoarding money, but I get a hell of a lot of pleasure from having a nice vehicle for me and for my wife.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      “spend the same money we do on two car payments, on consumables or one-time experiences.”

      This is what causes issues with me… I’d rather have material things that are going to last and actually do stuff. My wife like “experiences” and eating out… Ephemeral things… It really does seem like millennials (myself at 31 included) were very spoiled and continue to try to spoil ourselves without any long term thinking about what this does to us.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        Tinn-Can,

        Consider that life is pretty much made up of a series of experiences. You should try to get some good ones in while you can. The trick is to limit today’s experiences just enough that they don’t hurt your ability to enjoy tomorrow’s experiences.

        So, yeah, you can go to that wine tasting. But buy a bottle, not a case.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      Just wondering what the on base housing situation is like? If it’s agreeable, would you think about taking part?

      Makes it easier when you PCS.

      But I know there’s a range when it comes to base housing. Some is good and others I’d rather not speak of. At least in the Navy and Marine Corps.

      Don’t have much experience with the Air Force but from what I’ve seen, they live pretty good.

  • avatar
    Jeff Zekas

    Some baby boomers are buying cars to live out of, after they lost their jobs in the Crash of ’08. Not all boomers are doing well!

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    What a coincidence! Earlier this week, there was an article on my Facebook feed (via my local newspaper’s ad service) by a writer who was laughed off of this site wherein she talked about how a new Mercedes was an attainable goal for single mothers (she specifically targeted this group) in order to improve their “lifestyle.” In the same article she talked about how she paid her bills (mostly) on time, so it definitely wasn’t targeted at single mothers in the >$80k demographic.

    The truth is that in essence a car is a car. I think it was Andre Citroen who said there’s a much bigger difference between no car and an economy car than between an economy car and a luxury car.

    Like Bark, my first car was a Jetta. I was 18 and it was already 10 and rusting. It’s now nearly 15 years later, I’ve had fast motorcycles, a much nicer, slightly massaged convertible in the garage, and could buy a new Mercedes more easily than I was able to pay for that Jetta, but no vehicle will match the memories I made with that old VW. Similarly, my first bike, an old Ninja 600 that cost 10% of my last bike made me far more memories at 20 than the far superior machine I was able to afford at 27.

    It was my age and the freedom of having a car/bike that mattered. Heated leather seats won’t bring you happiness or change your station in life. The freedom of having wheels might, especially if you still have financial headroom left over to do other things as well.

    • 0 avatar
      Jeff Zekas

      Well said, JuniperBug. My first car was a ’58 Beetle: no gas gauge, no carpets, no A/C but it ran, took me on wild rides and had room for girls, and only cost me $300; bought from a hippy who left his roach clips on the dash.

    • 0 avatar
      horsey

      I agree completely.

      My first car was a 1991 Honda Accord. No airbags, automatic seatbelts, no cup-holders, power antenna, 80’s red interior. When I got it, it was 17 years old and nearing 200k miles. Loved that car even when it was broken down, and after I wrecked it and couldn’t afford to fix it–I still hand washed that car because it was my teenage ticket to freedom.

      As a millennial, I was fortunate enough to buy my first new car two years ago. I know the specs and I hand picked the thing. Of the cars I have owned, it’s the closest spiritual successor to my first Accord, and it’s nicer in every single conceivable way, but it’s not the 91 Accord.

      It, and no other car, has ever brought any of the same memories. My last car got close because it was the first major purchase that my spouse and I made together, but that’s about it.

      Andre Citroen’s quote hit the nail on the head.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    “How old do you think the average new car buyer in America is? Go on, take a guess.”

    I skew older and already knew the answer. And while a trip to the Louvre is less expensive than a BMW, having been to the museum, I’d prefer the BMW (or a Miata, or a Mustang). We’re car guys, so like Bark, I also see a car as part of the family and not just a thing.

    But as others have written, the young are saddled with college debt, although I believe their job prospects have been slowly improving. With or without money, they’ll make their own memories in their own way.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Bark, When are you going to start telling the younger generation to “get off your lawn”.

    The sentiment behind the article is lovely and so is the prose. But it is so 20th century.

    North America is becoming more and more urban. Urban density is rising. Younger generations are sharing cars, taking public transit and/or bicycling or walking to work. Or working from home.

    In most jurisdictions you can no longer buy a cheap used beater and load it up with friends and drive around. Insurance for young drivers is astronomical. Fuel costs are exorbitant. Used cars need to pass safety and emissions testing. And vehicles have become so complicated that they are just as much electronic instruments as mechanical devices. Special tools and codes are required, engine bays are too cramped and the government puts restrictions on working in parking lots, driveways and disposing of your waste.

    The days of cruising American Graffiti style are long past. The days of a young North American male defining his coming of age with getting his driver’s license or first vehicle are past.

    And for younger generations defining your status in life by the vehicle that you drive is also past or passing.

    Back in my day we bought a beater for a couple of hundred dollars, got it running, bought insurance by the month, loaded it up with friends (no seatbelt laws then) and drove around all night for about $5 worth of gas. When we could no longer keep it running, we sold it and bought another.

