Americans' love affair with automobiles often prompts us to seek out new or at least "less-used" vehicles before the ones we already have are worn out.
But we've been in unusually bad economic circumstances for quite some time now, so a lot of Americans have been keeping their vehicles longer.
In fact, the typical age of U.S. cars and trucks in the United States hit a record 10.8 years in 2011, according to a Michigan-based automotive research firm.
The previous record, 10.6 years, was reached just the year before.
By comparison, back in 1995, the typical car was only about 8.4 years old.
Of course, as you might imagine, automakers would prefer that more Americans trade in their cars for newer models with greater frequency.
And if we can get out from under the current economic weakness our country is enduring, that may happen.
But one thing seems certain: We Americans will keep enjoying our cars and trucks -- new, old or "middle-aged."