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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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Our 1957 DeSoto Firedome had A/C.

Additionally, dealers all over America were installing after market A/C units on cars where the option was not available or simply too expensive. After market units were substantially less costly and dealers sold/installed them at big mark ups.

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