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Planned obsolescence and complexity is killing affordability.  Govt regulations and added features that "sell" cars, along with increased electronics that cannot be worked on only increase car prices. Just like affordable housing crisis and medical care cost the day will come when hopefully there will be backlash against the auto industry to make a affordable car that lasts.  Pretty much any brand new car is a walking disaster waiting to happen after the car gets @7 years old.  There will be no classic cars from the year 2000 on, excepting small run exotics that only super rich can afford. Car companies dont care or even make it so the car dies after 7-10 years so they can sell another one. Dealer mechanics can barely work on them much less home mechanics. We will all become like Cuba and all own 25+ year old cars as those are the only ones that can be repaired for the long haul.

Most other product categorizes has similar issues.  I try to fix 10-20 year old appliances and run into non available parts all the time.

Shop / Re: Nice looking 6.9 on CL
« Last post by rumb on Today at 04:47 AM »
At that price the car is a good deal.  Looks well cared for over all the years.
It's actually quite funny that 13 years on, the subject has not only not gone away, but got even worse. Consumerism is now a self-propelled enterprise, not just something forced into our faces.

Going back to the subject of GM and Toyota: back in the mid-90s and early 2000s Toyota had deity-like status in the industry. I've first hand experience here.

Everyone, especially GM and other US car makers, were copying their processes (introducing things like Kanban, Kaizen etc.), their approach to supply chain (moving from months of stock to just-in-time deliveries, and less than 3 days worth of stock on-site) and everything in between. Quality was the ultimate target, because Toyota's were indeed deemed indestructible back then. Quite frankly, as boring as they are, they're still miles ahead of the competition to this day. Recalls or not.

But there's a human factor to quality too. When GM still owned Opel, their - internally recognised as such - best in all respects assembly plant was the one they had in Poland (that's Eastern Europe, between Germany and the former USSR, for you yanks ;)). Why? People cared, because they worked in a, back then, poor economical situation for a company that was willing to pay well above market rates, and management cared. Now take that to the US labour market, which allows people being treated like garbage, and the end result is garbage too.
Shop / Nice looking 6.9 on CL
« Last post by Mattr on Yesterday at 05:04 PM »
Not my car, and no association with it, but they just dropped the price significantly (it was listed for $17k last month), and so I suspect they're in a rush to move it. If you're looking for a 6.9, I would say it's definitely worth checking out. Seeing them in decent shape and reasonably priced is pretty uncommon.

..a golden age of Automobiles.... Maybe the 30's..if you had cash to spend? I remember, long time ago, standing small between 2 absolutely massive fully glass shipping containers, showcasing a insane Duesenberg hyper-limo in each of them. It's 35 years ago now, and I am still traumatized from that impression. Biggest car show in the world back then, in Germany, and those 2 cars are all I remember now. Those must have been built to outlast an empire's rise and fall, wouldn't you think?

I think you guys are preaching to the middle-aged choir here with your anti-plastic sentiments, here at For me, these ineffective use-and-throw products are a daily torture to my unshielded OCD-riddled brain. Drives me up the walls when even a new broom breaks after a week and you find out there isn't a decent broom for sale in a nation of 23 million well-to-do, university-schooled people. Been looking for 16 years now. It simply can not be done.
It's even worse with cars, for they generally cost more than brooms and unlike brooms, are often tied to very attractive marketing campaigns and performance packages, insinuating all kinds of future satisfaction.
If a W140 had 94 computers before the invention of Windows 95, what on earth are cars like today?
How is any respectable DIY guy not going to end up on a roof top taking pop shots at random automotive CTO's?
A 100 grand for a car that sheds 25 grand in the first year, and another 10 each following year, unless you've got one of those millions of cars up for recalls in the last decade, after which you won't even be able to hold on to 50% of that decreased value. The only time that's a bonus is when you hear your ex-wife bought such a vehicle with your hard-earned alimony.
I like living here in Taiwan for a great many reasons, but the cars here are even more monochrome than they are in Japan. No relief for the eyes, sometimes not even once in a year.
Why do people put up with it? How do they not all suffer from PTSD, cataracts and glaucoma growing up with this faceless, gray, plastic, digital automotive sludge from Japan surrounding them? It's beyond me.

On that note, I never understood the US market neither. Massively heavy gas-guzzling, door rattling, no-suspension and will-not-corner bricks-on-wheels. Cars built like houses, indeed, but not modest brownstones like in Europe. US houses with 12 bedrooms, made out of wooden planks, ensuring maximum mobility in storms. An army of complementary termites actively pursues full recycle-ability, while the dense walls ensure the kids are perfectly aware of their parents declining sex life.
But what do I know? Looks like half the planet's lost the plot a few decades ago.
Shop / Re: luggage set NOS
« Last post by floyd111 on 14 February 2019, 10:24 PM »
One very visible diff between the sets is the aluminum edge that splits the suitcases in half. That's the star-version.
Going through brochures starting in 1968, going up to the 1975, I find the same set ..-No star, no aluminum edges. There is little doubt that the Star set was a late replacement.
It must have been somewhere between 1975 and 1979 that the second version replaced the first. Still looking for the missing '76 '77 '78 Sonderausstattung copies, then we can be sure.
Mechanicals / Re: m110 intake gasket part number?
« Last post by Diesel 617 on 14 February 2019, 07:34 PM »
Yes, I see where you getting at. They do have to my meyle and other junk brands. They do supply some quality brands though, and for their price and warranty, I see no reason to avoid them.
Test Drive / Re: Greetings from Indonesia
« Last post by michael1605 on 14 February 2019, 05:31 PM »
Oh, it's an equally near-impossible task when in Taiwan as well, or I would have done it long time ago. There isn't even a way to bring your car with you into Taiwan, as a foreigner, without completing a full, non-reversible import procedure. Export-and-re-import is even more vague complication, and that is not even considering the paper drama when shipping a naked chassis and 4 pallets of parts to Indonesia, hoping to be shipping an assembled car back under the same paperwork, all the while relying on all Indo AND Customs fees to be waved and avoided. Then there's shipping costs..2-3000usd, 2-way. What am I even thinking of..

That's quite some bureaucracy to get through ;D, I'm pretty sure timing and paperwork will be the biggest issue when dealing with importing to Indonesia.
Test Drive / Re: Greetings from germany
« Last post by Mick74 on 14 February 2019, 02:36 PM »
Hi Daniel, I love your W116 and the modifications that you have made. I like the balance between original and modern and you have reminded me that I must upgrade my sound system, although I don't think that it will look as good as yours!
I hope to have that, and many other jobs done on my car before I bring it on a 4 week tour of Europe this summer, including a visit home to Stuttgart.
I wish you many happy years and miles with your 450SE
Mechanicals / Re: m110 intake gasket part number?
« Last post by UTn_boy on 14 February 2019, 01:56 PM »
FCP URO is well known for the inferior parts they flood the market with.  Only a handful of parts they offer are of any use.  Ones that come directly to mind are windshield seals and motor mounts.  The window seals don't fit, and the motor mounts come pre-collapsed in the box. 
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