Quirky Car Features We Secretly Wish Would Make A Comeback

22/03/2024 - 10:05 | Featured | IAB Team

Venturing into the history of automobiles unveils a delightful collection of whimsical features that once adorned our favorite cars. From quirky design choices to inventive yet peculiar gadgets, these features not only served practical purposes but also infused a distinct personality into each vehicle.

Vintage Cars Old Car Features

Marc Phillips from RoadRunner Auto Transport ranks the quirkiest features that have left a lasting impression, sharing amusing anecdotes and considering whether these charming elements might be revived in the future.

Quirky Features That Were Once Common


Quirky Feature


Nostalgic Appeal


Tail fins

Large, upward-pointing fins at the rear end of the car

Represents the ‘50s and ‘60s era


Bench Seats

Front seats designed as a single continuous bench

Family road trip nostalgia


Wing Windows

Small, triangular windows at the front of the door

Provided fresh air without fully winding the window down


Hood Ornaments

Decorative emblems on the hood

Symbol of luxury and elegance


Round Headlights

Circular headlights with chrome surrounds

Classic and timeless look


Cassette Players

In-car audio systems with cassette tape players

Mixtape memories


Pop-Up Headlights

Headlights that automatically pop up and down

Had futuristic appeal in the past


Shag Carpeting

Plush carpeting covering the interior floor

Cozy and comfortable feel


Manual Choke

Control for adjusting the air-fuel mixture manually

Mechanical engagement

Tailfins: Soaring Through the '50s and '60s

Remember the days when cars seemed ready for takeoff? The iconic tailfins of the '50s and '60s weren't just aerodynamic elements; they symbolized an era of optimism and futuristic design. As we reminisce about the sleek and soaring tailfins, imagine a future where these stylish features make a comeback, creating a blend of modern design and vintage allure.

Bench Seats: Communal Comfort for Family Adventures

Picture this – a road trip where the whole family can sit together on one bench seat. Beyond its practicality, the bench seat became a symbol of togetherness and shared adventures. In a world moving toward individualized experiences, there's potential for specialty models to reintroduce bench seats, fostering a sense of community and bringing back the joy of collective journeys.

Wing Windows: A Breeze of Fresh Air

Marc explains, ‘Before the widespread use of air conditioning, cars featured charming wing windows – small triangular openings that allowed a breath of fresh air into your car without lowering the entire window.’ The nostalgia surrounding wing windows could spark ideas for incorporating similar ventilation features in modern electric vehicles, providing a touch of simplicity and innovation to contemporary designs.

Hood Ornaments: Elegance at Every Turn

Once gracing the hoods of luxury cars, hood ornaments were more than embellishments – they were symbols of elegance and individuality. While they might have faded from recent designs, reimagining hood ornaments as customizable accessories could add a touch of personal flair to the exteriors of modern vehicles.

Round Headlights: Timeless Illumination

Round headlights, with their classic and timeless look, were once a staple in automotive design. Marc says, ‘Today, with the advancements in LED technology, envisioning a comeback for round headlights brings together tradition and innovation. Modern vehicles could embrace the simplicity and elegance of this classic headlight style, providing a nostalgic nod to the past.’

Cassette Decks: Retro Tunes for Modern Journeys

The cassette deck, a staple of the '80s and '90s, brought personalized music to the road. Imagining a revival of cassette decks in contemporary cars taps into the nostalgia of mixtapes and retro tunes, offering a unique audio experience that blends the old with the new.

Pop-Up Headlights: Illuminating the Night with Style

Pop-up headlights, a distinctive feature in sports cars of the past, added a touch of style, drama, and aerodynamics. Reintroducing pop-up headlights in select models could combine aerodynamic efficiency with a touch of automotive flair, enhancing both form and function.

Shag Carpeting: Plush Luxury

Shag carpeting, with its plush and comfortable feel, was a symbol of luxury and relaxation inside car interiors. Marc says, ‘Reimagining this quirky feature in luxury or special edition models could offer a distinctive and comfortable driving experience, providing a unique touch that goes beyond traditional interior designs.’

Manual Chokes: Connecting to the Mechanical Past

In the era of mechanical engagement, manual chokes allowed drivers to adjust the air-fuel mixture manually. While modern cars have evolved to incorporate automatic systems, integrating manual choke-like controls in performance models could cater to enthusiasts seeking a nostalgic touch and a direct connection to the mechanical past.

Marc remarks, ‘Far from being mere functional aspects, these elements served as expressions of an era, contributing to the distinct personality of each vehicle.’


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