Rethinking "Made in China"

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On Wed, 16 Dec 2009 11:39:07 -0800, David Nebenzahl wrote:

They'll build what they're paid to build, no more and no less. There are talented folk there, same as anywhere else - but if people want to pay for crap that breaks after a few months so that they then have to go out and buy more crap, then that's what the Chinese will happily make...
Problem is, *everyone* does it. It's almost impossible for a company to exist on the basis of making a 'quality' product any more - which means that even if the individual wants to pay extra for something that'll last, the product simply doesn't exist.
cheers
Jules
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Jules wrote:

They are excellent copy cats, but there is NOTHING like European engineering for built-in quality, from handsaws and screwdrivers, to spaceships.
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Swingman wrote:

The Europeans built a spaceship? I think Flash Gordon was an American...
Last I heard, the Europeans were trying to put up their own GPS satellite system - for reasons passing understanding.
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No, Flesh Gordon was the American... ;~)
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HeyBub wrote:

As for European engineering in general, anybody who thinks that it's all high quality hasn't fettled a brand new British-made Stanley shoulder plane.
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wrote:

Or owned a Fiat...
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Doug Miller wrote:

Then there's Rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes, BMW, the Lamborghini Reventon , Maserati, the Bugatti Veyron, the McLaren F1, and the Pagani, to name just a few examples of "European engineering" that there is NOTHING else like.
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wrote:

Or an MG ...
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Doug Miller wrote:

I'm the original owner of my 1973 Fiat 124 Spyder. It was my only car until recently. It has been driven down steam beds in Mexico, over mountains, across deserts, etc. It still runs and looks great. Biggest problem I've had with it is "mechanics" screwing up stuff; surprising since it is so mechanically simple but they manage.
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wrote:

Many years ago I had a Fiat 124 Spyder. I called it the Fiat 124 Lemon. I did buy it used so perhaps it was just maintained terribly, but almost every other week something went wrong. The alternator died, the string operating the clutch broke, the transmission developed problems, and just endless crap.
I guess it just depends on when it got put together.
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dgk wrote:

I used to have an X1/9. Lovely little car, only repair I ever needed to make on it other than routine maintenance was the thermostat. I'd likely still be driving it if some asshole hadn't stolen it. Not at all like my one Toyota, that had a single scheduled maintenance item--at 10,000 miles replace engine.
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On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 09:39:22 -0500, J. Clarke wrote:

Heh, I find myself playing "spot the car" in the US, having grown up on the other side of the Pond. Saw my first X1/9 on US soil last year, one "proper" Mini so far (not the crappy modern BMW version), a 2CV a couple of months ago... quite a few VW bugs, of course. A few MG Midgets (but with the shitty rubber bumpers that they were forced to have in the US)

I've had a major hankering after a first-generation Celica for a few months... I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing!
I really want a Jensen FF, but that's waiting until I win the lottery ;)
cheers
Jules
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Jules wrote:

I don't know which generation was which year, but when I came to the US from Australia at the end of 1977, I saw Celicas that looked considerably different from - and inferior to -- the ones I had been seeing in Australia for the past year or two. The internals might have been the same, but I much preferred the styling of the Australian ones.
Perce
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On Thu, 17 Dec 2009 19:33:43 -0500, Percival P. Cassidy wrote:

Interesting. I found that with a lot of the old Holdens when I was in Oz and NZ - lots of them were based on US models, but somehow they just had that little bit more grace and elegance in the styling...
And actually, when I say "first generation Celica", I think I'd aim for one of the post-'75 ones after they gave them the facelift. Problem with my being in the US is that I think all of the US ones may have had shitty rubber bumpers added - the Oz ones just had chrome as Toyota intended.
I'm a self-confessed sucker for '70s cars with quad headlights... ;)
cheers
Jules
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Yes, the Italians make Ferraris and $80K shotguns, etc. They also make Fiats. You want the real survivability lowdown on Fiat. I'm from sunny CA where cars NEVER RUST!. If it's worth a damn, it will last forever. In the early 70s, after I got out of the service, CA roads were lousy with Fiats 850s and 124s. It was a craze and ppl bought them by the ship load. They were as common as VW bugs. Thirty years later, they are rarer than an honest politician. In fact, in the last 5 yrs I spent commuting 70 miles a day on SFBA freeways, I was stunned to see a single running 850 Spyder, it having been so long since seeing one, I'd actually forgotten they'd ever existed. Pre-70 Borgwards are more common. If Fiat reliability is any indication of European quality engineering, Chrysler is screwed!
nb
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I had a '75 Fiat 128 L Sport Coupe. Got it for nothing in 1978 after it sat at a dealership for 2 years to have the engine replaced under warranty, and the dealer went broke. The guy gave it to me for installing the brand new- never run engine in his X19.
I put an aircraft generator and 8 golfcart batteries in it and it was more reliable than any other 128 I ran across - and even it was no heck.
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HeyBub wrote:

Tsk, tsk ... you get into space on "rockets", Bubba ... Wernher Von Braun
Nuff said ...
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imported Germany's best scientists.
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CW wrote:

So what percentage of the engineers working on Apollo were German?
Hint--go to Youtube and search on "Disney Moon" and you'll find that the concept that Von Braun was pushing pre-Apollo was considerably different from what actually flew (and before you make some ignorant sneering remark about Disney, do the search and watch the episode).
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A surprising number of the best NASA scientists and engineers came from Canada after the Avro Arrow project was canceled by the Diefenbaker Conservative government.
<http://www.avroarrow.org/AvroArrow/Avroengineers.html
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