The bygone days of magnets in your vehicle.

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Jun 01, 1993

Dear Tom and Ray:

I just "traded up" from a 1984 Ford Ranger to a 1992 model. I was feeling pretty good about it until I discovered how much of the metal has been replaced with plastic. I used to use magnets to post reminder notes on the dash and I had a magnetic paper towel holder behind the seat. No more; I can't find a single inch of metal anywhere inside the cab. I've heard you say good things about the Ranger on your radio show, but I've never heard you mention this switch. Do you think I'm justified in feeling gypped?

TOM: I don't think so, Maribel. Who says metal is better than plastic? Plastic is just as durable, it doesn't corrode, and it's becoming just as recyclable these days.

RAY: And plastic has two other advantages inside the car. First, it's lighter, which means the car is lighter and more fuel efficient.

TOM: Plus, plastic doesn't hurt as much when your head bounces off it. Trust me on this one.

RAY: But I miss magnets, too, Maribel. There are Velcro fasteners, suction cups, Crazy Glue, and post-it notes, but there's no plastic equivalent of the magnet. In fact, plastic is so omnipresent these days, that the only place I can still use magnets is on the door of my refrigerator.

TOM: That's it, Maribel! You need one of those dorm-size "cube" refrigerators for the truck. Get a converter that changes your cigaret lighter to 110 volts. Then put the fridge on the passenger seat and belt it in. Now you can stick your magnets and reminder notes on the refrigerator door, plus, you can have a cold drink or a sandwich whenever you want it!

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