    And back then motels/hotels would not rent rooms to ‘minors’, parents certainly would not let your boyfriend/girlfriend stay in your room with the door closed. The car for those generations represented freedom, independence and a place for private, intimate moments.

    C’est fini.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      Arthur, the population growth in the US is still in the suburbs, beater cars are still available, and gasoline currently costs about $2/gallon. Car insurance is expensive for the part of the population that obeys the law, but it’s effectively zero in the areas where most the business signs are in Spanish. My first car with a carburetor and mechanical points had all kinds of finicky mechanical adjustments. The later cars with electronic fuel injection just run with maybe one change of spark plugs in the life of the car. I haven’t touched a timing light in decades. Anyone can drive to AutoZone and get free help finding out why the check engine light came on. If you do your own car repairs, it’s super easy to find “How-to” videos to help.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @GeorgeB: basing beliefs on your personal experience rather than statistics creates false assumptions. And Trumpisms.

        Such as stereotyping people as acting in contravention of the law based on their first language.

        North America is increasingly urban, rather than rural. That is a statistical fact.
        Developers are trending towards building condos rather than single family dwellings. Particularly in the fastest growing urban areas. Another fact.
        The younger generation if not living with their parents are therefore increasingly living in urban environments.

        The suburban ideal of the 1950’s is thus to be expressed in the past tense.

        And not everybody wants to drive to AutoZone and get a read-out. A significant number of of auto owners would never touch anything under their hood. That is one reason why the Camacord is so popular.

        Why do you think Uber became a billion dollar corporation? Because so many millenials own beaters or because they don’t own a vehicle?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Anything Wall Street gets interested in becomes a billion dollar corporation. Uber only this year became profitable in the US, and still lost $1.6 billion globally. Tesla loses money. Amazon loses money. Then there is Theranos:

          http://qz.com/707143/only-in-silicon-valley-could-elizabeth-holmes-lose-4-5-billion-she-never-had-to-begin-with/

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            I’ll grant you a partial regarding Uber.

            However one reason Wall Street got interested is because Uber is marketed to and used by the younger, urban generation. Which Wall Street recognizes as a growing market.

            And now even GM is getting interested in the car sharing economy.

            We are experiencing a significant sea change in automotive history. Internal combustion, gas powered engines in privately owned cars, driven by human operators may be a minority of vehicles within just the next couple of decades.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            I don’t understand how Theranos’ company is still valued at $800 million, which must seem like a pittance to the morons that once valued it at $9 billion. The reason they reassessed was because her products don’t work and almost certainly never will. That means that all the company has is a bottomless well of liabilities, which doesn’t seem like it’d be worth $800 million to me.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            “Do what someone else is doing, but through a smartphone app” automatically makes your company worth $18 billion.

        • 0 avatar

          A big chunk of Uber’s success is because it gets you places when you’re drunk.

          Ironically, almost all of my Uber rides have been to/from repair shops getting my cars worked on.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “And for younger generations defining your status in life by the vehicle that you drive is also past or passing.”

      far too many people long for this country to return to the way things were, basically never. They watch too many TV shows from the ’50s and ’60s, and think that’s the way things actually *were* back then.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Great idea, actually. Our best memories in our cars aren’t the commutes or trips to the grocery store, but joking with friends in the high school parking lot, crossing state lines on a long trip, romantic interludes, camping trips, moving out, moving in, opening the door and breathing the fresh scented air of a unique and new place.
    The new Mazda Miata commercial gets it to a certain degree.

    So, B&B, what are your most memorable car moments? One of mine is putting my newborn baby daughter in her safety seat for the trip home from the hospital.

    • 0 avatar
      TriumphDriver

      Best memories? Since I have 45 years of them to choose from it’s a tough call.
      Diagnosing cross-fire due to plug wire insulation failure in my old CJ7 on a cross country trip in Utah, and finding the right replacement set in K-Mart in St. George, fixing it in the parking lot.
      Pulling the engine out of my MGB with my teenage daughter one weekend to change a clutch.
      Driving the MGB to Maine when it was 15F, doing 85 on the Maine turnpike and still getting no heat out of it. My poor dog was curled up as tight as I’ve ever seen her.
      Driving the MGB on I-5 when it was 115F and it didn’t come close to overheating.
      Winning a shortest distance fun rally in my Spitfire by taking a river ferry to avoid a lot of miles to get to the nearest bridge.
      The common denominator is all old vehicles that I maintained myself. I’ve owned plenty of new cars, none of them were that much fun really.

  • avatar
    redliner

    The problem here is that owning a “luxury” car is no longer a luxury… for most middle Americans, it’s a burden, measured in months. It is not a window to an intriguing adventure, but rather a path to financial slavery.

    Never before have luxury cars provided so little value. Affordable cars are more safe, comfortable, powerful, and reliable than ever before and the delta between the two has never been so small.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      The amusing thing about luxury cars is that, even if you did pay $60K for it brand new, you’ll look like a poser in 3-5 years. But that’s what the leasing hamster wheel is for.

