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

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)


  • 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.
  • bias ply tires
    front drum brakes
    6V electrical systems
  • 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 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 Posts: 982
    Given new sheetmetal and called the Mustang? As I recall, those were pretty good little cars.
  • Popular - Yes
    "Good little cars" - questionable (especially those saggy rear springs)
  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    talking dashboards
    "art deco" styling
    push button transmissions
  • 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 Posts: 112
    no way to change oil without making a mess-so you never changed it.
  • speedshiftspeedshift 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 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 Posts: 23,552
    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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    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 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.
  • 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 Posts: 23,552
    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 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 Posts: 23,552
    ...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 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 Posts: 112
    cause stuff to be sucked in the car?OK it's alright with me if you want these things back.
  • kinleykinley 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 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 Posts: 23,552
    ...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 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.
  • "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 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 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 ;-)
  • 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The new BMW 745i apparently has a column shifter (of sorts---some electronic gizmo)
This discussion has been closed.