"They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To" is a play in two acts about the changing face of American culture in small manufacturing towns in the latter half of the 1980s. During 1986, in Bisonville, Wisconsin, Casey Spencer returns home after twenty-two years with his teenage daughter, Nikki.
It has been four years since a car crash took the life of his African-American wife. Suffering a permanent injury himself, Casey has had employment difficulties. So, he has returned to his hometown to see if he can get a job at the local motorcycle manufacturing plant.
However, Casey soon learns that hometown, like many small towns in America during this time, is being swallowed up by major chains and changed by outside interests whose only interest is in the bottom line. Worst of all, Casey sees American towns losing their very character in the process.
Then, Nikki gets pregnant. Her baby's father, a teenage boy, is suddenly up on murder charges. Casey is aided by Naomi, a former friend of his wife's, and by his father-in-law, Gamper, who suffers from Tourette Syndrome, In the end, Casey overcomes many obstacles in an effort to see that he, his daughter and his grandchild can continue to live the American dream.