  • avatar
    threeer

    My son, now 25, just recently purchased his first car (actually, a truck). He waited nearly three years after graduating from the AF Academy before buying it. He’s about two months shy of having it paid for entirely (purchase price right around $20k). Granted, he’s not the typical demographic of the age group…heck, he actually owns two cars, as he steadfastly refused to part with the 1997 Toyota Tercel we got for him back in high school (he started driving it in 2008) as he uses it for his daily commute from Wilmington down to Dover. The F150 is used primarily weekends when he hauls his other pilot-buddies around for going to the lake/beach/whatever. The kid is debt-adverse (sorry, Ramsey haters…) and cringes at the thought of carrying the payment any further than he already has planned to pay it completely off. But the vehicle isn’t seen to him as some sort of status (he’s a pilot. Most of his buds went out and bought Mustangs, Camaros or used Vettes when they graduated. He kept his Tercel), he likes to be the one to be able to carry friends and gear when they go off for weekend excursions. And he plans on keeping both cars until the wheels fall off (I’m putting my money on the Tercel outlasting the F150…lol).

  • avatar
    bunkie

    “In fact, many of these articles specifically point out how owning a new BMW won’t make you as happy as visiting the Louvre will.”

    The sad truth is that neither experience is the ne plus ultra experience that people think they are. For each Mona Lisa, the Louvre is *filled* with endless renditions of St. Bruno being lifted up to heaven and vanity pieces for rich people who had themselves painted as disciples or saints. As for BMWs, I’m not sure the price premium is worth the extra that you get over some other lower-priced cars.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      I was disappointed when I saw the Mona Lisa. There was a crowd around her and she was in a plexiglass cube and under special lighting. No flash photography was allowed as repeated flashes would damage the painting. Viewing the Mona Lisa this way was not much different than viewing her on my computer.

      Like @Baconator said elsewhere, I too would find examining cars up close much more satisfying,

  • avatar
    readallover

    In my life, I have observed one sure way to do what you want and have the funds to acquire vehicles you are proud of: Do not get married.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Post 1970, I must agree.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Seems to work out OK if you marry the right person. Dual incomes and a built-in support system enables more risk taking and adventure.

      Kids are the real money/time/freedom vampires. Best to just skip that.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Then there is no future. That’s why child rearing was made so difficult and expensive in the first place, it was not by accident.

        Destroy the women, you destroy the family, and thus the future.

        “The people who can destroy a thing, they control it.”
        ― Frank Herbert, Dune

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          I genuinely do not care.

          I am more concerned about *my* future and my ability to fill it with the people and activities and things I like most than I am with the long term prospects for the species/country/whatever.

          Feel free to make life decisions based on red pill social complaints and conspiracy theories about secret communists trying to destroy the future. Enjoy your quest for a golden age that never actually existed.

          I’ll just have fun and save money instead.

          There seem to be plenty of people having kids, I’m confident that year 2500 will be about the same regardless of what choices I make about children or the lack thereof.

          I hear lots of guys complain about the ladies in my ~MY1985 age group, and don’t get it.

          “Destroy the women” WTF?

          I’ve not observed any shortage of smart, attractive, low-maintenance gals who have their life/career/health together. Fortunately, these seem to be the ones who are least likely to want kids!

          As for the costs of divorce and alimony and whatnot – who gets married without a prenup?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            A question I ask of myself, that I now pose to you: where will you be in thirty years? Whatever is or is not happening in the world around you will shape the world of thirty years hence. You can fill your life with positive experiences, with possessions, with sex, drugs and rock n’roll and I certainly won’t stop you. But those things, as necessary as they may be, are ultimately hollow. The truly important things are family and future from what I have learned with great personal pains. But to each his own.

            “I’ve not observed any shortage of smart, attractive, low-maintenance gals who have their life/career/health together. Fortunately, these seem to be the ones who are least likely to want kids!”

            What we have to accept about ourselves as humans is ultimately, we are the bell curve. Sure you, I, your friends, or anyone here might be a few pips off the mean in either direction but the truth is we are the status quo. We have been told since youth you can be an astronaut, you can be president, and its bulls*it. The women were told the same, except they were also told you can have a career and family if you choose, you can defy thousands of years of society because you’re exceptional. Its the same line of bullsh*t. WE are the bell curve, WE are not too exceptional.

            There are those who are outliers of course, those who are truly genius at one end of the spectrum and mentally deficient on the other. Their lives will be very different than those of us in the mean. If you happen to be an outlier, kudos go figure things out for yourself. But guess what? Very few of us fall into this category. What’s best for us and society as a whole is to continue the status quo for the next generation. But so many have been told the opposite, and they really believe the beautiful lies.

            I’ve dealt with many women, in all capacities, in my life. I have met two who were truly exceptional human beings, one is now an aeronautical engineer and the other an MD. Outliers to the extreme, and they both have the potential to advance humanity. But guess what, none of the rest do and I’m guessing every women you describe falls into the bell curve. Their life purpose is reproduction and family, but they’ve been lied too just as we all have. I say, unmake the lies because one day we’re all going to wake up one day and be sixty. Don’t wake up with regret.

            “As for the costs of divorce and alimony and whatnot – who gets married without a prenup?”

            Good luck with that, the chips are already stacked against you. My thought is to either get married in a country where the US won’t recognize it or in a country where divorce is more difficult (such as Switzerland).

