... wherein one computer fails, you have to replace all parts associated with it(eg. 2001 and later Chevy Impalas).
I agree with everything in your post and especialy that God-awful 2001-2005 Impala. UGH! I would always get stuck renting it, and they each one was a POS. I could come up with 100 reasons why it sucks donkey balls. 101 with the computer problem. The new ones are a huge improvement, however, but still lack the reliability and de-integration.
That model T would make an excellent basis to design a FE/aero dune buggy off of. Dune buggies normally aren't very aerodynamic, but this design pretty much shows us what an aerodynamic, open-wheeled dune buggy would look like.
The Model T's engine was horribly inefficient, and originally, its Cd was like .8 or so(not an exact number). Using that inefficient engine and piss poor aerodynamics, it still returned about 25 mpg because of the low speeds it could be operated at. The aero Model T of this topic is around 35 mpg, IIRC, from that aero improvement. Imagine what it would do with a modernized engine.
Imagine a mid or rear mounted V8 turbodiesel of 300+ horsepower on a 1,400 pound buggy with studded tires, with the basic bodyshell design of this aero model T. Give it a nice, fat 50 gallon tank. Coast to coast on one tank may become a possibility, plus the rapid acceleration and offroad abilities.
Sounds like something you'd see out of The Roadwarrior, but I think it would make for an interesting vehicle.