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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A close up shows the full size spare in the bed of a 2017 Chevy Colorado ZR2.

8 Extinct Car Features That Should Make a Comeback

Do you ever suddenly think about some of the things that used to be the norm when you were a kid? Or maybe something was before your time that you always wanted to experience? From the disco era to the new millennium, there have been so many fads, especially when it comes to cars. In the automotive industry, fads were seen early on, especially when drivers began demanding more bells and whistles in their vehicles.

Leading the way with many of these cool features was Chevrolet, a brand that was known for designing vehicles with desirable characteristics for affordable prices. Many automakers tossed their hats into the ring when it came to various car features, some of which were quickly embraced, while others fell by the wayside. Passing by your local used Chevy dealer, you may wonder if some of these features are hiding on the used car lot. Although you won’t find these features in today’s cars, it doesn’t mean drivers don’t desperately want them back.

#1 – Full-Size Spares

Sometimes, things happen out on the road. You may have run over a nail in a parking lot or hit a patch of rough terrain, causing one of your tires to need replacing right then and there. You pop open the trunk or the hatch, and you’re greeted by this measly little spare tire that looks like it can hardly roll through a vacant parking lot, let alone a highway. What happened to full-size spare tires? They’re long gone, and drivers aren’t happy about it.

Pretty much the only models that still feature full-size spares are pickup trucks and large SUVs, such as the Chevy Silverado and Chevy Tahoe. Most of the cars on the road are rolling around with a puny space saver for use in an emergency––or even just a tire inflation kit. You’re not able to clock a lot of miles with these small spares, prompting you to head straight to the service center to get a brand-new tire, regardless of what’s on your agenda for the day. Drivers have spoken, and they want a full-size spare!

#2 – Vent Windows

Enjoying the wind whipping through your hair is a delicate balance. If the windows are open too far, your hair is blowing all over the place, along with everything else in your car. If you crack just one window, you risk ear-splitting reverberations, making your head hurt. What’s the solution that drivers wish would come back? Vent windows.

These triangle-shaped windows sat between the windshield and the doors, opening to allow just the right amount of air into the cabin. It didn’t mess up your hair, and the loud sound of the wind whipping through the cabin was nonexistent. Although these vents went away when air conditioning became standard in cars, it wouldn’t hurt to have the option to include them again.

#3 – Front Bench Seats

We see a lot of vehicles with bench seats in the back, but drivers are seriously missing bench seats in the front. Not only were front bench seats extremely comfortable (as long as you were safely strapped in), but they also accommodated more passengers. Instead of seating five, cars could seat six. They also came to the rescue when drivers needed to handle cumbersome gear. Of course, the modern-day center console makes sense since it can serve as a storage solution for valuables or odds and ends, but drivers still miss having the option of a bench seat up front. Fortunately, some full-size trucks and SUVs still offer this option.

A yellow 2001 Chevy Corvette Z06 is shown after leaving a used Chevy dealer.

#4 – Pop-Up Headlamps

Despite their quirky appearance (especially when one headlight doesn’t pop up), pop-up headlamps are still highly desirable. This is especially the case in sports cars, from the Mazda Miata to the Ferrari F40, giving these speedsters some majorly cool vibes on the streets. Unfortunately, this feature can’t make a comeback because pop-up headlamps have been banned due to concerns that they could injure pedestrians in an accident. The 2004 Chevy Corvette was the last car to include this can’t-miss feature before it vanished off the streets forever.

#5 – Suicide Doors

You may have noticed this feature is a part of many songs in the music industry, and for a good reason. They are pretty cool, and you can’t find them much anymore. Suicide doors consist of a set of front-hinged doors and rear-hinged doors, which open in the opposite direction. Likened to opening a book, suicide doors make it easy to get in and out of the vehicle, especially if it’s moving. That’s probably why you no longer see this configuration often.

Suicide doors also posed some inconveniences, especially if a front-seated passenger and rear-seated passenger were attempting to exit the vehicle at the same time. They just weren’t practical, but man, they were pretty neat. It gave a distinctive flair to the vehicles that had them, instantly capturing the attention of passersby and turning heads wherever they went.

#6 – Hood Ornaments

Any vehicle with a hood ornament nowadays instantly raises eyebrows. They emit classy, upscale vibes and are strictly reserved for vehicles of status. That wasn’t the case years ago, though, as many vehicles showcased these luxury decorative pieces. Vehicles like the Chevy Impala and Chevy Bel Air featured luxurious hood ornaments that made them stand out from the crowd, and today’s drivers wouldn’t mind having the option to adorn their vehicles with one of these stately pieces. Of course, this feature cost money and was another element of your vehicle that was prone to damage, so it makes sense why automakers stopped including them. Still, we can’t help but miss the leaping Jaguar and other iconic emblems.

A red and white 1955 Chevy Bel-Air Sport Coupe is shown parked on pavement.

#7 – T-Tops

T-tops were strange. It was almost like cars couldn’t decide whether they wanted to be convertibles or regular sedans. Although this feature may sound weird to some, many drivers would love to see T-tops make their way back into performance car lineups once again. The Pontiac Firebird was perhaps the most famous T-top model of its time, offering a can’t-miss style and enhanced structural integrity. With a durable bar running down the center of the roof with one removable section on each side, these vehicles were slightly more structurally sound than their convertible counterparts.

#8 – Minibar Glove Compartments

Nowadays, we use glove compartments to store all of those maintenance receipts from the service center and about five years’ worth of insurance cards, but back in the day, the glove compartment had a much cooler function. Minibars in the glove compartment were a real thing in vintage vehicles. Of course, we probably don’t have to tell you why this feature hasn’t been seen in the industry for decades. It’s typically frowned upon to enjoy a glass of vintage Macallan while you’re on your way home from work. Regardless, it was a particularly unique feature reserved for vehicles of status, one that we’ll never see in cars again.

What Will Join the List Next?

It’s fairly evident why some of these car features have become extinct; however, some features could make a comeback. Anything is possible, right? It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment when a lot of these features fell off the market. It seems as though they were always there, then one day, they just vanished. This also raises a question––which features do we have in our vehicles today that we won’t see in five or ten years? The automotive industry is constantly evolving and transforming to meet our needs, and we can’t wait to see what awaits us in our trusted travelers in the next several years.

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