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How automotive air conditioning went from miraculous to mundane

It was at exactly this time of year in the late 1970s when my family embarked on our longest-ever road trip from our home in New York state to visit relatives in Louisiana. We drove our Plymouth Satellite station wagon, which had the sticky summer combination of vinyl seats and no A/C. The trip took us four days, because by late afternoon my mother and my sister would be complaining so much that we’d have to stop driving and search for a motel with air conditioning and a pool ...


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My wife has a 1974 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow that has an A/C system that, like everything in the UK is either under-engineered, like Lucas electrics, or totally OVER engineered, like the A/C system in the Rolls. A very expensive car to repair, when the A/C stopped working, she only drives it in cool weather. 

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