Whats happened - flatfour
30 years ago we all, well most of us drove around in cars of 1000cc or less, ie Morris 1000, a family car. It did 40mpg lasted for 130K miles, servicing and parts were peanuts and it didn't give off any CO2 ie very low emmissions.

Now we look for a family car, most are over 1600cc do 30mpg they last for 150k miles, sevicing and parts cost a fortune, and it can only be seviced by an expert with a computer, non of the parts can be cleaned, or repaired, they are just thrown away.

Best still we still got to work on time and went for a picnic every sunday.
Whats happened - PhilW
Yes, and my bike was so much better too! I weighed a ton, had rod brakes which didn't work if it was humid let alone raining and a Sturmey Archer 3-speed. My (newish) bike now has 21 gears, excellent brakes and is light as a feather.
I have fond memories of my first car - a 1949 Sunbeam Talbot, drank petrol, didn't like corners, no heater, no radio, no windscreen washers, no rear screen demister, no brakes either, plugs and points seemed to need changing every five minutes as did the horrible gripless cross ply tyres and it fell apart because of rust - and it was a hell of a better car than a Morris Minor. But I wouldn't go back to it for all the tea in China.
Oh, and we went for a picnic every Sunday because we couldn't afford a pub lunch.
Whats happened - Gazza
Ok, I am not that old, having born in 1980 only. Even so, my Sierra 1.6 & 2.0 Pinto did 40mpg and an engine & gearbox cost 30 pounds from scrappy, whereas my last Mondeo 1.8 can only managed 33mpg and my current Nissan can only do around 26mpg, though nothing has been replaced bar tyres, touchwood. (To make matter worse, I was in traffic all the time for the last two weeks and I only managed 18mpg!!)

It is lucky you people can go out on Sunday, I cannot even afford to go because I have to study. I go to Sunday service for one hour though, it is a kind of stress relief.
Whats happened - Mudguts
I used to work on multi-million pound MACH 2 jet fighters that were designed in the forties (or thereabouts) and ride a 347 cc Japanese motorcycle that pumped out slightly less power than the Ford I bought when I wrote the bike off. I then progressed onto a Japanese car which was better than the Ford that I bought for eight times as much and then a Skoda that I drove as if it were a Porsche in the Le Mans 24 Hour race. (rear engined and a steering wheel that looked a bit like a Porsche one)

I now drive a Mondeo that is generally more complex than I would like and have to work Sundays to pay for it to be serviced!

I haven't been on a picnic for years.

Whats happened - PhilW
No, I'm not that old either - I didn't own the Sunbeam in 1949 but a number of years later (no, I'm not saying how many!)
Whats happened - J Bonington Jagworth
Interesting. I hear this quite a lot from a friend who used to own a Minor (he thinks that the new Micra is basd on it!) but I'm not convinced. Most new cars of similar size are much better dynamically and would do about 60mpg if driven at the same speeds. Few of the parts will need cleaning or repairing and engines will stay in tune without regular attention to tappets and points. The occupants will be much more comfortable, with music and heating on tap, plus electric windows, central locking and other mod cons.

I also suspect that, relative to average income, cars are now very much cheaper to buy, which is why nearly everyone has one and the roads are choked!

If you like mucking about with engines, then the easiest option is to buy a simple motorbike, such as an old Japanese twin or a new Enfield. I have a 25 year old BMW, which is easy to work on and satisfies my occasional desire to get out the feeler gauges. I have to say, though, that by modern standards, it is rather agricultural...
Whats happened - J Bonington Jagworth
"a simple motorbike"

Or a Harley, of course :-)
Whats happened - Altea Ego
These are memories clouded by the rose tinted specs of time. The minor did not do 40mpg and was filthy on emissions...........
Whats happened - nick
That's funny, mine manages it on a long run, 35mpg average use.
Whats happened - flatfour
I once got 62mpg out of a 70 vw beetle at an average of 42mph only a diesel will do that now. When vw brought the first Polo out they had astonishing statements from owners who regularily got 60mpg.

Is it the aircon, hyraulic clutch, power steering etc. that takes all the power and thus sucks all the juice?
Whats happened - Vansboy
My Austin Maxi, one of the 11 we owned,smaller outside, LOADS more space inside than a Focus.As well as much more versatile seating, vastly superior all round vision, softer & more comfortable ride, 40 mpg.

Admit,it did require me playing around with a Gunsons colortune, on Sundays, instead of going on a picnic.Went to Great Yarmouth, enough times though!

Only going back 20 years, too!!


Whats happened - flatfour
Gunsons colour tune, I've got one in the shed, hoping it will still work when i've finished rebuilding my wreck in the garage.
Whats happened - PhilW
Am I dreaming? - are you guys really saying that a Beetle was a better car than the Polo and a Maxi better than the Focus? As for the Minor being so economical, yes at 40 mph all day maybe, but not at modern motorway speeds (doubt it would even do 70 let alone cruise all day at that and it would probably take all day to get to that speed if it could). Anyway, I guess the answer is simple - if you prefer them and they are so good you could always go out and buy one for your everyday transport - there must be still plenty around if they are that good. But I suspect that you drive modern cars.
Whats happened - nick
Funny enough, PhilW, the old Moggy will sit at 65 all day. And point to point in towns and B roads, probably just as quick as anything else, driven legally. And yes, I run one as an everyday car. No depreciation, £77 fully comp, no road tax, fix it with a screwdriver and a bit of tape. For a runabout or second car, not much comes close. As a motorway cruiser or 30k miles pa, no.
Whats happened - J Bonington Jagworth
It does suggest that there is a sector of the market unaddressed by the major car makers, i.e. something basic, simple and easy to fix. I seem to remember that GM had such a design in hand for China (with 2CV-like mechanicals and a rather chic body) but no idea what came of it. IIRC it had about 6000 components, which is about one third of the usual count.

Value my car