Things you don't EVER want to see revived in cars.

avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
Since we have the opposite (Things we'd like to see revived), lets put down a few "Thank God they don't do that anymore" things.

Just to get started:

Low back bucket seats. They might have been trendy, but what a rediculous design (or lack thereof)


  • jsylvesterjsylvester Member Posts: 572
    But the passenger side-view mirror on the Galaxie is not the "Objects are Closer than They Appear", but the exact opposite. It magnifies everything so they look closer than they really are.

    It is hard to switch back and forth between the two. I don't know if this mirror is original or not.

    Also, the live rear axle hops sideways over rough road, especially when going around a corner.
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    bias ply tires
    front drum brakes
    6V electrical systems
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    There is nothing like having to roll your window down in the rain to adjust your mirror. And then there is the passenger side, even more fun.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    1. Any six-cylinder Falcon or its equivilent. Oddly enough this concept was revived and called the Tempo--even used the Falcon engine minus two cylinders.

    2. Vacuum-operated wipers.

    3. No synchro on first gear.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Given new sheetmetal and called the Mustang? As I recall, those were pretty good little cars.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    Popular - Yes
    "Good little cars" - questionable (especially those saggy rear springs)
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    I had a 67 Olds Delmont 88 w/425 and DRUM BRAKES. It was amazing, you could adjust the brakes perfectly, and two days later if you had to get on them hard there was no tellng which way the car would pull. But garanteed it WOULD pull to one side.

    Terrifying on a freeway.

    I bought a 66 Mustang Fastback with drums and almost immediatly put nice big ventilated four piston caliper disks on the front. It transformed the whole car!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    talking dashboards
    "art deco" styling
    push button transmissions
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    Vacuum operated wipers are fun! Roll that manual window down, reach past the manual mirror, grab the wiper arm and start those manually too.

    Oh yeah, then roll the manual window back down and adjust the manual mirror that you bumped getting the wipers going.

    All in the rain ;-)
  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    no way to change oil without making a mess-so you never changed it.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yes, oil bath air cleaners were a bummer, especially if you didn't know what they were. Come to think of it, I still have the one that came with my '61 Chevy--what a useful item to have in your garage.

    Avalanche, I'm embarassed to admit I never thought of getting out and helping the wipers ;-).

    Yes, the Mustang. I'll quote a nameless, perhaps apocryphal Ford engineer who said "building the Mustang on the Falcon chassis was like putting falsies on Grandma. That Falcon was never intended for high performance."

    I've never driven a six-cylinder Mustang but I have experience with that platform from the years I spent slogging around in a Falcon. Mustang sixes didn't sell because they're fine cars. They sold because a segment of the car-buying public wants the perception of performance without the initial or operating costs. These were the same Walter Mittys who made the bucket seat Falcon Futura six such a hot seller before the Mustang came out.

    IMHO the only thing that keeps the Mustang from being a sheep in wolf's clothing is the mighty 289. It gives plenty of power with great balance, something not easily achieved. Even installing the next-heavier engine, the 351 (as I did in a '67 Cougar) destroys the balance of the car.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    You guys are saying that in 1964, the Mustang filled the same market niche as a 4-banger import subcompact with 25" wheels, 6" exhaust, triple rear wing, body kit and 50 pounds of "Type R" stickers? And all this time I thought it really was cool.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,598
    I think Chevy accidentally uncovered that market with sporty versions of the Corvair, but once the Mustang came out, the market just exploded!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The Mustang had a lot of visual appeal for a very affordable price. It just had "good deal" written all over it and people recognized that instantly.

    Technologically, it was a flashy body on top of a 1936 Buick.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Since the Corvair wasn't selling well as a family car, Chevy put buckets and better trim in it to see if it would sell as a sporty car. It did, even though performance was still modest. Perception is more important than reality in this market segment. My third car was a '62 Monza convertible four speed that cost maybe $250 back in '71, and it was a very pleasant car until you really pushed it--then you discovered it had dangerous handling and no power.

    The Corvair Monza created a number of imitators including the Falcon Futura and Comet S-22. The Mustang was based on this very ordinary chassis but with swoopier sheetmetal. I remember they sold a gazillion Futuras and the later Comet versions, Caliente and Cyclone, until the Mustang came out.

