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vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/17/20 7:27 p.m.

Peugeot 505s had great seats to keep you comfortable while waiting for the tow truck!

Appleseed MegaDork
8/17/20 7:30 p.m.

I cant believe we've overlooked the classic Toyota crotch vent. Everyone needs to experience that at least once in their lives.

OjaiM5 Reader
8/17/20 7:39 p.m.

How 'bout the night panel feature in a Saab? For when you really want to sleep well at the wheel.

glueguy (Forum Supporter)
glueguy (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/17/20 7:39 p.m.
solfly said:


GMT400 Chevy trucks had an option for a retractable underhood work light.


The GMT400 with buckets and center console had a great feature.  The cupholder in the center console was easy to pull up to reveal a cavernous hidden storage spot that wasn't part of the real console housing.


keithedwards Reader
8/17/20 7:39 p.m.

My Austin-Princess Vanden Plas limo had 4 hydraulic jacks, operated by a switch on the floor.

Certain SU carbs had a little pin to raise the piston, to check whether the mixture was correct.

Old (British?) mechanical fuel pumps had a lever to prime the pump (or fill the fuel bowls).

TR2, TR3, and TR4 Triumphs had a hand crank in case your battery or starter wouldn't start the engine.  Also useful for adjusting timing (ignition and valve).


OjaiM5 Reader
8/17/20 7:44 p.m.

Citroen Hydropneumatic suspension

Datsun310Guy MegaDork
8/17/20 8:01 p.m.

My '66 Datsun 1600 had a little hand pump on the console for WW fluid.  The tank was near the radiator and ran to the console to the pump then out to 2 jets in front of the windshield.  

wlkelley3 UberDork
8/17/20 8:58 p.m.

Do old cars count? Always thought the pocket door on the Kaiser Darrin was pretty neat.

Opel GT's have a couple. One is the cable operated manually operated roll-over headlights. That's how they turn on, switch in the roll-over mechanism turns the headlights/taillights on. Also the windshield washer is a foot operated pump where the dead-pedal usually is. Also operates the wipers one time.

M2Pilot Dork
8/17/20 9:04 p.m.

My C2 Corvette had 2 compartments behind the seats.  One held the battery. The other had a plastic plug in the bottom & was the perfect size for a 6 pack and ice.


ShawnG UltimaDork
8/17/20 10:43 p.m.

Big 1930's cars, Duesenberg, Packard, Lincoln etc have variable boost vacuum power brakes. There are four settings, one through four range from "dry" to "ice".  Packard and Lincoln are cable brakes with vacuum boost. Duesenbergs are hydraulic.

Pierce-Arrow used a mechanically boosted cable system. The brake pedal also engages a clutch on the transmission output which turns a helix and helps pull the cables tight. It works great in traffic, very powerful but at low speed the car will roll a good 6" before the brakes start to apply and it can scare the hell out of you the first time you drive it.

A lot of the big cars have a Bijur chassis lubricator. Engine vacuum pulls up on a spring loaded plunger in the lubricator oil tank. When you shut the engine off, the plunger drops and the lubricator pumps oil to all the pivots in the suspension and steering.

Stutz used worm-gear differentials rather than helical.

Packard V12's have a zero-lash valvetrain. The roller-tipped rocker arms are on eccentric pivots which are rotated by engine oil pressure acting on little plungers. The eccentric rotates and moves the rocker arm up to the cam and valve stem until the valve lash is eliminated. These engines are incredibly quiet. The fan makes more noise than the engine.

Oakland V8's were at a weird angle (60 degrees if I remember) and they had a shake. to counteract the shake, one motor mount had a stub that went into the timing cover. There was an eccentric on the cam that would push on the motor mount every two crank rotations and upset the shake so the engine ran smooth.

Our 1913 H.A. Moyer has a USL Starter-Generator built into the bellhousing. The bellhousing is the stator and the flywheel is the rotor. It starts on 24 volts but charges on 12. I had to build a new motor contactor to make it work. The car is a hybrid. The factory instructions tell you to run the car on the electric motor until you get to about 8mph, if you would like to go faster, turn the fuel on and start the engine, then disengage the starter. If you need extra power, engage the electric motor again. The advertising campaigns read: "Hills are a joke to a Moyer!"

Our Detroit Electric used Nickle-Iron batteries.

z31maniac MegaDork
8/18/20 6:53 a.m.

