Voters Need A Reason By: Frank Friday Esquire Director How Long Can Your Car Keep Going By: Frank Friday Esquire Director Contrast that to the worst turn-out state, Hawaii. Even though Hawaii has early voting, and is implementing a same-day registration system, it consistently shows up at the bottom of the rankings. This is no doubt due in large part to the uncompetitive politics there, Republicans rarely winning anything. Nixon in 1972 and Reagan in 1984 was the two times the GOP has won the state’s electoral votes. The Hawaii Democrats are also notoriously insular, Our Kentucky license plate for Historic Vehicles features the outline of an antique auto, a 1901 Curved Dash Oldsmobile, the world’s first true mass production vehicle. It was so famous at the time, it even produced a popular song, In My Merry Oldsmobile. So, it is kind of disconcerting to see these plates on vehicles of relatively recent vintage. But to be considered Historic in Kentucky, it only needs to be 25 years old. Even my mom’s old Camry, which doesn’t look that much different from a new Camry, is almost ready to qualify for these plates. Of course, once a Kentucky car is registered as Historic, it is not to be used for daily driving. By law, it can only be street-driven to displays and parades. Knowing that such plates do not require yearly registration and fees, though, will motivate some skin-flints to get them for their old clunkers and still use them as a regular street car – a violation that the police will only infrequently enforce. That got me to thinking, though: what are the oldest cars that are currently street operable? even leading native-son Barack Obama to give up any chance of making a career there in elective office and go try his hand on the mainland. The other states at the bottom - West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, and Arkansas - similarly had few contests of interest in 2016 to motivate the voters. And interestingly, like Hawaii, they all provide substantial “no-excuse needed” early voting periods; an idea often proffered by reformers in Kentucky. The oldest still-running cars date back to the 19th Century and there are only a few. The American-built Stanley Steamer of 1898 has some models still in working condition. Jay Leno has his example still boiling away. The Stanleys were built in quantity, so there was a lot to start with, and like railroad locomotives, they were made to last forever. They are the most numerous really-old automobiles still going and not just sitting in museums. A few single examples of European cars are still running and even older, such as an 1893 Benz Victoria, a French Panhard of 1895, and the oldest of all, a French 1884 De Dion et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos runabout. The oldest Rolls-Royce model still rolling is a 1904 two-seater. They don’t make’em like they used to, which is probably a good thing. In the early era of mass production, most cars didn’t make it very far. The average lifespan of a new car in 1930 was just 6.7 years. Today it is more like 11, and it is, of course, a vastly superior, if not more stylish, product. The typical car sold in America, even the cheaper ones, will often make it to But seeing how Kentucky is already doing decently in voter turn-out, and the lack of difference mere “no excuses” early voting makes, it will be hard to say if there are really any practical new ideas out there that might be put in place. Of course, the best way to get more voters is simply to give them more good candidates to vote for. We can only hope. 250,000 miles with routine care. After that, things do start to break down. Back in the 1960s, Mercedes Benz began a special badge program for its customers to show off the high-mileage possibility of its products. An owner can get a free badge for making it to 155,000 miles (250,000 kilometers), 312,000 miles (500,000 kilometers) 466,000 miles (750,000 kilometers ) 625,000 miles (1,000,000 kilometers) and 1,000,000 miles (1,610,000 kilometers). The current Mercedes champ is Gregorios Sachinidis, a Greek taxi driver who put more than 2.8 million miles in his 1976 Mercedes-Benz 240D. While today’s cars are pretty good at staying in operation, the all-time road warrior was the iconic Checker Cab, made in Kalamazoo, MI from 1959 to 1982. Checkers routinely made a million miles over their lifetimes, and some NYC taxis exceeded 3 million. Today, the only purpose-built American taxi is the wheel-chair accessible MV-1, made by the same folks that built the Army’s Hummer. However, taxi regulations on vehicle age make it unlikely the MV-1 will ever rack up the mileage records of the Checker. continued from page 1 2