The automobile has been around since 1886. Since then, what we consider as vehicles has changed dramatically. With those changes have come impressive innovations, continually outdoing themselves as old technology gives way to new.
There was a time when the seatbelt and even windshield wipers were considered the technology of the future for automobiles. Today, changes like those are happening at a rapid pace. There are plenty of articles focusing on that, however. This article pays homage to technologies that have been phased out. Here are the top five innovations that are no longer available on the market.
1. Floor Mounted Dimmer Switches
Cars didn’t always have the ability to adjust the brightness of their lighting. That innovation came in the 1920s with a floor mounted dimmer switch. It could change the brightness of the headlights, speedometer, and indicator lights.
I would be roughly 50 years before manufacturers changed to positioning of their dimmer switches. As you can imagine, focusing on the floor of a vehicle (outside of the pedals) makes it more likely that you’ll need a team of car accident attorneys in Folsom. Plus, having this switch closer to the steering wheel is just more convenient.
2. The 85mph Marker
Speedometers have slowly increased their maximum readings over time, but they generally stayed on 85mph for a generation. This was due to a federal law in the 1970s that declared cars could only reach a maximum of 55mph on the roads.
Once the law was passed, there was a red marker at 55 and a max marker of 85. Those old speedometers are gone now, though, as standard cars can hit top speeds of 160mph. Speedometers now reflect this, though the laws about speed limits haven’t changed much.
3. Rear-Hinged Doors
All doors now open from a front hinge, outside of some exotic models. There was a time when rear doors opened on a rear hinge, but they posed various safety issues. This has led manufacturers to discontinue the design.
4. The Convertible Hardtop
Reaching max popularity in the 1950s, “pillarless” or convertible hardtops are now a thing of the past. New designs feature improved support to help with impact ratings, prevent leaks, and keep drivers safer in the event of the car rolling over.
All in all, this is more of an upgrade than a forgotten feature. Fights over new designs are already raging though, with plenty of brands relying on a trademark attorney in Orange County to ensure their designs are protected in the market.
5. Full-Sized Spares
All vehicles used to come with a full-sized or regular spare tire to replace a flat. This is obviously advantageous as regular tires offer increased durability at higher speeds. Sadly, these have been replaced with limited use spares.
Also known as “dummies” and “donuts,” these tires typically cannot go over 50mph without bursting. Some companies are also ditching spare tires altogether in favor of tire inflator kits that patch holes and refill a tire with air. While these changes save space and lower costs, many drivers miss the ability to simply change their tire and be done with the repair.