In reply to ShawnG :

It sounds like the Packard V12 was similar to the Ducati Desmodromic valves?

914Driver GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/18/20 7:12 a.m.

'88-95 C-1500s had a cool under the hood mag base light on a reel.  Pop the hood in a junk yard and it's the first thing missing.

keithedwards Reader
8/18/20 8:16 a.m.

Triumph TR2s, TR3s, and TR4s came with a small vertical screw jack and a ratchet handle. You used it to raise either side of the car. Just pull back the footwell carpet (or floormat), remove the 3" rubber jack hole plug, and engage the hook of the jack in a notch in the frame. You could even use it without getting out of the car.

This describes the tool roll, including the jack and ratchet. http://www.tr3a.info/Tools.htm

DirtyBird222 UberDork
8/18/20 11:03 a.m.
Appleseed said:

I cant believe we've overlooked the classic Toyota crotch vent. Everyone needs to experience that at least once in their lives.

I just posted about this on facebook. 

RossD MegaDork
8/18/20 11:19 a.m.

1988 Subaru GL wagon had an led on the key so you can find the keyhole. Also had hill assist.

I like the 80s and 90s VWs with the audio tape trays with an indicator.

The Mk1 MR2 had a Supercharged light for when the clutch on the supercharged engaged.

DirtyBird222 UberDork
8/18/20 11:24 a.m.

The Honda Fit is full of quirky fun features. 

My favorite is the 2nd Gen Fit as it has dash mounted cup holders for driver and passenger


2nd and 3rd Gen Fits also have a "Comfort Mode" for when you want to pull off to the side of the road to read a book and sip on some tea. 


The 2nd and 3rd gen fits also have "magic seats" that fold up or down for lots of different configurations of hauling stuff. The 2nd gen again wins this battle as the seats fold flat and anyone under 6ft could sleep in the back. The 3rd gen has a slight hump that makes it umcomfortable. 

solfly HalfDork
8/18/20 11:33 a.m.
Appleseed said:

I cant believe we've overlooked the classic Toyota crotch vent. Everyone needs to experience that at least once in their lives.

GMT400 trucks had that too

mtn (Forum Supporter)
mtn (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/18/20 11:34 a.m.

Came in here to mention the Night Panel on SAABs and crotch vents on Yotas. 


Not really sure if it fits, but I love the tailgates on the Ridgeline and old B-body wagons. Swing down or out, extremely useful in the sense that you don’t miss it until you don’t have it. Same with the 4Runner rear window that goes down. 

8/18/20 11:35 a.m.

Citroen Headlights that turn with the steering wheel


Rolls Royce used hydraulic pressure to actuate the shift linkage so as to not overtax the driver.

Tom1200 Dork
8/18/20 11:35 a.m.

The one feature I initially hated on the Outback was the electronic parking brake but as long as you are buckled it releases itself when you go. It has the hill holder feature but on the rare occasions I need the hill holder I use the park brake instead.

My all time favorite feature is the upright mounting of the spare tire in my Volvo 142.

edwardh80 Reader
8/18/20 11:39 a.m.

The Lexus GS400 I owned for a while (it was a '99 - not sure if newer version have it) had wipers where you could choose the "down" position. In summer, you'd have them all the way down, for winter you could get them to sit slightly higher up the windscreen so that heat from the windscreen vent would keep them from freezing. You needed to push them firmly from one position to the other and they would snap into position. The top of the sweep was still at the same spot, which I don't quite understand how they got to work.

Powar (Forum Supporter)
Powar (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
8/18/20 11:47 a.m.
solfly said:
Appleseed said:

I cant believe we've overlooked the classic Toyota crotch vent. Everyone needs to experience that at least once in their lives.

GMT400 trucks had that too

So does my squarebody.

93gsxturbo SuperDork
8/18/20 11:56 a.m.

Ford Probes have a "summer" and "winter" wiper positon selectable by a jumper on the wiper motor.

Galant VR4s have selectable dash illumination (but not radio or gauges.

Old Fords with the keyless button entry - think 80s and 90s models - can be "rekeyed" by moving jumpers inside the keyless module and they all lock by pressing the 7/8 and 9/0 buttons at on the door at the same time.  

solfly HalfDork
8/18/20 12:03 p.m.

Tri 5 Chevys have the fuel filler hidden behind the left tail light and a lot of 60s-70s cars had them behind the license plate.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
8/18/20 12:10 p.m.

Subaru parking lot switch.


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