Before touchscreen radios, Bluetooth connectivity and AUX ports became a standard part of a car’s audio system, drivers had to deal with the annoyance that was a CD prone to skipping or a cassette that would routinely get eaten by the deck, both of which undoubtedly caused many ruined road trips.
Luckily, though, those days are a thing of the past. And, as weird as it may seem, it won’t be long until a car CD player is a piece of nostalgia that only the older generation waxes over.
Like anything that was once deemed innovative – yet fell by the wayside as technology progressed – there are plenty of outdated car features and accessories from the 1960s, 70s and 80s that not too many people under the age of 40 probably remember.
Car Ash Tray
If there’s one interior feature that came to define the big, American luxury cars of the late 1970s and early 80s, it’s the car ash tray.
Although they could be found in virtually any vehicle from that era, the implementation of multiple ash trays came to define models like the Lincoln Town Car, Cadillac DeVille or Chrysler New Yorker.
Look at these cars and you’re bound to find at least six separate ash trays – one in each door, one under the dash and one in the center arm rest – and no cup holders.
It wasn’t that people weren’t taking drinks on the road as much as manufacturers just trying to cater to the smoking crowd, which was nearly one in four Americans at the time.
Now, though, getting an ash tray in a new vehicle is going to cost you. And instead of being hidden in clever places, it’s just a receptacle that fits in the center console cup holder. But, if anything, it’s just a byproduct of the times.
Hideaway Fuel Door
Go to a busy gas station during peak hours and chances are that you’ll see at least one person who doesn’t remember what side of the vehicle his or her gas tank is located. Normally, this shouldn’t occur all that often because modern fuel gauges are equipped with an indication arrow.
But if the individual in question is older, it’s a forgivable mistake, mainly because almost every car had a rear-mounted tank up until the 1980s.
These gas tanks were located in the very center of a vehicle and were accessible via a hideaway fuel door that was essentially the license plate. However, the problem was that rear-mounted tanks could catch fire easily when hit from behind.
And if automotive engineers learned anything from the Ford Pinto, it’s that car fires and traffic really don’t mix.
Though there were some later models that used hideaway rear fuel doors, like the first-generation Jeep Wrangler or early 90s Chevy Caprice, they were all but phased out by the new millennium.
There’s no denying that pop-up headlights were a styling cue meant to signify that you drove a vehicle too exquisite or unique to be bothered with conventional lamps in plain view.
In many ways, there was a sense of freedom knowing that you controlled the mechanism responsible for revealing either round or square headlights whenever dusk approached. And pressing that button was one of life’s simple pleasures.
However, recent advancements in car lighting have made pop-up headlights obsolete. For starters, the retractor motors usually wouldn’t work because of snow or ice.
And ever since the 90s, most cars and trucks have been outfitted with a fixed headlight lens that only requires a new bulb, and not the entire unit.
Thus, since these lights are brighter and offer more visibility than their sealed-beam counterpart, pop-up headlights were effectively phased out after the last 2004 Corvette hit the market.
If you have an older vehicle with outdated features that needs either mechanical or body work, call Andy’s Auto Service at 412-478-9304 for a FREE estimate.