We live in an era with modern cars with their technology, smooth lines, and the “Look at my GT-R!” lifestyle. We must admit that new cars are a thing of beauty and technology. They are safe, comfortable, and have electronic everything. Year after year, we witness newer and newer cars, with the best and unseen technology. Some can be started with a voice or a push of a button. Some can park themselves and some can be driven on ice and snow and there is no way that you will get lost while on the road because they are connected to GPS and tell you where to go. After all of that, enter the old car that is in pristine condition. The owner is sitting inside with a smile on his face while others stare.
#1 POP-UP HEADLIGHTS
Do you remember the pop-up head lights? It all started with the second generation Corvette (C2) when all of a sudden the headlights were “gone”. Everyone stopped to look because of the sleek styling and with a flip of a switch the headlights popped up. Those are a thing of the past now due to running lights and safety regulations. After all, what happens when the headlights don’t pop like they are supposed to?
#2 THIN A-PILLARS
The A-pillars used to be so thin back in the days which made driving much easier because you could see much better. With front and side impact airbags, now there is a wide a-pillar in the way because of the safety device inside it.
#3 MANUAL GEARBOXES
The manual shifter has nearly been replaced by automatic transmissions and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. I grew up learning manual gearboxes on the farm in one of those farm trucks that no one could break. It wouldn’t go 50 MPH, but you also didn’t want to go that fast either. Today there are very few new cars that are manual, the automatic gearbox is tuned to get the most of your power to the ground.
#4 T-TOP ROOFS
My dream car is the “Bandit” car. Cruising down the highway with the tops off like a convertible but not a convertible. Yes, most of them would leak because the seals wear out, but popping the t-tops off made sure everyone knew you had the best of both worlds.
#5 SIMPLE INTERIORS
Remember when you had an interior with a radio and a couple of heater/AC switches? It was simple and functional. Now there are what seems like 45 buttons that control every aspect of comfort. I remember when it was a group effort just to get the seat adjusted.
#6 KEYS LIKE KEYS
One of my cars has a push button start that starts the car as long as I have the “key” inside the car. It’s actually the remote for locking/unlocking the doors and opening the trunk. My truck has a similar device, but I insert part of the remote in the ignition. I like keys that had to be inserted in the ignition and a different key for the doors.
#7 BEING ABLE TO FIX OUR OWN CAR
Remeber live before fuel injection? There was a time when one could say “I have an edelbrock 4 barrel carburetor” with pride. When your car wouldn’t start, there were only a few could things to check. The battery, radiator, and getting fuel to the carb. You could climb in the engine bay and work on what you needed to. Cars today obviously have much more electronics and even connect to your house and mobile phone. Having an experienced local auto mechanic that’s up to date with the latest technology is a must.
#9 ATTRACTIVE STEERING WHEELS
The old three-spoke steering wheels were a thing of beauty. They had the manufacturer emblem in the center and had only one job, turn the wheels. Some makes today have buttons to answer calls, adjust the cruise, control the radio, even shift the transmission with paddle shifters.
Today’s cars may be focused more on safety and comfort, but there is still nothing like turning heads with that old car as you drive by a fellow car lover.