As cars became more complex to prevent backyard mechanics from stealing Dealership Service Departments, their profits, prices rose. With advanced fuel injection electronically squirting gas into engineered combustion chambers, up went the price of vehicles. Government mandated emission controls to reduce pollutants and the introduction of better corrosion resistance to increase longevity jacked up the numbers. Safety features that increased the survivability in various types of accidents, along with overall better engineering, has raised the price of new vehicles over 8 times from its 1970’s numbers. Yes, inflation has a bearing on these numbers, but for most Americans decades ago, if you could save up all the money you made in 6 months, you could buy a new car. Today, it’s over a year and if you finance, its 3 years. Auto dealer organizations have better networking and can keep the price of a used vehicle up substantially higher on the grounds that it lasts much longer. They don’t tell you that improved infrastructure and tire designs are also key factors. Car salesmen love to take on trade-ins when selling a new vehicle. They then sticker price the 25,000 mile plus, used vehicle for more money than it was purchased for brand new, with a full warranty. Fifteen-year-old cars and trucks with high miles and multiple mechanical flaws still fetch 3 grand which is over a month’s worth of wages for Average Al. All these factors have turned the BEATER into a relic that went the way of the New Zealand moa bird: EXTINCT. The kids of today have been denied the right to be entertained fully in their youth and do not know the joys of being in the driver’s seat slamming and ramming other BEATERS off the road. A few souls have tried to revive this ancient art but, unfortunately, chose competitors who value their ride too much to participate. They are often mistakenly arrested for road rage. Denying fun is an unjustly harsh and cruel punishment.