Automobile technology evolution has been amazing. From Henry Ford’s first Model T in 1908 to today’s modern marvels of speed, luxury, and efficiency, the ride has been fast but certainly not always free. I suppose it all depends on your perspective and priorities.
I remember in the 1960s, you had cars that were fast in their day but are dwarfed by today’s lean, mean speed machines. And of course that is true for whichever segment of the market you were shopping. It makes complete sense because automobile technology in general, as with any technology, gets better over time. Technology builds on itself continuously thereby producing higher quality results and usually at lower cost. Kyle Stock and David Ingold highlight a couple examples of this stunning technological advancement (“Autos: My Camry Cam Beat Your Aston Martin” Bloomberg Businessweek. 5/29/17–6/4/17, p. 35):
“A 1976 Aston Martin, the most powerful car in U.S. showrooms that year, produced 285 hp and got 11 mpg. Toyota’s most powerful 2016 Camry generates 268 hp at 32 mpg. In 2016 the median car could go from zero to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. In 1980 the figure was 15 seconds.”
Automobile technology isn’t getting older, it’s getting better. Decades ago, if a car reached 100,000 miles before it reached the junkyard, that was a rarity. These days the case is becoming the exact opposite. Today I am the original owner of two vehicles, both of which are well into the six figures on mileage. Those engines just keep purring along mile after mile.
Now, if we could just see the same kinds of gains with . . . battery-powered cars.