You might find it hard to believe, but a lot of people actually are convinced that cars made in the 1950’s, that’s right, cars made right in the heart of the cold war period, are actually much better than today.
Now, a lot of people roll their eyes when they hear this because they think that since modern cars are pretty much manufactured through automation and robotics, hand manufactured cars would have to suffer by comparison.
Well, on a logical level, it does kind of make sense because, let’s face it, if a robot and a human being were working side by side building the same machine, chances are, the robot will not only finish the job much faster, but probably commit fewer mistakes. The best part to the robot, of course, is that it doesn’t take breaks for holidays, it doesn’t ask for overtime, it doesn’t even ask to be fed extra or be paid extra. It definitely doesn’t complain.
Now, if you think along these lines, you are thinking exactly like a car manufacturing factory owner. However, there is a lot to be said on the human side of the equation.
Sure, manufacturing things by hand the old fashioned way takes a lot longer. Nobody’s disputing that. However, you do gain a lot when there is a tremendous amount of human contact involved. There is a greater attention to detail. Plus, you can also sense the aspect of love and craftsmanship that goes into the finished product.
If you need an example of this, compare any leather goods produced by Prada, the legendary Italian design house, to leather goods manufactured from countries like, say, China. There is no comparison. While it’s true that Chinese-made product, by and large, are cheaper, people flock to buy genuine Prada leather goods all day, every day.
The bottom line is quality. There is also a sense of pride and workmanship there that really is lost in translation when you buy something that is mass manufactured from places like China.
Now, I’m not knocking China per se. I’m not saying that you should absolutely avoid buying Chinese-made products. That’s not my point. My point is that when you produce goods using a nameless, faceless and essentially data-driven manufacturing system, a lot is lost in translation. So, given this consideration, it’s very easy to see why a lot of people honestly believe that cars built and designed in the 1950’s are better than today’s cars.
Sure, a lot of these cars in the past used carburetors, which are relics now. Talk about old, outdated technology. Sure, a lot of these cars in the past had windshields that can actually decapitate you if you get in an accident. Talk about unsafe. Talk about a rolling coffin. We can go down the line.
There are just so many design issues that really are either very funny to today’s automotive critics or downright scary, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that there is a tremendous amount of soul and human input in these older cars that really speaks volumes to how far human beings have become removed from the fruits of their labor.