    In '66 the Falcon and Comet moved to the mid-size platform. The Falcon virtually disappeared except for the occasional four door or Ranchero.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    I never had a car with one. But I remember seeing a few in the storage room of my fathers gas station as a teenager. (very old dusty boxes)

    I would imagine they could be a good source of leaks. I would imagine the "can" would get beat up. Does anyone have any experience with them?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,598
    Don't get me started on those things. My '57 DeSoto uses a drop-in cartridge, and it's a royal pain. I wonder how many of these cars went to an early grave because of less-than-reputable mechanics, who might have just wiped down the outer cannister but left the same cartridge in there!

    Does anybody know who was the first to use the modern spin-on type cannister filters? I know DeSotos, Dodges, and Plymouths with the wedge-head V-8 first had them in '58. Anybody come out with 'em before that?
  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    was available.As I recall had something like 39/40 solenoids and miles of electrical wire.Hardtop went into trunk ,which gave it a very squared off rear.Had to have been a service nightmare.
    Another good sounding idea was the roll down back window.Mercury had this feature around 1963(?).Sounds good but served no purpose.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,598
    ...was called the Skyliner, and was built from 1957-59. Interestingly, the T-bird adopted its squared-off roofline, so they only looked really out of place for '57. They were a mechanical nightmare though. Surprisingly though, they weren't as expensive as I thought something that novel and complicated would be. They cost about $1000 more than a conventional convertible. Sounds like a lot of money, but air conditioning was about$500+ back then.

    My granddad used to have a '63 Mercury Monterrey with the roll-down rear window. He loved it, because he said it made it real easy to haul lumber and other long items. Plus, it helped a lot with ventillation on hot summer days. Air conditioning by '63 was still pretty expensive, so it was still comparatively rare.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Go back a lot further than the 60's. I saw I Mercury Turnpike cruiser, which I beleive was a '58 model at a car show, that had that roll-down rear windshield. As for the retractable hardtop, it's made a comeback. Lexus has some nameless coupe their making now that has an aluminum retractable hardtop. First Toyota I ever saw that I thought was a gorgeous car. I also heard Ford wanted to do that with the Thunderbird, but styling and cost considerations killed the idea, so they went with a detatchable hardtop. For someone who would rather let the outside in than put up with A/C and heaters, I'd like to see both the roll-down rear windshiled and retractable hardtop broght back. And for 1957, when cars sold for two and three thousand dollars, adding a thousand on top of that would be like adding $10,000 to todays cars. Ok, so that means air conditioning cost $5,000 back then. That's why a lot of cars didn't have that feature either.
  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    cause stuff to be sucked in the car?OK it's alright with me if you want these things back.
  • kinleykinley Member Posts: 854
    divided windshields, running boards, cowl vents, solid tappets, rusting chrome bumpers, suicide doors, single tail lights, tube radios, windup clocks, Southwind heaters, visors over windshields, spotlights, squirrel knobs, & knee action front ends to name a few.
  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    What is a knee action front end?Solid lifters on the Chevy small blocks were not so bad.I heard the early street Hemi's had them and they were a pain to adjust and keep in adjustment.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,598
    ...was 1957, on the Turnpike Cruiser. I just looked it up in a book that's all '57 Cars. The weird thing about it though, is that the '57 (and probably the '58-59)didn't have a reverse-slant window. It had the slope of a normal window, although it was more upright than many. It must've really cut into trunk space, although these things probably had enough trunk room, anyway!

    I've heard that keeping the liftgate window open on a station wagon or SUV is dangerous, becuase it'll suck exhaust back into the car. The back windows on these things were probably about 5-6 feet ahead of the exhaust though.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Kinley that is a good list. I missed most of it except the tube radio and squirrel knob aka necker's knob. I have to say the old console tube radios do sound nice. Remember the tube testers they used to have in stores?

    I think we can add the Turnpike Cruiser to the list. Although I do like that Ford styling exercise, what's it called, the 49er?

    In the early '60s a neighbor had a Mercury with the roll down rear window. I think it's worth it just for the gee whiz effect.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    "Three on the tree", what a horrible thing to drive. I can't believe that they still even put column shifts on automatics. Let's get rid of this too.

    Here is a really good one: I was living in New Zealand, where they import used cars directly from Japan. My friend down there had a van (Toyota if I remember right) that has a five speed column shifter. Man, it was easy to miss a gear in that thing.
  • lleroilleroi Member Posts: 112
    seating in the front.Nowadays that is not important to people.Mainly for safety reasons ,you seldom see six people in a car.Shifting into second gear holding a beer can was pretty messy.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I'd kinda like to have suicide doors, visors over the windshield (very practical), running boards and spotlights. Dress the car up a bit. Then again, I thought the Turnpike Cruiser was beautiful, so maybe I'm just wierd ;-)
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    I had forgotten about oil bath air cleaners. They usually did turn into an oil bath for whoever was servicing them. especially the ones on older Macks. They held about 2 gallons.

