Another (Road) Sign Of The Times

Ready Dusty sends me a link to an excellent website, on which appears this lovely little piece:

An unprecedented thing is happening – and it isn’t the attempt to inject every healthy American with “medicine” (sic) their health doesn’t require.
It is that used cars are . . . appreciating.
Normally, they depreciate – a fancier way of saying they lose value. Traditionally, almost immediately – and ongoing. As you drive, the less it’s worth.
All of a sudden, used vehicles are increasing in value – or rather, cost. To a degree never seen before. The Manheim used car index – which works kind of like the consumer price index applied specifically to used vehicles – notes an almost  50 percent jump in the indexed value of the average used vehicle over the past year.

…and he goes on to analyze the situation, although Loyal Readers will know the depth of my agreement with this statement:

Part of the reason for the not-liking, arguably is because of the over-the-top electronic nannying that comes standard with practically all new cars. It has reached a degree of insufferability that is almost intolerable. Like having a horse fly constantly buzzing – just the right word – around your head.
Lane Keep Assist. Brake Assist. Park Assist. Blind Spot Assist. Pedestrian Detection Assist. Speed Limit Assist.  Soon – probably – Diaper Assist.
Older cars lack “advanced driver assistance” technologies. They don’t attempt to countermand your steering or apply the brakes on your behalf or automatically shut off the engine every time the car stops moving. They don’t put the transmission into park because you tried to back up with the door open – in order to use your eyes rather than a camera and beeping electronics to see where you want to go.

As it happens, I’ve picked out the (secondhand and affordable) car that I want.  It’s not an SUV, but a small-ish passenger car, with tada!!!  a stick shift, very low mileage, and an extreme paucity of electronic doodads (rearview camera and traction/cruise control only).  Also, it’s a known quantity:  I’ve owned a couple of its like in years gone by, and it has acceptable performance (>150hp).  There’s only one downside, but I can live with it.

Watch this space.


  1. 2005-2015 Subaru would be my guess. If so, it’s a good choice. Same vintage Mazda would be a runner-up. (BMW maybe, but you can’t get a Benz with a stick on this side of the pond.) Can’t wait to hear.

  2. I remember in one of Heinlein’s later works, the protagonist disables all the safety features on his flying car, based on the theory that if he commanded the doors to close, they must close, and if the doors took someone’s head off in the process, the car must assume that the owner thought it looked better that way.

  3. Way back in 2004, I purchased a 2000 Toyota Camry LV with a V6 and a 5 speed. Without a doubt, the best all-around car I ever owned. I kept it until 2017 and put over 200,000 miles on it. The guy I sold it too repainted and put a catback exhaust on (something I wish I’d thought of) and it’s still screaming down some Arizona highway.

    Made an appointment this week to take my 2018 Jag F-Pace in for 15,000 mile service (even though it only has 12K on it). Dealer needs it for THREE EFFIN’ DAYS for software updates and recalls. And what do they provide for loaners? Toyota Camrys.

  4. I drive Fords because I married into the Ford employee family discount. I much preferred the 2011 MKZ to the new 2019 version. And I’m sure I will hate the next one, assuming I can even buy a sedan from Ford in a few years. Because the CAFE standards have somehow eliminated sedans. Even the police are now driving SUVs instead of police cars.

  5. Most older stuff in general is better. It actually lasts. Nostalgia has gotten many people in this country to pique their interest. During the Covid SCAM demic, many people bought older video games, tractors, cars, homes, appliances and more. Why? Not only was there a shortage of new stuff, but many new things are complete shit. Low quality, high price and a warranty that many companies refuse to stand behind.

    For example, I stopped playing new video games about 15 years ago. Love the old stuff. Nintendo 64, SNES, PlayStation 1. None of those systems needed updates or even an internet connection. The games worked well, had excellent playability, and to this day many still work well. People still buy and sell these games for this reason, quality.

    Older farm tractors are in demand because they are simple and work well without Chinese computer chips.

    Cars are the same. Who the hell needs 50 sensors on a car to tell them things. Watch the road and enjoy the experience of driving.

    As a side note, If any of this electronic nanny state bullshit makes its way into firearms, not only will I not purchase new models, I’ll boycott the companies whole catalog. It will be strictly vintage models for me.

