Hey, Kid, I’ll Buy Your Car

Used car salesmen have traditionally received a bad rap over the years. Sometimes, it was deserved, but not always. I’ve known some honest ones over the years. I’ve also known a couple honest politicians.

A few months ago I traded my Hyundai Elantra Sport for a new Mazda. I wasn’t totally ready to make the deal, but I was offered more for my car than it was worth. A few thousand more. I couldn’t pass up the deal. The Elantra was a fun car to drive because of the turbocharged engine and the dual clutch transmission, but it also got great gas mileage. I still get emails from the place I bought the Elantra offering to buy it back.

Now the car manufacturers are struggling to produce enough inventory. Apparently, there is a severe worldwide shortage of computer chips. Today’s cars have more chips and computing power than NASA ever needed to send men to Mars. I drove past one of the local new car dealers yesterday. Normally, their lot would be filled with vehicles. As many as 200. I doubt if there were more than 30 vehicles in their inventory.

As soon as my wife gets a call from a dealer offering to buy her SUV, it’s gone. I’ll take the money and run… drive… to the bank.

Believe it or not, I wasn’t around during World War II, but I’ve read automobile manufacturers stopped producing cars and switched all their facilities over to producing tanks, planes and stuff for the war effort. New cars were unavailable for a few years. I suppose dealers sold whatever inventory they had around. Could this happen in 2021?

Imagine this: No more cars are produced for the next twenty years. Would you be willing to drive your current vehicle until 2042? Picture Cuba after Castro took over and prohibited the import of U.S. cars. People drove the same car until it disintegrated. I’ve seem more 57 Chevys on the streets of Havana than anywhere else.

Will the major car manufacturers take a step into the past and produce cars without any computer assistance? Personally, I wouldn’t mind buying a brand new 1970 Chevy Nova with a 396 and a four speed. Especially if it had fuel injection. Carburetors are a pain under the hood.

Another car from the past I would consider buying would be a Fiat X1/9. But only if it had just a bit more interior room. I owned a ’79 and just barely fit inside. I’m older and not as flexible now. My Fiat wasn’t fast, or all that reliable, but it handled like a go-cart and was a blast to drive. It was the only mid-engine car I ever owned. Now if Porsche built a retro 718 Cayman and stripped out all the computer tech, and lowered the price by twenty or thirty grand, I’d buy one in a split-second.

Hang on a second both of my phones are ringing.

I’m back, but I gotta run. I’m in the middle of a bidding war. Five salesmen have called within the last twenty minutes. They are desperate to buy my 1960 Corvair.

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