    I had almost blocked the memories of hot oil running down my arm while changing the cartridge type oil filter and the leaks when the gasket slipped out of the groove and was cut as the filter was tightened.

    What about those pull handle parking brakes. To release them you'd give the handle a 1/4 turn. Some were in a position that would get bumped as you were getting out of the vehicle and accidentally release.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    The new BMW 745i apparently has a column shifter (of sorts---some electronic gizmo)
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    They should just do away with shifters alltogether on automatics. Go back to pushbuttons like they did in the '50's.
  • cdguycdguy Member Posts: 7
    AMC had them for the Gremlin, Pacer, and I think the Jeep. Also, the Gremlin came with speed sensitive wipers. The faster you drove the faster the wipers went. In a heavy rain, you would have to drive real fast to keep the window cleared. Didn't seem safe....
  • carnut4carnut4 Member Posts: 574
    I've seen a few of these on Lincolns and Cadillacs. The worst was on a mid-nineties Chev Caprice. To me, the're like a bad, cheap toupe on a fat, bald man. KInda like the "combover" of cars.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    Remember the "Denim Machine"? It was a Ford Econoline van that had the interior done in denim and all of the custom van stuff on the outside. They were given away in a contest

    Correct me if I am wrong on this. I think Coca Cola was the company that did the contest. I can't remember how many they gave away (10? 100?)

    Anyway, I hope the custom van fad dosen't come back anytime soon.
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    wasn't there a denim model Pinto also?

    Another item I'd be really happy to live without are bumper jacks.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,598
    The most modern car I remember having that still had a bumper jack was my 1980 Malibu. I also had an '82 Cutlass Supreme, but it had a scissors-type jack that mounted up under the car.

    I guess Chrysler was actually quick to the game in this regard, as I've had a '79 New Yorker and a '79 Newport, and both had the scissors-type jack that mounted up under the rocker panel.

    I don't think you could even jack up most modern cars by their bumper without without doing some serious damage!
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    "I don't think you could even jack up most modern cars by their bumper without without doing some serious damage! "

    Modern cars don't even have bumpers to jack the thing up by!
  • dpwestlakedpwestlake Member Posts: 207
    Thankfully bumper jacks are history as are most of the items that have been mentioned in this thread. I just hope they stay that way.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    I'm glad bumper jacks are gone, but after using your factory scissor jack every time you rotate tires, do a brake job, or anything else, after a few times it freezes up and is good only for paperweight. I'd like to see the scissor jack disappear and get replaced with, oh, say a hydraulic jack.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    The upholstery was denim-look, not real denim. AMC didn't think denim was durable enough to work as car upholstery. Makes you appreciate the kind of wear and tear upholstery must take.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    1. Leaned out carburetors.

    2. Retarded ignition timing.

    3. Lowered compressions ratios, usually with combustion chambers the size of a bathtub.

    4. EGR (exhaust gas recirculation). First used on '72 California cars, then nationally from '73 on. Recirculates exhaust gas into the combustion chamber.

    5. Smog cams. Basically does the same thing as #4.

    6. A stove to heat air going into the carb.

    7. No vacuum advance once the engine reaches operating temperature.

    Maybe they still use some of this stuff but it works a lot better now. It's a wonder '70s engines ran at all.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    EGR is still used on new cars, so it technically can't be revived. As for heating the air going into the carb, I don't think that was for emissions. As the air passed through the venturis on the carbs, it would drop in pressure (this is how the carb sucks fuel through), and also drop in temperature. As the air dropped in temperature, the water vapor in the air would condense on the sides of the carb and freeze, choking off the carb, and causing the engine to die. Only remedy was to let the carb thaw out and refire the engine. Heating up the carburetor prevented it from icing over.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I knew that ;-).

    No, I think what happened is that I never saw "air pre-heaters" until the late '60s and assumed they were smog controls. Cool air is more dense and lets the engine make more power, so I just figured heating the air going into the carb was another way to trade performance for cleaner air. I've read about carb icing but never run across it.

    The 1969 Pontiac shop manual says "use of the carburetor air pre-heater has resulted in improved engine warm-up characteristics and eliminated the need for the heat riser valve". So the pre-heater just replaces the exhaust runner under the carb. Back in the day racers would block off the heat riser with a ball of aluminum foil or use special intake manifold gaskets.

