February 07, 2009
Your Thought for the Day: "Green" Classics

I, of course, need no justification, because I'm nuts. Oh stop nodding, that's not funny. Anyway, those of you with a more green bent who feel a pang or two of angst about keeping an old, "inefficient" classic car (or motorcycle, or boat, as the case may be) on the road may find this heartening:

[W]hile many newer cars operate with far greater efficiency, producing very few hydrocarbons at the tailpipe, etc, the amount of resources required throughout the production life-cycle when assembling a new car is astonishing when you consider the development and machining of all the tooling equipment, the refining of raw resources, and sheer volume of oil required to fuel that process before any gasoline ever even enters a tank.

Yes, getting a new car will generally produce fewer emissions and consume less fuel than an older one ... but I just simply can't justify supporting the idea that next year's model is the best one yet, and that we need to keep disposing, trading, our cars in for new ones to be 'responsible'. If I can reasonably maintain a car so that it is at peak efficiency and already using relatively little fuel, what justification is there for spending more money to use more resources to purchase something that will probably perform around as well as the old model did?

So, if you're pining for something old and gasoline powered, but have a tiny Al Gore on your shoulder bitching at you, give this argument a whirl. The next classic vehicle you save could be your own!

Via yet another poor bastard who fell victim to the Alfa Entry Drug.

Posted by scott at February 07, 2009 07:33 AM

eMail this entry!

I'd absolutely agree with that. However, the key is keeping the vehicle in good working order, good tune, and all. If so, those vehicles will almost always end up costing less in emissions in a year.

Now, the bigger question would actually be at what point do the higher emissions in an older vehicle start to overtake the lower emissions produced by the newer plus the initial investment to create it? If you knew that, you could put forth a very solid argument here for the greens.

Of course, I'm pretty sure that GM, Ford, and Suckler aren't about to release those stats so you can make that calculation, no? Considering that, I suggest you go with the equation Scott's using - when does the maintenance on the older vehicle cost more than the payments on a new vehicle? That's probably the easiest calculation to use, no?

Posted by: ronaprhys on February 7, 2009 05:35 PM
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