Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Restoring a 2006 Chevy Cobalt SS

There's a fun little article in Road and Track about the prospects of restoring the cars of today in the future.

"How did you like the BMW 530i?" my friend, Lew Terpstra, asked.

"Nice car," I said, "if you can master the iDrive system for running the radio and heating system. It drives most people crazy."

Lew nodded. "That system seems to be a point of great controversy among BMW owners." He took a reflective sip of beer and said, "Can you imagine what it's going to be like, 30 or 40 years from now, trying to restore a car like that? Or any modern car, for that matter."

This concept brought a rare, sobering silence to the group.

They have a good point but while they seem to only be considering the ultra high end car the sad reality is that cheap everyman sportcars like the upcoming 205hp Cobalt SS are laden with almost as many electronics and sensors as the money cars are.

When I was 16 a kid with a set of wrenches and a test light could get a 18 year old Chevelle back on the road. Today I need a fancy electrical meter and a lot of beer to figure out what's going on in the Bosch Lufthies 2.2 fuel injection and the APC brains on my 18 year old Saab Turbo. 18 years from now no 16 year old will be able to work on the cars of today.

Today I have my first class as I go back to school for a degree in Electro-Mechanical Engineering. My fiance asked why that subject. I asked her how long she wanted to keep driving her 2003 Mini. She said "20 years" and I said, "Well there you go..."
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