By on April 18, 2017

{Image: Wikimedia Commons]

Most of us are slaves to convenience, but there’s a good number of motorists who long to relive a nostalgic chapter from their younger days; back when cars were less sterile (externally, anyways), and less overburdened with all-thinking, all-knowing technology.

“Those were good days,” they think, their minds drifting back to a warm, hazy period washed clean of all the bad things they’d prefer not to remember. “Cigarettes were ten cents a pack. I didn’t have the government choking things up between my carburetor and tailpipe.”

There’s no going back to the days before seatbelts and airbags, nor would anyone want a return of car bodies that fold like wet cardboard during a crash, but there are some extinct features we’d like to see again — even if it’s just to satisfy a tiny, memory-filled recess of our overburdened brains.

Maybe it’s front vent windows, designed to suck the fragrant emissions of a carload of Winston and Camel smokers into the great beyond. Rear vent windows — like those found on 1980s Oldsmobile Cutlass four-doors — didn’t do much to cool down rear seat occupants, but it kept your kids from tossing popsicle sticks at other motorists.

Simmer down back there, and fasten your lap belt!

Hey, maybe you’d like to see a return of an actual cigarette lighter and ashtray, rather than hunt high and low for the increasingly elusive optional smoker’s package. The Pall Mall Package, perhaps.

It could be your vehicle’s wide and commodious console that’s got you annoyed. Look at all that wasted space! A nice front bench seat would not only allow for easy egress if your door is pinned against an obstacle (or if the thought of dooring a cyclist keeps you up at night), it would also make the front seat a chummier place. Of course, such a setup could also spell the return of the column shifter — a satisfying and calorie-burning way to wrestle that automatic into gear.

Perhaps you’d like an external spotlight, but don’t feel like buying a mothballed cop car. Sure, your phone’s GPS or your car’s navigation system will take you right to your date, but having a multi-directional high beam attached to your A-pillar is simply cool. Full stop.

For others, the returning feature might lie in the trim category. Modern cloth and leather seats are nice, but why the lack of velour? Why no pillowed option? Some of us like having a foot or more of foam padding behind our backs. And what bureaucrat took away our deep pile carpeting?

The list of defunct interior and exterior features is a lengthy one, so we’ll let you take over. Let us know: which would you like to see return on your next vehicle?

[Image: Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 2.0)]

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340 Comments on “QOTD: What Defunct Automotive Feature Would You Like to See Return?...”


  • avatar
    chaparral

    Manual steering.

    I want to feel the road again.

    Low-tension-belt drive electric is OK, but hydraulic power steering always feels damped and direct drive electric feels dead.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yes. In the Fiesta 3 pot, please.

    • 0 avatar
      FormerFF

      Yes, plus unassisted brakes. The last car I drove that had both unassisted was a Fiat X 1/9. Great fun to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Are you nuts? I drove manual steering cars when that was standard, and the steering wheel was three feet across! You “felt” the road, all right – every bump yanked on the steering wheel! And that was on fullsize Chevy’s, Buicks, and Dodges. Combine that with 11″ drum brakes that needed 250 feet to stop a 4,000 lb. car, and you had 60,000 people dying in accidents.

      If you want to bring back something, try a 60/40 bench seat, or column shifter, or even that luxurious velour or vinyl that actually lasts, in colors other than black, tan, or gray. I’d even go for near-vertical windshields and rear windows – aerodynamics doesn’t do much for visibility.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        Please notice what kind of cars we want our unassisted steering on: little fun to drive cars, not big luxurious ones.

        The last car I had with unassisted steering was an ’87 VW GTI, steering was very easy, and the car was lots of fun.

        • 0 avatar
          Lorenzo

          I also owned a 1963 Rambler Classic with manual steering and a huge wheel. Despite being fairly light and peppy, it was not fun to drive, for the same reasons: steering effort at low speed, jerking wheel over bumps, and steering fatigue after just a half hour. I also drove a 1957 TR3, and it was the same thing. There were VERY few fun to drive small cars when manual steering was standard.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          The previous-gen smart car had manual steering standard. It was pretty easy- skinny tires and most of the weight was in the back.

    • 0 avatar
      Pete Zaitcev

      Alfa 4C has a manual steering. Ariel Atom too. It’s just a question of how much money you want to throw on your toys.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Vent windows. On cars with automatic climate control a possibility to draw outside air thru the vents w/o climate control running (just a fan running).

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      The vent windows create negative pressure as the outside air passes over them, which sucks air out of the car. I’m guessing you mean that the replacement air gets sucked in through the regular HVAC vents.

      In addition to vent windows (a.k.a. wing windows or no-draft windows) I would also like to see the return of cowl vents.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        If you swung the front vent window all the way around they funneled air into the cab but I’m just thinking of pickup vent windows.

        • 0 avatar
          BigOldChryslers

          The ones in my Chryslers can do this too, but it stretches the rubber gasket and risks tearing it so I would never do that. I don’t want my vent windows to start leaking.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Keep the gasket lubricated with silicone or some other treatment that doesn’t eat at the rubber and they’ll last even with the wing window swung all the way around. I never had a window gasket break or tear on me if I bought it new enough. Even when they looked somewhat dried out but not yet torn, I’d swab on some silicone every year and they freshened up and remained flexible.

      • 0 avatar
        old blue

        Let’s bring back swiveling front seats, suicide doors, and fine “corinthian” MB tex.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I, personally, like the idea of “suicide doors”. Remember, you don’t have to eliminate the B-pillar to have ‘suicide doors’, you just don’t have to hinge the rear doors on it, either.

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Make that power mini vent windows. Akin to the early to late 70’s ones offered on full-sized Ford’s, Mercury’s and Lincoln’s. Perfect for the ashes from Frank Cannon’s stogies.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Any car with auto climate can do this. Set the temp to the coldest setting, A/C to off, and the air direction to vent. Adjust the fan speed as desired (if you don’t set it, it will default to max).

  • avatar
    71charger_fan

    Floor mounted dimmer switches.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Good sightlines.

    Funny how that used to be pitched as a selling point (total glass area):
    youtu.be/TBiJX0uC-cE

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Chrome. ‘There is no face like chrome’.
    Two-tone pastel colours.
    Pillowed velour seating.
    Colour co-ordinated dashboards (particularly in ‘burgundy’ or blue).
    Vent windows.
    Manual windows.
    Cigarette lighters (for emergency use only).
    A ‘real’ spare tire.
    60/40 split front seats.
    Real horns.

    And in Jaguars, real wood, Connolly leather and wool carpeting.

    (edit): Agree 100% with

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Arthur Dailey – I’d have to say chrome, real chrome not plastic. Also chrome that was so thick that it resisted chips, scratches and was almost impervious to rust.
      Real metal grills.
      The plastic sh!t on vehicles is laughable especially pickups.

      My dad used to tow his pickup behind his dump truck. He used bailing wire to attach a 4×8 sheet of plywood to the grill to keep rocks from chipping up the paint and breaking the lights and windshield.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        There are a couple of mid-2000s Ram pickups in my neighborhood, both with huge, shiny, fake-chrome grills. The plastic is bubbling up on them.

        RAAAAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    • 0 avatar
      Jagboi

      Arthur: There is still wood in most Jaguars, although sometimes it’s an option you have to order. It is real though, Jaguar has their own sawmill and veneer shop. If it looks like wood in a Jaguar, it is, they don’t use plastic fake wood.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Aurthor, there is a F-150 XL with your name on it, just swap in a chrome XLT grille and you’re good. It has a lot of the basics you ask for. Upholstery and two tone paint can be applied. Don’t know about vent windows, ha, but those vent visors that go over the window work great.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        I have one in my Garage should you want it. I have an XLT with the chrome package slotted grill. I nailed a deer one morning and the chrome shell was fine but the bumper and the plastic piece with the aero slots that the chrome shell bolts to was toast. I got one at a junk yard but it had that twin snout chrome shell which I hate so I put my original shell on it. Yours for the ride to anyone that wants it.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        JohnTaurus – I much prefer the flat black fleet spec grill on the F150.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I like the commercial grade F-150. I would get a 4×4 crew cab with 2.7L or the upcoming turbo diesel if possible in that truck. I would settle for the non-turbo 6 depending on how it drives.

          I really want a Transit chassis cab XL and out a drop-side flat bed on it. I know its lighter duty and not 4wd, but I would dig it.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            This is no guarantee, but if Ram’s offerings are any indication, the F-150 diesel will be available in every trim level except STX (can’t get an EcoDiesel Express), 4×2 or 4×4, and every config except regular cab/6.5′ bed.

            Another fun fact: an absolute base model XL (100A package) regular cab or SuperCrew has crank windows and manual locks even in back, something no other fleet-spec crew cab has, AFAICT. The SuperCab is advertised as having “fixed” windows, but if you remove the panels, the regulator is already installed and the windows are movable. There’s just no room to put a crank underneath the armrest, so Ford covered it up. Going up to the 101A package automatically gives you power windows and locks on all cabs.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Drzhivago138,

            I hope so. Thanks for the info.

  • avatar
    ajla

    1. Towing packages on cars
    2. A huge variety of paint color offerings
    3. Glass head lamps

    • 0 avatar
      CaddyDaddy

      1. A body sitting on a rubber mounts sitting on a frame, so I can talk on my blue tooth cell phone w/o hearing the road.
      2. Wind Wings, I always have bad gas.
      3. Column Shift, makes it easier to do Rockfords.
      4. Bench seat with a pull down arm rest. I like to snuggle with the Misses!
      5. HD packages,: towing, cooling, suspension, brakes.
      6. Wagons, see reason for item # 4.
      7. Chrome bumpers. Not plastic facials that take up 80% of the front and rear areas. If I strike a road hazard, I should not have to spend 2k for a giant piece of formed plastic that contains the entire lighting package.
      8. Actual component equipment for Radio, A/C etc…..when the LCD screen takes a dump.
      9. Color choices other than 15 hues of light to dark grey
      Hold on. ….hey you kids, get off my lawn!
      10. Glass to see out of without the use of gimmickry electronic aids.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        Items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 are readily available on a full-size pickup truck. They’re among the reasons I own one. They’re available in station wagon form as well as the Suburban and Expedition EL.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          You can’t get true bench seats any more. Just the 40/20/40 seats which are similar but not quite the same.
          IIRC Ford and GM are the only ones offering column shifters in crew cab 1/2 ton trucks.

          I HATE the monster centre consoles they put in pickups.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            40/20/40s are superior to one-piece benches IMO.

            I used to also hate center consoles in full-size pickups and SUVs, but then my father got one. There’s enough storage space for a laptop, and all sorts of little cubbies on both sides, plus HVAC ducts to the rear seats. And we never sat anyone in the middle seat in the old pickup anyway.

            I’d still get a 6-passenger model, but now I’m neutral on consoles.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Drzhivago138 – the 40/20/40 is much better for the driver and the passenger on the right but aren’t as comfortable for the poor sod who gets stuck in the middle. As a kid, my brother and I spent a long time on bench seat pickups back in the day seat belts weren’t mandatory.

            I like the 40/20/40 but most of the time, the middle is an arm rest. When My son’s were smaller I routinely packed 5 kids around. Now that my son’s are 5′ 7″ and 5’9″ and most of their friends are just as big, that centre position isn’t useful.

            To be honest, the thing I hate most about those big centre consoles is the big shifters. I like GM’s centre console with column shifter. I’m definitely not a fan of console shifters.

            If you are going to put a shifter in the middle make it a manual.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            My father explicitly sought out an XLT Sport because it was the only way to get a console shifter below a Lariat. Any other XLT with center console has a column shifter, and the space on the console is used either for more storage (F-150s) or another pair of cupholders (Super Dutys).

            I prefer a column shifter, but in every other vehicle (tractor, truck, work pickup, bus) he drives, my old man has some form of manual gearshift or other lever (hydraulic, school bus door-opener, etc.) to rest his hand on. So I guess he just wanted to continue that in his nice pickup

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        No four-door hardtop option, CaddyDaddy?

