5 Remarkable Classic Car Features We Want Back
As we wrap up Classics Week at Carsforsale.com, here are five car features found in classic cars that we want back in our vehicles. We love a good new car, but there is something special about a classic car with bench seats and a record player that a modern vehicle cannot compete with. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and revisit some of what we think are the greatest classic car features of all time.
Highway Hi-Fi Record Player
Record players were the infotainment system of the ‘50s and ‘60s. You could plug your smart phone into the AUX jack for instant music, but what’s the fun in that? Nothing says classic like a big black vinyl record spinning under the dash.
Chrysler pioneered the “Highway Hi-Fi” in 1956. Compact records were created exclusively for the original system and could usually hold under an hour of sound per side. Unfortunately, the units were not successful due to frequent malfunction and a limited number of titles available in this special format.
Rim Blow Steering Wheel
Excessive honking is infuriating, but this feature is still pretty cool. Is moving your hand three inches to the center of your steering wheel too difficult? Keep your hands on the wheel and express your dissatisfaction at the same time with a Rim Blow Steering Wheel.
That’s right. Simply squeeze the inner steering wheel to blare your horn at the terrible drivers in the world. These wheels were taken out of production due to technical issues. Rumor has it, the shrinking of the rubber over time would cause the horn to sound without activation.
The last American vehicle with front bench seats was the Chevrolet Impala, which discontinued bench seats in the 2014 model. Bench seats may not be a visually appealing feature, but they served many purposes.
No longer can three people sit comfortably in the front seat. With bench seats, a male could use a sharp right turn in combination with a right arm rested on the top of the seat to encourage the embrace of a female companion. Sadly, these days are behind us.
Floor Dimmer Switch
When driving someone else’s vehicle, attempting to dim the lights almost always turns into dim lights, windshield wipers and blinking in every direction. Automakers have cluttered the controls near the steering wheel, and the floor dimmer switch did a great job of keeping things simple.
Simply tap your left foot to dim and brighten your headlights. This feature was used around the ‘50s through the ‘80s. It seems far more efficient and safe than taking a hand off of the wheel. With the majority of vehicles having an automatic transmission, floor dimmer switches just make sense.
Automatic Seat Belts
Want to see an automatic seat belt in action? Check it out.
Many states are enforcing seat belt requirements, why not make it easy? Automatic seat belts were commonly used in vehicles without airbags. Automotive makers in America were required to have some sort of passive protection; airbags or automatic seat belts. Car makers moved away from automatic seat belts as laws required driver’s side airbags. This technology made automatic belts obsolete. With or without airbags, seat belts save lives.
Many people did not like automatic seat belts while they lasted. Reports of people getting “tangled up” are extremely common. If the seat belt malfunctioned, it could keep your vehicle from starting even if it was latched properly. Other concerns revolving around the safety of these belts led to their quick demise.
Did we miss any great classic car features? Let us know in the comments below!