    And on that note, I think electronic red dots, lasers, and anything other than iron sights on a defensive handgun is a gimmick and just plain stupid. I don’t want anything that needs batteries for self defense. The bunny that keeps going can use his energy on something else.

  6. My wife drives her 4Runner that we purchased new in 1999 and it now has 115K miles on it and being garaged a good deal of time still looks kind of fresh. i had to replace one starter, batteries, a couple of brake jobs and not much else to keep it running for over 2o years. I put a fresh set of Michelin tires on it las fall so we are good to go for the next five years or so. Same with my old 2008 F-150 with 135K miles, small V-8 with the last year of direct linkage gas pedal to engine and other old time stuff and being in our mid-70s we might just keep driving this old stuff until we no longer need to drive. A final note, I have been more than happy to let my cars shift gears since 1970 except for a garage pet or two, old brit shit cars from time to time.

  7. Used cars are increasing in value in part because new cars are suffering from the general shortages in electronics and chips and are thus not actually available. Also the car manufacturers cut their ordering slots when the pandemic hit and they cut them too far.

  8. Unfortunately, it isn’t just vehicles. It’s ANYTHING that someone can add a processor to in order to do SOMETHING, whether or not it’s needed or even wanted !
    The ‘new and improved’ microprocessor controlled Closet Hanging Rod – keeps your empty hanger organized, notifies you hourly via text AND email on how many hangers are in use in your closet and gives you monthly reports on how well you are utilizing your closet space, how to expand your closet space and how well your friends and family are doing utilizing their closet space. Get one for every closet you can find !! Good grief.
    Bought a washing machine, dryer, dishwasher, freezer or a refrigerator lately that didn’t have a control panel that looked like it was hi-jacked from the bridge of the star ship Enterprise ??
    I don’t need ( or want ) 487,653 different wash cycles or a ‘fridge’ that talks to me and I shouldn’t have to have a degree in programming in order to run my dishwasher – it’s not really programming, you’re just setting parameters but …. !
    Remember when all this started ? When you thought it was difficult if not impossible to ‘program’ your VCR to record a program or just stop the blinking 12:00 ?
    You ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.
    It gets worse. Talk to any farmer about John Deere’s system of software updates and remote trouble shooting and how you MUST buy their services and purchase their parts if you want your machines to keep running.
    The trend is not good IMHO and I don’t see it improving, let alone ending.

  9. I visit elderly shut-ins.
    One old gal enjoys televisionprogramming, so we — a couple of smarty-pants — sit and discuss the various plot-holes and other fumbled attempts at coherent writing.
    And wardrobe goofiness… especially the wardrobe goofiness.
    A couple-three months ago during a commercial word from our sponsors, some particularly nonsensical bunch of nincompoopery flashed across the screen, some breathless blather about vacuuming your piles of dandruff (or maybe it was vacuuming your piles; I averted my gaze out of bashfulness) or maybe it was about mulatto fruits adopting a mulatto fruit kid.
    An aside:
    Although I tend to grumble a lot, I rarely grumble around humanity because it seems poor form, and could get me labeled a heretic in the televisionprogramming area.
    That, plus the last time I owned a television set was sometime last century.
    I have zero-zero-zero interest in televisionprogramming nor my reactions to its insults.
    During that particularly nonsensical bunch of nincompoopery (you may recall, something about vacuums-piles-fruits…), my composure momentarily faltered, and I quietly grumbled “alexis, where is my head!”.
    (The old gal has no alexis gizmo, wouldn’t have one if you paid her, and probably thinks any gizmo like that is better off listening to the bottom of the pond.)
    Turned off and across the room under a blanket, her Kindle reader casually mentioned “Your head is on your shoulders.”
    Hearing that completely out of the blue and ‘off-the-wall’, we both cracked up.
    A decade ago, I was reading Car&Driver or Road&Track or somesuch.
    They discussed a long-term loaner and costs of operation.
    One repair caught my attention:
    * the computer in a power-window failed, or maybe it was the computer in a door-lock,
    * putting the vehicle into ‘limp’ until the dealer technicians could fuss with it, and
    * modify the dash computer to communicate with the transmission computer, and
    * allow the operator to expect reasonably-functional transportation once again.
    While I appreciate the offer…

Comments are closed.