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Things You'd Like to See Revived In Cars

gkelly3gkelly3 Posts: 38
edited March 2014 in General
I'm a bit retro, but I belive some worthwhile
design features that older cars had, should be
revived:let's hear what you liked about cars of the
past! I like: SPLIT WINDSHIELDS: better
visibility, wifers wipe better on flat surface,
cheaper to replace one side;WING WINDOWS: I don't
like airconditioning, but with wing windows, you
got good airflow through the car-comething you
don't get today-your car stays hot because the air
doesn't circulate;RUNNING BOARDS: I like the look
of them!; FENDER SKIRTS: even on the front wheels!


  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Two words: TAIL FINS!
    Oh yeah, wide whitewalls too. Modern car with 50's styling. What more could you aske for?
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    the price tags - they could bring some of those back!!

    More seriously, I would like to see anything that identifies a car - there are too many boxes around these days, when I was growing up I didn't need to look at the badge to see what it was, I knew just by looking at it.

    I know that I sound like an old fart, but there are very few cars that have character anymore. Persoanlly I am not a fan of white walls and fins, but those cars looked like they were built not stamped out by some computer controlled robot.

    For my car, give me the long hood, the long running boards that extend into wheel arches and wire wheels. Combine it with modern reliability and a great engine and I'll write you a check today.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    Yesterday I went for a cruise in my 55 Pontiac Starchief 2dr hardtop. The 2-tone bronze and white paint, the chrome and color inside and out, and the overall look of a 50's car has people looking from their bland plastic robot sedans left and right. Today's cars are way more efficient, handle better, brake better, and all the above-but B-O-R-I-N-G! When I backed my car out of the garage into the street, my neighbor walked over just to tell me how much he liked the sound of that V8 with glasspacks starting up. He put it so well when he described his 91 Honda Accord-"It's a good car, you know, but there's just something missing." Great topic.
  • ls1v8ls1v8 Posts: 34
    How about a Trunk. One where you could , hide three or four I mean store a family of 5 or 6's luggage. A backseat and rear windows that roll completely down would be nice too.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    Bodies in the trunk? Are you from New Jersey?

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  • ls1v8ls1v8 Posts: 34
    Parts of my family may be in Jersey. ;)
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    And my personal favorite-bring back massive engines (6+ litres) and power to the rear wheels. Not many cars still offer these features (unless you want a truck).
  • cinemafiacinemafia Posts: 57
    Well the retro styling is in now a days. The VW New Beetle started the ball rolling in the auto market, and it's being continued with the Chrysler PT Cruiser, already out on the streets now. The 50's style is being rehashed in the new Ford Thunderbird, and a Chevrolet pickup based on the '53 Chevy style. So, don't be too surprised if start seeing the 50's, 60's, maybe even 70's remade in the coming ecelctic millenium of new cars.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    I don't see the new VW as retro, but I think you're right about the others. If you look closely at the VW, it is more accurately a postmodern interpretation of a "classic" design, but there is really not one line or curve on the new bug that replicates the old one. It's really more complex and interesting, I think.

    I LIKE the idea of putting personalit and humor back in cars, which is why I like the new bug and especially the Audi TT, but some retro designs, like the PT, are very unattractive to me...Chrysler is trying to do some very interesting things in design, but god, they simply do not know how to put an attractive nose on any of their cars...they are uniformly clunky in the front end, with the possible exception of the 300M. Nonetheless, I applaud the attempt at some unique styling, even if, in my eyes, they have more or less flopped. Funny, the two Chrysler designs I liked, they dropped! (The Pronto Spyder and ...oh, I forget, an entry level two seater, sort of a 6-clinder Viper). They must be getting even with me.

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  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    Speaking of retro, Robert Cumberford, about a year ago in Automobile, suggested that one of the domestic automakers build a full-size sedan based on pickup truck chassis and mechanicals. It would be an affordable rear-drive car for the masses, with V6 and V8 power and even manual shift. I'd buy one in a second. Big engine, 5-speed and soupbowl hubcaps. As they say in the beer ads, "it doesn't get much better than this".

    I think the MoPar two-seater was called the Copperhead. What happened to the four-door Charger?
  • emkayusaemkayusa Posts: 7
    Now that developement costs are coming down (thanks to computers) we are seeing alot more originality, and retro styling in todays and tomorrows cars. I love this trend, the 70's,
    80's, and 90's were hard times for car designs. But now thinks are looking up, we have the Beetle, PT Cruiser ( I saw one on the road for the first time....beautifull, the Prowler, and others. On the way are the T-bird, Nissan's next 240, Chevy's cool truck/roadster,and many others coming.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    You think the PT is pretty? Wow...eyes of the beholder I guess...I think it's one mutt of a car myself. Thank god it's small, though...could become kind of a cute runt sort of the old VW. Chrysler cars need serious nose therapy. Why do American cars have to be so bombastic and styled like they were contracted for a French bordello circa 1900? It really bugs me that we can't put out cars that are simple and lovely, without all these woo-woos and scoops and tortured lines and fat snouts....

    Yeah, Cumberford is great...remember his wooden car?

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  • gkelly3gkelly3 Posts: 38
    Why can't we have split windshields? No optical distortion, and much safet (flat safety glass is stronger). Also, you only have to replace one pane. Now if I could just get running boards on my PT Cruiser...
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    It might help! Actually, that's a great idea for the car...running boards and a split should write Chrysler with that one...wish I knew how to manipulate photos, we could try it out on the computer.

