The story of the British automotive industry was one of imperial arrogance and a sense of superiority that would eventually lead to its lowest point several years ago. Many analysts are actually predicting an even lower position when the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union will result in potential tariffs, job losses, factory closings, and a deeper economic crisis. A pox on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government, possibly.
Our generation considers a wider definition of luxury, despite the obvious price connotation of it. Rolls-Royce and Bentley may just be touchstones in terms of luxury, but even their pricing might be not enough compared to the likes of Bugatti, Pagani and a few new Ferraris and Lamborghinis. While a few hundred thousand dollars opens the door to a Rolls-Royce Wraith or Bentley Mulsanne, luxury is also measured by rarity of product and extreme levels of performance.
Translation: Japanese cars were thought of as cheap tin boxes that would never make it through a Minnesota winter. That was the mentality of the American consumer until the last couple of decades. It does help that several Japanese automakers set up shop building vehicles on our soil to change our collective minds.
Whether you were a farmer, a tradesperson or in the business of transporting goods a distance, a truck was the best way to accomplish commerce. It made money for you, your employees and your business. The idea was simple: Take a chassis, add a cab and find a way to take care of the back to carry loads.
The answer above would be a proper response to the question of the Panther platform's longevity. It also serves as a reminder as to why Panther platform cars are recycled at a greater rate than any vehicle ever made in the past 35 years. Everywhere you go – regardless of the average income of a neighborhood, you will find more than one such rear-wheel drive dinosaur driving around the block.