A few weeks ago we asked our readers what 40-year-old European car they would daily drive. Such a proposition would have seemed like a stretch if the same question would have been posed in the mid-1980s and necessitated choosing a car from the mid-1940s. But in the modern age it’s possible to daily a 40-year-old car with some diligent maintenance and some modest wrenching skills.
When it came to European cars in our hypo, stateside owners aren’t treated to an endless cast of characters in terms of variety, but the usual suspects you’d still see in traffic are a surprisingly solid bunch. Volvo, Saab and Mercedes models from this time period are easy enough to spot on the road today, as are BMWs and Porsches. Among our readers the W123 and W116 Mercedes models were an obvious choice, with some sharing photos of just such machines in their driveways.
This week it’s the turn of 40-year-old domestic cars, still plentiful on our roads, even though the period of the early 1980s is, by definition, from the late Malaise era, with domestic automakers still running on the inertia and smog haze of the mid 1970s when it came to downsizing and technology.
Still, for every diesel Chevette produced in that time period that promptly retired after a few winters, there were some solid cars that had seemingly beaten the odds, and can still be relied upon today. The Ford F-150 is certainly a popular choice for a classic truck that can be used daily today as is the Bronco, and examples of the Ford Crown Victoria can still be spotted with some regularity. The Chevy Camaro of that time period remains a regular sight on our roads, as do examples of the Chevy Suburban. Options from AMC can be tough to picture using every day, unless they’re a CJ-5 or a Wagoneer, but then there are DeLorean owners who put a lot of miles on their cars too.
Likewise, some Chrysler K-cars have proven to be surprisingly solid over time, debuting in 1981, and the sheer volume of Omnirizon variants produced have also permitted examples of this platform to serve for four decades.
What 40-year-old American car would you daily drive today? Let us know in the comments below.
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