Tips, Tricks & Trends

Cool Car Features We No Longer See

Technology and styling of cars has been changing and adapting with each and every generation. Fads, necessities and cool features have grown throughout the years, but some have become obsolete and have no place in modern cars. Whatever the reason, there are some older features that used to be highly desirable in cars that we almost never see in a modern vehicle.

Pop-Up Headlights

You’d probably guessed already that pop-up headlights would make it to the list first. Pop-up headlights become popular in the 1960s and are still favorite among many car collectors and purists. Once available on American muscle classics like the Corvette, or smaller sporty cars like the Mazda Miata, the hidden headlight feature gave the car an extra cool flare of style. Changes in safety regulations throughout the 1990s required that the front-end of cars be collapsable in case of hidden an object, or more specifically, a pedestrian. While this change in safety standards inevitably leads manufacturers to cancel the production of pop-up headlights on cars, they can still be found on older generations of cars legal to drive on the roadways.

1992 Toyota MR2. Artist: Unknown. (Photo by National Motor Museum/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

Handbrakes

As the availability of manual cars drastically declines and the reliability of technology for our safety increases, I suppose it was inevitable that manufacturers would strip away or beloved handbrakes. While they are still produced in some cars, many brands have switched over to an electronic parking brake or hill-park assist, and have completely voided out the actual need for a manual handbrake. While we understand, that doesn’t make us any less sad to see them go.

Cigarette Trays and Lighters

A once-popular trend, smoking has decreased over the past decade due to increased awareness of health hazards and the introduction of vape productions. What may have once been a popular necessity for many cars, cigarette trays and lights have become almost completely obsolete, and so manufacturers have stopped included these features altogether.

Chrome Bumpers

Chrome front bumpers are an iconic styling choice of many classic cars. Shined up and gleaming, chrome front bumpers are sleek but they lack much functionality. Many classic-car fanatics claim that ‘they just don’t make cars like they used to’ and this is mainly due to the use of composites. As it became more necessary for bumpers to serve a practical safety purpose – ideally, that they would absorb as much energy from an impact as possible – chrome bumpers were abandoned for newer, safer options.

Red Chevrolet. US-american oldfashioned (typical for Cuba) car. Cuba. 2005. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

Vinyl Tops

Once considered the epitome of luxury, vinyl tops have seemingly been forgotten by history. The vinyl look was originally used to make cheaper, fixed-top cars look like more expensive, more luxurious convertibles that were of the higher desire of the times. Most popular in the 1970s, there were many types and styles of vinyl tops, but they eventually lost popularity and were no longer desirable, so there are no modern cars that offer this cool feature.

While some of these features may be outdated, they were once very popular and highly desirable. Although we don’t see them much today, you can take a trip to your local classic car show to see the finest examples of these not-so-available car features.