Sustainable musing about old and new

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Purchasing classics there

Recently I had a birthday drink at Cor Tjepkema, whom I got to know thanks to two reports with his classics. His son-in-law Menno was also present, and he was also a true enthusiast. Car enthusiasts among themselves, then you know it. Soon we got talking about older cars. This, and other cars from an increasingly distant past, were regularly discussed during the fun party in Leeuwarden. About everything that is (almost) youngtimer and (almost) classic.

That was not surprising either. Menno had come to Leeuwarden with Cor's daughter in his Laguna 2.0 Coupé. In addition to the oldest 505 in the Netherlands and a DAF 66 Marathon Coupé, Cor has a Citroën Xantia Break. And I myself have a V50 2.0 from 2009 and a Starlet from 1995.

The day before the party I spoke with a garage owner from Leeuwarden, a very customer-oriented entrepreneur that I have known for years. We were talking about the 2.0 Duratec engine that was installed in my Volvo. He was very pleased about that. For the modern aggregates, the appreciation was less, just like for many modern fuel engines. He was able to tell from professional experience that there are many problem children among modern turbo petrol and diesel engines, especially those with a smaller displacement. The content of that conversation came into proper perspective when I spoke to Menno a day later.

He said his first car was a Renault 5 GTS, a Supercinq. “Yes, this one still had the 1.4 C engine. It survived the bodywork, because with more than three tons on the counter, there was still enough life in the brewery. That engine was strong. And it is not for nothing that DAF has been using the Cléon-Fonte engines for the four-cylinder models since the end of the sixties, just like Volvo did later.”

I then thought of the 90 DIN hp 1.9 TDI engine, which was in my former Golf. And thought of an old colleague who achieved a mileage of six (!) tons with a Bora TDI with the same power source. Or the 1.6 16V Ecotec in my Astra G Sports Edition II. It was not for nothing that I owned that car for seven years. Unfortunately, the Astra was a total loss, but I do not rule out that I would have kept it for years if that had not happened. That car was great. I thought of the Alfa Romeo 147 from Durk, which is still alive and kicking after more than two tons on the counter. And you can count on the fact that the 147 is sometimes pushed to the limit by its owner. And so I can name many cars where the buyer was guaranteed that he could take at least a few tons without problems (with regular maintenance, of course). The engines often outlived the rest of the car, although the bodies also got better and lasted longer. Of course, even in the past, not every car was technically flawless. But I am convinced that cars from the second half of the XNUMXs and XNUMXs are, on average, better constructed than many contemporary products.

Cars became and continue to be technically more advanced and complex. This is also prompted by all kinds of emission and consumption standards that they must comply with. To safety requirements. And left or right: that is why the cheese slicer had to pass the quality standards to guarantee the margins. In fact, the towering demands placed on the development of new cars and the rush to introduce electric cars have an annoying downside. And that is called: clearcutting within the car range in the compact classes. The smaller models are increasingly disappearing from the program, at least as far as Europe is concerned. There's nothing more to earn on that, you hear. I'm not so convinced of that, developing an existing concept is also possible. And forms a nice brand entrance for a manufacturer. Really, small ones are still being built, but more and more it is moving in the electric direction.

The times of price packers like the Renault 4, the Citroën 2CV, the Fiat Panda, the VW 1200, the Simca 1000, the Daihatsu Cuore and the Mini 850 will not return. And it was precisely that category that made driving a car feasible for many people at the time. Yes, there are manufacturers who release retro models based on historical little ones. But the desire for electric is great, and the Fiat 500 and the current Minis show that retro cars have become a lifestyle object. With an accompanying price tag. Especially if the powertrain is (partly) electric.

BOVAG chairman Han ten Broeke will not be dissatisfied with these electrical developments. He was a while ago about another development within the national fleet. He thought it was a bad thing that the Netherlands certainly did not have the youngest fleet in Europe. But how sustainable do you want it? Because with proper maintenance and normal use, many cars from days gone by can still be used on a daily basis. The older they get, the more visible the historically used quality standard becomes. And in doing so, they cast a completely different light on the idea of ​​sustainability, which also offers a solution for many households in financially troubled times. And not only that: new cars are becoming more and more expensive. And young occasions are hardly affordable either. Sometimes you just pay the new price for a young used car. That is also why continuing to drive an older car is an excellent alternative in several respects. Cor, Menno and I do that for daily use anyway. With much, much pleasure.