        Re: #1, there’s a great dealer training video posted on YouTube where the narrator extols the virtues of the ’64-’66 Imperials’ butyl rubber body mounts.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Gotta go with the Bench/Column setup. I had it in my Tahoe and even though I probably only used the middle seat for a passenger a handful of times in a decade of ownership, it was nice to be able to stretch out a little bit on a long roadtrip.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m with you on towing packages for cars. My 2013 sedan has more power and torque than my 1986 pickup did. The tow rating on my sedan is 1000lbs (0lbs, once you compensate for safety factors).

      My current sedan should be configured for at least 3500lbs, if not 5000lbs.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        I reckon it has to do with tongue weight and the ridiculous bumpers and their stupid covers on cars today.

        You know what? Add that one to the list. Bumpers that can actually BUMP into things without needing a trip to the body shop. My next vehicle is going to have a big ‘ole brush guard on the hood.

        • 0 avatar
          Featherston

          +1

          I realize the discontinuation of 5-mph bumpers probably had two benefits:
          1. Weight savings
          2. Safety, by virtue of making it easier to engineer crumple zones

          That said, you still could equip cars with a functional rub strip that protects the bumper covers and doors. And if it’s an element original to a given model’s design, you can style it well too. The obvious sticking point is that all stakeholders save the consumer benefit when cars suffer cosmetic damage.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Sedans in general no longer have the structure designed in to permit towing, no matter how much power the engine may have. They simply don’t have the frame rigidity to handle several hundred (or thousand) pounds hanging off the rear end and you’re far more likely to bend and even break whatever structure there is by doing so.

          CUVs and SUVs ( space frame/unibody ) have hard points built into the design for that purpose but are still limited by the amount they can tow as the toad (towed trailer) takes weight off the drive wheels (fwd in most cases,) not even considering the typical short wheelbase of so many today. Anything heavier than an ultralight utility trailer would risk loss of control under certain conditions. That’s why their towing ratings are so low.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            You should be able to tie into the “frame” such that it can handle the weight. Sure, it’s not a matter of simply attaching a hitch. It’s probably a complex $500 integration, but it should be doable. I’d gladly pay $750 to tow with my car.

            Agree about bumpers. They should be able to bump.

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    COLUMN SHIFTURRZ!!

    Put the gottdamn consoles on a big pile for large item pickup day.

    No car ever had an RWD driveline tunnel as intrusive as these fcuking consoles.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Up until three years ago, I regularly drove cars with column shifters. While I don’t mind console or column shifters, I don’t understand why column shifters went away.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Stupid *^$#!@&* site did not let me edit my comment. I agree 100% with ‘Gtemnykh’: I want good sightlines, headroom and a rear window that I can actually see out of.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Ooh another important one: good quality cloth/velour. My ’90 Civic had a nice tweed, our ’89 MPV had a really nice quality and soft multi-tone velour. Most cloth seats now feel like scratchy fire retardant junk. The old W-body based fleet Impala is a notable exception. The newest Subaru Outbacks also have a very nice cloth.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I think the Armada has great cloth seats.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        You referring to the Titan based one, or the new Patrol-derived ones? I’m quite interested in the latter as a good used value in 2-3 years. I’m perhaps a bit irrationally biased against the older Titan ones due to their immense thirst and questionable side profile styling.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I agree with your issues with it 100%, but I’d still rock a 1st gen 4wd Armada.

          The rear doors are quite unfortunate with their terrible “its a two door! (not)” rear handles Nissan had stuck with way too long. It was cool when you actually made a two door Pathfinder, it was terrible after that.

          A true two door first gen Armada, or maybe one with clamshell rear doors and a shorter wheel base. Add an I-6 turbodiesel and THAT would be an awesome truck.

          At least the front of the first gen Armada is more handsome than its QX56 equivalent. But, I can hardly think of a vehicle that isn’t. SC430?

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      VELOUR, VELOUR, VELOUR, agreed. My 2000 Camry had plain, non-pillow-y gray fabric that probably wasn’t technically velour but felt velvety soft and wore like iron. It looked brand new after 15 years. Don’t even get me started on the craft-store felt that’s on my ’15 Mazda6 seats. Guess I’ll be switching to crappy leather for my next car. Sigh.

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      This. My 88 Civic has cloth that was soft and indestructible. My new Hyundai? It’s going to look like shit in five years.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      Agree 100%, gtem. All you can get now is leather, fake leather, or really crappy cheapout cloth. Velour was the bee’s knees. All the decent Japanese cars had it standard, even the CR-V. I assume its death is a cost cut.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Yes please. I’ve never run into a newer car that had cloth as nice as the stuff in my ’88 Accord. It was soft, comfortable, and indestructible. I’d happily buy a brand-new car with the same stuff.

      • 0 avatar
        Mandalorian

        100% agreed. I would not even consider a car with cloth these days, not as a leather supremacist, but because the cloth is just so awful. Hard, scratchy, seems to stain easily, just cheap awful stuff.

  • avatar
    LambourneNL

    Full size spare tire. Not runflats, a useless can of goop, or a donut but a proper, full size spare.

    If I’m in the middle of a 500 mile road trip (like the last time I got a flat) nothing except a proper spare will do. They seem to be increasingly impossible to get on new cars though.

    • 0 avatar
      Tandoor

      Maybe once the giant wheel trend is over. Hard to find space for a 265/5/R26 spare wheel.

      • 0 avatar
        zamoti

        Also challenging for anything with large brakes. Just got an 11 Camaro SS with the 20″s and brembos and even though there’s room for a spare tire, there’s nothing big enough to fit over the brakes. Also, fronts/rears are different sizes. However, this was also an issue on my old S55 and it had a spare. Sad thing is that you can buy an expensive aluminum spacer plate and then add in the spare, but you still have to find the jack and wrench packaging that fits in around the battery which lives where the spare would normally go.

        What a pain. I have a plug kit in the trunk for now with a rasp and some pliers, but if you bust a sidewall (which has happened to me once or twice) you’re done. Only a spare will do.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Volkswagens are the holdout here…my 2011 GTI has one – not an 18 on an alloy wheel, but a 16 on a steelie…but it’s the same diameter as the rest of them, is a real tire rather than a limited-use doughnut, and I bet you could put 40,000 miles on it.

    • 0 avatar
      markogts

      +1

  • avatar
    threeer

    Interior colors other than “50 shades of black!” My dad’s 1980 Opel Rekord had a glorious deep red interior. Now I just look at the color selection of most car interiors and weep…

    • 0 avatar
      Windy

      yep and a return to the 50s with lots of choice for exterior colors as well.

      how about a truly comfy ride for folks with back problems. I had a ride recently in a 100 point Citroen DS that was flat out amazing from a comfort stand point…

      modern tire tech and electric cars should also be quieter than they are

      let us pick the options we want… if we want a stripper and then add just some thing like the safety mods to make the elderly safer drivers we should not have to take the whole “tech package one”

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      In the late ’70s, Cadillac offered anywhere from 11 to 14 interior colors, and most makers offered five to ten. Now it’s grey or tan Yawwwwwwwn.

    • 0 avatar
      SirRaoulDuke

      Yes. Bring back the reds and blues in interior choices.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Ford offered Willow Green and Cordovan on the 1997 F-150/250 along with Prairie Tan and Medium Gray (and Willow Green was also available on the Expedition). By 1999, the two colors were dropped, because not enough people wanted them.

        • 0 avatar
          86er

          [citation needed]

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            On which part, the colors being available, or the colors being dropped due to lack of demand?

            The first part: one can look in a 1997 brochure and see the available colors, then look in a 1999 brochure to see that they’re gone.

            The second part: I admit, I may be reaching a little with that one. But look through listings of 1997-98 F-150s and Expeditions and count how many are in Cordovan or Willow Green. The only Willow Green F-150 I ever saw IRL was my grandpa’s. Most OBS trucks are also gray, even though red and blue were available.

          • 0 avatar
            86er

            Was that an indication of market demand or dealer supply?

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            because not enough people wanted them.

            Correction – not enough dealers ordered them. As we’ve been told many times. We are not the customer, dealers are the manufacturers customer.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I’m with you. Wanting a non-black interior added two months to my search.

      I wound up with a “dune” interior. Provides for a more open, less confining, feeling.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Steel wheels and high aspect ratio tires on “normal” cars. I recently hit a curb in a rental Malibu and got dinged for $600+ for a new 17″ alloy and tire. This is a cheap car with no performance aspirations, so what is wrong with a 205/70/15 and a $75 steel wheel? Same thing with trucks, if you want leather seats, it’s 20s at least. I don’t need cornering ability in my 2500 HD, give me a 16 or 17″ option for a better ride and lower replacement costs.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Hear Hear! I love the beefy 17″ high aspect ratio wheels on new 4Runner SR5s and Trails, the Limiteds look comically awful on their 20 inch wagon wheels. The problem is that with the high sills and tall front ends on many new cars, rationally sized wheels look really disproportionate, and that’s part of what’s driving things (in addition to questionable consumer taste I’m sure).

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      225/55R17 ain’t really what you would call a low-profile tire – that’s almost a 5″ high sidewall.

      Think the takeaway here is don’t hit curbs with your rental.

      And gtemnykh, those 4Runners look horrible with any wheel size.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I’ve grown to stomach the front end. The back end and side profiles look excellent IMO. No stupid rocker covers or low hanging aero-skirts (looking at you GM) to ruin clearance. If they could just return to a simple looking front end and go back to steel bumpers, it’d be absolutely perfect.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The point wasn’t that the tires were rubber bands or super low profile. Just that they are unnecessarily low profile for the class of vehicle they are on. There is no advantage to 225/55/17 over 225/60/16 or 225/70/15 other than handling, appearance, and brake clearance, none of which would be high priorities for me on a rental class car like that Malibu. Clearly the majority disagrees.

        As far as the trucks go, ordering 18s would be better than buying 20s off the lot (maybe all the dealers around me only stock the 20s). Still I’d prefer to have 17s or even 16s if they would clear the brakes. Honestly, with how many guys go aftermarket anyways, I’m surprised there isn’t a cheap steel wheel option offered on higher trims for them to pull off before putting on their 37″ mud tires

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          16″ wheels are required for the 2000+ Taurus due to brake rotor clearance (the car got heavier and needed better brakes, sound familiar?). I’m quite sure this is the case on modern cars like Malibu, Fusion, Accord, Camry, etc.

          So no, putting 15″ wheels on a modern Malibu isn’t as simple as finding the tooling left over for steelies last used on Lumina.

          15″ tires are becoming increasingly rare used and in stock new at smaller tire retailers. That is one reason I put some mid 00’s Taurus alloys on my 1995.

          I am honestly thinking about going with 17″ 2013+ Fusion (or Focus?) wheels after I replace the rear springs/struts like I just did the front so it’ll sit right. They went back to the old bolt pattern (shared with the 86-07 Taurus and 89-97 T-Bird/Coug) since those cars were mainly European Ford designs.

          Nothing to do with tire availability, I just want them lol.

        • 0 avatar
          MBella

          It was very hard to get a Silverado without 20″s. Salesmen were confused why I would want 17″s and except 18″s as the absolute maximum. What’s the point of a large BOF truck that is as sensitive to potholes as my Miata?

          The previous generation Cruze had very large sidewalls. 215/60R16 was the size on none RS package cars. Excellent. The new one went down to 205/55R16. (I assume that size is cheaper because it’s very common. I think that was the greatest thing on the old model, and now it’s gone.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ MBella – Sad, OCD multi-time Cruze renter here. The wheel size actually was trim level-related rather than RS package-related.
            – LS’s got 16″ steelies.
            – 1LT’s got 16″ alloys and retained them even with the RS package.
            – 2LT’s got 17″ alloys.
            – Ecos got different 17″ alloys.
            – LTZ’s got 18″ alloys.

            I only rented 1LT’s and 2LT’s. The former definitely handled frost heaves and expansion joints better, very much in keeping with the Cruze’s “drives bigger than it is in a good way” quality. The 2LT was better on an off ramp or during a lane change.

