Opinion: Why interesting cars could face an untimely demise Car News

I apologize if I’m late here, but I just stumbled upon the amazing classic Porsche “Original” parts catalogs. Components for old Porsches presented in a super stylish magazine.

Some of the components receive the glossy magazine treatment, like the newly commissioned rear light cluster for the short wheelbase 911 models. You can even buy the six Original brochures in a box from Porsche Classic dealers for £ 65, such is their library appeal.

Obviously, this is a good deal for Porsche, as there can no longer be a tired air-cooled 911 that is not worth restoring. And the more the smarter old 911s appear on the roads and on countless Instagram accounts, the better for the value of the Porsche brand.

But there are a lot of worthy and collector’s cars that aren’t Porsches. Not exotic, but beautiful pieces of industrial design in themselves. Often highly appreciated. And it’s these cars that are getting harder and harder to keep on the road.

A few weeks ago I was asked to help the owner of an Audi 100 Avant V6. They’ve had it since new, having bought it from Scotts in Sloane Square in Chelsea in 1993. The body is immaculate, the V6 engine extremely smooth. (It even lacks airbags. This is one of the last Audi models equipped with Procon Ten. Google that…)

There were two problems. First, the headlights had all the power of flickering candles and the car lived in the deep countryside. Second, the owner’s husband, used to parking sensors in his own car, had broken the interior light unit of the tailgate while backing up. A probable failure of the MOT.

The headlights were easy. The reflectors were perfect and the lens was good old glass. So £ 58 was spent on a set of Phillips Racing Vision bulbs and night became day. Replacing the rear light unit was much more difficult. The 100 Avant is a 28-year-old car, and high-end cars were sold in far fewer numbers back then than they are today.

I opened up the search to Twitter and was assured that the 80 Avant internal cluster was the same unit, but I didn’t want to waste time and money guessing.

After much research I managed to find the right group on Italian eBay right. It had stepped out of a 100 2.5 TDI (a radical car in its day, perhaps the first truly premium diesel engine) and looked a bit sunblown. But £ 52 delivered to the UK was a steal. Especially since it seemed to be the only copy available in Europe.

So this beautiful old 100 will live for some time yet. But it will most likely be sent to the repairman’s job site eventually, perhaps for lack of a replacement ECU.

I’m also worried about younger cars as automakers merge and the pressure to stop producing every part of ten-year-old models grows stronger.

Stellantis has 14 brands under its control and responsibility for all cars previously sold by these brands. You can imagine the scale of managing a parts catalog like this.

Indeed, when I needed a new right exhaust bracket for my Insignia 2.0 Turbo, the garage was informed that only the left bracket was available. So they dodged it and made it work. A modest car, yes, but fast, low mileage, affordable and in A1 shape. So many good reasons to keep him on the road.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 05:01:24

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