Mod­ern dilemma

New Zealand Classic Car - - Editorial - Ash­ley Webb Ed­i­tor

I’m sure you’ve all heard the adage ‘you can’t beat mod­ern tech­nol­ogy’ — af­ter all, tech­nol­ogy’s some­thing that per­me­ates our daily lives, whether we like it or not.

I heard it bandied around quite re­cently when I at­tended an Auck­land Mus­tang Own­ers Club run to Ka­iaua — via the scenic route around the pic­turesque Kawakawa Bay — for a hearty fish-and-chip lunch. There were at least 70 Mus­tangs ex­pected to at­tend, and, as they ar­rived at the early morn­ing ren­dezvous point in South Auck­land, I couldn’t help but no­tice the num­ber of club mem­bers driv­ing late-model Mus­tangs and Shel­bys. My in­quis­i­tive­ness got the bet­ter of me, and I couldn’t re­sist ask­ing one or two club mem­bers why they hadn’t brought along their clas­sic Mus­tangs.

Af­ter a few dis­cus­sions, I learned that, in some cases, mem­bers had sim­ply just gone out and pur­chased a later-model Mus­tang specif­i­cally for club runs and the like, opt­ing to leave their con­cours-stan­dard re­stored clas­sic Mus­tang tucked safely away in the garage, while oth­ers had sim­ply cho­sen to re­place the old with the new. And when I spoke to a cou­ple of new mem­bers about what had mo­ti­vated them to buy a new Mus­tang, the com­mon re­sponse was that, ‘you can’t beat mod­ern tech­nol­ogy’ — and, let’s face it, the new Mus­tangs don’t look too bad ei­ther.

When it comes tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments, the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try must cer­tainly be — or be close to — lead­ing the way at a blis­ter­ing pace, as we dis­cov­ered ear­lier this month af­ter spend­ing a day in Rolls-royce’s op­u­lent new Dawn rag­top (see page 38). Much of this tech­nol­ogy is in the realm of safety, or, at least, has some sort of safety fo­cus, while the rest is purely for con­ve­nience. Typ­i­cally, these in­no­va­tive fea­tures, of which there are dozens, make their first ap­pear­ance in high­end ve­hi­cles, be­fore even­tu­ally trick­ling down to the ev­ery­day com­muter when pro­duc­tion costs de­cline and ex­pec­ta­tions in­crease due to aware­ness. Up­mar­ket op­tions that once wowed the public, such as cruise con­trol, airbags, re­vers­ing cam­eras, satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion, and self-clos­ing doors, to name just a few, are now taken for granted as we de­mand more from au­to­mo­tive man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Nat­u­rally, this begs the ques­tion, what’s in store for fu­ture cars? We’re all aware of the huge tech­no­log­i­cal leaps to­wards driver­less ve­hi­cles, and I re­cently saw a rather in­ter­est­ing tele­vi­sion doc­u­men­tary on the de­vel­op­ment of com­pact ‘fly­ing’ cars and was amazed at just how far this tech­nol­ogy has come. Could this be the an­swer to our bur­geon­ing Auck­land traf­fic woes? Now, that would make a great story.

But I di­gress, and as much as I’m tempted by the cut­ting-edge tech­nol­ogy and stun­ning looks of the lat­est Mus­tang, I’m happy to stick with the old — at least for now, any­way — and leave the nice-to­have stuff in my daily-driver.

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