This thought occurred to me yesterday in a parking garage.
That’s where myself and motorsports photographer, friend of Jalopnik and 1996 Olympic men’s burnout gold medalist Kurt Bradley were taking photos of the Audi R8. Also in this parking garage was a white 1960s Lincoln Continental sedan.
I didn’t pore over the Continental too much, so I can’t say what kind of shape it was in — it appeared to be taken care of, and was almost certainly drivable if not fully restored. It looked great for something that was 50 years old.
Can any car built in 2015 hope to live that long?
Of course, any car can survive if its owner takes care of it, invests the time and sweat and money into keeping it alive. But in an era of turbochargers, intricate safety systems, direct injection, and complex electronics — especially the last one — I feel like that’s getting harder and harder to do. I think it’s pretty obvious that you’d have an easier time keeping a Cadillac Coupe de Ville running 50 years after its production than you would a Cadillac CTS-V.
The Jeep Wrangler might be a good contender for “live forever” status — maybe. It’s still a lot simpler and more basic than other cars, but like everything else on the road, it’s been heavy on computer control since its 2007 redesign. A new one is on the way, and I’m sure it will go even heavier on technology.
What modern car could last forever if you tried? All of them? None of them?