I believe you, Glen. But "today" there are more noise sources than ever before, and 160m can be a really noisy band due to human factors that hardly existed 40-50 years ago. Ground wave using verticals certainly does work on 160m, but if there are mountains in between, they add attenuation also. I can (and anyone can) witness this on the AM BCB just driving around if you're in a mountainous area. KFI-AM 640 kHz is a dominant 50 kW BC station locally (well, it's about 45 miles from me) and is loud and clear 24/7 but if I drive on the other side of a mountain separating me from them...not so good. If I drive along the beach, 100 miles away they're very strong. Terrain does make a difference, even for MW ground wave. I do recongize that car AM systems are terribly inefficient. But...I can hear KFI in Santa Ynez, 120 miles from them, and also in San Diego, 120 miles away in the other direction...as long as I'm close to the coast. Driving inland behind mountains, not so much.