Well, bully for BMW. It seems they’ve just been voted the most reliable car in Jolly Old England. When I first got this press release, I said to myself, “Well, good for them. Who cares about reliability these days?”
And THAT’S what got me really thinking.
Seriously, when was the last time you worried about a car’s reliability? Is there a car available in America these days that isn’t lead pipe reliable? Think about where cars used to be. I grew up in a British car-oriented family, so I grew up not only knowing a bunch of Lucas Electric jokes but actually living various punchlines. It was quite common for a TR-4?s electrics to just give out. We’d just shrug our shoulders, pull over to the side of the road and get out the tool kit.
That’s just the way it was. We accepted it the way a person today would be accepting of the heater fan actually working at all four speeds on their Camry.
Think about that in a modern context. What kind of company would field a car that would just outright quit for any number of mechanical or electrical reasons? In today’s world, that would be as common and acceptable as your dinner showing up late, burnt, and with the bill twice what the restaurant told you.
Cars have come a LONG way in the past, however-long. There are plain vanilla sedans available today that could run circles around sportscars from the 1960s, and they can do with reliability that would have been unheard of at that time.