I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
Why can’t we have heirloom quality cars?
I know the reasons already. Cars are built much like motorcycle helmets are–all that engineering and technology is built into an advanced safety “egg” that’s a one-and-done proposition. Humpty Dumpty is usually totaled if your airbags go off now. I can’t find the link at the moment, but somewhere I read just how much more cars are declared a total loss now than they were even 10 or 20 years ago (a technological epoch in the automotive world).
If classic cars had airbags, sure they would have been safer. We also would probably have far fewer pre 70s era cars in existence as well.
I value human life more than a car (that’s not superfluous. That makes me different from other car people). It is amazing how much more safe, efficient, and powerfully cars have simultaneously become.
That has also made them more complicated. And more expensive to work on. Meaning–it’s less likely that we will be able to keep cars as long as we used to. If your electronics go out in a 10 year old car with adaptive cruise, adjustable suspension, and park assist–well, it will probably cost more to fix than it is worth.
The only cars that will survive this critical service point will be those with emotional or sentimental value. Most likely, they will be sports cars of some kind.
Yet, there are influences at work which seem to me to be exploiting this natural progression, to shoehorn people into buying more cars more often.