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Cars, like any form of technology, change with the times. This means many features in cars come and go. More often than not, those old features were replaced by newer, high-tech ones, such as hand-cranked windows, but that’s not always the case. Some features simply fell out of fashion. Here’s a look at six forgotten car features from the past.

1. Hidden fuel caps

A long-gone feature is hidden fuel caps. This feature started in the 40s thanks to Cadillac, and a decade later, almost every passenger car had a hidden fuel cap, according to Autoevolution. Some of these hidden fuel caps even had special decorations. These hidden fuel caps went away when safety regulations strengthened, but folks who like classic cars can still find them.

2. Swiveling seats

Like Autoevolution wrote, nowadays, swiveling seats are more common in child seats, but in the past, automakers used to offer swiveling seats for adults. It all started in the 50s with Chrysler. Some of the designers at Chrysler thought that folks should have an easier time getting into and out of their cars, and they thought the solution was with seats that swiveled. 

GM and Ford didn’t take long to make cars with swiveling seats. Since then, swiveling seats have gone out of fashion, but it’s still possible to find some cars that can be equipped with them.

3. Windshield visors

The windshield visors of the past aren’t the same as the windshield visors of the present. Nowadays, many cars come with an interior windshield visor that folks can use to keep their car cool, and there are also many aftermarket options.

The windshield visors that are no longer a thing, however, were mounted on the exterior of the car. Like with the modern windshield visors, automakers offered them as an option, and folks could buy them on the aftermarket too. These old windshield visors looked like metal shields, usually mounted on the car’s pillars. They were effective at their job, too, as they made the cabin cooler and less bright.

4. Continental kits

Another feature that classic car lovers will enjoy is the continental kits that were very popular in the 50s. According to Autoevolution, a continental kit is a covered spare tire mounted on a tray behind the car’s rear bumper. A lot of classics like the Chevy Impala have this feature, but it’s no longer popular, mainly for safety reasons.

5. Hood ornaments

A car with a hood ornament, one of the car features from the past
Hood ornament | Getty Images

Obviously, a few luxury car brands still have hood ornaments on their cars, including the likes of Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce. However, almost every car had a hood ornament back in the day. Those hood ornaments were on regular cars, and there was a wide variety of designs. Some examples of past hood ornament designs include human shapes, spears, and airplanes. 

6. Rumble seats

One of the oldest forgotten features is the rumble seat. This feature was prevalent in the early 20th century, and some called it the mother-in-law seat. The rumble seat was an extra seat situated in the car’s rear section. The rumble seat was folded, and it was not under the roof.

This meant that the rumble seat had the apparent issue of offering no protection from the elements to whomever sat in it. If no one wanted to sit in it, drivers often used it as an extra cargo compartment. This feature was ultimately discontinued in the 1930s.


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