Lifespan of OLD cars (Brass Era)

Posted by humanpotatohybrid On 2022/12/29 23:03:30
Hi all,

I was wondering this recently and thought I'd post here. So for context, we all know that the average lifespan of a car in the 40's/50's was much less than today (to quantify things, a car would depreciate the same fraction in 5 years as a car does today in 9). I know we can argue endlessly about what the lifespan of classic cars should/could be given proper care and maintenance (however one defines those terms) but I think it's pretty reasonable to say that due to mostly a combination of rust issues and mechanical wear that after 5 years or 60k miles most cars of the time were decidedly on a downhill slope.

My question is, what tended to be the life expectancy of cars in the really early days, say, 1910? How much time or mileage did it take for these to become unreasonable financially to repair, succumb to rust or weathering, or just become obsolete? Anyone have an idea of depreciation for these? Many people feel that Packard made of of their highest quality cars ever in this era, but were they actually racking up like 50k miles over a decade, or were they discarded much more quickly?

I wasn't able to find really any info online, so I'm interested in people's thoughts here. Obviously this can include other makes, I imagine Packard would have been a higher bound on vehicle life.

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