            “Many people consider prenuptial agreements to be the be all, end all of contracts. As It turns out, an airtight prenup is exceedingly rare. There are a number of factors that can result in a judge overturning a prenuptial agreement, but reaching that point is difficult.”

            http://www.beierlaw.com/blog/can-prenuptial-agreement-overturned/

          • 0 avatar
            bikegoesbaa

            1) Who are you to tell a woman that her “life purpose” is to settle down and serve as a brood mare because she is not sufficiently ranked on the bell curve?

            2) We are fortunate to live in an era where people are not simply slaves to reproductive biology and the prejudices of the past. Embrace it.

            3) I’m not sure what I’ll be doing in 30 years. I expect/hope to be mostly retired (but doing consulting work on the side), riding my motorcycle, and traveling. Maybe I’ll change my mind and do something else. Regardless, I’m sure I’ll have more latitude to make that choice as a not-parent.

            4) Family =/= children. You can have a family without having kids.

          • 0 avatar
            Kenmore

            Bravo, bikegoesbaa.

            Arm women so one of them can cover the islamist while another slices it off and feeds it to the pigs.

          • 0 avatar
            kvndoom

            I don’t get the hate towards people who choose not to have families. Men or women.

            America is at a bad point right now where our job market is shrinking at a huge pace. Our population isn’t growing at the rate it once was, but it IS still growing.

            More people combined with fewer jobs leads to chaos. Just ask Detroit, Cleveland, places like that where the jobs all dried up but people still keep fcking and churning out babies. Those who complain about welfare, drugs, and other rampant problems have to see that it can’t work both ways. Those things fill in the gaps made by having significantly more work-eligible citizens than jobs.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            1. Logic. Mass deviation from reality produces the malformed society as we see today.
            2. Its quite foolish to believe you or anyone can argue with thousands of years of proven human behavior. I’m quite libertarian to a point but from a macro standpoint when everyone deviates from the norm it affects us all.
            3. I think its good to start thinking about these things now. I hope to live somewhere in a stable society, although doing what I’m not so sure.
            4. You are free to make your own choices, perhaps you won’t find things as hollow. The greater threat on a macro level is when good people stop reproducing, then we are left with a future of Idiocracy.

      • 0 avatar
        readallover

        In the end, it was not the kids I regretted…
        Divorce & alimony is the biggest destroyer of wealth.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Which is by design, no fault divorce is based on a circa 1925 Soviet concept to establish the socialist transformation of society.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No-fault_divorce

          Even for those not paying attention, do you know when I KNEW it was fixed? When gay marriage was being debated and of course every simpleton I met just had to know my opinion, I responded with: if we alter the laws for gays, the entire marriage law concept needs to also be redesigned because it clearly does no work if marriage fails upwards of 50% of the time.

          So what did they overlords do? They decreed the gays will just do what you have been doing, which accomplishes two things:

          1. slaps everyone in the face who was against gay marriage, a nice victory for the American Communists

          and

          2. does nothing to address the broken concept and Soviet derived law which destroys wealth and families while wrecking society.

          However, marriage is primarily about wealth/estates and children, the latter of which the homosexuals will not take part in for a number of reasons. So by leaving a broken system in place, you cut off the legs of the future which is by design. We didn’t win the war after all, gents.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “marriage is primarily about wealth/estates and children”

            This is an interesting comment and many experts has stated is the reason why large churches i.e. Roman Catholic decreed that priests, nuns, and brother’s will not marry. Wealth, power and property is passed on to the church as opposed to progeny.

            A communist system would also see the value in breaking up the institution of marriage. Power, property and wealth goes to the collective.

            The real truth isn’t so much to blame the “system” or fundamental ideology of the system but to cast blame upon those that run it and manipulate it. The collective “they” will do what ever it takes to amass wealth and power.

      • 0 avatar
        SP

        Interesting. So the ones who place more value on their personal enjoyment than on passing on love, affection, gifts, and values to a helpless other will, in fact, end their own bloodlines voluntarily. And those who are so inclined and capable of raising children to adulthood (and surviving) will form the next generation. Society therefore maintaining some kind of equilibrium and selecting for the traits that maintain the society.

  • avatar

    Isn’t this what Porsche, the most profitable (per unit) automaker on the planet, sort of does already?

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    The road trips I remember most fondly were taken in POS vehicles that were only one small step above crusher food.
    With age and slowing growing affluence, I bought and traveled in better cars and minivans. Being removed from the threat of unexpected breakdowns when traveling with children was a big load lifted during those trips. While this enabled me to enjoy the trip real time, the more iffy earlier trips seem to have more memory weight for me.
    Now, most of the trips I take are by air which I equate with spending money to be annoyed and abused. I know first world problems. But, once I’m there I soon forget the hassle of modern air travel until it’s time for the next trip.
    Getting back to cars, I think that the manufacturers have their work cut out for them selling good memories. What used to be open interstate highways are now clogged even during non rush hours. Truck traffic is heavier and accidents more frequent. The disconnect between the expected travel experience and reality could easily backfire on car manufacturers who try too hard to sell feelings. I’m looking at you Subaru.

