As many of our readers know, a lot of us at the Autopian like writing about cars that classify as total piles of crap. Stephen Walter Gossin rescues the kinds of everyday cars that most people would send to the crusher without a single thought. David is still obsessed over a $600 minivan he bought years ago and I’m not afraid to tell you that I’m looking for a sixth Smart to add to my fleet. Jason’s fleet could be used in the filming of a movie about the USSR. We all love the sort of shitty cars the typical enthusiast might turn their noses up to.
Perhaps our love of total garbage is perfectly illustrated by Jason’s Glorious Garbage series, some of my Holy Grails, and every single day with Mark’s Shitbox Showdown. The cars of a Shitbox Showdown are rarely “cool” and oftentimes they look like Superfund sites. If you’re lucky, a contestant might even run. Something to remember is that all of this is good fun! We all love shitboxes here and Mark often scrapes the bottom of the barrel to give you cars that really live up to the name. It’s something that today’s COTD winner A. Barth understands:
Find a reason, however insignificant, to vote for one of them. This is purely a thought experiment
So many people come in here to say “Ugh, I don’t want either of them!!” Wow, really? Did you see the name of the feature? Hint: it’s not Cool Car Conundrum.
So… Turismo, please.
I had a Daytona with the 2.2 and the 5MT many years ago. It was not a good car, but maybe it was adequate.
This particular Daytona has an engine knock and appears to be sinking back into the earth, so no thanks.
As long as the Shroud of Turismo on the dash isn’t someones tighty-whities, I’d clean it up and bring those decals back to life.
The image doesn’t have enough pixels, but I think the Shroud of Turismo there isn’t underwear. If it is, uh, wear them on your head?
For a second and third COTD, I’m giving the nods to Flat6Fever and V10omous for their discussion from yesterday’s Morning Dump about what cars cost and what you get with them.
Doing some math. The average new car in 1970 cost about $3500. The average household income (mostly single earners) was $9870. So the average car cost 35% of yearly income.
Today the numbers are $48,000 and $87,864 (many double earners) or 55% of average household income.
That is a huge increase and the primary reason that manufacturers are targeting the luxury market. They are the only ones that can afford a car. Note that numbers might be even worse if median incomes were used.
This is actually pretty recent; new cars tracked pretty well with inflation until just a few years ago (example: average new price in 2019 was $36K).
I do feel compelled to note that the average new car in 1970 had lap belts as the extent of its safety equipment, got 12 mpg, and came with a 5 digit odometer because no more was expected of it. The humblest Mirage or Versa today can be expected to last 200,000 miles or more with minimal care, comes with features found only in S-Classes not long ago, and will likely protect its occupants from death even in a highway crash.
Reading this conversation made me smile. Discussions like these are what we love to see in our comment sections! Our readers are passionate about cars and they’re willing to write rather detailed responses in conversations. And indeed, as V10omous says, cars may cost more today, but at least you are getting more car than your parents or grandparents did. It’s great, keep it up, everyone, and have a great evening!
(Note: Today’s COTD is technically yesterday’s COTD due to our publishing schedule. Sorry for that!)