Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums - View Single Post - Buying a new Honda
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post #61 of (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 11:36 PM
Vintage Rider
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Model: none at present
Posts: 2,410
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My oldest car is a 1964 Ford Fairlane, it is my main daily driver, it is not in the best cosmetic shape, it has a few minor dings, and after 50 years, could use a new paint job. I did have the seats redone and put new carpet in it, everything else inside is acceptable if not perfect. I drive it nearly every day (I would love to have a Model A, but can't afford one, not even a replica)

My car starts and drives fine, stays in the road, is comfortable except for it's lack of A/C (soon to be remedied). It almost never breaks down, and the couple of time it has I was easily to fix it myself. It still has the original engine and transmission. I have personally put over 160,000 miles on it during the past 15 years I've had it, and it has been stone reliable. And while this is subjective, to me it's styling is WAY better than all those ovaloid cars of today.

It does have seatbelts (lap only), but air bags, ABS, power windows, power brakes, power steering, keyless entry, fancy audio systems are things I want no part of(my Fairlane does have an underdash 8-track player, and an indash AM radio that still works) But the best thing about it, besides just being old, is it doesn't have any electronics, fuel injection, or emissions crap on it. It is a "pure" car, that only has what it needs. It's simplicity means it's easy to work on, and there are less things to go wrong. And it must be built well, to have survived nearly 50 years of daily use as a transportation car and still be in such great shape. With it's 200 c.i. straight six, it gets 15 mpg city, 20+ highway, and has no trouble keeping up with highway speeds. I drove it 3,000 miles round trip from Phoenix to Portland and back last year at 75 mph, not a single hiccup.I expect to drive it for the rest of my life. (I'll be 53 next week) If it breaks, I'll fix it.

My '85 Goldwing LTD, with it's computerized electronic fuel injection, has given me nothing but trouble. I finally have it running again (but have no idea how or why) but for how long? I no longer trust it to go very far away on. The mechanicals seem to be in great shape, but the electronics are junk. I lack the specialized knowledge and equipment to work on them, and the only replacement parts available are used ones on eBay. $300 for a USED ECU? I don't think so. I have my eye on an '84 Interstate that does not have all that electronic crap on it, but you can't even get mechanical parts for it like you can my old cars. So what if the engine needs to be rebuilt every 150,000 miles. It's super easy to do, and all the parts are readily available. Ford knew how to build cars, they used the same parts on many different models. So the engine, transmission, steering, suspension, and brakes also fit the early Mustangs, and there will always be parts available for those.

If I were 21 (yeah right) I wouldn't have any problem spending $25,000 for a car, IF it could be made to last for the rest of my life, like those old cars could. But new ones have an average lifespan of about 10-15 years, before they become obsolete, nobody will work on them, and unlike the old cars, you can't work on them yourself, and most of the parts would not be available, the few that were would cost more than the car is worth.

But this is a motorcycle forum. About a year ago I bought my '85 Goldwing, which needed some work, and spent months searching for parts, wound up having to fabricate some of my own. The older non fuel injected 'Wings are bikes that COULD be kept going forever, but parts are not available. By contrast, IF you have a 1960 Harley Panhead, you can be assured of a lifetime supply of parts, and mechanics that know how to work on it if you can't

And NO, I am not starting a Goldwing/Harley debate. I love my '85 'Wing when it runs. But the simple fact is, Harley's, any model any year, CAN be kept going forever. Unfortunately, that is not true of Japanese bikes. Yes they have very high initial quality, but everything eventually breaks or wears out, and Honda's cannot be fixed. There are no parts, and nobody is willing (or even knows how) to work on them.

"Anyone who thinks those old vintage cars were good never had to rely on them or drive very many miles in them." Not so. I rely on mine on a daily basis, and have put a ton of miles on them. And I couldn't be happier with them. I do have several motorcycles as a backup, but have never needed a backup.

"New vehicles move the body. Old vehicles move the soul. Vintage forever"
"Obsolete does not mean it is not any good, it just means it is not made anymore"
"The simpler the better"
Save the environment. STOP the developers.
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