Merry Christmas!


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  1. Because a current car (fuel or EV) has just as much emotion as a vacuum cleaner (look at mine can be hard and look ugly), manufacturers come up with models that should arouse automotive emotion.
    Due to all the design requirements and the departure of designers, technicians and visionaries to other sectors, they become sad imitations of the products of yesteryear. The Renaultjes 5 do not resemble each other in any fields and roads.

    Just admit that automobiles and artistry have long ceased to go hand in hand. Don't fall for the cheap marketing tricks. Do you have an old one yourself? Be very careful with it and cherish it as a piece of art.

  2. If the new R5 also becomes a classic and starts to show electro cures, I can imagine that an R5 1400 can be put in for an amateur with some perseverance…
    After 25 years, all electric cars will disappear, because it is too complicated for the amateur and support from the manufacturer will end (if that does not happen sooner, because they do not earn from it)

  3. Well what is green? If you don't want to harm the earth, you just have to do nothing at all. Taking nothing from the earth and emitting nothing. So a utopia. Personally, I like old vehicles. From motorcycles to old trucks and everything in between. The government has decided that only electricity is green. 'Sunbathing areas' and meat grinders at sea, with poles that are rammed into the ocean floor with great brute force, which disrupts the ocean life and communication of whales and for which the enormous amount of steel comes from China, where the statealfabricage is jet and jet black according to Dutch standards. Greening has become an arbitrary affair, but above all great business! Driving an older car economically seems like a pretty eco-friendly option compared to a weird policy! 500.000 km on the clock? Just keep driving!

  4. It actually could have gone on for years BUT the car industry deserved there
    nothing to it, what they have done now is reduce the quality, no five cylinders or just wrought-up three cylinders with 150 hp
    who after ten years of cats worn out, understandable from their side, right 🤗

  5. Very correct reactions that you put down during the New Year's drink in Leeuwarden. In particular, driving with well-maintained cars is more sustainable than any electric car.
    Happy holidays and a petrol/diesel/joyful 2023.
    John Pronker.

  6. At the Brussels Motor Show in 1972, plenty of stickers were handed out 'Better life with the car'
    In 2023 it will be 'Better life with a Fat bike'

  7. Cars from the late 80s are indeed the best mechanically. From the 90s, too much electronics were introduced.
    I have been driving the same Saab from the 34s without any problems for 508.000 years and 80 km without a single breakdown, without too much expense. I don't save on regular or preventive maintenance and the car is still in great condition.
    If you have to believe the media, electric cars easily last 1 million km without costs and fuel cars, on the other hand, would wear out quickly and barely reach 200.000 km.

  8. Ford's Duratec engine. Also found in Mazda's because Ford owned Mazda shares. And so some Volvos. Ford stopped this engine in 2008, but Mazda had to continue with it until 2015. I have overhauled more than 100. Still, it's not a bad engine. But sensitive to fresh (and correct) oil on time. Otherwise, the filigree oil scraper rings are guaranteed to get stuck. And oil consumption is the result. "Filling up with oil and filling up with petrol". Probably under pressure from the leasing companies, the refresh interval was simply chosen too long.

    • Thanks for the reply. Yes, extended intervals under the guise: it is possible. I don't believe in it either. I often drive longer distances, but the Volvo gets new, correct oil and other fluids before the appropriate interval. Also applies to the filters. Consumption is really minimal, and the oil was pretty clean at the recent change. Nice block too, the 2.0.

  9. And my 1300 Toyota Starlet 1990 XLi is still doing great. As for the value, it is still worth as much as it was 20 years ago. I have sometimes thought of writing the text on the back of my starlet: Yes, laugh, this car is paid for.

    • As far as older cars are concerned, I know what to talk about Erik. For hobby use in the summer I have an '86 BMW 535i whose counter is now at 309xxx km. My youngest (for 3 months in winter) a 2 Renault Laguna ph2002 with 215xxx km on the digital display. Despite the questionable reputation of this car, I can keep it running at a very acceptable cost. It does make a difference that I can do the technical key work myself and, at my employer, can do it in the workshop.
      The daily kilometers, when there is no brine, I do on the engine.

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