‘They don’t make cars like they used to’ is a phrase often quoted by old people wound tight in the grip of nostalgia. But nostalgia lies. They don’t make cars like they used to, because old cars are generally rubbish. They leak, they break down, they’re slow and they smell of unspecific grandparents. In fact, very few things improve significantly with age – wine, experience and Rachel Riley make for a very short list.
There are loads of examples as to why. In adopting pedestrian-friendly bonnets, cars lose their slinky, low noses along with the option of bouncing a pedestrian’s head off the engine block.
With strong, crashworthy monocoques, you not only lose the ability to be squashed flat during a roll, but also the airy, glassy, thin-pillared elegance of yesteryear. So you get two rather stark choices: pretty, characterful, unreliable deathtrap, or soulless modern conveyance. I may be over-simplifying this, but you get my point.