This question is the retort to last week's question. It's about the crank windows of the world. The manual transmissions. The carburetors. The rally gauges and shaft radios. White letter tires and two door body styles. You name it, we can appreciate it!
This question isn't necessarily about wishing the past never became the past (I personally love power windows in 4-door vehicles!) but that's fine if you feel that way. So tell us, what vintage automotive technology do you truly love?
1. Fuel injection of any kind. And in spite of the rest of its faults (and errors concerning how it was deployed, oh yeah, and also the not-very-nice people who were doing all the deploying) fuel injection even helped make a superior plane out of the Messerschmitt Bf-109.
2. Disc brakes. They generally put a stop to the terror that was drum braking systems.
3. Overhead camshafts. I know peeps here love the LS engines, but lets get real, real power gets made with overhead cams.
4. The turbocharger. Getting them to work with older engines was a bit of a chore, but in the end, with modern engine management systems, they're practically on everything these days.
5. Halogen lighting. The way forward to safety during nighttime driving has never been more illuminated, although it has since been wildly eclipsed by HID, LED, and now laser lighting systems. Halogen led the way, however.
6. In or on-car cameras: Nothing woke up the automobile in the entertainment world quite like the idea of an in-car or on-car camera shot:
Vintage things that are either gone or very difficult to get now:
-kick panel vents
-vent windows (I get they can bring hassles)
-manual crank windows
-manual seats with intelligent adjustments rather than make you wish for a power seat
-radio delete plates (I don't want a radio in all my things).
-manual buttons for things
-gauges that are independent of each other so it's not a whole cluster failing at once
-gas cap behind the licence plate
-a car you can drive with the windows down and not be buffeted by wind noise
-old refrigerant AC hasn't been matched that I have seen
-column shift for my auto trans commuter
-simple key locks (my 2013 truck has it on driver side only)
-Pontiacs with Ram Air hood scoops and hood tachs
Ones I probably don't really want:
-pop up cowl vent
-pop out front windshield
-factory CB, 8 track or record player
I agree with you that the buttons can be on the dash. I miss bench seats in the front, with usable legroom too now that front wheel drive is very common.
mechanical pushbutton to open trunk
weatherproof covers over exterior locks
handles or a grab cord across the back of the front seat
upholstery made of woven cloth
a real spare tire
pickups with front fender heights low enough that I don't need a ladder to check the oil and extra cost running boards to get in
This could be a long list for me… but I'll keep it short, only the important stuff.
You know they aren't supposed to be turned like that, right? That's what messes up the seals in most -- people making "scoops" out of them! It's only supposed to be kicked out at a 30-40 degree angle. When moving air will come in the low pressure front and exit the rear, circulating through the car. I know it "scoops" more air in when rotated forward, just not the way they are designed to work. They really do work well for circulating air throughout the car when opened at 30-40 degrees while moving. You do need to be moving about 40-45 though. Paired with kick-panel vents and cracking a rear window a bit they really get air circulating! Not as good as AC, but good enough for moderate weather.
Well worded advice - which I will totally ignore, I assure you. Not to sound ungrateful, but my windows, my angle. Been cranking them clear open on vintage cars since I was driving tri-five Chevys in the early '60s. Have I messed up seals? Probably - doesn't jump up as a problem I remember though. So, just like my nacho chips in the salsa, I'll continue to super-scoop my wing window air, thank you! 😃
I'm also a fan of vehicles that need personal, human interaction when it comes to Inspections. None of this newfangled plug-our-computer-into-your-computer stuff. Good old "open the hood and conduct eyes-on" Inspections, is what I say!
The vacuum switch opened Tripower carburetor systems with the wait for it reaction.
The combination of accelerator pumps to start cold and choke fast idle cam kick off procedure. The manually operated pop up fresh air vent in the cowl area. Spotlights with hand controls and high and low beam settings. Front seat back assist hand cords. To name a few. Reserve fuel switch over valves too.
Those were awesome!?!?
More coupes and sports cars that don't start at $100,000, and many fewer SUV's.
At least a manual transmission option on coupes and sports cars (BMW!!!!!!!!)
Real buttons and knobs for the stereo and climate controls. Some touch screens with many menus are just dangerous.
Please stop increasing the size of each successive car model. My older BMW's are starting to look like miniatures.
Real headlights. The slashes on today’s cars project significant forward lighting because they’re blindingly bright. That’s because the shapes of the lights are inefficient. Headlights were round for so long because they use the properties of the parabolic dish. All the light emitting from the source is projected FORWARD.
Not much technology but cars with "wing windows"/vent windows" with no power windows, make summer drivable. Also, as a kid, the first time I rode in a car with the new fandango M-22 "Rock Crusher", thought that was really hip. Loved that whine!
Maybe that's why I now have a 1970 El Camino SS454 that has wing windows and Rock Crusher? Livin-the-dream baby!
Lots of good comments here. One of the coolest features on cars that has been lost to time is exhausts that exit through the rear bumper. Lots of cars used them in the 50's. In fact, you could do an article showing all of the classics made even more beautiful by this feature.
Another feature that I personally like, but many others might disagree with, is manual steering. I hate having leaky steering on an older car and would much prefer the improved road feel that is achieved with manual steering. And an added benefit is that it helps keep us older drivers in shape.
Vent windows, surely. Never understood saddling a fine engine regardless power with air conditioning and the other gimracks people think they need.
Also overdrive, a vast improvement in any old car because you can always shift down but it's a real drag to run out of gears.
I have a Marvel Mystery upper cylinder lubricator on my Dodge truck, not factory but common add on.
Also I miss cowl induction hoods Chevelles would open thermostatically Camaros by the throttle.
I also miss simple radios that turn on by turning the knob and tune by the other knob. I can’t even listen to the radio on new cars because it’s too complicated while driving.
I also miss temperature gauges that go up going up hill and down going downhill and don’t just sit in the middle always with no temperature on the dial.