I want to start a new car company. This one made for producing real cars.
All vehicles produced would adhere to three goals:
1: Durability and reliability (they should be made to last forever, not 10 years.)
2: Simplicity (Avoid un-needed extras and make repairs simple, cheap, and easy.)
3: Utility (Purpose-built, with no extra fluff.)
Designs would be taken mostly from past examples of vehicles that did well in these regards:
(Those being just a few examples...)
If I'm not mistaken, vehicle patents expire after 10 years, so all these designs should be free to take.
These designs would then be modified (as little as possible) to meet modern emissions and safety requirements. (add seatbelts, airbags... make power steering and brakes optional, make ABS optional) They would also be modified to make modern conveniences optional. (For example, the Jeep would get an option of vintage transmission (55mph max), modern 5-speed, or automatic. Another example would be making a CD player (off the shelf, easily replaced unit) optional in the VW bug.)
The primary goal: Make brand new, useful vehicles for under $10,000 that can be reasonably expected to last 3 to 5 decades.
So, do you like my idea?
Would you buy a vehicle from this company?
Supposing the prices were like so for the examples given:
Jeep- $8000 (with automatic transmission, and rain-proof hard top options)
VW bug- $5000 (With CD player)
F150- $9000 (With power steering, power brakes, and ABS)
Corvette $9500 (With power steering, power brakes, ABS, and CD player)
(Keeping in mind that these would NOT be used cars... they would be brand new off the factory floor, and almost certain to last as long as you care to keep them.)
I'm particularly interested in what international (non-US) customers think of this idea, especially developing nations.
Well i think you may run into several issues when building these cars. The main ones being safety and emissions - things that modern cars HAVE to have. For example, if you take your corvette, add a euro 5 standard fuel injected engine, pedestrian safe front bumper and windscreen and then try and package it into something people would buy - its simply not a corvette anymore.
A good example of this is the 2008 dodge challenger. It is as close to the '70-'74 challenger as dodge could possibly have built, it even looks like a challenger. But park a '70 challenger and an '08 challenger side by side, and they dont even look the same. Theyu dont share any parts. They may both have "HEMI" callouts on the hood, and share the same power output, but they are completely different engines.
For me, anything RWD with a pushrod 6 or 8 and not too many fancy electronics and im happy. So probably the F-150 or corvette.
Engine emissions standards would be difficult to work out without changing the reliable old engines beyond recognition, but it must be possible.
As for safety standards, I didn't think 'pedestrian safe' bumpers or crumple zones were mandatory... that might be a problem.
Doesn't government interference just ruin everything?
(I wonder if some of those rules could be bypassed by selling the cars to a 'separate' company, which then drives them for 1 mile, removes the unwanted safety parts (to be 'sold' back to the factory and installed on another car), then sells them as 'used' cars to the public...)
There is a company out there (cant remember their name, and have tried googling) that are making brand new '69 mustang fastbacks and '67-69 camaro convertibles and hardtops. So maybe there is a way around all the govt crap.
I wonder how you would go about registering one of these?
You pull the VIN identification plate off an old car (doesn't even have to be the same model or year, but it helps), then stick that VIN plate on the newly built car. Then, the new car is legally whatever the VIN plate came off of.
I saw a buggy made from scratch registered this way. It really wasn't anything, but as far as the government was concerned, it was a 70's VW bug.
You can find VIN plates in a junkyard, but these will all have salvage titles attached to them, which requires more paperwork to get it registered as street legal again... the best thing to do is to get the plate off of a very old, very cheap vehicle that has never been reported as wrecked, stolen, or completely broken down.
I think with the right marketing, you could convince people that a 1 mile car was just as good as new...
And, at least not all states have testing requirements... I'm glad I live in one where there's no government-mandated vehicle tests at all.
If the company I'm talking about was to copy a dodge charger, I can point out 50+ things in this photo that wouldn't be on the copy...
Of course. That's why it isn't a possible solution for the large car company.