            I never drove one, but I imagine the 1LT RS was the Goldilocks Cruze. It retained 16″ wheels but gained the Z-link and slightly stiffer springs of the 2LT and LTZ.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Those extra-low-profile tires have another advantage outside of their performance and handling–one more critical in the eye of trying to improve fuel economy: Very Low Rolling Resistance. With such low sidewalls, there is very little flex which means that there is less deformation as the tire rolls, meaning it rolls more freely under the weight of the car.

          This may seem counter-intuitive but it has been proven that even with their all-steel wheels, railroad cars roll more freely when heavily loaded than when empty and car tires with low profiles and higher tire pressures (notice how so many require 35 psi compared to the old 32?) roll more freely than taller tires at lower pressures.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      Nah you just need to order. I have leather seats in my truck but the wheels are 18s.

    • 0 avatar
      markogts

      +1 and se above comment about full size spare wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      WallMeerkat

      That is stupid.

      I thought rental cars had special ‘spec’ that included steelies?

      I recently, in Europe, was at a dealer looking at a SEAT Toledo, they said that the base ‘S’ spec was for hire car companies as it didn’t have alloy wheels, just steelies with rather horrible trims.

  • avatar
    Corey Lewis

    Color options, interior/exterior
    Quality wood trim
    Good visibility
    Reasonable grille sizes
    Gold badging
    Two-tone (or more) paint

  • avatar
    RedRocket

    As @threeer says, full-color interiors in something other than black or tan. And not just some upholstery inserts in an otherwise black interior. Give me a white interior with red carpets and dash. Or an all-blue interior. Or in a sporty car, burnt orange. Anything other than black.

    Having been a kid trapped in the back seat of a car in the 1970s with smokers up front, I do not miss the ashtrays and lighters that used to be standard back then. On a long trip I must have smoked the equivalent of 5 or 6 cigarettes a day myself as a preteen.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Vinyl seats that reach 400 degrees when the car has been sitting in the sun.

    (just kidding)

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      having a flashback to the days during the summer when I had to put towels on the black vinyl seats.

    • 0 avatar
      bking12762

      LOL..Back in the 1980’s I was an Ugly Duckling rent a car franchisee here in Phoenix. I had a Chevette that was black on black vinyl with no a/c. When I had a customer that I knew was going to be rough on a car or was renting on a cash deposit, the Chevette was the car of choice. (It truly was a penalty box). Gawd I miss black vinyl…..then again, I like going to the dentist..

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Am I weird if I say I don’t miss a whole lot of things in the cars I grew up with during the ’70s?

    Otherwise, visibility is definitely on my list.

  • avatar
    spookiness

    Front vent windows and pillowy velour seats with lots of buttons. In lieu of the vent windows I’d also accept those vents in the kick panels that old pickups used to have.

  • avatar
    Glenn Mercer

    Station wagons.

    (okay, that is a body type not a feature, but still…)

  • avatar
    Fordson

    Stickshifts and safetybelts
    Bucket seats have all got to go
    When we’re driving in the car
    It makes my baby seem so far

    I need you here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat
    I need you to be here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat

    But when we’re driving in my Malibu
    It’s easy to get right next to you
    I say, “Baby, scoot over, please”
    And then she’s right there next to me

    I need you here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat
    I need you to be here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat

    Alright
    Well a lot of good cars are Japanese
    Yeah, but when we’re driving far I need my baby
    I need my baby next to me

    Well, stickshifts and safetybelts
    Bucket seats have all got to go
    When we’re driving in the car
    It makes my baby seem so far

    I need you here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat
    I need you to be here with me
    Not way over in a bucket seat

    Alright
    Alright

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I hear ya. But on the other hand, if I get into a wreck while cuddling with my baby in the front seat, she’s going straight through the Malibu’s windshield. That might lead to her no longer being my baby (or alive). I’ll settle for holding hands amidst a lot of airbags. :)

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      Cake FTW!

      Mmmm…. cake.

      Now I’m hungry.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I wonder if it’s in part subconscious motivation that has driven me to be the owner of two vehicles currently that have:
    Chrome steel bumpers front and rear
    glass headlights that will never fade
    Excellent visibility
    sturdy and easy to work on BOF construction with a longitudinal engine layout
    Either good (ranger) or fantastic (4Runner) ground clearance and 70 series tires on sub-17″ wheels

  • avatar
    Caboose

    Kick-down switches. I dunno what the technical term for it is, but that’s what my dad taught me it was called, so that’s what I call it.

    A lot of cars used to have this button on the floor under the accelerator pedal. If you floored the pedal and then pushed a little further to click the button, it would kick the trans down a gear.

    When I was younger, mashing the kick-down switch on older cars was the fastest way to get passing power, because it made clear to the transmission what your intention was. I’ve found that even the 7- and 9-speed automatics I’ve driven recently can be reluctant to downshift when transitioning from speed-limit cruising to get-me-past-this-sleepily-driven-big-rig.

    • 0 avatar
      dukeisduke

      I know some cars had those, probably transmissions that used a solenoid-operated kickdown. Some transmissions used a vacuum-operated one, while others (like the Turbo 350) used a cable-operated mechanical one, hooked to the throttle lever on the carb.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Caboose what you’re referring to is older automatics with more rudimentary transmission controls. Kick-down cables and such (that you could adjust). Modern “drive by wire” engine/trans controls do all the same, what you’re experiencing however is the way the engineers tuned all of this in the interests of fuel economy rather than responsiveness.

      I remember driving a ’94 Ram Van with the 3.9L V6 where there was a distinct feeling “detent” on the accelerator pedal where if you pressed past that point the 3spd would drop a gear (going up a grade for example). The 90s Japanese cars I was familiar with were less obvious in where this kickdown point was.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      Also known as “passing gear”. Kickdown wasn’t engaged by an actual button on the floor. There’s a linkage that connects the accelerator to the transmission, so the trans knows how much load you’re putting on the engine. Kickdown was a setting in the transmission which caused it to downshift when you floored the accelerator.

    • 0 avatar
      CaptainObvious

      My father’s 79 Datsun 510 had a very distinct “click” to the accelerator pedal which once pushed past would get the transmission to kick down. In that car it made more noise than forward progress.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      If I recall correctly, my dad’s ’75 Mercedes 450SE had one of these. And I do believe it was an actual switch.

      • 0 avatar
        Tosh

        My 85 SAAB 900 had a micro switch on the throttle plate which switched off the AC when floored.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          My ’83 Mitsubishi Sport pickup had a sensor that determined how much demand was on the engine, didn’t have to be floored for it to switch off the AC for power. A lot of cars do something similar today.

          One thing I do like in today’s cars is the manual switch giving you the option of running the AC compressor when YOU want it and not just full time in the heater modes.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Caboose, what you are looking for is called a “Manual Transmission.” It’s a fantastic device that allows the driver to instantly select whichever gear he, or she, wants, even the wrong gear for the situation if so desired.

      I’m not sure why but they no longer appear to be options in newer vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Are those kick-down switches a real thing? Out of all the cars I’ve driven from a 1960 Chevy through models from every decade since, I’ve never, ever, run into one of those.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Just as a note, all my cars, at least up to my last two, used vacuum-operated solenoids. The most interesting one was in my ’75 Cutlass where, when you floored it, you’d hear the whole engine hum in a lowering pitch until the solenoid switched, then that car would launch like it had a rocket under the hood.

          • 0 avatar
            Jeff Semenak

            Why, do you think they called it the ‘Rocket’ V-8?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Exactly, Jeff. Got to where I could time that ‘click’ right down to the second when some hot-rodder tried to play games with me on the highway. Last time someone did that was with a Dodge Demon with a blower stuck out the hood. Would surge past me and drop back, trying to bait me into a race. Didn’t expect it when on his fourth such ploy the ‘rocket’ fired and I ran away from him. Didn’t even try to catch up to me.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            @Jeff

            “Why, do you think they called it the ‘Rocket’ V-8?”

            Can I get a hallelujah! Can I get an A-men?! … Yeah, I guess that’s my church!

        • 0 avatar
          Salzigtal

          Yes, our 61 Brookwood had the 3-on-the-tree manual with this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overdrive_(mechanics) The kick down switch was LOL. With better valves springs it would rev high enough in 1st to drop into overdrive, but 1st over was useless. 3rd over was noticeably quieter on the freeway.

    • 0 avatar
      cbrworm

      Some modern cars still have a detent in the pedal travel that you have to push harder to overcome. It feels like a switch clicking, differentiating between the throttle being wide open, but still in a high gear, and the transmission downshifting to the lowest possible gear. I believe Mercedes and BMW still have this, I assume some others do as well.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That would explain a friend’s Smart Car. The detent is evidently to help keep you in ‘economy’ mode but gives you that downshift for extra power if you really need it. He says the ‘boost’ is remarkably strong for such a little car and tiny engine.

        I never ran into that with my Fiat 500, but then, it was already surprisingly quick with its light weight and 101 horses.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    “nor would anyone want a return of car bodies that fold like wet cardboard during a crash”

    I think I’ve heard people advocate for exactly this, including commentators right here on TTAC.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      There’s still a large number of people who think steel body panels add to a car’s structural safety. Modern “plastic” cars are therefore unsafe.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Becuase when you punch a 1971 Torino, it’ll break your hand! A Fusion will dent! So the Torino is SAFE BECAUSE STRONG.
        /s

        Lol okay, so your Torino is strong and it doesn’t dent easy. Your body is comparatively not strong, and so dents should be the last thing you’re worried about.

        I remember seeing/hearing old cars that people had been killed in *that were still driveable* after the wreck. So, the car didn’t absorb the impact. The humans did.

        “Well kids, daddy’s gone to heaven, but at least we can still drive his Cordoba to the Piggly Wiggly.”

        I’d rather be sitting at the curb watching my demolished, twisted and positively destroyed Subaru being loaded onto a flat bed than my being loaded onto a helicopter in critical condition.

        Yes you can die in a modern car, but I’d take one over an old one in a crash. My Taurus was one of the first mainstream cars with modern safety cell technology and I’m proud for it. Ever wondering, go look up its crash test scores compared to its contemporaries.

        Don’t get me wrong, I love old cars, but I have no delusion about them being “safer” than a modern one.

        • 0 avatar
          Salzigtal

          If the folks at MTV hired me for the Beavis & B-Head meet Jackass re-boot. And paid me $300,000 to drive one of my Germans into a 4 meter diameter Redwood tree. I’d kill the GTi. If they switched to a dumpster and offered $600,00. I’d risk me and the UNIMOG. I’d want my pick of stunt coordinator for speed selection, belting, helmet, giant foam pad on the UNIMOG steering wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Car bodies fold far more readily today than they used to. The only difference is that they’re designed to fold in specific areas to protect the hardened cabin if at all possible. An old-school fender-bender used to mean just replacing a body panel and a few structural struts to support it. Now it’s a major operation, assuming the insurance company doesn’t mark it as totaled because some secondary brace has a minor warp in it.

  • avatar
    MPAVictoria

    My G8 had a Nightpanel feature that would turn off all the lights in your cabin except for the back light for the speedometer. I found it really did reduce eyestrain when driving at night.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Standard in most SAABs as an homage to their ‘jet fighter heritage’. I actually thought that it was useful for long night trips on the highway.

      • 0 avatar
        bill h.

        The two other items I miss from our old 80s Saab 900s:

        1) Center dash HVAC vent would blow unheated air in the winter time, which when directed to one’s face was actually pretty refreshing and helped keep one alert;

        2) Body rocker panels that were cut in, with the doors having a compensating clamshell design on their lower edges. It helped keep one’s pant legs from getting soiled with water, road dirt, salt etc. especially during bad weather.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Some BMWs still have the center vent that can be set to blow outside air regardless of the climate control settings.

