Forgotten features on old cars


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You can still get them in modern cars Ben as optional extras but they can be expensive.

So now you know Mary, here endeth your first lesson in "Obsolete Functions On A Post War Car". I trust you will much richer in your education of the motoring industry. My thanks go to our generous ben

Not if the street or road speed limit is 30mph or less

On 7/17/2021 at 7:29 PM, IAN FINN said:

My old Minor 1000 had 4/60 air conditioning  It was 4 windows open and 60mph just.

I read this to hubby and he laughed too. He then said his dad had the same car and a HEATER was optional. Hard to imagine nowadays.

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I think in my first Mini a heater was an optional extra for about £10 and automatic transmission in a car had barely been heard of. With modern auto transmissions you can’t even roll back on hill starts.

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Car heaters were still optional until the early 1970's, Mini, Ford Anglia, Hillman Minx and others come to mind...

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Another thing re cars. What's happened to all the flies and insects that used to spatter the windscreen. Back in the 50's there used to be plastic fly deflectors that you could clip onto the bonnet mascot. Have modern farming methods reduced the insect population? Come to that, whats happened to bonnet mascots? The Merc. pointed star used to fold on impact and the Spirit of Ecstasy on a Rolls used to disappear into the radiator. I suppose Health and Safety has removed them all now.

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2 hours ago, philmayfield said:

I think in my first Mini a heater was an optional extra for about £10 and automatic transmission in a car had barely been heard of. With modern auto transmissions you can’t even roll back on hill starts.

My first mini had an optional floor pan fitted when new but didn't last.

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I’ve seen them replaced with strong cardboard and sprayed over! A friend who had an 1100 found a ham sandwich on the back floor. It must have been painted over when the vehicle was constructed!

It used to be a regular weekend job touching up the rust spots on the car.

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5 hours ago, catfan said:

A lot of cars ran around with plywood floors too.

My mini in the 70s had off-cuts of carpet in the foot wells so the road couldn’t be seen through the floor. Did me well though for a few years, I used to drive up to Nottingham from Oxfordshire with a toddler and a baby in the pram-top on the back seat and the pram wheels sticking out of the drop down lid boot, no number plate visible.  Wouldn’t get away with all that these days. 

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Car terminally expired on Sunday, got the local garage to check it out today and it's definitely dead. Rang around to get a hire car for a few days until I get a new car and they're very busy now we've reopened to tourists.  Nothing available until Friday. Eldest son has two cars and has just let me know I can use one of them. Rang hire car place to cancel the car for Friday and got the feeling they think I'm doing it on purpose to just annoy them. Not in a good mood now!

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We had a mini traveler which had a pizza dish to show you what speed you were going but no heater, I see that the new mini has not changed much as it still has a pizza dish for speedo. 

When it comes to car heaters at least this is one thing we can thanks the Jap's for.   

Just rememberd we also had little orange things that shot out from side of the car, never did find out whats for.

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Mary, those little 'orange things' as you call them were indicators, like little semaphore arms. Prior to their fitting,  the hapless driver simply stuck his arm out if turning right and did a circling motion when turning left, (it used to be in the Highway code). Don't suppose young drivers would have any idea if you did it nowadays.

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On occasions, my sister, mum and I would be invited by Emily and George of Garden Street to join them for a day at the coast. Dad never went as he was at work.

 

Uncle George's car had those old fashioned indicators which fascinated me. I wasn't a popular participant as I was inclined to travel sickness and didn't always manage to give sufficient warning to enable uncle George to pull over!

 

Certainly, when I was learning to drive, the hand signals mentioned by Beekay were still a requirement of the Highway Code and I believe one could be asked to demonstrate them as part of the test.

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They were called Trafficators...

 

Yesterday succumbed (after more than 20yrs) to the idea of a cold beer in this hot weather. The selection in the shops is bewildering and nowhere could I find my all time favourite Double Diamond nor Pedigree nor Bass. What is it with these weird names, do they make it taste better?

Chose McEwans Championship but didn't realise it's quite strong, 7.4 ABV. Anyway pour a glass and I was instantly 6yrs old again. The smell took me back to being a little boy carrying an enamel jug of beer for my grandad from the beer-off on Sneinton Dale.

 

Lessons learned.

Beer, even cold beer, does not cool you down, in fact it makes you sweat.

Beer does not taste the way I remember it.

500ml is more than I can drink without feeling a bit woozy

Apparently I laugh a lot after drinking beer.

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So now you know Mary, here endeth your first lesson in "Obsolete Functions On A Post War Car". I trust you will much richer in your education of the motoring industry. My thanks go to our generous benefactors for their enlightening contributions.

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Now you'll be spoiling Mary, Monseiur. The manual choke, always used in conjunction with a half matchstick to stop the bloody thing from going back in. Never realised you could twist it and it would stay out. Dip switch, with that reassuring click each time you pressed it. Another one Phil, vacuum wipers on Ford Pops, always slowed to a stop when climbing hills.

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1 hour ago, philmayfield said:

How about the foot operated dip switch and the manual choke?

I used to think it was magic then automatic when the oncoming car had headlights on full beam. Later I understood and ruined my fairytale illusion.

 

BK my choke was kept open by a block of wood made by my dad.

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On obsolete car functions, I recall a foot operated windscreen washer (rubber plunger of sorts) on some cars.

 

I'd almost forgotten that we had manual chokes and being told that it drank about three times as much petrol if you forgot to push it back in when the engine had warmed a little.  Those were the days when you could flood the carb through inexperience.

 

Anyone of an age will remember 'static' seat belts before they introduced the 'inertia reel' type as a chargeable option.

 

 

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My Triumph had a light switch that you turned, the first click just turned on the offside parking lights to save the battery, second click all parkers and third click headlights

Do you still have to leave your parking lights on at night in the UK?

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My 1960 Rover 3litre had an oil level gauge incorporated into the fuel gauge all you did was turn on the ignition press the toggle switch and show on the fuel gauge if it was full or less depending on the oil level, it was handy as the engine used a pint of oil every 250 miles most leaked out of the rear main seal.

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My left hand drive 1958 Opel Olympia Rekord, had a headlight dipswitch on the floor, and a rather lovely clockwork clock, in the face of the glovebox.  You wound it by opening the glove box and rotating the whole of the clock.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Oztalgian said:

Do you still have to leave your parking lights on at night in the UK?

 

Not if the street or road speed limit is 30mph or less

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  • Cliff Ton changed the title to Forgotten features on old cars

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