THE AMERICAS: Life Begins at 30

In the U.S. an owner has to be queer for old cars to hold on to one, but in much of Latin America, the economies run on the uncertain wheels of old jalopies.

With its necklace of colored lights and blinking neon signs, Argentina's only outdoor used-car lot (the "Automart"), in suburban Buenos Aires, looks like its ubiquitous U.S. counterpart run by "Madman Mike" or "Giveaway Gus." Even the sales pitch is the same: "Good Runner!" says a sign plastered to a windshield. But there the similarity ends. Precious few '58s, '59s and...

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