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?