Might be Keeping the Clunker one more year...

Been looking over the car ads in the local newsrag… boy, look at all the “specials” low down payments and big (alleged) “rebates” Just dunno if I can swing it???

Back in the “goodle” days of 1966 my dad was earning a very respectable salary of $12,000 per year. He bought a new car… a Plymouth Belvedere, with V8 engine, AT, AC, AM Radio and those new fangled seat belts… pretty tricked out for the day. Purchase price was around $3,000, 25% of his annual salary. Served us well as we drove it for 20 years (sold it in ’86 for $400).

In the meantime, these past 40+ years we got lotsa “good” government “oversight” with pollution and (alleged) safety improvements and the infamous CAFÉ standards, which has surely added mucho $$$ to the price. Nowadays in 2010, a small town attorney of my dad’s standing may be earning $100k or so… 25% of that would be $25,000, which may get you a 4-cyinder compact of some kind.

Since most folks today don’t make a $100k… (including me) new wheels are much more expensive even in an inflation adjusted way than back in the day… when 3-years was about the average car loan time. Today the purchase of a new car is similar to buying a house back in the sixties… loan times are 5 years and longer, as even modest vehicles and trucks often sail past $35,000 or more! The seduction has become the “easy monthly payment” (still more than my first house payment)... that goes on LONG after the car is likely on the junk heap! It’s INSANE, I tell ya! I Sit down to watch the news and the TV talking heads wonder why car sales are way down, and the government has to bail out car companies and do other stupid stuff like “Cash for Clunkers”? With the outrageous automobile prices nowadays, you don’t own the new car it owns you!!!

No thanks! Honey, I’m fueling up the clunker and we’ll drive her till she clunks plum out!

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