          The Ford Flex and Lincoln MKT have that style of door.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Never seen it, but I like the idea.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Most cars, even today, have a dial, knob or other means to reduce the cabin and instrument panel lighting to near nothing, up to and including completely off (though I’m sure the speedometer, specifically, remains at least somewhat lighted.) The whole idea is that you can brighten or dim the lighting inside the car to make visibility easier in bright city lights yet dim down for highway driving in the depths of the night.

        I’m really surprised some of you never knew this.

        • 0 avatar
          Corey Lewis

          I think my Infiniti will let me go totally black, even on the speedo. I will have to check today.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Would love to throw a ‘thumbs up’ emoji to you, Corey. It pays to read the owner’s manual if you don’t know how to do it. With old cars that had the push-pull headlamp switch, turning the knob would dim the lights. Newer cars do it with separate knobs, dials or pushbuttons, depending on make and model.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Will poke around and try it next time I’m driving to my folks.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Ashtrays. I used to keep junk in mine. Plus, if cars still had ashtrays, maybe smokers would use them, instead of flicking their butts on the road. Bastards.

    Who thought it was a good idea to get rid of ashtrays? Idiot do-gooders.

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      Approximately what model year did the ashtrays start getting replaced with ___ (phone holders?)

      • 0 avatar
        spookiness

        I seem to recall reading that the Chrysler “cloud” cars were the first nonsmoking cars. The ashcup that goes in a cupholder and a lighter plug were part of the optional smoker’s package.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      But don’t all cars today have a zillion cupholders and consoles with storage bins? There should be plenty of places to store junk.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      Totally with you here. I will still pull up and MF the butt-throwers once in awhile. They always act surprised.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Duke, I’m the only non smoker in a family of smokers. And all of ’em tossed their butts out the window, despite having perfectly good ashtrays.

      Reason? It takes effort to clean the ashtrays out.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        Smokers really need to improve their litter habits. Last summer I found a Coke Zero bottle with 20% Coke Zero in it, and 80% cigarette butts – which they had kindly tossed from their car window right into my yard.

        Nearly threw up looking at that thing as I picked it up.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I once found a bag with used condoms on my front lawn. Didn’t even pick it up. Just ran over it with my lawnmower.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Why would someone save those in a bag?!

            Also, did your grass like all the protein?!

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            We recently sold off our consumer-grade JD riding mower and got an industrial zero-turn that’s built like a tank and rides like a TIE Fighter. If I see anything weird in the ditch now, I just run it over. I don’t think the mower even notices. After three passes, the detritus is sufficiently shredded that it’ll either biodegrade in a week or birds will come and take it for their nests.

          • 0 avatar
            Tosh

            Translation: “I found out in the worst way that the unknown bag had used condoms in it when I ran it over with my lawnmower.”

          • 0 avatar
            jdowmiller

            @Freed: hahahahahahahahaha

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          That’s only slightly better than the Mtn. Dew bottles I find in the ditch full of tobaccy juice.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            F**king tobacco juice!!!!

            My kid brother, who chewed, had the annoying habit of stealing my cassettes, and his “dip cup” would end up spilling all over them.

            It was his way of stealing all my tapes – he knew I’d never want that new Van Halen tape back after that.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            Gross. There were kids in college who dipped, and would bring a water bottle to spit into, in class!

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            I remember a state passing a law making it illegal to throw plastic pop bottles of pizz out onto the interstate grass meridians.
            Apparently those pizz filled bottles soak up a lot of heat and expand. The poor dudes mowing the grass would hit them and quite literally get a golden shower.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus

          I thought about putting a sign by the road that says:

          “PLEASE DONT LITTER
          (unless its aluminum)”

          I figure I’d get a few laughs outta that, but I do get so tired of picking up trash by the road. Spit cups are the worst.

        • 0 avatar
          wsn

          @Corey Lewis:

          I totally agree.

          There should be a national agency constantly cleaning up cigarette butts and prosecuting smokers who litter. Funded by more tax on cigarette sales, of course. Then we will have more jobs created, cleaner roads and fewer people smoking.

          • 0 avatar
            Corey Lewis

            While I agree in principle, the overall prices of cigarettes and alcohol do not fluctuate with changes in price/taxation. They are an inelastic demand, where people will gladly give up other things in their lives to continue drinking and smoking.

            Like shoes for their children, and new clothes.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      My LS460 has a ton of ashtrays. One of the JDM touches.

      I use the front ashtray as a cable holder (matching the former cigarette lighter next to it, which is now a USB power port).

      I’ve used a bit of 3M tape to lightly stick the rear ashtrays closed, so no rear passengers ever get ideas that smoking in my car is in any way acceptable. The rear cigarette lighter, which is exposed, has also been replaced with a flush-mount USB power adapter.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    RWD more prevalent throughout the fleet

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Yes.

      Dodge should have a RWD subcompact, compact, midsize, a CUV replacement for the Journey on the midsize RWD platform.

      If I were Toyota/Subaru or Mazda, I’d expand my small RWD platforms into practical cars that will sell in some significant numbers. Mazda could easily build a small hatch or even a sedan/wagon on the MX-5 platform, maybe design the next gen to support stretching. They want to be a “premium niche”, that’s a good way to set yourself apart. What if the next Mazda 2 and 3 were RWD cars with MazdaSpeed versions. Their crossovers could follow.

  • avatar
    e30gator

    Actual knobs and switches on the dashboard. Too many tiny buttons and touchscreen stuff on today’s cars that necessitate taking your eyes off the road to use. In the Saturn SL2 I drove in college, I could feel the controls in my hands and use them in complete darkness if I had to.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’ll go with this one.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        +100. Recently had a rental (no names to protect the innocent) and I could not read more than half of the ‘switches’ or controls. Also could not adjust the radio while driving.

        Large dials and switches please!!!!!!!

    • 0 avatar
      dividebytube

      and Buick used to make BIG, almost comically, switches in their cars. The Roadmaster light knob was easy to find.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Yep. Switches in 1990’s-2000’s Buicks were immense – the old folks apparently had trouble seeing small switches.

        • 0 avatar
          lot9

          The elder’s eyesight is not the only issue with having large knobs and switches, etc.

          Arthritic hands and fingers that do not bend or move that easily… makes it hard to turn small knob or even larger ones, like the transmission sifter on some dodge suv, etc.

          The handicapped is not being considered when it comes to these areas in auto design.

          I would be happy just to be able to delete all these crappy apps on my new truck.

          I deleted the ip address on it, already.

      • 0 avatar
        e30gator

        Fast forward to 2013 and the HVAC controls in my Enclave are buttons no bigger than the tip of my finger that are rather inconveniently located right behind the shift lever. At least it doesn’t have a touchscreen.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      One of the annoyances of my car isn’t so much the touch screen, it’s the touch sensitive controls. As I feel around for them, I touch them. Sucks.

      Manufacturers are learning this was a bad idea and are (finally) gradually moving away from them.

  • avatar
    Sloomis

    T-tops. Of course, we’d need actual coupes to put them on too…

  • avatar
    mrentropy

    Fins. I think the current Mustang would look pretty boss with two small fins at the back.

  • avatar
    mike1dog

    Four wheel drum brakes, one barrel carburetors, points ignition and two speed automatic transmissions. If they were good enough for my grandfather they’re good enough for me.

    • 0 avatar
      greenbrierdriver

      I have all of those! Well, two One-Barrel Carbs. Drum brakes with a single hole master cylinder and Powerglide! Lots of windows that make visibility great! Including the front Vent-Wings, which makes defogging all of those windows so much easier in the rain. The wet pant leg from the water dripping off the ventwing is a no-cost option.
      The best part about the drum brakes is that uneven application in the rain. With no anti-skid, the excitement is quite a rush!! ;)

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Wipers that recede out of view unless needed.

    Interior lights that can be completely shut off while the headlights are on.

    Low beltlines.

    Hoods you can see while driving.

    Interior colors that don’t feature grey or black in any way. One of the reasons I love my Silverado is for its chocolate brown interior with tan seats. I refuse to buy a black or grey dash ever again if I can help it.

    • 0 avatar
      OldManPants

      “Wipers that recede out of view unless needed.”

      Those are swell until you want them back *in* view again and they’ve become icebound.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        My Cadillac had these, and they were an unpleasant gimmick in the winter. They did have a winter mode where you could pull them up by hand and they’d stay, at least.

        But all other times, just doing a quick wipe or spray required a BZZZZT up and down. That could mean a dangerous second of delay in an emergency situation, where suddenly your visibility is zero because of a dirty window.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Some crazed stylist at GM included these for well over a decade on the majority of their vehicles. And I cursed them every morning during every winter that I had a vehicle with them.

        The snow and ice accumulates over them, You have to try and free them up without damaging anything. It takes about 3 times the time and effort.

        Another stupid, illogical, dysfunctional styling decision.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’ll disagree on this one, Frylock. The wipers on my Jetta are semi-recessed, and when it snows, the ice builds up on the recessed area, which is made up of plastic, and it rattles around in there incessantly. You can’t get rid of the ice until it melts. And you have to do a trick with the wipers to get them into a position where you can leave them up. I’ll pass.

      • 0 avatar
        Frylock350

        I had the recessed wipers on one of my old b-body wagons. In the winter I’d just turn the car off with the wipers halfway up. At the time it didn’t seem like much of a hassle to me.

        Then I got my GMT900 truck and the wipers were huge and directly in my view of the hood. I hated it. My K2XX truck is a good partially recessed design. there resting position is mostly below the hoodline but they aren’t hidden. I can easily leave them up with no special tricks and its trivially easy to get ice/snow out of there. The irritating rattles on a truck happen when ice gets between the cab and bed.

        I just aesthetically like wipers not prominently in my forward view.

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I agree with everyone else here that hidden wipers are a bad idea. My ’94 Dodge pickup had hidden wipers. Annoying when you were trying to scrape ice off the windshield, and annoying when you were trying to change the wiper blades. I’m glad that my ’07 does not have hidden wipers.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      How about heated windshield washer fluid? Does anyone do that anymore? With some of the old Chrysler products, you could melt through a lot of ice with their heated fluid.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “How about heated windshield washer fluid? Does anyone do that anymore? With some of the old Chrysler products, you could melt through a lot of ice with their heated fluid.”

        Was a good idea until some people started cracking their windshields in extreme cold weather. The tubing had to be made extra hot to melt any frozen residual cleaner in them before it would spray, at which point the liquid came out so hot it shocked the frozen glass.

        A much more efficient means would be to put a heating element into the windshield glass the same way they do on commercial airliners and other high-end aircraft. Have it work automatically at any temperature below 35°F with an automatic cut-off when the glass itself rose above that temperature or on a timer like the rear defroster. Or, just have it switch on when you hit Defrost on your AC system.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The LS460 has the best of both worlds here. They recede almost totally, but they don’t have a separate recess cycle and they are easy to reach with your fingers if they are clearing snow.

      It’s really nice to have them invisible when not in use. I never minded them on my Tauri, but I don’t live in a place where it snows much.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    The last car to have a bench seat was the W-body Impala, and maybe 5 people bought it. The middle seat is about 12″ wide at most.

  • avatar
    drmoomoo

    Rear facing third row seats on every wagon/cuv thing, and barn doors on suburbans

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The first thing is good for making people sick.

      The second thing is pretty good, but it puts a big pillar right in the center of your vision from the rearview mirror. Ford solved this on the Excursion by using half-barn doors with a hatch above. But really, the barn doors went away because most suburban (no pun intended) buyers preferred a liftgate. I’ve seen maybe ten GMT800 models with barn doors in the past 15 years.

  • avatar
    danapellerin

    My dad said he once had a car with a record player in it. An actual turntable. Let’s bring that back. I’ve got a huge vinyl collection in my storage I’d love to bust out.