  • avatar
    yamahog

    #letsgoplaces is a smart campaign.

    but the issue isn’t convincing people they need a car (I can’t imagine a good campaign is going to persuade someone who rides the subway and lives in Brooklyn to go buy a car and figure out parking), the issue is convincing people they need a new car.

    Lastly, young people and old people roughly want the same things when they shop in the same class. Young and old alike enjoy seeing over traffic and comfortable ingress/egress when they buy CUVs. Young and old alike enjoy the idea of a V8 mustang.

    But when I look around at the cars my young colleagues buy new it’s the performance bargains – WRXs, GTIs, and more Focus STs than you can shake a stick at. And most of my young colleagues drive the cars you’d expect cost-conscious people to drive – older Japanese sedans.

    There are many cars that young people would like to buy at prices the car makers would like to sell them at, but not at the expense of reducing prices for everyone.

    Here’s my example – Mustang GTs. The premium for a V8 in the Mustang over a V6 is something like $8k. The premium for the V8 over the N/A V6 in the F150 is something like 2k.

    Presumably, there are some young people who would pay between 2-8k more for a V8, but as the price increases fewer and fewer people are willing to pay.

    But Ford can’t decrease the price of the Mustang GT for young people and keep the 8k premium going for geezers who have the willingness to pay for the V8.

    I don’t see anything changing as long as car companies keep designing to people who are willing to drop 35k on ‘Stang GTs and CUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      cimarron typeR

      I bet the V6 mustang would outpace the GTI, WRX, FoST that the young people are buying with some basic bolt ons and summer tires, while sounding better and more dynamic in the corners. I’m getting to the age (faster than I thought I would )where chasing numbers /statsis less important now.

      • 0 avatar
        yamahog

        I don’t think you got the point – younger people are buying WRXs and such because they’re priced more for young people. Rich boomers aren’t going to get the manual only FoSTs and so Ford prices them to sell to younger people.

        Ford could sell $24k stripped out V8 ‘stangs to 24 year olds and probably make money at it but they can’t because then they’d have to sell $24k stang GTs to old people who would otherwise be willing to pay $34k for the ‘stangs.

  • avatar
    WooHoo

    I don’t often comment, but this article and many of the comments have inspired me to find my username and password.
    I have countless memories tied to cars; tons of beaters and hoopties from my “misspent” youth – tons of tools and parts to keep them alive for one more paycheck, cars we have purchased right off of the showroom floor, cars my family owned, tons of memories.
    I have never considered myself an enthusiast, but have always loved cars, trucks and all things transportation. I am still in love with my daily driver (the first truck I bought new.) Coming from families that enjoyed the entire automotive experience, The Missus and I have imparted much of that love into The Boy. At 10 years old, he already appreciates and enjoys cars, etc. and more importantly the memories and experiences that have already been permanently woven into the fabric of his being. When we finally sold her ’03 Wrangler, he cried…..she cried….I may have even misted up for a moment, we had many miles of fun in that thing. I still keep pictures of my old rides and happily and readily share stories when asked. None of them fancy, fast, high performance, hell, most of them were not even pretty, but the times we had. My son will know the love of vehicle ownership, from the pain of payments, insurance and busted knuckles to the absolute joy in the freedom that a set of wheels gives you – even if it’s just a trip to the hardware store.
    Ultimately, it’s not a task to be left for an ad agency, it is our responsibility – our duty to make sure that future generations “get it”: the love of the open road be it the reality or the concept. We may not hit the open road like we once did or want to, but love the idea that we can at any moment.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for finding your login!

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @WooHoo – what makes a vehicle valuable is not the money spent restoring it or the snob appeal it projects but as you have pointed out, the shared experiences that involve it.

      In some respects it is like the old biker saying, “If I have to explain why I ride, you won’t understand.”

      Those of us here for the most part, understand.

  • avatar
    George B

    The Toyota “Let’s Go Places” ads work because they show very ordinary cars being used in weird ways. Works because they don’t take themselves too seriously.

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    BMW has created its own mess by becoming what it originally mocked. The cars have become bloated luxobarges. Hideous cockroaches like the X6 are merely the turd on the cake.

    Here in Vancouver Bimmers have become the clichéd vehicle of choice for the Chinese nouveau riche who have been arriving to stash their cash in real estate.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Interesting .
    .
    I thought this would be all about the experiences in various first cars, trucks or Motos .
    .
    Agreed it’s our _duty_ to show our Children and other people too , just how much fun traveling is , warts and all .
    .
    -Nate

  • avatar
    05lgt

    You know that the 52 – the 16 is the 36, right? You mention all 3 numbers in the piece. Assume even distribution and knock off that no one buys a car in their first 16 years… I like the rest of the story, it’s just the premise that doesn’t work for me.

  • avatar

    As much as people like to bash modern air travel for it’s cattle-like conditions, the fact that those cattle-like conditions mean lower fares is part of the reason that young people can afford to pay for travel in the first place.

