5 Car features that were game changers...but are outdated today.
Cars have experienced revolutionary transformations over the years, with features pushing the boundaries of engineering and art. Today, cars come with sophisticated features like automatic high-beam headlights, surround-view cameras and semi-automated driving systems.
But even when technology wasn’t this advanced, automakers were unrelenting in packing their vehicles with luxurious features that were available at the time. However, with the invention of new features, older ones will slowly fade away and become obsolete with time. The following car features may no longer exist today, but they were game changers for the industry back in the day.
Cassette tapes in cars were the order of the day back in the 1970s. Many cars of that era all came with a cassette player as a standard feature. But many Gen-Z drivers today don’t even know what a cassette player looks like in a car. Compact cassettes were introduced in 1962 and became a global phenomenon shortly after. However, by the late 1980s, they were slowly fading away with CD players taking their place.
Did you know? The 2010 Lexus SC430 convertible was the last production car to come with a cassette player.
At some point, vent windows were standard on almost every four-door car. They are the small triangular-shaped windows. You can open a vent window to about a 45-degree angle and get some fresh air into your vehicle. Since most cars now have air conditioning, it was only a matter of time before vent windows became obsolete.
Vinyl roofs were not just a necessity, but also a symbol of luxury when they were introduced as far back as the 1920s. Vinyl roofs would make people think you are driving a convertible, but you prefer the top to stay put. Vinyl roofs were very common in America, especially during the 1970s and worked their way through to all earths continents.
Front Bench Seats
Front bench seats were once standard features in vehicles, today they are no more. But there are speculations that they could make a comeback in electric or autonomous cars. Front bench seats offer room for an additional passenger, making them a great choice for those big on practicality.
Vehicles like the 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1969 El Camino SS, 1973 Chevrolet C/K, 1972 Cadillac Deville, and 1971 Ford LTD Country Squire Wagon were some of the coolest marques to offer a front bench seat. However, safety regulations requiring the installation of automatic seatbelts and airbags made front bench seats an unviable idea.
The 1935 Cord 810 is the first vehicle to come with pop-up headlights or hidden headlamps. Pop-up headlights allow automakers to achieve the height requirements for headlight height.
Pop-up headlights improved the aerodynamics and styling of iconic cars like the Chevrolet Corvette, Ferrari 308, Porsche 944, and Lamborghini Miura. However, due to restrictions on protuberances from car bodies, pop-up headlights were last seen on the 2004 Lotus Esprit and C5 Corvette.
What was your favourite “old school” feature on the cars you grew up with?
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