Re: Now ask me why ...
>I love old cars too (especially the 60s models because they're just mad) but there is no way anything older than approx 10 years is as good environmentally as what is produced today. I suspect even VW will now be OK for a while.
Fun fact, when I take my 1981 manufactured sports car to the MOT, not only does it fly past the emissions tests for the year of manufacture, they told me it easily beats 85% of modern cars in emissions output.
Admittedly that is because most people drive a car until it stops working, then patch it up and continue, so cars are always at the near extreme of failure, and usually are barely passable in the emissions tests (not including the dodgy diesels which would be a MOT failure in any respectable garage, yet are still on the road).
The big improvement in emissions came with ECUs, fuel injection and ignition control, which replaced the carbs of old, starting in the late 70s/early 80s. Since then it has been mostly minor refining in emissions.
Most of the changes were in engine sizes (small engines with forced induction vs larger NA engines), making cars a lot bigger and heavier, lots of added safety airs, and seemingly making them far harder to drive (e.g. reducing visibility due to really thick pillars, especially at the rear).
> While the environmental output of the engine isn't anywhere near as good on classic vehicles, not building a new car is even more environmentally friendly!
Very true, someone did a full "Total cost analysis" on electric and hybrid cars vs keeping your old car, and it turns out that it it was more environmentally unfriendly to buy the electric/hybrid car vs keeping your old one (Especially the electric, due to the apparently really environmentally destructive mining of lithium for the batteries).
Apparently you also had to do a stupidly high number of miles a year (for a decade or more) in order to break even on environmental footprint for the.
I cannot for the life of me find the report now, but it was very interesting reading.