    I for one like cars and don’t really get the appeal of travel beyond the occasional road trip, but different strokes for different folks. As long as you can afford your life choices and don’t try to interfere with mine, it’s not my job to tell you what to do. Unless you are on my lawn. In which case, please get off.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    ‘We’ are getting old. *kids’ nowadays don’t have their experiences in cars. They have them in forums, chatrooms, videochats and on their smartphones. Not many people can drive from Ohio to Sweden or Vietnam to discuss upgrades for a Zonda, but in Forza online on an Xbox, they can. Who wants to spend all day talking to the weirdo in class who thinks the Bentley GT is the coolest mod in GTA5, and listens to Nickleback, when you can ‘hang’ with what is presumably a gamer-girl on the other side of the planet who likes exactly the same music and virtual cars that you do.
    Ok, these are exaggerations, but for many young people today having experiences online makes much more sense than spending an awful lot of money just to drive a few miles to hang with someone who is just staring into their own phone. Not to mention the risk of going outside in the first place. The generation half a notch above me (I’m born in ’78 and my oldest was born in ’99) has taught our children that just about everything we thought was fun is more or less insanely dangerous or downright lethal.
    And even if it’s not right to blame BMW, they are part of the problem. They literally have to make up new models every forthnight to stay relevant in the media.
    Modern technology along with modern marketing and capitalism/consumerism means that a lot of people exist only to earn money to buy things they want, more than things they need. Marketing and commercials and brand-building are massive industries that absorb completely insane sums of money compared to how important they are for our survival.
    Seriously, some of the most ‘awesome’ actionmovies made today are literally about nothing except marketing goods for sale (Avengers, Transformers etc.)
    People are literally going to cinemas to watch 3 hour long commercials. And tbh, those commercials are sometimes even entertaining. (not Fury-Road entertaining, but still fun)
    And just look at things like the ‘console-wars’ or the ‘Iphone vs Android’ or any other discussion where people are literally arguing about what company they’d rather give their money to, and why the thingy they waste their money on is better than the thingy the other person wastes their money…
    But, at least someday we may be able to get a free (or at least a 1$) car with our Exxon- or BP- or ‘Verizone-interstates’-montly deals like we do with phones. Or a free car covered in 24 hour LED commercials.
    We even have some great early examples right here, with car journalists and Youtubers literally being able to buy cars with money they made from just talking/writing about cars. Will it collapse eventually? Offcourse, but not this month.

  • avatar
    Chan

    I’m an early millennial. While I myself have the fortune and fruit of labour to indulge in cars, I am under no illusion that my peers cannot or have no interest in it.

    Most people in my age group cannot afford new cars.

    Many are saddled with what remains of their student loans.

    Those who are in good shape with their student loans are saddled with huge mortgages and skyrocketing rent that they can barely afford.

    The living costs in California have ensured that only the more hardcore enthusiasts can even afford to think of a fun car, let alone spend money on one. Ever since the reality of leaving school and starting work, cars have never been a casual conversation topic in my circle. It’s mainly because we as a generation can’t afford them.

    We talk about smart phones, kids and vacations. Stuff that we can afford. How I wish this could also be true of cars. My hobby is lonely.

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    Maybe it just means used cars work well for a lot of people.

  • avatar
    RobertRyan

    Yes, I had an Austrian and a German from Berlin, state their dialect is almost impossible to understand. That is why they have their own TV/Radio stations. Not the same for the French or Italian speakers. There is another small language group in Switzerland, called Romansch, but never went to where they live

  • avatar
    binksman

    I’m in my late 30’s. Even when I was in high school, I was in the minority in that I had to buy my own car (truck in my case). Most of the kids had some slightly older car that used to be Mom and Dad’s. A good number of the kids were given new cars outright. From my own observations, that’s still the case more often than not.

    Could it be that much of the younger generation’s comparative lack of enthusiasm for automobiles is because so many were just given a vehicle and associate it with the same level of desire as a new pair of fashionably ripped jeans?

  • avatar
    ttacfan

    I wonder if this number is skewed by the way how purchase agreements are structured. With an average new car sold in ~$28K or so, there’s no way a bank would finance a purchase to someone just out of college. So, a young person needs a cosigner, even if they are going to make payments on their own. Then dealer’s financial guy says that if on the paper parent buys the car and kid becomes a cosigner, interest rate goes down and we would save $25-$50 a month. Boom! Another buyer in mid to late 50s.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      You raise a good point. But the co-signer hypothesis can also be cancelled out by the used car hypothesis. That is, instead of the parents co-signing for a new car, they give their child the old family car and buy themselves a new one.

      Without more detail or access to the numbers, we can’t know for sure.

  • avatar
    baconator

    I’m with Bark on this one. Even in urban centers, cars are the way to get to memorable experiences.

    And of course I think of driving as an experience to be savored, and have bought cars with that intention in mind. That’s what makes me a car enthusiast.

    I’ve been to the Louvre a couple of times – nothing in there left an impression on me nearly so strong as seeing the perfectly-matched carbon-fibre weave across the panels of a Pagani Huayra, or the engine bay of a McLaren F1. Cars *are* art, and the most collectible ones are priced exactly that way.

  • avatar
    turf3

    If you want to motivate younger people to buy new cars, additional ad campaigns are not the answer. That’s the typical 2010’s MBA-daddy response to everything; the fix is just better ads.

