Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Good Ol' Days...

Here's another something I came across recently.

11 Features You No Longer See in Cars
It’s hard to picture what today’s teenagers will wax nostalgic about 30 years from now when they reminisce about their first car. (It still required gasoline, perhaps?) Who knows how automobiles will change in the future; what we do know is how different they are today from 30 or more years ago. If you fondly remember being surrounded by two or three tons of solid Detroit steel with a whip antenna on the front from which you could tie a raccoon tail or adorn with an orange Union 76 ball, and enough leg room that you didn’t suffer from phlebitis on long road trips, then you might also miss a few of these.
Some items are stylistic, like tailfins. Others are signs of the times - there aren't ashtrays or vent windows any more because very few people smoke, and horn rings, while mostly gone before airbags anyways, definitely had to go once the steering wheel exploded into your chest. And some are just better off left to the dustbin of automotive history, replaced by better options - floor-mounted hi-beam switches and knobs among that group.

There are other items that are missing from today's cars that aren't on this list. Carburetors, for starters, and for good reason. Ditto rear windows that don't actually go all the way down. Door locks that looked like a golf tee. Automatic transmissions that you can shift out of park without having to hit the damn brake. Emergency brakes actuated by a handle rather than a pedal.

What's missing from today's cars that you miss?

That is all.

24 comments:

geeknotes said...

I miss pop-up headlights. I had both a Saturn SC2 and a Ford Probe with pop-ups, and the lights made a nice contribution to the streamlined profile of the car.

jetfxr69 said...

Jay,

Not sure where some of that last paragraph came from. None of my cars, including the 2013 have rear windows that go all the way down. And at least one has an E-brake handle (the "truck", weirdly).

I'm actually surprised they let the rear-windows go all the way down, as it's "unsafe"--your kids could climb out if they go too far down. (\nanny)

doubletrouble said...

EVERY SINGLE TIME I drive at night I curse the loss of the high beam floor switch. How is that stupid column mount better?
While I'm at it, I used to like brakes that would, you know, stop the truck instead of humping itself under my foot.
Get off my lawn.

Dave H said...

I miss bench seats. I don't fit in bucket seats any more. (I'm more of a washtub seat kind of guy.) Plus it's hard to drive with my arm around my best girl when we're both strapped in on opposite sides of the car.

I miss cars I can work on myself. The only thing that's actually easy to do on my Subaru is replace & tension the alternator, power steering, and A/C belts. But you need to be a contortionist to replace a turn signal bulb on that thing.

Anonymous said...

Bench type front seats.

Anonymous said...

Window hand cranks.

Yes electric is nice.

I still miss them.

Joseph in IL

Nancy R. said...

I miss the high beam floor switch, too, unless I'm driving a manual transmission. And I miss crank windows. And vent systems that actually blew air. My '68 Valiant had the BEST air vents, including the one under the steering column.

Expatriate Owl said...

One thing I miss are the totally manual door locks.

Really!

It used to be that when I was carrying lots of packages from the car, I would push down all of the lock buttons, grab the packages from the back seat and, having no free hands, push the last open door shut with my knee and the car was securely locked (vent windows notwithstanding).

Now, I have to hold the electronic key in my hand and/or put down the packages after I take them out of the car; I can't just kick the door shut and have it lock.

Evyl Robot Michael said...

I couldn't read this without hearing this in my head:

http://youtu.be/ZpP1yNRo4rE

Wandering Neurons said...

Not necessarily a feature of older cars, but a feature of being an older driver that I miss: courteous drivers. Not the ones that tear down the right turn lane, make a right turn, an immediate u-turn, and back into traffic, bypassing the folks waiting for the green light. Using turn signals, leaving gaps between you and the car behind you. Those kinds of things. Especially driving into DC every day...

Wolfman said...

I actually spliced floor dimmers into a 90 Chevy pickup. Pulled the harness plug apart and hooked in with a couple of flat terminals, worked perfect! I haven't tried on my 04, though. Something tells me it won't be as simple.

Anonymous said...

My 09 Dodge Ram has crank windows and golf tee locks.

People often miss having a car they can work on, I like having a car that doesn't need work. 100k miles and I had to change the battery last month.

Knucklehead said...

2013 Honda CRV has the old fashioned pedal for the parking/emergency brake. IIRC the '04 Pilot did also. Honda likes to give the ladies that pocket book shelf between the front seats.

A feature that is missing on some modern autos is the oil check dipstick.

Anonymous said...

I'll go with bench seats.

Formynder said...

I don't see why everyone loves the floor mounted high beam control so much. It's much easier to use when you can just flick the lever towards you when someone cuts you off. Or leave it pushed forward if you're really annoyed. When driving, my hand naturally rests near the blinker lever anyway.

Stingray said...

Another vote for floor mounted high beams, but I'll go one further. My first car had a floor mounted starter button, and it was friggin awesome. I have to admit anon has a point though about the decrease in maintenance required.

Although it would be nice if I could @#$%(&* reach the plugs on the back half of a '99 z28 engine, let alone have enough room to get the wire off. They're more than a little due for a change.

Anonymous said...

Aside from not being able to do anything but change oil anymore, I don't miss much today. If I do, I own an early 50's British sports car. All it takes is an hour in that (and the maintenance to follow) to remind me how good today's cars are.

Jim said...

I had the hardest time when they moved the high beam switch from the floor to the steering column.

Kept getting my foot stuck in the steering wheel.



Jim
Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Hafnhaf said...

being married for 34 years, there are lots of things i miss having in older cars...

Mopar said...

I REALLY miss the vent windows, and I'm not a smoker. I also really miss drip rails and doors that didnt curve in at the top. Now, whenever it rains, the water drips into all those electronic switches in the door, and when it snows, as soon as you open the door all the snow falls on your seat.
Another cool feature I miss, was the manual foot-pump windshield washer. I could control just how much washer fluid I wanted, and where it went. With a little tweaking of the spray nozzles you could make it so a hard pump sprayed right over the roof and onto the window of the a-hole tailgating you.

Murphy's Law said...

Floor-mounted STARTER like my old 1953 Dodge truck had.

No emission controls or computers and an engine that I could do anything on with common tools.

Jacqueline said...

A driver in the lane next to me had left their gas cap off after filling up. I got their attention at a stop light and used (what I thought was) the universal gesture to roll down your window. They didn't seem to have any clue what I was asking them to do.

extexanwannabee said...

The old Ramblers would start with the transmission in drive.

Douglas2 said...

Lack of a starter interlock that requires the clutch pedal to be fully pushed before the starter will engage on manual transmission cars.

I've been able to move a bunch of disabled cars -- either clearing an intersection after someone's accident, or just moving a non-running car 100ft to get it to where I needed it to be -- by just starting it in gear and running it on the starter motor.

I once had a clutch disk disintegrate and seize the clutch in "engaged" mode. Unfortunately, I was in Canada at the time and due to start work in CT five hours later. I learned a lot about shifting on that trip...