A Very Simple Request

In the late 1970s (that would be during the Carter administration and THAT gas crisis), I drove a Datsun 1200 for a while.  It was a good, small, simple car, and I could afford it even though I had virtually no money.

As I recall, it had 12 or 13 inch wheels, no power anything, a four cylinder engine, and a four speed manual transmission.  It was light weight with no amenities.  None.  It had an AM only radio and a tinny little speaker.  No air conditioning either—can you imagine?  No AIR?? 

On the freeway, when larger cars would pass, the jet wash would buffet the car slightly after the larger car passed. 

It was orange, and it routinely got 35 to 50 MPG.  40 to 50 on the freeway and 35 to 45 around town. 

When the tires wore out, it was about as expensive as putting new tires on your bicycle.  If it needed brakes, it was about as expensive as putting brakes on your bicycle.  Did I just repeat myself?

Here's what the car did.  It provided reliable transportation cheaply.  It was a sporty little 2 door.  If I had one now, I'd drive it instead of the expensive gas hogs that are currently available.

In 1978, I drove a VW Beetle that I bought new for less than 2 grand.  All that same stuff applies to the VW (but the mileage wasn't quite as good).

Is there some specific reason why some automaker in the world can no longer do what Datsun and VW did in the 1970s?

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