Thankfully election season has come and gone. At least the Canadian version is short and to the point. Not looking forward to the United States election taking over our news for what seems like two years.
What does politics have to do with mechanics? Not sure exactly but I got to thinking as we usher in a repeat performance of our current conditions, a liberal in power in Ottawa and our representative being an NDP, that a lot of people stick with one party all their lives.
The same is true for vehicles. There are people that will buy a Ford vehicle no matter what. They will tell you Fords are the best and nothing you say or prove or whatever will change their opinion. Sometime in their lives they were convinced Fords are better and come hell or high water they will buy and own Fords.
I can relate to the Ford guy. I am/was a Chrysler guy. In my formable years (ages seven to 20) my Dad owned a 1967 Plymouth Fury (Plymouth being sub brand of the Chrysler corporation) and a 1972 Plymouth Custom Suburban. My dad chose those station wagons (there were seven kids in my family) therefore, they must be the best. There is no way he would have bought anything less.
Thus started my research into the Chrysler Corporation and why they made the best cars. There was no facebook to help cement Chrysler information in my fake news feed but everything I read seemed to tell me Chrysler made the best vehicles.
Chrysler was known as an engineering company. They had the best engineering. At the time Chrysler powered vehicles were the fastest in the quarter mile and Richard Petty was winning most of the Nascar races.
Chrysler brought electronic ignition to main stream automobiles. No more points and condenser. Some people I know still malign this change. I championed it. Chrysler used torsion bars for springs. Chrysler built unit body vehicles. Chrysler built the 426 Hemi. The Torqueflite automatic transmission. See what I mean? They were the best.
The seventies and eighties were not kind to the American big three (Chrysler, Ford, GMC) automobile manufacturers. Japan was moving in on them. They were resting on their laurels while selling poorly constructed vehicles. Yes, my company built some junk. So did yours though.
Many of us sampled the wares of other manufacturers. I bought Volkswagens. My father bought a Ford (sacrilege). My uncle bought a Chrysler (impossible!).
I still closely followed my beloved Chrysler Corporation. I secretly supported them through ownership changes. I was excited somewhat when Mercedes Benz took control (strong in engineering). I was not so excited about its days of ownership by an investment fund company. Now we are a part of Fiat. “Fix it Again Tony”. Yes, but where else can you buy a four door seven hundred horsepower family sedan (Dodge Charger Hellcat).
Yes, I can always find a reason to vote Chrysler. Thankfully, the Ford people have their Mustang and Chevrolet people their Corvette. What about those Tesla people?
Trail’s Ron Nutini is a licensed automotive technician and graduate of mechanical engineering from UBC. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org