In 2005, Ford Motors introduced a retro-looking Mustang. It just so happened at the time that 1) I needed to replace a car that was in the repair shop too often, and 2) I had a heckuva lot of fun driving my dad’s Mustang when I was in high school.
Mustangs are not cheap cars (about the price of Ford Fusion today), but they are well built and last a long time. Having been nickeled and dimed to death by recent cars, I decided to invest the $22,000 and buy a red Mustang. It was the smartest money I ever spent.
It’s 2017 and 12 years later. The car has 205,000 miles on it and still get compliments. I haven’t replaced the brakes or radiator. The engine is still in great condition, although it overheated a couple years ago requiring an unexpected $250 repair. I replaced the original muffler last year, and only because my son backed into something. This Mustang and its parts were engineered to last.
During all these years, instead of being nickeled and dimed on repairs and disrupted a lot, I have been able to put the money toward the other car’s repairs, home improvements, or even vacations.
This is a life lesson on paying a bit more up front for long-lasting performance. What a hassle-free life this car has given me.
So how’s a Mustang like a concrete street?
My investment in my Mustang is like your city or county’s investment in a concrete street. You might pay more on the front end than you would for asphalt, but concrete streets are high-performing and built to last.
The annual operating budget will be free of the regular patching, seal coating and pothole repairs that come with an asphalt street. Drivers will be free of detours and road construction. And taxpayers won’t have to buy a new street 15 to 20 years later.
Concrete paving just sits there until the 20 to 25-year mark when minor repairs will be required. And then it will just sit there for another 20 years or more. You’ll get at least 40 years of disruption-free (patching and pothole-free) life for that original payment.
Don’t take my word for it. See what city engineers have to say about this.
I’ve been assured by my mechanics that the Mustang has another 100,000 miles to go, so I’ll likely get 20 years out of this car. Local public engineers who place concrete streets can assure residents that those roads will last at least 40 years.
Pretty smart use of my money and taxpayer money, yes?