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Your grandpa may find Snapchat confusing and Instagram stories hard to verify. But these veterans were able to take advantage of the evolution of automobiles and discover the joy of manual windows, cassette players or manually-locking doors. Most young car enthusiasts are only familiar with state-of-the-art cars and consider the vintage features of classic cars to be weird and downright bizarre.

Cars were unimaginable without hand-operated window cranks, manual exterior mirrors, and foot-activated light switches. There was nothing quite like cruising down the boulevard with the front mirror pointing in your face with a cassette player cranked to 11. With modernized cars supporting features like air conditioning and internet connectivity, these features which were once fashionable have fallen into oblivion. , and no one talks about it anymore. Buckle up as we uncover ten ridiculous classic car features that no longer exist anywhere.

10/10 Swivel seats

1975 Chevy with swivel seats
through AutoTrader Classics

This idea is one of those that sounds fantastic on paper but doesn’t turn out great in practice. Imagine not having to worry about climbing overcrowded cabins. The potential was real to have a seat that swivels and allows passengers to get in and out of tight spaces.

Related: We’d Buy These Cheap Classic Cars Just For Their Interiors

Swivel seats in classic cars
Photo credit: Car-from-UK

However, these seats did not lock properly, causing safety issues. While fixed seats are the way to go, for now we wouldn’t mind seeing those classic features return.

9/10 Iter Avto

by Lolwot

Before the GPS era, Iter Avto was the only solution that looked like the GPS we know today. These rather old-school inventions consisted of a series of maps scrolling over a meter with stenographers indicating your location.

1964 Iter Avto
Via: Infobae

Satellites did not exist then, which means that any change due to bad weather or accident would render the whole system moot. You had to constantly check and scroll the map which was a distraction. We are happy that modern communication has arrived and taken over.

8/10 Swing-A-Way steering wheel

Swivel steering
by Hagerty

Ever since cars were created, it made sense for steering wheels to stay in place for the best use case. Ford tried to break the norm in 1961 by introducing a wheel that could move to the right and give way to the driver to give more room to get in or out of the car.

A passenger could even use it to steer the car into its offset position. Nightmares such as the wheel unexpectedly unlocking can lead to various security issues.

7/10 Bumpers for water balloons


To think that this ridiculous feature that looks like something out of an almost-understood cartoon is unsettling. A project manager to develop new safety devices for city cars imagined bumpers filled with water thinking that they would act as shock absorbers in the event of a collision.

car bumpers filled with water
Via: LA Times

Although crazy and weird, this invention worked for a while and taxis in big cities used it. However, their replacement was expensive and people abandoned them.

6/10 wrist rotation system

direction by rotation of the wrist
via detroit office

One thing is certain about automakers; they will do everything to stand out from the competition. Chevy tried to reinvent the wheel with this gadget. It would lock the driver’s wrists into a bracket on either side with levers to change gears.

It never saw practical use because there were several drawbacks to restricting the driver’s hand movements. Also, many people found this idea too confusing and preferred the traditional wheel.

5/10 The lightning rod gear lever

lightning rod gear lever
via the Corvette forum

Some cars have cool controllers, but this example is not one of them. Hurst tried to change the game by introducing two levers into the change equation. It was easy to notice that the driver could easily grab the unintended shifter.

Via: Psyne

Moreover, this design was too obstructive and unattractive. This system demanded a lot from the computers of the time. Here’s an example of classic car features that proves that less is more.

4/10 Ventilation windows

Vent window on a 1966 Ford Mustang GT Coupe
Via Mecum Auctions

Until the 1980s, this ventilation system was very popular, and no one thought that it was possible not to include it in a car. Here’s how it worked: you could spin a front quarter window on a vertical axis and tilt it, directing air into the cockpit while the car was in motion.

Classic ventilation window
by Dubizzle

An experienced smoker might throw the cigarette butt out the small window without checking. If you didn’t have a convertible car, this was the easiest way to circulate the air in the cabin without spending extra energy to run the AC unit.

3/10 Electric antenna

Electric antenna (antennamastrus)
via antenna mastsrus

These antennas had a motorized mechanism that retracted when you turned the radio on and off to improve signal reception. We’d love to see this cool oddity again, but back in the day, engines only lasted a few years before failing.

Related: 5 Car Design Features We Wish They’d Bring Back (5 We Hope Will Be Gone Soon)

electric antenna (rx7club)
Designed by rx7club

If you let your radio go into an automated car wash, the brushes would do a rough job of bending the antenna, making it impossible to retract.

2/10 Automatic seat belts

Automatic seat belts-2
via Curbside Classic

Here’s another idea that sounds better on paper than in practice. The idea was to prevent you from forgetting to fasten your seat belt. It requires everyone to buckle up and ensures everyone’s safety.

automatic seat belts

However, it’s one of those classic car features that we’re glad no longer exists, as the automatic seat belt required some of the driver’s work too. Ironically, it also resulted in injury if you ignored the last part of the abdominal part buckling.

Related: 5 Classic Car Features We’d Pay To Have In Modern Cars (& 5 We’re Glad We Gone)

1/10 Wing mirrors

Fender-mounted mirrors
via The Mirror

The Fender mirrors were a great design that looked cool but fell out of fashion for a variety of reasons. Fender mirrors used to be common, but in the real world they’re rubbish. They should help the driver to check his blind spot without taking his eyes off the road.

1982 Honda Prelude with fender mirrors
Via Mecum Auctions

However, they’re too far away, and unless you have Superman’s supervision, it’s not realistic to see a small mirror from that far away. It would take most drivers longer to determine if the space is open when squinting in the rearview mirror, unlike the exterior mirrors we know today.

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