    Seriously though, give me back my glass headlight lenses (so sick of yellow headlights!). and my spare tire. My current car didn’t even come with a donut. It came with a can of slime. :-( I’d also like my window vents back, but I’m not sure how you’d make them look good on modern cars.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      As I recall, the car-mounted record players (late ’50s – early ’60s) only played 45s. So, nope, you wouldn’t get to break out your vinyl copy of “Brain Salad Surgery” in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      e30gator

      I’m with you on the glass headlights. Nothing on a car dates it more than the fogged over yellow plastic headlights.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      If not glass, make the plastic ones easy and inexpensive to replace. If it costs me $25 and ten minutes to address the yellow problem, I can work with that.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Thumbs up on that one, BRN. Another option (not as good) would be a clip-on cover to protect the factory acrylic. Wouldn’t help much against heat hazing unless it had an infrared-blocker in it, but it would certainly help prevent that scratching and scarring from road debris which is what does most of the damage.

  • avatar
    7402

    The AC vent under the steering column. We called it the crotch vent. Somehow it seems to cool you down much faster.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Cornering lamps, opera lamps, and glass headlights. Swivel seats would also be cool!

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    1. Naugahyde – the so called “leather” we have today is almost of that texture without the quality.

    2. Barn Doors (or Ambulance Style as they were called in the brochure) on Suburban/Yukon/Escalade/Expedition/Navigator. They were very convenient for opening half at a time when you had a small item.

    3. Bench Seat/Column Shift – why should one have to climb all the way in the back to get frisky? (Give me a 60/40 split bench – that was perfect in my old Oldsmobile.)

    4. Magic Doorgate style rear hatches – for CUV/SUV, they are the modern station wagon, why not have the ultimate tailgate?

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Small pick-up trucks. Also pick-up trucks that I can load things in without a ladder.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m not touching this one.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I’ve really been enjoying my little ’97 Ranger for garden building and mulch hauling so far this spring. Easy to jump up into the bed and to step off. Not as practical overall as a multi-use family vehicle as a modern fullsize crew cab 4wd truck by any means, but as a commuter for one and local hauling, it’s been a joy to use. Gets about 24-25 mpg in mixed urban/suburban driving, can’t complain too much about that. I can roll around listening to ol’ Waylon with the windows down and my bulldog drooling all over the interior without a care in the world, the way old trucks are supposed to be.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    Air conditioning that can be turned off in defrost/floor mode.

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    I want electrical circuits that actually connect to things without going through a CAN bus to a computer. If I can’t have that, then the electrical system should be designed to NEVER fail under normal operation for the life of the vehicle. Old cars had point-to-point wires and a fuse box which is simple to diagnose and repair yourself. New cars have computers talking over CAN bus which is complex and can only be diagnosed with expensive equipment.

    For example, starting in the mid 2000’s, Chrysler products adopted a fuse panel with a computer inside, called the Totally Integrated Power Module (TIPM). When the circuit board on the TIPM eventually dies (and it will!) you can’t just go to the wreckers and pull another one because the vehicle’s VIN is encoded onto it. It talks via CAN to the other on-board computers. If the VINs don’t match, your vehicle gets no power. Requires an expensive trip to the dealer to resolve.

    The trailer light plug on my truck goes through the TIPM. If you connect a trailer which is wired badly and shorts out one of the circuits, it used to be that a fuse would blow. With the TIPM, it may decide to remove power from that circuit PERMANENTLY. Another expensive trip to the dealer to reset the TIPM. This is unacceptable behaviour IMO.

    I’ve driven newer vehicles where the horn circuit goes through the computer. When I press the horn, there’s a noticeable lag before it makes any noise. Drives me nuts. Being a safety item, I think that the horn should not go through the computer to ensure it always works.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Oh…and a better selection of WAGONS. Volvo is already helping with the V90, and upcoming V90CC.

  • avatar
    komododave

    Tailgate mounted spare tires. When the cute utes came out, like RAV 4 and CR-V, they mounted that shit on the back, making more room in the cabin and a smaller overall vehicle. Hummers and Izuzus, Mitsubishis and Suzukis. Bring it back! It looked cool and it wasn’t a nightmare trying to extricate your spare tire from under the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The tailgate mounted spare as the rearmost point of the vehicle in lieu of a bumper was a great way to turn a $1,000 bumper replacement into a $5,000 rear hatch replacement.

      http://press.iihs.org/2010/120210/iihs_news_120210.pdf

      I doubt that the typical 5’3 cute ute owner appreciated the inertia of 60 pounds of wheel and tire every time that she swung the hatch open, either.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    1) Glass headlights that don’t fade and yellow
    2) Lower site lines so one can see out of the dam car
    3) 50/50 split bench front seats. They are obviously missed by many
    4) Narrower center floor consoles
    5) Interior colors other than god forsaken tan, black and grey
    6) knobs and switches on the dash that are lit up instead of tiny buttons, capacitive touch or going through a touch screen menu to find basic everyday things
    7) Real exterior chrome trim
    8) Bodyside moldings. Why these are so hard to get on anything nowadays is puzzling and opens up your vehicle to door dings, shopping cart scratches and it makes the car look more top heavy and far plainer
    9) Two-tone paint jobs
    10) More selections of vehicles to buy. Would be nice to have some more coupes available along with an El’Camino type car-pickup, more wagon offerings, a Berlinetta luxury Camaro or a Ghia luxury oriented Mustang

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “They are obviously missed by many”

      Who, besides Internet commentators? Benches started to go away in the ’80s because most buyers preferred buckets, and/or because cars were narrower than previous eras, making it harder to provide comfortable 3-across seating for passengers whose waistlines were widening.

  • avatar
    cak446

    Manual transmissions, lever operated transfer-cases, and manual hubs.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      I do not miss manual locking hubs. They had a tendency to freeze up in the winter so you were literally stuck with 4×2 or had to put up with 4×4 almost of the time.
      IIRC Ford still offers them in their fleet spec HD pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        I definitely like manual hubs. On average more reliable than remote vacuum operated units, and better than more primitive “always locked in wheel to axle” designs in situations where a front axle breaks and you don’t want it spinning. My 4Runner has the latter, where the way the front end is disengaged is a vacuum actuated fork basically pulling one of the front axles out of the diff a bit to disengage it IIRC.

  • avatar
    rcx141

    The ability to actually see out of my car again

  • avatar
    blackEldo

    Actual ignition keys. They’re not extinct but certainly endangered.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      When my wife bought her 2016 Terrain SLE I told her “this might be the last vehicle you buy with an actual key.”

      She told me to: “HUSH.”

      She does think that push button start is pretty silly.

      • 0 avatar
        Corey Lewis

        I love intelligent keys and push button start. When it’s freezing, I don’t have to take off my gloves to touch my remote. And when I get in the car, I don’t have to mess with putting a key anywhere. It’s so nice!

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        I had a car with push-button start, but you had to put the key in the ignition and turn it on first.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I LOVE my pushbutton start. No fumbling around in my pocket for keys when my arms are full (or any other time). In the Lexus, no need to unlock the front door before unlocking the rear. Just make sure the key is in my pocket before I leave and don’t think about it again.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      I’m used to to the power-on button now. Not a single car in the fleet has an old-fashioned key start. I have a transponder for the daily driver that fits in my wallet along with electronic locks for the house, so I carry no keys. If I take one of the other cars, I just grab its transponder. The push to start buttons mirror the way you start everything else in the house, so it’s not confusing.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Steel wheels painted silver, with center caps. on base model cars. Modern wheel covers are terrible, not that they were a lot better years ago.

    I wish base Fiesta, Transit Connect, Civic, Escape, etc all had silver wheels with bright center caps. Add some beauty rings and you’re base model wheel has some style but doesn’t resemble a cheap kitchen appliance.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      My dad had a set of beauty rings on his 1981 Corolla back in the day, and I did the same when I bought my 1974 BMW 2002 back around 1993. I always thought that the silver rims and beauty rings were elegant enough and looked a crap-ton better than most any plastic wheel cover I could think of.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Absolutely. My cousins wife has a 2005ish (old body style) Impala and its wheel covers are peeling and awful looking. I found some Impala PPV center caps and a set of chrome rings to fit 16″. I told her it would give it a classic Chevy look. Its just a work car, so she isn’t interested. It would look okay with glossy black on the wheels themselves, but I prefer the silver/bright finish.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      * I meant silver steel wheels, not talking about alloys on nicer versions.

  • avatar
    Menloguy

    I don’t know if this feature was already mentioned, but I miss mechanical parking brakes. You can vary the firmness of application of the parking brakes with a hand brake or a pedal brake. How do you adjust an electrically actuated parking brake if it goes out of adjustment? What if the electric solenoid that actuates the parking brake fails? Also, an actual needle for the fuel gauge and not the digital cell phone reception bar ones found on some newer cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      If the needle isn’t physically connected to the fuel tank anyway, why does it matter? Many tractors have used all-digital guage clusters for the past 25+ years.

      • 0 avatar
        Menloguy

        If the increments between fuel tank levels on the digital bars is too wide, it’s hard to tell when the next digital bar will disappear as opposed to a needle which indicates the fuel tank level linearly. This is especially vexing when the fuel tank is almost empty. I have never driven a tractor so I have no idea what a gauge cluster in a tractor looks like.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Even if you had driven one, there’s no guarantee any other model even from the same manufacturer will have a similar layout. The amount of variance from model line to model line can be insane. I can’t even operate some early New Generation JDs without taking a minute to familiarize myself because I’m used to late models where everything was placed a certain way.

          FWIW, the tractor line I had in mind was the John Deere 7000 and 7000 TEN series from about 1992 to 2001, which looked like this if you had the digital option:

          https://static.fastline.com/assets/item/089/006/10d5eefc-67b7-4b31-9ee7-d4cec28d492a.jpg

          To answer your concern, there are 13 bars on the fuel gauge, and for this particular tractor (a 7410) the tank holds 50 gallons of diesel, so each bar represents 3.8 gallons. Max fuel consumption is 6.2 gallons an hour, but in my experience, it can take an entire afternoon of work to drop the gauge even one bar. At 3 bars, you enter the red zone, and it’ll start blinking. But considering how close the farm is, you don’t have to worry until you get to 2.

          A 7410 is on the smaller side of average, “only” about 110 HP. Larger models in the same line like the 7710 or 7810 had a 90-gallon fuel tank, and Deere’s current largest tractor, the 9620R articulated 4WD, has a 400-gallon tank. Topping off that beast adds almost 2800 lbs. of ballast.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          That depends a lot on the make and model of the car, Menloguy. My two FCA cars have them marked at roughly one gallon per mark. My mother’s ’04 Caddy has them marked by fractions of a tank by eighths, similarly to the old painted on markings of the needle style while also making each bar smaller as you get closer to empty as an added visual reminder that you’re running low.

          What kind of a car has so much gap on the digital gauge that you can’t get a rough idea of how much fuel you have?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The ’80s-like 12-bar electronic fuel gauge on my previous ’13 Forester was one of the worst things about it. No resolution meant I wasn’t sure if 2 bars meant I had 40 or 80 miles left.

        But digital fuel gauges are fine when there is enough resolution. The ones in modern Ford clusters are great.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    Full size spare and a jack. Weight savings be damned, I see this as a safety issue. Inflatable donuts (assuming you even have one of those) require an extra step (inflation to the right pressure) and presume you have a can of something or a compressor before you can even put it on the car. A full size spare that gets its pressure checked weekly with the other tires, and is part of the regular tire rotation, makes sure drivers aren’t stranded.

    Bench seats in automatic cars. I don’t care of the bench splits, or has a fold down center arm rest with the cup holders in there. If you aren’t driving a manual, then there is no reason to not give the extra space back to the passengers. I don’t even care if its a column shifter or something else, but if its not a car with sporting pretensions, then I think most people want more potentially usable space, not a shifter there. In a transverse engine FWD drive vehicle in particular, bench seats defeat the idea of getting more space with the arrangement.

    Self enclosed sound systems that are double din compatible and control nothing else. There are after market double din systems have touchscreens and Bluetooth and I think even android and apple software capabilities now to retrofit to your old cars. There’s no reason the manufacturers can’t also do this size except that they don’t want to. Those of us without smartphones or who don’t use phones while driving or who see touchscreens as a safety issue would still like a nice large display for a quick glance at media info and don’t want to have to cycle through sub menus while trying to drive. I’m also convinced that this would reduce cell phone use by drivers. If they are now forced to go after market or upgrade to get these technologies, a lot of them will pass.

