My first car was a 1953 Chevrolet that I bought for $50 in the summer of 1960. It had a blown transmission and I was able to find a replacement for the princely sum of $10. Now I have no real mechanical ability, but a friend and I were able to get the car running. Even someone with my limited skills could perform a tune up and even rebuild an engine.
Today I have a couple of vehicles. My newest is a 2007 Subaru. It is a nice little full time four-wheel drive car. I like to drive it. However it has a problem, I couldn’t repair it if my life depended on it. All the new vehicles are very complex. Now I can change the oil and a few simple things. However if it has a real problem I am in trouble, it has about 14 or 15 computers that cannot be repaired, if they have a problem I would need to replace them.
If a major disaster occurs and it doesn’t involve EMP and by some miracle, I can still get gas, how long can I keep the Subaru running? I have tools, oil and extra belts. But any little hiccup and I am in trouble. My solution is to keep the maintenance as current as possible and not count on the vehicle for long term. If your only vehicle is a newer one, get a manual, stock what parts you can, keep the maintenance up and hope for the best.
Me I need to have something similar to that old 53 Chevrolet. There are still a lot of 60 and early 70 American made pickups on the road. I would suggest a 6 cylinder with as few accessories as possible, for example no A.C or electric windows. Depending on the terrain you live in you may not need to be four-wheel drive, but at least get a positraction differential. Stock tools, parts and a good manual and you can keep it running as long as fuel is available. If you don’t believe me, just look at current pictures from Cuba and see all the cars from the 1950 that are still running. They estimate that 60,000 pre-1960 American cars are still running in Cuba.