To the Editor:
Victor Galvan's July 17 column on how the guitar makers in the United States met Japanese competition contains a flawed analogy ("For carmakers, a dream deferred"). As things stand, what worked for guitar makers won't work for the car companies.
First and foremost, from the beginning, the best-quality guitars were always made here. Any guitar player worth his chops wouldn't be caught dead with anything but an American-built guitar.
Sure, the Japanese stuff was good quality, but it didn't matter. It had to be an American-made guitar or it wasn't cool. That situation still exists.
The image of American guitars being the best has never faded. And a Gibson 335 like the one that my dear old Dad bought for me in 1967 for probably about $350 is now selling for 10 times that amount - $2,000 more if you want the custom shop to build you an exact replica of the original model.
Somewhere along the way (in the 1970s?), the car companies lost the prestige factor. Not only have they lost it; they have let a role reversal happen. Now the foreign models are perceived to be of better quality than the American.
I own a Ford Five Hundred, and it's the best car I've ever had. It's too bad that the rest of the car-buying public isn't aware of the quality in today's American cars.