    Related to the above point: real buttons. Safer, more precise, more durable, cheaper. I don’t care if you give me a touchscreen, as long as I have corresponding buttons as well, so that I never have a to deal with using the menus on a touchscreen, but just push on/push off. In fact, touchscreens should be banned in cars.

    Smaller wheels with larger sidewall tires. Aside from looking better, and riding better, this gives you a quieter ride (in general, not always).

    Real keys. The proximity thing is cool, but I hate having bulky things in my pockets. Give a key slender enough to fit in my billfold or wallet, please.

    Tailgates that open to the side, not up, so that my kids can close them if I need them too. My wife can barely close mine, much less the kids. How can I put them to work carrying groceries, dammit?! Oh, and the in door retractable tailgate glass should be an option on all wagons/CUV’s/SUVs…because its cool as hell.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    I read through the whole thing…90 percent of what people are complaining about can be had on a full sized pickup (column shifters, bench seats, good sightlines, isolated body on frame, etc). Could it be that that, not the desire to portray the size of one’s penis as is so often insinuated on these forums is driving a good chunk of those sales?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      “90 percent of what people are complaining about can be had on a full sized pickup”

      Automakers deleted these features from cars and pickup sales take off. Coincidence?

      I think not.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        … Except that not 90% of people WANT a full-sized pickup!

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Except that not 90% of people WANT a full-sized pickup!”

          I’ll repeat what I said on another truck thread, car companies don’t care about what one wants, they care about what most will buy.

          ” Light trucks sales, which also includes crossovers and SUVs, grew at a rate of 7.2 percent and accounted for 59.5 percent of all vehicle sales last year (2016), according to Autodata Corp. That’s a jump from market share of 55.8 percent a year earlier.”

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            The key statement there is, “… which also includes crossovers and SUVs,” If truly smaller pickups were to join that grouping, I’m betting a lot of those crossovers and smaller SUVs would disappear.

        • 0 avatar
          Frylock350

          @Vulpine,

          Sales figures suggest otherwise.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Sales figures suggest otherwise.”

            Pickup trucks in toto carries less than 50% of the US vehicle market. Other nations show far lower numbers. That alone gives the lie to your statement. Just because full-sized pickups have 90% of the US pickup market means nothing, since there is next to nothing for them to compete against.

            Let’s see if those numbers remain stable once truly smaller trucks (smaller than current mid-sized models) hit the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            All indications are that small truck sales have plateaued just like large truck sales. If more people wanted small trucks, we’d continue to see large sales increases.
            I suspect that the resurgence in small truck sales is a phenomenon that parallels SUV sales. There are obviously going to be some owners downsizing from large trucks but I’m betting most are purchased as alternatives to SUV’s/CUV’s.
            I’m doubting that the alt-truck crowd is going to see any manufacturer crank out true compact trucks in the foreseeable future.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “All indications are that small truck sales have plateaued just like large truck sales.”

            False argument. Small truck sales cannot have plateaued if there are no small trucks for sale. In fact, the above statement showing an increase in “small truck sales (including SUV/CUVs) shows sales are still rising, another 7.5% last year alone. Again I emphasize: Mid-sized trucks are not SMALL trucks; they’re nearly as large as full sized models in some cases.

            People who want truly small trucks want something you sit DOWN into, not climb up into. They want a truck that fits comfortably into their garage–with enough room left over to walk around to the other side with the garage doors closed. They want a truck that fits comfortably into a compact car parking space without encroaching on both space lines. They want a truck that’s twelve to fifteen feet long in a standard cab model and no more than 18 feet long in a crew cab version while still offering at least five feet of open bed. They want a truck based on today’s compact crossovers, not a three-row SUV. Last year’s Renegade-based Jeep Comanche at Moab was an extremely tempting model that would honestly fit very well with my ’16 Renegade already in my driveway.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            Its not like Ford sells nearly a million full size trucks a year, and GM is not far behind. Oh wait. It is exactly like that.

            But that means N O T H I N G because we should all drive Mitsubishi Mirage-based pickups. Everyone needs a tiny, weak, ugly truck. All the better to tow horse trailers and boats and other cars.

            Do tell about towing commercial cargo trailers with a Honda Ridgeline or about how small pickups are in SUCH demand, despite the fact that they had to stop building them since their sales dropped 90% when midsize trucks entered the market (speaking of the old Ranger). Tell us all about how selling millions of trucks a year “means nothing” because they don’t have competition from Toyota or Nissan. Which is kinda true, since neither of those trucks can compete with the Americans. Its not the Americans fault that they build a better truck.

            OH BUT ITS BLIND BRAND LOYALTY! Which is why you see an F-150 and a Camry or a Silverado and an Altima in the same driveway, because these idiot truck buyers would never touch a non-American vehicle, right?

            We need SMALLER FULL SIZE TRUCKS! They grew 3-5 inches in the last 15-20 years so there YYYUUUUUGGGEEEE and everyone in an F-250 would be better off in a Fiat 500-based pickup. You want to haul a load of beauty bark or top soil? Make 10 trips instead of one, because smaller is better.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “But that means N O T H I N G because we should all drive Mitsubishi Mirage-based pickups. Everyone needs a tiny, weak, ugly truck. All the better to tow horse trailers and boats and other cars.”

            And that’s why most of you who drive pickups simply don’t understand the small-truck buyer; such people have no need or desire to tow horse trailers, boats and other cars; they just want something small enough and cheap enough to go to Home Depot for home supplies or carry materials for their non-trucking hobbies. My ’97 Ranger was used EXACTLY that way by my step-father, which is why it only had 20K miles on it when I acquired it. And despite the fact that it is 20 years old, it STILL gets better gas mileage than the average full-sized or mid-sized pickup on the market today, though I admit it’s a damned sight weaker with only 112 horses. A modern engine under the hood would probably boost power and economy by 50% even without turbo.

            People who want small trucks care nothing about commercial cargo trailers.
            People who want small trucks want economy and utility over capacity.
            People who want small trucks want a fun daily driver not a Road Whale™ that’s hard to maneuver in tight spaces.

            Again, not everybody wants a full-sized truck. If they did, full-sized trucks would be 90% of the overall automotive market and not a mere 35%-40%.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “And that’s why most of you who drive pickups simply don’t understand the small-truck buyer”

            Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

            My first truck WAS a small truck. A 1984 regular cab 6 ft box 2.8 litre manual trans Ranger. That truck wasn’t significantly larger than anything else of that era.

            “People who want small trucks want economy and utility over capacity.”
            Looks like you have a pretty narrow definition of utility. As far as I’m concerned, utility and capacity are the same.
            Economy?
            Too funny.

            I went to an F250 reg cab 4×4 long box after that because I got SICK and TIRED of not having any room in the cab or any cargo capacity.

            There is a market for a truly small truck but it isn’t going to be big enough to warrant the billion dollar investment.

            “”And that’s why most of you who drive pickups simply don’t understand the alt-truck buyer”

            There, fixed it for you!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “My first truck WAS a small truck. A 1984 regular cab 6 ft box 2.8 litre manual trans Ranger. That truck wasn’t significantly larger than anything else of that era.”

            It was, however, bigger, though not as much so as the Dakota was over the D-50. According to Wiki, the Mazda B-series truck which hosted the Ford Courier name was 3″ shorter than the Ranger, but what the Wiki doesn’t state is height and width, which were similarly higher and wider, increasing the truck’s whole ‘presence’ (and “footprint”.) The second generation Ranger added another inch to the overall length, though lost a tenth of an inch in width. As such, that size is reasonable. In ’93 the Ranger grew again, by 8″ in length and in ’98 another 4″, making it now almost two feet longer than its Courier predecessor for a base, regular cab version. It also grew a full two inches wider, making it five inches wider and about 5″ taller.

            By the way, the new Colorado is a full meter longer than that original courier. Three feet, three and one-third inches longer and you cannot ignore how much taller it is. Believe it or not, that three feet in length and proportionate growth around the body in width and height does make a difference to some people.

            On an aside, Ford kept the Courier as a Fiesta-based “bakkie” in the global market until 2010 while FCA and GM both have such “bakkies” in South America right now. It would not be impossible, nor even all that difficult, for them to bring those “bakkies” here into the US and at that size would likely be notably more popular than the current round of “middies”.

            Oh, and if they’re already being made, even if they require some modification for US specs, where’s the “billion dollar investment”?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Alt-truck? This is a thing? What is alternate to a truck, a wagon?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Alt-truck. I like that label. But I’d rather call a small truck a dolphin as compared to a Road Whale™. The alternate is the simple fact that it’s a FWD/AWD unibody “bakkie” (meaning open-back coupe-utility) like the little Dodge Ramcharger of the mid-80s vs the big body-on-frame pickups used for supposed “real work”.

            Since I don’t need a truck for supposed “real work” but rather to haul trash to the landfill, carry objects that won’t fit in a compact SUV, lie in the back to enjoy the stars, carry landscaping and DIY materials, etc, even a modern mid-sized truck is simply too large for my wants and needs. Since I don’t want something that big, I’ll buy something else. If someone made a truly smaller truck, I’d buy that.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            @Lou, there is if want a small commuter in the shape of a truck. That’s why my dad had a Ranger. It rode like a block wheeled wagon (he got the freaking “Off-Road” package on his commuter), so he got an F-150 with a 4.6L and loved it, but the travel trailer they decided on was out of its range, really, but my dad said it would be fine. You see where my stubbornness comes from, but you haven’t seen anything like his ha.

            It was just fine pulling the trailer until we got to the top of the mountains out of Seattle and the trans overheated. It didn’t impede travel, but clearly it was too much for it and it let us know. He turned around, went back down without using the trans to gear down (the trailer had brakes of course so that wasn’t an issue). By the time we got to the bottom and towed it about 50 miles home (on mostly level ground), it didn’t act up again. He had a trans cooler put on it but I think it was working too hard because of the weak base 4.6L it was attached to. Wasn’t cut out for that, just a nice way to get to work and do light jobs, with a nice ride quality and comfortable interior compared to the Ranger.

            That’s how he ended up with an F-250, and all he commuted with it was to a church parking lot where he rode a bus from then until he retired. It has 336k on it now, quite a lot of it towing across country. Original powertrain.

            I personally think a 5.4L F-150 with a genuine towing package (not something cooked up later) would have been good, and the salesmen should have told him that when he said he was going to buy a travel trailer.

            I’ve seen them with 350k. I know cam phasers and blown plugs, but he has had to repair the 7.3L a few times (nothing but fluid/filter/pan gasket on the trans) and its quite expensive to work on. So, 6 one way and half-dozen the other.

            There are people here who harp about no compact pickups aside from vlpine, but I would like to see them go test drive a 1975 Datsun or a 1985 Ranger or a 1995 S-10. Oh its so small! And slow! And it rides awful! And it has NO room! Uncomfortable! Give me back my luxury sedan!

            So, no, you really don’t want a compact truck. You like the idea of it more than you’ll like the product. If not, go buy a 2011 Ranger and enjoy.

            Vlpine is the exception. There is the alt-truck aficionados and I don’t see why we can’t have them. I’m always going to be for more weird sh¡t anyway lol. I think the ProMaster (big one) would look cool with a truck bed.

            I’ve long said, a coupe-utility version of the Transit Connect would do nicely for those who truly desire something small and economical like an old Ranger XL reg cab. Move production of it and the van/wagon to the U.S. or Canada.

            Ram would no doubt respond with a Rampage! Literally. Perhaps Nissan (and by-poxy, a new Chevy LUV is born?) will too. Ha

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “There are people here who harp about no compact pickups aside from vlpine, but I would like to see them go test drive a 1975 Datsun or a 1985 Ranger or a 1995 S-10. Oh its so small! And slow! And it rides awful! And it has NO room! Uncomfortable! Give me back my luxury sedan!”

