My 55 Studebaker President with automatic transmission has “anti-creep” system. When at idle, switch on throttle linkage activates solenoid to apply pressure to hydraulic rear brakes. Releases when throttle is tapped. Works great! Some Studebakers with manual transmissions have similar “hill holder” system to resist rolling backwards on a hill. These aren’t really weird. Just useful.
I think AMC Ambassador robbed the 1954 Rolls-Royce Vignale of it’s roofline. As far as the portable pooter goes…well…I just feel bad for the chauffeur…that jib must really stink !
My 1975 el Camino SS had swivel bucket seats. They were cool to swivel and talk to people, but actually made it a little harder to get out.
The “hill holder” feature was adopted later by Subaru. My sons Loyale wagon had it.
A more modern vehicle than the ones mentioned in this article, but an unexpected and useful feature on my '02 Explorer Sport Trac is the rear window that rolls down. It’s a great way to ventilate the cabin and gives the cabin the feel of openness when all four windows, sunroof, and rear window are all open.
My family owned a late 60s Buick 225 with the Wonder Bar radio and the footswitch that moved the dial. I was about 11, 12 years old and when I could get the keys, I would go out and show my friends that you could move the dial by just pointing at it with your finger. It was fun to see the look on their faces. I did not know that it was also available on the Cadillac. Thanks for the information.
Yes my 1947 Studebaker Commander Regal Deluxe Coupe for 5 passengers with the wraparound 4 piece rear window known as The Starlight Coupe also had the hill hold system with its three on the tree with overdrive it worked fantastic. If I remember correctly if you are on a hill facing up, you could keep it in gear, lock the brake by pressing the brake pedal, then take your foot off the brake, it would not roll backwards until you release the clutch and pressed the gas.
Citroen also had headlights that turned with the steering, starting with the DS and later the SM. Also self-centering steering: while sitting still, turn the wheel to full lock and let go - watch in disbelief as it spins right back to neutral.
My '62 TBird doesn’t have as many party tricks as my SM did, but the swing away wheel never fails to raise eyebrows…
Hi Way Hi Fi was the name of the turntable. It played 16 rpm 7 inch records with small center holes.
I have some in my record collection but have never played them because the music taste was middle of the road fifties pop (which I have little toleration for) and my 3 speed turntable plays 78, 45, and 33, not 16.
The player was a slot and latch design (Google Ding Dong Schoolhouse 45 players made by RCA for children to see the design). You did not have a tonearm.
That tilt away wheel wasn’t restricted to Thunderbirds and Galaxies. That feature was available in the Mustang from '67 to ? I know that it extended to at least the '69 model. I don’t see this as useless on the same level as, say, the falconry set or the ice maker.
Re: GM Mason jar vacuum ashtray; Throwing cigarette butts out the window is not an acceptable practice.
The weirdest of all of the Citroen’s features was that there was really no need to attach the spare in the event of a flat. It would run on 3 wheels!
Are you kidding me? Around here they like to do that and then during resale claim it had never been smoked in.
Yeah. Right. As if.
Most new tangled cars don’t have ashtrays or cigarette lighters anymore I think they now call them power ports.
It really annoys me when they do it during the dry season.
You missed the “Salesman’s Food Cooker/Warmer”. It was an under the hood setup designed for traveling salesmen that consisted of a metal pot resting on top of the exhaust manifold. It was available for several popular cars back in the day. The under the hood fumes probably added a nice flavor touch!
My wife’s 2011 Mercedes has a drivers seat massager, but not one for the passenger!
Maybe not in the weirdest category but a feature on the 57 Cadillac and probably others is static collectors, which are helical coil copper inserts installed in the wheel areas to prevent static generated by the car while in motion from interfering with radio reception.
Now, beat all those big words.
my 65 Galaxie has a light above the e-brake. it’s hard to see in the pic but it says “BRAKE” on it. not recalling if it works at the moment. this is a very original car with 39K on the odometer but I’m not really sure if this is a factory item…
I worked in an auto repair shop in Columbus Ohio while in college in 1979 and 1980 and I worked on an early generation camaro with GM labeled traction canisters at the top of the rear wheel wells accessible in the trunk that I believe was meant for snow. Had a button under the dash to spray traction fluid on the rear tires.
While working at an auto repair shop in 1979 and 1980 in Columbus Ohio I worked on a 1961 Ford Thunderbird with an electrically heated windshield that had no visible wires and had a second generator for the windshield that was labeled Danger High Voltage.
Doing LOFs at a local shop in '89 I went out to bring a big 'ol Caddy (I think), with huge tailfins on it, in for the job. I couldn’t figure out how to start it. Turns out you turn the key and press the throttle pedal all the way to the floor. This pushes the starter button, which is located under the pedal…