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  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    if they'd just get rid of that dumb looking pseudo-37 Ford grill. I mean, if you wanta go with a retro copy of a 30's front end, why that one? It looks ridiculous, and somehow imperfect and out-of-plane. Now if they'd gone with a 38 Chev or 39-40 Ford kind of look, or even the 1941 look of the Cad, Buick and Chev. By the way, in terms of what I'd like to see revived in cars-[I've said it before] why not even a LITTLE bit of chrome trim, stainless and brightwork? Especially if you're gonna go retro, why not a tasteful, 39 Chev front on the PT, done with some fine, restrained brightwork, instead of this stamped out, painted plastic look that is so much a part of new cars today. I just hate all these look alike, bland, monchromatic Camry clones! All new cars are built with the same formula-stamped-out, one piece, monochromatic front and rear, slapped on with pop rivets. Bring back some of the flair and originality from the 50's and 60's.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    Okay, I'm no structural engineer, but I know if you put enough pressure on a flat piece, it breaks, while a curved (domed) piece will withstand more pressure, because it transfers it to the base of the dome. Also, pilots sometimes complain about split windsheilds in general av planes (although I don't think it would bother me.) The real reason carmakers don't do that, however, is that with a split windshield, you have to have two robots to insert the windsheild, where you only need one with a single piece.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,334
    Yes, but robots NEVER complain!

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  • mmcswmmcsw Posts: 29
    Today it is just about impossible to find a vehicle on a new car dealer's lot that isn't loaded with all the bells and whistles. I was at the Chevy dealership the other Sunday (so I wouldn't be pestered by sales personnel) and it seemed that every full size pickup truck on the lot stickered at $28 grand plus. The only low option vehicles (of any type) he had were some S-10's for about $14 grand and even those still had air, amfm cass and power steering.
    Today it is nearly impossible to get a basic automobile. Wouldn't it be nice to get a full size Chevy that didn't look like a rebadged Caddy?
    30 or 40 years ago you could get a base model Biscayne with manual everything. Do we really need all the junk that is standard equipment even on economy cars today? Simple cars are more reliable simply because there are less things to break. Do I need 4wd, a huge V-8, a killer stereo, cruise control, leather, etc in my wife's grocery getter? REALITY CHECK!!
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    It is a green Ford Contour SVT. The boredom was left out on the assembly line. So was the horn..a good horn - that is...

    I wish they would bring back...or simply some nice sounding horns on automobiles. Certainly, with all of today's technology, someone could economically produce some horns that could make interesting sounds.

    Horns don't have to be wimpy or sound blaring. I'm sure a pleasnt sound can be developed.

    The Contour's stock horn is embarrassing. So are alot of other mid-priced or low priced vehicles. I put a set of late model LHS horns on my car. My car's horn system sounds alot better now.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    those purple tail lights come back. Seems like alot of 1950 Fords, Olds, Plymouths,and Pontiacs had those.
  • mmcswmmcsw Posts: 29
    Are you refering to the "blue dot" tail lights? You can buy a lens insert from the aftermarket (i.e. J.C. Whitney) to put into your tail light lens. You just have to drill the appropiate sized round hole in your lens and they just pop right in, but I think that technically they're illegal in most states.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    mmcsw, thanks for the thought. I always wondered how their tail lights got that color.
    Haven't picked up a Whitney catalogue in years! Drilling a hole in your existing tail light lens is scary. Me thinks that I won't do it any time soon. Although, I'm pretty handy with a drill because I used to do machine and die work....
    If you had a PT Cruiser, then installing some of those things on it would be neat.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    I come across a road kill Racoon down here in Georgia/Alabama, there's a strong urge to stop and cut it's tail off. it makes a good antenna ornament! Unfortunately, my antenna is motorized and retracts everytime the radio is turned off......
  • dhoffdhoff Posts: 282
    I can't believe you guys haven't brought up this one yet...

    Why don't they bring back the foot-operated, floor-mounted headlight dimmer switch? What was wrong with it in the first place?

  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    dhoff-I've wondered this for years. My old cars have the foot operated dimmer, and I find them much easier to use than the already overloaded, corporate "stalks" with all those other functions jammed on a flimsy plastic stick! On a two lane road at night, where you have to dim frequently, it's much easier to do it with your foot than to constantly reach for the stock with your hand. Bring back the foot dimmer switch!
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    I got one. Whatever happened to the antenna in the windshield? I hadn't thought about it in years until I had to spend $200 replacing the power antenna in my car. It was great not having to worry about vandalism, car washes,etc.
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    Re: Floor mounted dimmer switch.

    Years ago, over here in West Georgia and East Alabama, the floor mounted dimmer switches had to be legislated back into autos and pickup trucks.
    Why? For Safety! Many operators were getting their feet tangled in the steering wheel.
  • carnut4carnut4 Posts: 574
    those 20 year old chicks wearing short shorts driving with their feet on the steering wheel...
  • dgraves1dgraves1 Posts: 414
    Plus, in Alabama and Georgia, your hands are already occupied - One on the wheel and one holding the beer can.
  • moparmadmoparmad Posts: 197
    I wish they would bring back cars with some brand identity.When you look at old cars a Ford looks like a Ford, a Poncho looks like a Poncho,and it's your fathers Oldsmobile.Now everything looks pretty much alike.And everyone is in a competition to see who can gain that extra ounce of ugly in their knock off of whatever car was most popular last year.Where is the style,where is the personality?Maybe I'm just gettin' old.
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