    The manual shows a mystery vacuum-operated valve in the snorkel that I seem to recall blocks unheated air until the engine sees a low vacuum condition such as WOT. Otherwise the engine breathes air heated by a stamped steel "stove" and ducted to the underside of the snorkel.

    Well, it's always fun to open that manual. This time I saw the Ram Air air cleaner setup. That's something they ought to revive. Maybe they did.
  • chevytruck_fanchevytruck_fan Member Posts: 432
    I don't know if you guys have ever driven a vehicle with the stove pipe removed but it runs like heck till it warms up, I have a 74 Dodge with that stuffed removed and it barely gets going in the morning, but my 81 Chevy pickup, starts right up and when I drive away it doesnt spit and sputter (as much lol)

    Carb icing, I have experienced this about 2 weeks ago, I usually go 55 at the steepest part of the pass, my truck would only do 40, on the way back put some anti-ice stuff in the gas and no problem. Happened because I have two tanks, and one I only use once in a while I filled them both up for safety (get stuck in some sort of snow storm want to be warm) and I was using the tank I don't use to often so it was bound to have some moisture in it.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    Yeah I imagine a '74 anything would need all the help it can get to start on a cold morning, even when it was new. By '74 they were using every Michael Mouse smog control fix in the book.

    I'm pretty sure my '73 Ventura still had the pre-heater and it started fine, but we hardly ever get below freezing. My '71 LeMans had all the pre-heat gear too, but I don't remember if the '69 GTO did. You'd think I would because I had to park it on the street and every night I took the Ram Air air cleaner off and put it in the trunk, then put it back on in the morning. I did this for months before I finally decided to take my chances and leave it on overnight. I'm pretty sure it still had the stove but '69s weren't nearly as leaned out and wouldn't have needed as much help starting.

    I've always lived in warm weather states and it sounds like I should keep it that way.

    BTW that '71 LeMans had kind of an interesting smog control, no vacuum advance once the engine reached operating temperature. There was a sensor in the intake manifold with a plunger that blocked off vacuum to the advance can once it sensed the coolant was warm. I always thought vacuum advance was a real useful innovation, right up there with the self starter, but I guess it fouled up the emissions somehow--just one more variable to control.
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    Are we talking about vacuum advance on the distributor? I thought your car wouldn't run without it. My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong), is that at low RPMs the sparkpulg can fire when the cylinder is almost at TDC on compression stroke, and ignite the fuel. But at higher RPMs, the fuel's going to burn at the same speed, so to get it all burned, you have to advance the timing, ie fire the spark plug sooner, so that all the gas is burned when you get to top dead center. Otheriwse, you loose power, and gas is still burning into the power stroke. And when that happens, I don't see how it could be good for emissions, as you're burning fuel that doesn't help provide power. Wasting it, in other words.
  • spokanespokane Member Posts: 514
    You are correct about the fundamental engine speed and spark advance relationship, Rea98d, but the centrifugal advance rather than vacuum was the major element of spark advance control - and it was basically unchanged during the dark days of the '70's. Before '72, most vacuum advance systems provided little or no advance under conditions of high engine load because detonation would result from the high combustion pressures combined with high timing. At low engine loading, the increased manifold vacuum would provide extra ignition advance for improved economy. Thus, in general, vacuum advance varied inversely with engine loading and centrifugal advance varied directly with engine RPM.

    In the '70's, as Speedshift indicated, there were several schemes for changing the ignition advance curves with engine temperature in the effort to reduce exhaust emissions. Some involved switching between ported vacuum and manifold vacuum when the coolant temperature reached a pre-set level. I agree that these spark-advance schemes, combined with the primitive EGR controls and low compression ratios, often caused stumbling or stalling during acceleration - and they consistently provided poor power and fuel economy.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Fuel0injection and computers saved cars from this fate. The 1968 VW squareback led the way.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Member Posts: 1,598
    I also seem to recall that the factory recommended initial timing, the kind you set by rotating the distributor, was retarded in the early '70s.

    That '71 LeMans was a good indication of what had happened to musclecars by then since it had the optional 400/335 standard on the GTO that year. You'd think it'd be quick around town but part-throttle response was pretty flabby because there was no vacuum advance to bring in an extra 10 or 15 degrees of advance. The 8:1 compression ratio (down from 10.75:1) didn't help either, or all the weight intermediates had picked up by then.
  • avalanche325avalanche325 Member Posts: 116
    timing wasn't the only thing retarded on cars in the 70s. ;-)
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