Monday, August 10, 2009

Car Show!

The Cuban car in this photo (borrowed from the blog of André Deak) looks like a Buick-Chevy hybrid. I've always been amazed at the resourcefulness of Cuban mechanics.

Maybe we here in the US could learn something from our friends in CUBA --- just think --- we could get Cubans to come to the states where they could hold classes (for a small fee) and teach us the tricks they've learned to keep their 1940s and 1950s American cars on the road!

The American Spectator has a new article out entitled "The Clunker Con" - Here's a snippet or two of the piece which takes a swipe at the CASH FOR CLUNKERS program...
It is indeed moving cars again. But that is not quite the same thing as selling them. What is happening is the government giveaway is helping to clear out the stacked-up inventory of brand-new cars that have been collecting dust on dealer's lots for months now. This gives the appearance of a recovery but once the giveaway goes away, so in all likelihood will the "recovery."
Say, wait a minute... isn't this kinda like the old mortgage scam that tanked the economy? Selling deeply-discounted cars to people who may not be able to cough up the monthly payment (especially if the price of gas gets up around $4 a gallon again?)
The pool of affordable transpo has just been reduced. Not just the total number of older cars -- but also the availability of second-hand parts to keep the remaining still-operable older cars operable. Every car turned in under the clunker program must be "recycled" -- that is, destroyed. This will exert additional cost-of-ownership pressure on the remaining older cars not crushed -- and thus, on the people of limited means who depend on them to get around (and who are not interested in a $500 per month new car payment). The complete Spectator article is here.
ZHANG: As Detroit automakers battle to survive, their vintage cars in Cuba may outlive them. Lacking access to original car parts Cubans make their own parts or take them from other cars. They'll last forever... ... or not...

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