Good looking but broken - The WP's take on Argentina

There are 30 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • This is the rub of Argentina. It’s an Italian car of a country; on its surface, graceful and sleek. But under the hood, it keeps breaking down. In short, Argentina looks great but just doesn’t work.

  • I do not know why there is a bad reputation about the Italian cars. They produce all type of cars, some cheap and others very expensive, I think that today a country cannot made "bad cars", because they will not be sold anywhere. I used in Europe a Lancia Ypsilon, with 950 cubic centimeters of the engine. It had all the facilities of any modern car, I made 2100 kms and used only 130 liters of gasoline. Never had a problem, even in snowy, dangerous routes in the Alps.

    Of course, it was not a Mercedes, but that type of cars belongs to another category.

  • I do not know why there is a bad reputation about the Italian cars. They produce all type of cars, some cheap and others very expensive, I think that today a country cannot made "bad cars", because they will not be sold anywhere. I used in Europe a Lancia Ypsilon, with 950 cubic centimeters of the engine. It had all the facilities of any modern car, I made 2100 kms and used only 130 liters of gasoline. Never had a problem, even in snowy, dangerous routes in the Alps.

    Of course, it was not a Mercedes, but that type of cars belongs to another category.

    Yeah, I think the reputation of Italian cars has just stuck. Lamborghini was considered unreliable at one time but were bought by VW and that changed. Ferrari's have never been unreliable. Moving down the scale, Fiat is like any other mass production automaker, as in it depends the model (even Mercedes has had some notoriously unreliable cars). Even brands like Lancia and Alfa Romeo, which were unreliable, have largely got their act together.

  • You are right. Itr seems that the reputation of cars changes along the time. I remember a British series called "Upstairs and downstairs", from the 1980's, where they told the history of an important MP of the British Empire in those years previous to WWI.

    It seems that the drivers of the British cars were praising and euloging the French cars (Renault, De Dion Bouton, etc). Then the British surpassed the French with the Rolls Royce, Bentley, etc..

    Therefore, nobody can foresee the last opinion.

  • Reliability is critical for cars: in the end, the only really importthing is that you need to be sure they will get you where you need to go. When we bought a beautiful grosvenor brown Jaguar a few years before Ford bought the brand, more than one friend warned that we would have nothing but problems. As it turned out we had only one repair in more than 10 years, so for us this was a dependable car. But because of earlier lax quality control, the brand suffered from the ‘unreliable’ reputation.

  • British Leyland takes some beating for unreliability: ergo Jaguar and every other marque that came under its wing.

    We have used some Leyland products in the 1960's, when we were still bounded commercially with the UK. Many trucks and this bus, which was running from 1962 to 1975. In 1962 we suppressed the streetcars.

    This bus was markedly reliable and very solid. made for during 25 years or more.

    In my family we used a Standard Flying 1947 model. I always regret that we sold this car. It was really original: bucket seats, movable roof, movable windhield, leather and mahogany coating in the central control pad, with Jaeger instruments. It was symmetrical, to serve right and left senses of traffic. And in the center of the radiator, the Union Jack.

  • It was symmetrical, to serve right and left senses of traffic. And in the center of the radiator, the Union Jack.

    I’d love to see a picture of this car, especially the steering wheel in the center!

  • I’d love to see a picture of this car, especially the steering wheel in the center!

    No, the steering wheel was not in the center. It was in the left side to keep our common sense of traffic (USA & Argentina) and in the right side to be used in the UK and overseas dominions.

    What was in the center was the instruments pad, (the speed meter and the Mileage meter, and other usefyul information like temperature of water in the radiator, the oil pressure and the fuel reserve).

    A good idea to allow the car to be exported to anywhere.

  • Like this you mean, Carlos

    Exactly, I was trying to get an interior photo. But you were more clever than me. The only difference is that the color of the car was beige (Light yellow, more or less).

    I insist in my lamentation to have sold that car in 1963. At that time I was 20 years old and the decision were done by my parents. If not, this would be a vintage car nowadays.

    In BA there was a specialist mechanic to maintain these special type of cars. Not too special, as between 1946 to 1950 the UK were exporting a lot of things to Argentina, perhaps more than the USA.

  • Exactly, I was trying to get an interior photo. But you were more clever than me. The only difference is that the color of the car was beige (Light yellow, more or less).

    I insist in my lamentation to have sold that car in 1963. At that time I was 20 years old and the decision were done by my parents. If not, this would be a vintage car nowadays.

    In BA there was a specialist mechanic to maintain these special type of cars. Not too special, as between 1946 to 1950 the UK were exporting a lot of things to Argentina, perhaps more than the USA.

    I think I see one in Palermo where I live now from time to time. What surprised me was that they leave it parked on the sidewalk with the windows open. Now that you told me about how hard it is to drive it, I guess this is why they are not afraid it might get stolen. ;)

  • It was not hard to drive it. Perhaps the car is almost completely broken and its refurbishment is too costly, as perhaps the spare parts are not available, neither here nor in the UK.

    These kind of cars are for a few specialists and collectors of old cars. Not the usual thiefs.

  • I know sod all about cars but the reference to Italy/Italian seems to be a relevant one.

    I was chatting to an Argentine lady last week who blames most of Argentina's woes on the 'Italian attitude' that exists here.