    If you want to motivate younger people to buy new cars, here is what needs to happen:

    1) Institute governmental policies that help to bring manufacturing back to the US. Wealth creating jobs raise the standard of living for all, and those working in those jobs have stability and can plan for a future that might include things like paying off a car loan. Barista, lawyer, entertainment, and Wal Mart jobs do not.

    2) Raise interest rates to drive down house prices, which will have the follow-on effect of reducing rents, thus freeing up housing dollars for other types of purchases.

    3) Implement measures to control the absurd growth in the cost of higher education and the consequent ridiculous levels of student debt.

    4) Implement measures to encourage those who are not cut out to obtain a degree in a technical field with good employment potential to take other career paths. Some examples that come to mind are machinist apprenticeships, CNC programming, etc. See (1) above.

    5) Place controls on the importation of low wage labor from out of country.

    6) Implement tax incentives for companies that move jobs from overseas to the US and implement tax disincentives for companies that go the other way. Want that lower corporate tax rate you’ve been asking for? Great, let’s see a 10% per year reduction in foreign labor and a concurrent 10% per year increase in US labor, and we will cut your corporate tax rate.

    7) Once (6) is done, start busting the union-busters.

    8) Place stringent controls on financial manipulations done under the mantra of “shareholder value” that end up gutting US companies and enriching a tiny fraction of the populace at the expense of our economy’s long term sustainability.

    • 0 avatar

      So government can solve all of your problems, eh?

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        well, 2007-2010 showed that the “free market” is capable of screwing things up beyond comprehension.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        Do you really think that the US government is not currently heavily involved in the economy?

        Do you really think that the solution to the elimination of the American middle class over the last 30 years is a better advertising campaign?

      • 0 avatar

        It’s always a grey area the world is a grey bleak place in reality.
        Government won’t solve your problems but neither will the removal of too much government either. All the above proposals seem reasonable, as flawed as our system is a completely free market and a completely controlling government, are far worse. It’s best to keep what we have with the understanding the the government must increase and decrease their involvement in order to adjust with the times and citizenry. To keep screaming from one side or the other is merely a distraction. Each individual area must be weighed on it’s individual merit on society with out the constant screaming that we need less regulation no matter what.

        • 0 avatar
          turf3

          Thanks,

          I also point out that all my points (1) ~ (8) basically recommend changing the way government intervenes in areas where they already intervene heavily, not adding government involvement to areas where they aren’t involved.

          Just as one example: The US currently has a high corporate income tax rate, and a low income tax rate on capital gains, which is interpreted to include earnings on stock options etc. I believe that this encourages businesses not to do business in the US and also encourages executives to do anything that puffs up stock prices in the short term, at the expense of long term viability of their companies. Now consider if you swap those and tax earnings off stock options more highly, and tax corporate income from business done in the US with US workers at a lower rate. What behaviors do you think would now be incentivized? Is it possible that executives would now find increased value in hiring US workers to work in the US, and less value in peforming financial manipulations to bump stock prices this quarter? Which behaviors do we want to encourage, and which do we want to discourage?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Wow, Turf3. What a naive and negative comment.

      So, how much does it cost the government to process every tax dollar and manage every regulatory change that is made?

      Wouldn’t it be wiser for you to get off of your a$$ and make something of yourself instead of this sense of entitlement you appear to exhibit?

      Lifes a bitch, then you die. What happens in between is up to you.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        You actually know nothing about my personal career and economic trajectory.

        I’m way too old for a “sense of entitlement” to apply. My decisions have been made based on the way things were when I was young. I fail, however, to see how promoting the growth of wealth creating activities such as manufacturing, on the grounds that a healthy domestic industry is best for all groups of citizens, not just the ones at the top, is either “naïve” or “negative”.

        I think what’s far more negative is to assume that younger people are such idiots that they will be moved against their own financial well being to buy new cars they can’t afford if the car makers just implement new ad campaigns, and that doing so would be a positive development for our society.

        I maintain that the health of a society is not determined by how well the people at the top are doing but by how well those in the middle and at the bottom are doing.

      • 0 avatar

        Big Al, if people never get involved with making the world a better place and instead merely focus on increasing their own standing in life, I think it will be a very sad state of affairs for all involved.
        I haven’t been unemployed since I was 19 (and between 15 and 19 I way only every unemployed for a few months. I bought a house when I was 21, and have bought dozens of used cars for cash, I still want to make the US a better place for the middle class and I think that will involve some government intervention, and I’m fine with that, I don’t think I’m entitled.

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I agree with you almost 100% When I was a child (1980’s), kids who knew they couldn’t go to college (grades or finances) weren’t worried because they knew there was factory jobs or the military.

      Kids now are truly scared of the future. Those who aren’t scared are either rich or oblivious, and the latter set will get smacked HARD when reality hits.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        not only that. getting a degree that’s applicable to getting a decent paying job means you’ll have to specialize. Which means that any significant changes to the economy and/or job market can still leave you holding the bag.

        like when the SHTF in 2009. my industry had been shedding jobs for several years prior, and I was in danger of losing mine. When I lamented the possibility of that happening and being out of work for an indefinite amount of time, I had some jerk say “I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s plenty of jobs out there! Look, here’s 12 openings for Java programmers in New Jersey!” Which was great and all, but 1) I’m a mechanical engineer, 2) I live in Michigan. So what do I know about Java programming? But in this idiot’s mind, I’m supposed to learn Java overnight and relocate to apply for a job I’m not going to get anyway since I have no experience (and would probably be passed over for an H1B anyway.) But, “bootstraps,” don’tcha know.

