Nowadays, prospective pickup buyers have access to a number of useful truck accessories. While we appreciate illuminated cup holders and an intuitive infotainment system, we naturally find ourselves missing the good ole’ days when truck manufacturers would add innovative, exclusive, and ground-breaking amenities to their crop of pickups.
Below, we’ve compiled some of our favorite pickup truck features that were ultimately left on their respective company’s cutting room floor. You’d be pretty hard pressed to find these truck accessories included in a dealership’s inventory. However, you might be inspired to install your own version of these amenities to your truck…
Cutting Room Feature #1: Milk Shake Dispenser
If you’re like me, you’ve probably dreamed of having some type of machine in your car that is capable of dispensing liquids. Well, as my father always told me, “liquids are for sissies. Real men drink milkshakes!” If only my father would have pointed me towards Chevy’s late-1990s pickup trucks.
In 1998, Chevy’s engineers attempted to add a milkshake dispenser into all of their new trucks. While the brand’s customers were amused with the system for the first week or two of ownership, they quickly tired of the amenity. After all, the system required constant clean-up, and many owners found that the melted ice cream would slowly work its way into the interior, making the upholstery sticky and incapable of being cleaned.
It’s truly a shame that Chevy couldn’t find a way to remedy this issue. If there’s any downside of a milkshake, it’s having to wait in line for your tasty frozen treat to be made. Having a pickup that was capable of making its own milkshake not only improved convenience, but could also boost the driver’s quality of life.
Cutting Room Feature #2: Smoke Machine
Many car companies still cater to smokers, as they’ll include packages featuring ash trays and other smoke-centric features. However, few brands were as innovative as Ford in the 1960s.
The car company recognized that their customers enjoy smoking cigarettes during their commute. However, many of these owners complained that it was difficult to hold a cigarette while operating the steering wheel. As a result, Ford came up with their innovative “Smoke Machine,” which would flood your truck’s interior with inhale-able smoke.
The feature was certainly clever, as it meant that drivers could better keep their focus on their steering. However, the smoke would often become too dense in these interiors, and many Ford drivers found themselves crashing due to a lack of visibility. Furthermore, many young occupants were immediately becoming addicted to nicotine, leading Ford to pull the feature from their pickups.
Cutting Room Feature #3: Literal Live Band
If you live in a remote area, then you’ve surely gotten frustrated with your radio’s tendency to constantly lose reception. If you’re not prepared with an assortment of CDs, then you’ll find that your commute is basically unbearable.
Well, RAM recognized this issue and pounced. Between 2001 and 2002, every RAM customer receiver a six-month trial to a local indie band that would literally sit in the truck bed and play covers of their favorite music artists. RAM quickly found that this wasn’t particularly safe, as many of the band members would fall out of the truck and sustain major injuries. However, the brand was more focused on the fact that their customers weren’t particularly big fans of indie bands, and the company quickly worked to install satellite radio in their vehicles, instead.
Cutting Room Feature #4: Hot Tub
You’ve surely envisioned transforming your truck bed into a pool, but what if you instead added hot water. That would transform your ordinary truck rear into a de facto hot tub, allowing you to attract all of the babes to your new ride.
This was a reality in Chevy’s crop of pickups during the 1970s, with the brand even including ambient lighting and a four-pack of festive cocktail glasses. Unfortunately, too many Chevy truck owners were traveling around with their newly-installed hot tub, although the brand required that drivers empty the bed of water before using the vehicle. Since the volume of the water was too heavy for the pickup truck to handle, many of Chevy’s applicable vehicles either ended up at a mechanic or at the dump. The feature was quickly eliminated in the early 1980s.
Cutting Room Feature #5: Elevator Lift
Nowadays, you’ll see plenty of truck companies add a tiny step to help assist occupants into the vehicle. Often times, these vehicles are way too tall for a short individual to enter, so the extra assistance is certainly appreciated.
Unsurprisingly, Ford was ahead of this movement back in the early 2000s. The brand installed a mini elevator into each of their pickup trucks, making it incredibly easy to enter any of their models. The system was capable of holding up to 500 pounds, and it would even play a tiny jingle during the five-second journey to the truck’s door.
Of course, this available feature cost buyers around $5,000 extra. While it wasn’t really considered a necessary amenity, many customers completely ignored the advantage. Since Ford seemingly wasn’t making any money on the innovative feature, they discontinued it shortly after its release.
Cutting Room Feature #6: Literal Grill
Some car companies like to capitalize on a play on words, and that’s exactly what RAM did in 2009. The company installed a literal grill into each of their grilles, transforming their vehicles into the perfect tailgate accompaniment. Customers simply had to grab their grille and pull, and they’d find themselves with a perfectly capable charcoal grill.
Unfortunately, this feature quickly turned into a liability, as too many RAM owners were forgetting to extinguish the coals when they were finished grilling. This predictably led to the trucks overheating, and many of the company’s vehicles actually lit on fire. While RAM was perfectly willing to keep their in-grille grill, the government actually forced them to remove the clever feature from their rides.