My vote for the bad rap on Lucas is the poorly maintained older car too. That and the fact that the parts simply weren’t meant to last more than about 10 years (doesn’t account for <10 year failures though…). Manufacturers build parts to make money, so they don’t want to make a part that lasts 20 years for a car meant to last 10. They want to get close to that 10 years expected lifespan then they don’t care what happens! Makes sense, if thinking from a manufacturers perspective. While a better part may only add 10 cents to the total cost, multiply by 20 parts and 10,000+ cars and you’re talking about a LOT of money.
I’m a late 50s-60s Rambler/AMC fan. LOTS of stories about “the POS I had way back when”. Those years were typically “value” cars – lots of bang for the buck, and economical. Not a big resell value after about 65 though, so run into the ground and poorly maintained. The guy with the POS that talks bad about it fails to mention it was passed from his grandfather to his wife then 2-3 kids, and now it’s been pulled out of the barn/woods for him to have a turn at too… Not a POS because of manufacturing, just beat and worn down!!