        • 0 avatar
          kvndoom

          No kidding. We get Engineers with PHD’s applying for entry-level technician jobs. One reaches a point where they don’t care if it’s 120k or 40k, they just need a paycheck.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    “The reason all these people target luxury car ownership as being a wasteful expense is because they’re failing to realize what luxury (or sports) car ownership should be about — it should be about the experience, not the ownership.”

    This to me is the most significant comment in the article.

    Because the reality is most of us don’t require what we own to exist, motor vehicles included.

    Humans build themselves around a facade, all do this. We do this as a defensive measure. Cars and the other useless/ful items we own display what we want to be and not what we really are.

    The worst of them are the pickup people. They (75%) want all to think they are always doing something, big and tough. So they buy the most capable product to display their bigness and the reality is they never utilise the capability of what they own. The same goes for many of the V8 people, they want big, again why? They think others are impressed with their bigness.

    Status is what it is about and always has been. I’d bet the Romans had their equivalent of FCA chariots, you know the ones with the latest tech harnesses an new high tech animal fat lubrication. Except the FCA chariots probably littered the side of those Roman roads. The Ford and GM chariot owner probably made lewd comments to antagonise those FCA chariot owners.

    The Romans even had their version of speedway, quite aggressive as it still can be this day and age. So the US adopted/copied the Italians! So how NASCAR is NASCAR? Some food for thought.

    True automotive affectioncondos will drive anything. Because any vehicle has it’s limits which need assessing and re-assessing.

    I know. I used to be one of those people involved building and spending countless hours with my own performance vehicles. So, I could test the vehicle and myself.

    I still do it. It’s call off roading. Much more enjoyable and not so much fun.

    The reason why we change with our vehicles and buy blander vehicles as we grow old is we tend to want to enjoy our activities and not have fun. Fun is for kids. Fun is playing and playing is learnng. Enjoyments is using what you’ve learnt and letting it work for you.

    So, yeah. I can see that it’s not only money that is the problem with why the younger kids don’t buy new cars. It’s also they are having fun doing other things that interest them. Most likely virtual sh!t. This is the future.

  • avatar
    Michael McDonald

    Speaking as a millennial (I hate associating myself), I can absolutely tell you that we are not buying new cars. I know a few people, and I’d say 75% of them all drive a beat up older car, or bought a nicer used car. 20% -leased- a new toyota, honda or whatever their parents are driving. The other 5%, well they don’t have a license.

    Granted, I don’t think any of them are enthusiasts. I consider myself one, but I face the reality that most of us do – a budget. I’ve become wise to buying a well-depreciated 3 year old car, and I will absolutely drive it until it doesn’t make sense anymore. Of my immediate friends, I make the most money and can ‘afford’ such a thing. I took a 5 year note on a not so exciting Kia Optima and will pay it off early and bank for the next car. Hopefully in between, I will buy a couple old fun cars, but for 99% of the driving I do, I need something practical, and safe (to protect me from all of the “Masshole” drivers. Millennials aren’t buying new cars because either we cannot afford it (like most of my friends), we can afford it but don’t see the point (like me), or they can or can’t afford it so they lease something.

    That’s my point of view. Also, a lot of us are deep in student loan debt. Myself, after two years and realizing college wasn’t for me, will be just fine. I went to community college and barely spent a dime! Others, though, went somewhere expensive, and are now paying the price.

  • avatar
    Fred

    As one who is less than a year from retirement I could go for another $100,000 that not buying all those sport cars would have gotten me.

  • avatar
    maserchist

    COREY I’m pretty sure that Lou Reed made the Caddy quote.
    That being said, I was a notch veteran (served between Vietnam & Grenada), qualified for my GI bill education benefit). Auto repair trade school started my 35 yr PRO career actually earning money in spite of idealistic tendencies fighting my profit motive. Now at 58, I can no longer physically repair junk penises & vaginas (Thank diety or not). I have never bought a new vehicle. I always preferred to fix someone else’s discard(s). At this stage of my life, I am seriously considering a degree in mechanical engineering. I have always had the propensity and serious interest in the subject. My only problem is how to pay for it.

  • avatar
    maserchist

    pretty sure that Lou Reed made the Caddy quote.
    That being said, I was a notch veteran (served between Vietnam & Grenada), qualified for my GI bill education benefit). Auto repair trade school started my 35 yr PRO career actually earning money in spite of idealistic tendencies fighting my profit motive. Now at 58, I can no longer physically repair junk penises & vaginas (Thank diety or not). I have never bought a new vehicle. I always preferred to fix someone else’s discard(s). At this stage of my life, I am seriously considering a degree in mechanical engineering. I have always had the propensity and serious interest in the subject. My only problem is how to pay for it.

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