Nice, cheap, reliable are words used to sell new cars. Not used cars. They will be lacking in one of those areas...with the addition of guaranteed to break once a week, or to make your mechanic wealthy enough to send his kid to Uni.. The government worked with the auto industry to take the older generation cars off the road by paying $400 - $1000 for your clunker when you purchase a new vehicle. I know, they took out of circulation many good cars. The auto industry benefited. Not the consumers. Rare is it to find a vehicle with a carb. and with rain gutters on the roof edge(the older style construction). They at least did not have computers in them. You could actually pop open the hood and fix them on the roadside if and when they broke down. Now with the new cars, you have to take it to a dealer to have THEM fix it.
. Cars easily lasted 25 years and many 50 years. You just did the required servicing on the parts that would and still wear out...brake shoes, clutches, fuel pumps, mufflers, water pumps, radiator hoses and V belts, battery, spark plugs, fuel and air filter and oil filter changes...tires....and maybe wheel bearings. Sometimes the engine may need rebuilding, meaning engine work to be good again because it has done its 100K miles and engine wear is evident by the bluish white smoke that comes out the tailpipe...(or every 10 to 15 years) which is the expected life of every engine. (all the items wear out and still do on new cars) If you got a seat belt and wear it, that is just as protective as an air bag...if not more so.
The cars are still around but more so in peoples back yards or gardens or barns or out buildings or still being driven because they still run good and everything works. Chances are they are not selling it because a new car is not $5000 but more like $50,000.
. So the old car has 10x's the cheap price on it because they can get it.
That is where cheap went...it is called inflation.