I’ve been carrying out a thought experiment.
Could I, rather than buying something newer and shinier designed and made in this century, go back instead? Specifically, back to something like this.
There are pros and cons.
Exempt from emissions requirements (by way of a concession made on German reunification)
Duroplast body panels, so no rust
Engine has only five moving parts, so not much to go wrong. The five parts are two pistons, two rods and one crank. No pumps because no water pump (no water), no fuel pump (gravity is your friend) and no oil pump (because total loss lubrication)
It’s never going to need antifreeze
Most things can be fixed with a hammer, a screwdriver or a vice grip
You can change the engine with the above tools and you won’t need a hoist. Back in the day carrying a spare (or two!) around with you was a thing
Most parts still available
Unaffected by airbag recall
Doesn’t use much fuel
Not going to fall in value if you look after it
Quite a few, sadly
Outer panels don’t rust, but everything structural is steel. Steel rusts away happily
Maximum recommended speed is 80 kmh. You get a bit more but at the cost of engine life
Not the safest thing to crash in, although somebody did a crash test and found it not much worse than other cars of the era
The fuel tank sits on top of the engine. Frontal impacts are contra indicated
It’s a two stroke. You need to calculate and add oil whenever you buy fuel
It’s a tad noisy under what passes for acceleration
So there you have it. Forwards may be backwards.