Old vs. New

The one I saw was grey, but it was as beautiful as this one!
The one I saw was grey, but it was as beautiful as this one! | Source

Why fix something, if it isn't broken?!

While I was sitting at the repair shop today, waiting to get the heater in my car 'motivated' to work, this older gentleman drove up with his stunningly beautiful 1950's Chevrolet Pick Up.

The first time I saw it almost two years ago, it hadn't been much more than the body and an engine. No axles and no interior or anything else!

Every time I had to get my darn car fixed, he was there working on it. He can hardly move and his son had to help him a lot. But he tended to this baby with the appreciation only a man (or woman) can have that knows that some things are just made as well anymore as they used to be! Times change and quality seems long replaced by quantity!

My father in law (he will always be 'Dad' for me, while my Dad is 'Papa'!) had once said the same. When I met him for the first time in 1995, he had owned this 1979 Chevy truck (a 4x4). It was a farm truck with a rotting body, but WOW, it was one tough truck!

Dad had bought the truck directly from the factory; special ordered and for $6800! For the rest of his life he would always complain about the new trucks that followed this one. He would say that if he had known how bad the future trucks would be, he would have bought seven of them (the 'Ol' Blue' truck) and put the rest in storage!

When we brought my own, 1986 or 89 Chevy Truck home, the old Chevy Van couldn't pull it across the small hill on that 1.5 mile gravel driveway leading to the farm. So he got 'Ol' Blue' and pulled them both across!

When winter rolled around, even the Backo (don't know how to spell that) couldn't make it through the high snow... 'Ol' Blue' kept going strong!

Right in front of the gate was a steep hill on '49 Hill'. A Semi with a 42,000lbs load (if I remember right. I'm no expert.) had torn his transmission up and was stuck right behind that hill that most locals take 'flying low' (at high speed). The old dump truck couldn't pull it off the road and to a safer place to 'park'!
Dad got 'Ol' Blue' and 30 minutes later the Semi was parked down the driveway!

'My Dad' was a tough guy. He once worked on my brother in laws car and somehow a falling light set some fuel and the car on fire. Rather than letting his house burn down he reached into the burning car and put it in neutral. Then he pushed the car out of the door...
...and it rolled into 'Ol' Blue'!
He walked outside, got into the dump truck (his arms burned all the way up to the shoulders and later covered in giant blisters!), backed it up, pushed 'Ol' Blue' backwards, walked inside, called the fire department and then waited until they got there.
When my Ex later checked on 'Ol' Blue', the front end was blackened. He opened the door... and the light came on! Closer inspection revealed that the battery had burned down by at least half (the pols were on the bottom of it)! And the light still came on!

The giant old blue truck needed a new body, but his original engine with 285,000 miles on it was running great. I can't say that for my 'Ex's' brain! He worried it wouldn't make it to Texas and replaced the engine with one that died after 55,000 miles!
The body he later put on it died soon after. The cheap aftermarket parts just weren't quality!

'Ol' Blue', once destined to be our oldest Son's first vehicle, was later sold by my Ex to some guy for scrap! One reason he is my 'Ex'! The more he had tried to 'fix' it, the worse this great old truck had gotten!

I look at today's cars and trucks and see nothing but issues. I am no mechanic and actually consider myself mechanically retarded! But it seems that the more technology 'grows' and adds computers and such, the shorter the life-expectancy of a car or truck becomes!

My car is ten years old and several things had to be removed to 'make it work'! My heater now needs regular 'taps' in a certain spot to loosen up the gunk and allow my heater cool to keep me from freezing. Nobody knows how long this may hold up, but the repairs would cost hundreds!

Ol' Blue was over twenty years old when I saw him last, but he was still strong; despite my husband's foolish decisions to mess with something that had been build to last forever!

When I looked at this old 1950s truck today and compared it to a newer one sitting beside it, I only saw proof for I have been saying for a long time: We, the customers, are becoming cheap! The things we buy are of such poor quality now that they don't live near as long as those build twenty or thirty years ago!

When I grew up my Mom's old stainless steel pots had lived for years and years! Those I bought last year already start separating on the bottom!

The old furniture I bought for a few bucks on yard sales and such outlived everything my Ex ever bought at the store!

My Mom's (actually my Grandmother's before that) old Volkswagen Kaefer (Bug) had lived for over thirty years before a tiny fuel leak in a hose set it on fire!

A former coworker in the Bundesgrenzschutz (Federal German Border Patrol) owned a Opel Kadet C (I had a D) that had 465,000 original Kilometers on it!

This beautiful old 1950s truck is now over 60 years old and finally needed some work!

How many 'new' things will last as long as this old truck!?

Back then it was Mom and Pops building/making/creating things in their own little stores! Today we have factories and 'Superstores'!

Are we gaining anything from making things 'better'? Or are we actually loosing something important!?

'Ol' Blue' was a grayish blue and didn't have the trim on the side, but it looked a lot like this one! I hope somebody saw the quality in him and gave him a new life!
'Ol' Blue' was a grayish blue and didn't have the trim on the side, but it looked a lot like this one! I hope somebody saw the quality in him and gave him a new life! | Source

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Comments 7 comments

Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

Well yes and no, but well written and amusing.

I'm a farm kid myself and we had some great trucks and some lemons as well.

My favorite was a white Ford F250 it would go like a bull no matter how much weight you put in it. The funny thing was that it always got the same mileage,,, around 8-10 mpg. It got that with a full load going over the mountain and it got the same coming back with nothing but empty boxes. It went 75 mph both ways without any strain.

We had an old Ford flatbed that wouldn't go over 50 but it would pull a bulldozer out of a ditch. When I was taking Auto Shop in HS we decided to give the transmission a complete overhaul. That transmission outweighed some cars and after all those years of hard work it needed 1 synchro ring replaced.

But the reality is that most American cars of the 60s-90s were good for about 60-90k. That is the first maintenance check on my Toyota.

The trucks seemed to be far better at lasting but the average car or truck of today will run farther and faster and use a fraction of the fuel.

But I know that the International Harvester tractor that my dad bought when I was 4 is still running today,, 53 years later.


DannoMan 4 years ago

Thank you for posting this. It is entirely true. Quality is a lost art for humanity.

Last year I had to special order some clothesline because what was available in the stores and online was nothing but cheap Chinese junque. And that is after we had figured out how to make long-lasting clothesline 60-70 years ago!


writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Your great hub was very entertaining. Voted up and interesting


Cat R profile image

Cat R 4 years ago from North Carolina, U.S. Author

I appreciate it. I try to see it with humor. Especially when parts are being removed as non-working and I am told: If it stops working, tap it here! lol


Borsia profile image

Borsia 4 years ago from Currently, Philippines

DM; Sadly the market demand for things other than cheap junk has perpetrated this.

This is more true of America than most other 1st world countries. In the 3rd world they have little choice since they can barely scrape together enough money to buy the cheap junk and nobody sells the good stuff.

However when I lived in China they had excellent clothesline that would last for many, many years. it was actually light cable coated with Vinyl.

My suggestion for something that will stand the test of time is to get some stainless cable used for fishing. You will find it with rated strength around 500 lbs isn't very expensive.


Majadez profile image

Majadez 4 years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi. I loved reading this as I'm a fan of vintage cars. Besides the quality, the have a lure and true beauty to them.


hiwinder profile image

hiwinder 3 years ago from Western North Carolina

I like the old, vintage cars too. Enjoyed your Hub. I write about my 49 Ford in my Hubs. It's my baby and still looks great nearly 64 years later. Old Henry knew how to build them!

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