            — The fact that I owned an ’83 Mitsubishi Sport (Dodge D-50 shared platform) would give the lie to your belief that I’d think it too small/uncomfortable. I’ve very recently owned a Fiat 500 so having an entire car barely larger than the cab section of such a pickup should give you a clue that small size is NOT an impediment to me.

            I only have two real complaints about the Ranger I’m currently driving:
            A) 112hp. Grossly underpowered but I can live with it using the 5-speed stick;
            B) Would give up long bed to have extended cab. I want to carry some things inside–like my bowling balls, tools and yes… groceries.

            Let me use the bed to carry my collection of stamp books (two large plastic bins), bags of recycling materials, bags of thrown-away junk that’s been sitting in the basement for a decade, use as support vehicle for charity work (cases of cans for local food bank, for instance) and other, simple and lightweight utility purposes for which an open bed is more convenient (and easier to clean) than an enclosed-body vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      But then I would have to own and drive a truck.

      I’m not one of those who bags on other people’s choices, but while I’ve never driven one, I recently rode in a recent model F-150. I can’t imagine driving or using such a thing. It doesn’t fit my needs. Or my garage. And it was weird to ride in. Just so different from even my SUV. That’s probably the BOF construction? I’m not sure. I just didn’t like the experience.

      I wouldn’t buy one just for the features, no matter what the price. However, for those who have no preference of vehicle style or type but want the features, then its probably a good value play, given the incentives and expected life of the vehicle.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “However, for those who have no preference of vehicle style or type but want the features, then its probably a good value play, given the incentives and expected life of the vehicle.”

        That ‘value’ may fall sharply if, as other reports have suggested, we see gas prices starting to rise again this year. There’s already been some bouncing around and my local gas price is already up 20¢/gallon in just the last week with more to come. Considering their relatively poor economy, those full-sized trucks may see a contraction in their market over the next few years and a flood of thirsty trucks hitting the used-car markets at half their previous value. Some of them may become more valuable as scrap than attempted resale, considering the amount of aluminum and “high strength steel” in them.

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          @Vulpine:

          I guess that would be true for people who lease, or get a new car every 3-4 years. In those cases resale value matters, at least it does on trade in value vs a private sale.

          But if I were to buy a truck, my expectation for all my vehicles is about 7-10 years, and 100-150k miles or more. Gas prices and the re-sale at that point, over a long period, aren’t important to me as a buyer or seller. I actually think my current one can get to 200k. I would think most trucks, even the blinged out ones, still have the same bones underneath to be durable for that long, right?

          I’m probably in the minority, though.

          My point was that a lot people buy for the bells and whistles, not because it’s specifically a truck vs an SUV. And a quick check shows that in general, it appears you can get a little more bang for your buck on a purchase or lease of a new truck vs other large people movers (SUV or van).

          This is just my anecdotal observation, not a statement of fact or anything.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @NewEnthusiast:

            A valid point. But I have a couple of questions:

            1. Do you remember the last big gas price hike? When fuel prices approached $4/gallon, full-sized pickups and SUVs were getting traded for gas-sipping economy cars left and right. The floor price for those economy models skyrocketed while you almost couldn’t shove a pickup out the door. Worse, the used-car value of all those trucks fell to the point that literal junk-men were buying them to scrounge the streets and highways for scrap metal and in some cases would even sell the tailgate off their ‘new’ truck and use boards across the back to keep all the scrap they were hauling in the bed. (This isn’t counting all the pickups both privately owned and on new car lots that were getting their tailgates stolen for their metal about the same time.) A lot of nice trucks got trashed in a hurry during that period. It wasn’t until gas prices came down that they really started becoming popular again.

            2. Are you willing to spend potentially $100 every time you fill the tank of a full-sized pickup truck? I was driving an ’08 Wrangler with a 23-gallon tank and I approached $75 every time I filled up at the ¼ tank mark and to be blunt, I didn’t like it. Problem was, at the time that was the only car I was driving as I had loaned my Saturn Vue to my brother-in-Law (who practically destroyed the clutch) and later sold it to my father-in-Law who rebuilt the clutch (very cheap since he did his own work) and loved the economy. Couldn’t believe he got 30mpg out of such a lively little rig. Compared to his 15-mpg Expedition, he could run for two weeks on a single tank of gas that the Expo drank through in one. Made a big difference on his expenses at a time when every penny counted for him.

            The point is that some people aren’t willing to put up with paying double or more for their gas, especially if they drive a lot. If I’d been commuting the 120-miles per day I had been just ten years earlier, I’d have traded that Jeep in a heartbeat; it would have been drinking a huge piece of my salary at the time.

        • 0 avatar
          newenthusiast

          I do remember the last gas spike. I was paying $4.60-something for 87 octane, and that was the on base price (my wife is active duty).

          I had a base spec 1998 Cavalier. 5 speed manual transmission. Indestructible. Often got 28-30 combined mpg in it. Hated ever minute of it.

          My wife’s 2003 325 took premium. That was a $50.00+ fill up every time.

          But we had no car payments, so it was still WAY less a month that what we were paying when we had two car payments. So, it basically meant very few date nights/less babysitting…..which was WAY more expensive than a tank of gas.

          We own both of our cars now, and drive less miles (no longer in California). No one WANTS to pay more for gas, but its kind of inelastic demand. People HAVE to get to work, and will cut other things if needed. I understand that there are people who live check to check. And they shouldn’t be thinking about trucks, much less actually have dealers lease or sell to them. But that wasn’t not really my point within the context of this question.

          I was just pointing out that even if every mostly defunct feature I listed was available RIGHT now in a new truck that cost less than half of what I paid for my current vehicle, or a newer model of it, I still would not get a truck….because A) I have no desire to drive one; B) I can’t fit it in my garage…or it would be really tight and not worth parking it in there, which is against my very core belief as a driver and homeowner….’wasted space is wasted money’; and C) trucks have capabilities I will never use or need is lower specs (I do occasional light towing, like less than 5000lbs…I think even mid size trucks all surpass that), so it would be stupid to buy one even if I thought they looked cool and drive well.

          But I also think there are buyers who WOULD buy one for those features, even if its overkill. I actually think a lot of truck buyers are doing this. They have become the de-facto full size family sedan of this generation, replacing things like the Buick Roadmaster, Chevy Caprice, Ford LTD, and AMC Ambassador of the 70’s and 80’s.

          I’d take a free truck though. Fix it up, sell it, profit. :)

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “But I also think there are buyers who WOULD buy one for those features, even if its overkill. I actually think a lot of truck buyers are doing this. They have become the de-facto full size family sedan of this generation, replacing things like the Buick Roadmaster, Chevy Caprice, Ford LTD, and AMC Ambassador of the 70’s and 80’s.”
            — To this I will agree whole-heartedly. I think they’re fools, but they’ll do it anyway until they can’t afford it any more.

            “I’d take a free truck though. Fix it up, sell it, profit. :)”
            — I hope to do that with my Ranger some day, when a newer, better but similarly-sized truck comes along. The old Ranger’s value due to no rust and very, VERY low mileage should jump notably by then.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      +10,000!!!

  • avatar
    2manycars

    Radios that you don’t need an EE degree to operate! All I want is volume control, tuner, and pushbuttons.

    Simple to operate two-lever HVAC controls.

    Column-mounted manual shift levers, along with bench seats so you can carry a center front-seat passenger.

    Smooth-running inline six-cylinder engines backed up by rear drive with a live axle having anvil-like reliability.

    Three-speed automatic transmissions that work for decades with minimal maintenance (like the original Torqueflite) and won’t break the bank when rebuild time finally comes.

    For that matter, cars that are simple, basic transportation with crank windows, manual locks, and a minimum of electronic garbage. (NO TOUCH SCREEN!) Like an updated Studebaker Scotsman or Rambler American.

  • avatar
    slow_poke

    two things:

    a) a non-cockpit seating area – nothing chaps my hide more then getting in a car and being surrounded by the door, center console, etc. etc… let me stretch out a little

    b) big knobs for simple controls… my old tundra has 3 big glove worthy HVAc controls. i can reach them and set them w/o taking my eyes off the road… how did they EVER deem that a touch screen is safer… ugh.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I hated the HVAC controls in my GMT900 truck, but I love the ones in my K2XX. Giant knobs for temp and air speed easily operated via glove. There’s 4 big ass buttons that determine where the air comes from. It just takes a day to memorize the layout and then I can easily adjust the HVAC with leather gloves on without looking at it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    What a loaded QOTD!

    1. Pillarless hardtops with all glass that actually lowers.
    2. True 2-door sedans with rear glass that actually lowers.
    3. Ignition on the dash where it belongs, NOT on the steering column.
    4. Vent windows.
    5. Real chrome bumpers, not that cheap molded soft plastic that costs as much as real bumpers to fix/replace. (Something seriously wrong with that)
    6. I’m between chromed plastic and metal on trim and emblems, because punched holes eventually attract rust.
    7. Smaller consoles that don’t waste interior volume.
    8. Windows one can see out of.

    I don’t think I’m asking too much, am I?

  • avatar
    Rick Astley

    Cars that are easier to die in. Drum brakes, remove air bags, AWD (does the average person even understand how to utilize AWD in a meaningful manner?)

    Now, before you get all upset, there is merit that 99.9% of people today assume their car will get them from A to B safely and without fail or injury.

    Even the pretense of injury has been removed from modern motoring. And you would be hard pressed to argue that motorists exhibit safe or attentive driving habits.

    When I drive my 1941 Super Deluxe or 1963 Ford Thunderbird, you can be damn sure I am paying attention to the road, what rout i’m taking and reasonable following distances. Not even a hint of distracted driving from infotainment or Sat-Nav, looking over the shoulder for lane changes, not blocking intersections through aggression, or aggressive driving habits. Because you can DIE in your car… Not just bounce of whatever you hit with little chance of physical harm.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      That won’t lead to better drivers, just more obstacles to avoid with less ability to respond properly.

      It could be argued as a means of population control, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Glass headlamps.

    • 0 avatar
      thelastdriver

      This. On my rusty ’89 Camry someone asked if I had replaced them “because they were so clear”!

    • 0 avatar
      Menloguy

      Many people are calling for glass headlamps but I think they’d be susceptible to chipping and cracking from gravel kicked up at high speeds. I remember seeing water sloshing in the inside of cracked headlamps quite a number of times. Also, the glass would have to be of sufficient thickness to prevent cracks and I think it would be difficult to form to fit the swooping contours of today’s cars. On cars like a Chevy Spark which has large upswept headlamps, the cost to manufacture and the additional weight of glass headlamps probably won’t justify their use.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The problem with glass headlamps had nothing to do with cracking and chipping and everything to do with leaving broken glass on the ground after a minor fender-bender that a tow-truck operator had to sweep up as part of his mandated duty when recovering the vehicle.

        The advantage of glass is that it is practically immune to the scratching and fogging of the lens over the life of the vehicle, ensuring its late-life lighting is as brilliant and clear as when it comes from the showroom. Glass is just the better material for maintaining focus and eliminating light dispersion by a scratched and fogged cover.

        • 0 avatar
          Tosh

          1.cost
          2.weight
          3.pedestrian impact
          99.cleaning up glass shards

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            1.cost — if used as a weather shield as acrylic is currently used on headlamps, cost difference is relatively minimal while visibility is greatly improved.

            2.weight — If used as a weather shield similarly to above, weight difference is marginal when taken with the overall weight of the vehicle.

            3.pedestrian impact — Insignificant as when made thickly enough to perform as designed, odds against breakage when striking against a human body outweigh the damage done when the acrylic breaks. Acrylic invariably breaks into deadly-sharp shards where safety glass breaks into tiny pieces much less likely to cause serious injury.

            99.cleaning up glass shards — Adds to towing rates and can cost a tow-truck operator his license if not performed. Plastic, not so much as it gets crushed into the surface and eventually blown or washed off the driving surface over time due to its lighter weight. Still leaves risk for injury because it doesn’t break down once away from the grinding effect of traffic.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Glass headlamps? Seriously?

      No thanks. I haven’t had to replace a broken headlamp since, well, when I owned my 1984 Ford Ranger.

