Progress – coupled with technology – is a beautiful thing. It changes the way we live on a daily basis. It makes our lives easier, safer, simpler and faster. The same can be said for cars. We live in a world where our car can tell us if we are drifting into another lane, how long we have before we need an oil change and even where to turn to find the next Starbucks. What cool features have been killed off in the name of progress and technology? I give some old school vehicle features that need to come back…now!
the hand crank can stay in the past….
Pop-up head lights:
We’ve all seen old Pontiac Firebirds driven by men in sleeveless denim shirts, sporting mullets and a handlebar moustache (or is it just my recollection?). Their cars appear to be winking at other drivers because the pop-up headlight motor has died on one side. They look funny and make the car’s general appearance comical. What about the drop-dead gorgeous cars that wear the pop-up headlights? Porsche’s slant-nosed 911s? Ferrari 456? Mazda Rx7s? Stunning cars – this is not debatable, it’s a fact. How different would they look with conventional headlights? What would happen to their sleek and aerodynamic styling?
Again, I am going to refer back to Billy-Bob driving his Pontiac fire-chicken. For those of you who don’t know what a T-top is, I feel sorry for you, because you have never seen Smokey and the Bandit. A T-top is only found on a two-door car and features two removable glass sections, one above the driver and one above the passenger. These are awesome because you can let your hair blow in the wind and still have the rigid structure of a fixed roof. Datsun 280s had them. Cameros and Firebirds? Ditto. And Porsche and Ferrari had the Targa: similar, except the whole roof comes out.
My grandfather’s original Toyota Supra had a 7-band equalizer finished in brushed aluminum. I remember thinking I was sitting in a jet plane looking at all of those knobs and dials. Yeah, you can just toggle through your stereo interface and keep the dash looking “cleaner”, but think of the children! Think of the children!! They look so cool and intricate. Love that feeling when you get in a car and there are foreign buttons not immediately recognizable – it forces the passenger to respect the driver and the car that much more.
Luxury sports cars in the 1950s and early 1960s had these. You’re a tall person, or you have a hard time bending down. You want a sports car, but because of the aforementioned ailments, you have a hard time getting in and out. Swivel-out seats swivel out of the car and angle towards the street when the door opens. Essentially, they make for much better ergonomics when entering and exiting. Also, imagine your car seat coming out to great you when you get in? It’s like the waiter is constantly there to pull out your seat. Thanks, Alfred!
So…did I miss any? What cool technologies from today will fall by the wayside tomorrow?