      It wasn’t unusual to have to replace glass headlights on a yearly basis where I live. Rock guards helped but a big enough hit would still crack the sealed beam housing.

  • avatar
    SC5door

    1.Puddle Lamps in doors.
    2.Better Cloth seats with heat. (I’m happy with my heated cloth)
    3. Ability to order separate options. I don’t want to buy the Platinum-Titanium-Limited model just to get a sunroof or a better sound system.

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      I have puddle lamps in my car,as does my wife.

      I’m not sure they are defunct, but maybe limited to either certain brands or upgrade packages?

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        “Puddle lamps” sometimes show up in weird places. My Highlander has them even though it is basically a base V6 4wd.

        Maybe they were standard with 4wd like the mirror defrost was?

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      I’ve owned a lot of cars, and don’t recall one that doesn’t have puddle lamps EXCEPT my Jeep. But I wouldn’t expect a jeep to!

      I do agree on number 3… have you seen the koreans? my goodness. They literally have TWO options.

      The tech package, and the Premium package. Nothing is ala carte, and you can’t get the Premium Package without the Tech Package.

      This killed me on the Nissan. I liked a nissan but I would never want to drive a base car- but the Sunroof is a forced option for all trims above base, but with a sunroof it was too small to even drive. So I could buy BASE, thats it. No sunroof delete option, or ability not to have that option.

    • 0 avatar
      RedRocket

      I agree with your #2 and #3, and while puddle lamps are OK, what I really liked in older ’70s luxo-barges were cornering lights. Some of them were nearly as bright as a headlamp and illuminated the front side corner of the car when the directional signal on that side was activated. Awesome at night.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Proper two-door coupes and not sedans claiming to be coupes.

    While we’re at it, how about individuality in style again. This includes color choices, 2- and even 3-color painting along with anything else that can make cars truly an individual choice instead of everything being monochromatic sameness.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Bench seats so a woman can put her purse on the seat next to her, even if someone else is riding in the front.

    Steel, painted dashboards. With air bags everywhere, the need for padded dashboards is gone, but the cracking vinyl remains.

    Column shifter and console delete as an option, at least. It is just plain stupid to have a giant console when the only thing under there is a 3″ exhaust pipe, a fuel line, and a wiring harness.

    Colored interiors.

    Vent windows.

    Windows period, that I can see out of.

    Round glass headlights. Halogen or whatever, but make them round and glass, so if one gets broken I can replace it cheaply and easily.

    2 radio knobs. Left = power and volume. Right: tuning, pull for bass/treble.

    Metal or black rubber bumpers that are a separate item from the body, preferably mounted resiliently, so when I use bumpers for their intended purpose, bumping, they just go in a bit and spring back rather than breaking the $1000 piece of body colored plastic.

    60-70 series tires on everything that is not explicitly a sports or high performance car.

    Painted steel wheels.

    A no-touchscreens option available on even the highest trim level. I want leather seats and the hot engine, why should I be forced to take the idiot box I don’t want?

  • avatar
    spamvw

    I now have, on the ’85 Vanagon, the great feature of the Cold Air Vent, so when you are driving in the winter with the heat on, you could open the outboard vents and they always blow ambient air, nice way to keep alert and keep warm at the same time.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Velour “mouse fur” cloth. Cloth in today’s cars sucks.

    Double DIN stereo systems rather than those integrated into the dashboard face.

    Sail windows/vent windows/quarterlights/whatever-you-call-them on the A-pillars of trucks and SUVs. May not work with modern aerodynamics.

  • avatar
    arach

    1. I can’t believe no one said License-plate or Trunk Mounted Fuel Filler!

    How horrible is it that you have to remember what side its on. If you have more than 1 or 2 cars you can’t keep them straight… and NO not every car has an arrow on their fuel gauge…

    2. Despite being said over and over again, Definitely a full size spare tire (or even a folding one like my cayenne has… good solution for the “Clear the brake” types) They are actually pretty awesome.

    3. Repairability. Do you remember being able to repair anything in 30-60 minutes in your driveway? yes… Some cars you could even stand in the engine bay? Plugs, wires, distributors, all were so quick and easy… You could maintain your own car WITHOUT an engineering degree.

    4. Affordable Repairs. Do you remember buying a replacement light bulb for $3? or even getting an alternator from autozone for $39? yeah…. I miss that too.

    Now its like $3500 computer modules and $2000 headlights that require a $10,000 computer system.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Trunk-mounted filler necks are gone because they went boom a lot.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      @arach,

      You don’t need to guess/remember which side its own. The icon in your fuel gauge will have an arrow on one side of the gas symbol. That arrow is pointing to the side your filler is on. Enjoy.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “You don’t need to guess/remember which side its own. The icon in your fuel gauge will have an arrow on one side of the gas symbol. That arrow is pointing to the side your filler is on.”

        Some older models don’t have that arrow; that ended up becoming a necessity simply because of the confusion caused when the centerline filler went bye-bye. As an example, my ’97 Ranger doesn’t have an arrow and the filler is on the driver’s side. My ’16 Renegade does and its filler is on the passenger side. This can get confusing even with that arrow if you’re more used to driving one than the other.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Cornering lights!! They are so useful for sharp turns across sidewalks in the city. My ’89 Taurus SHO had them and I’ve missed them ever since.

    My LS460 has adaptive low beams that are perfect for higher-speed driving, but they can’t illuminate around a sharp corner the way a proper cornering light can.

    Some of the Europeans will illuminate one fog light with the turn signal, but that’s not as good either. Bring back an actual light on the side of the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Cornering lights!! They are so useful for sharp turns across sidewalks in the city. My ’89 Taurus SHO had them and I’ve missed them ever since.”

      Automatic on my ’16 Renegade. It switches on the left or right fog lamp which has a wide enough arc to cover the purpose without adding an unnecessary bulb into the lighting system.
      … and no, I don’t even have to activate the turn signal to operate. Once the wheel turns a certain amount, the lamp automatically lights.
      … And it is very effective as a cornering light.

  • avatar
    markf

    Keys in the ignition. Please let me delete the stupid push button start/stop and get a real key gain……

    • 0 avatar

      You end up having to keep track of the not a key, anyway. At least with a real key it was in a place you could not lose.

      I liked the high/low beam on the floor switch.

    • 0 avatar
      arach

      Odd…

      I HATE keys with a passion, and now will never buy another car if it takes a key. So inconvenient, they always break, and I hate to have like 20 things dangling on my dash.

  • avatar
    markogts

    207 comments and nobody mentioned the handbrake yet? The mechanical, simple, transistorless, direct handbrake used for quick U-turns and handy on steep parkings too?

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      I guess I haven’t experienced its demise yet personally, but I was looking at new Nissan Titan Pro-4Xs online and realized they have a stupid dash mounted electronic one. Leave that junk off of utilitarian vehicles at least!

    • 0 avatar
      newenthusiast

      Ok, so I use my parking brake on hills (actually every time I park, and its a floor brake, but it should perform the same function? My wife’s car has a hand emergency/parking brake), but why on earth would you ever engage this brake while making a u-turn?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Just goofing around in the snow or some such to drift the back end around is my guess. I can never resist a few handbrake turns in an empty parking lot in the winter.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          I like the quick yank of the handbrake in the snow to kick the back end out when pulling into the driveway, releasing it at the right moment so the rear doesn’t swing wide of perpendicular. Tried it with our Altima’s foot-engaged parking brake and it is a bit awkward.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        “Ok, so I use my parking brake on hills (actually every time I park, and its a floor brake, but it should perform the same function?), but why on earth would you ever engage this brake while making a u-turn?”

        Some people call them J-turns; where you yank the brake to stop the rear wheels, sliding them around with a proper twist of the steering wheel and effectively turning around within the length of the vehicle. It’s a stunt maneuver that can be effective, though is tricky to perform correctly if you’re not practiced and considered reckless by law enforcement.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    Bumpers, dont matter if they’re chrome, metal, or painted, I miss bumpers that can absorb tiny 5 mph impacts. That goes for plastic door trim too (saved my car at least once from a nasty door ding).

    With people getting lazier and lazier with returning their shopping karts you kinda need something dent-resistant in todays world.

    I also wouldnt mind something WITHOUT drive-by-wire, something that doesnt pause before reacting.

  • avatar
    raph

    Manual transmissions!

    >this message sent from the year 2018<

  • avatar
    Duaney

    Already mentioned, : Visibility, glass headlights, floor dimmer switch, vent windows. Not mentioned, (maybe I missed it?), quiet ride, without the horrible road noise that many new vehicles have.

  • avatar
    brn

    FLOOR VENTS that draw outside air. Had them on my early 70’s Ford. You could create quite a windstorm, blowing up from your feet, through the car without dealing with open windows. I’d use A/C a whole lot less.

    That and visibility are my most missed features from older cars.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Nice air flow through the cabin sounds good, but then I think of the dirt and grime that gets tracked into the footwell from the bottom of my shoes and wonder if a windstorm blowing up from there is what I really want.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        My 67 Mustang has under dash vents that can be open and closed (no AC). They do a nice job and I don’t even vacuum that frequently.

        It also helps slipstream the cigar smoke out when the mood strikes me to light one up.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Cruising the roads of the West in your 67 Mustang with a cigar and a car courteous enough to clear the smoke away from you…now that’s rolling in style.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            And if I was General Buck Turgidson (my avatar) I’d be casually driving in the opposite direction from a remote nuclear test. ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        brn

        30-mile, can’t explain why, but never had an issue with “junk” blowing up from the floor vents.

  • avatar
    Zelgadis

    How about a dashboard that I can actually see over? Seems like most cars these days have a mere slit between the dash and the roof.

  • avatar
    WallMeerkat

    Styling.

    Back in the day automakers cared about styling, proportions, putting a good looking car out.

    These days they just put windows and roof rails on a van and call it their next SUV.

  • avatar
    Jamblastx

    Manual transmissions!!!! I don’t give a rat’s ass that a modern automatic can shave two tenths off 0-60 or get one MPG better than a manual. If it ain’t got three pedals, then it might as well be autonomous. And don’t get me started on the Nurburgring testing….

  • avatar
    Shortest Circuit

    Mercedes coco floor mats. “Kokosmatten” for the ones in the know. Nothing wears so nicely. I got velours in my beemer and they are just okay.

  • avatar
    haroldhill

    Speedometer backlight that’s green at low speeds, gradually turns to yellow at higher speeds, and ends up red as you approach the speed of sound (around 50 mph). Doesn’t really help monitor your speed but it’s fun. Best mood lighting ever.

    Manual choke knob. Badly missed by those of us who have occassionally discovered, an hour down the road, that we forgot to push it back in.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Speedometer backlight that’s green at low speeds, gradually turns to yellow at higher speeds, and ends up red as you approach the speed of sound (around 50 mph). Doesn’t really help monitor your speed but it’s fun. Best mood lighting ever.”

      Oh, how I remember those on my dad’s ’59 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88. Mechanical bar that shaded as your speed went up but also had a tendency to break the cable because any dust or dirt in the dash would cause it to drag and finally stop. After having it replaced twice, dad sold off the car.
      (If only he’d bought a ’59 Chevy instead…)

  • avatar

    Redline tires!

  • avatar
    turbo_awd

    More space around the center console, #1, please. It’s not a suspended-animation/cryo-sleep hibernation chamber.. You should try to make me actually feel COMFORTABLE while sitting in your driver’s seat.. Well, if you want me as a driver, that is.

  • avatar
    Salzigtal

    Bring back lighted semaphore turn signals in the B-pillar of all new BMWs. Updated with TRPPRR® (Teutonic Radar Pedestrian Protection Radar Retraction) (all one word in German). Maybe, they’d use them until the novelty wears off. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafficators

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    Rain gutters, so I can have my windows down in a light rain (or use my windshield washers) without the wipers throwing water into the cabin.

    And I loved the way my Volvo 850 had an extra vent that would pull a bit of fresh air into the center vents regardless of temp settings.


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