Once upon a time having a radio in a car was a Big deal! Cars had several keys, one for unlocking the main door, the other for the ignition and yet another for the trunk! Over the course of the last century, automobiles and their features have come a long way. Scratch that, only some of the feature have come a long way while others are only found in history books and Granddaddy tales. But note to the wise, many of these features that our generation has known and loved are being upgraded or weeded out.
Cassette and CD players
Do you remember your first car and that ultra cool cassette player? Well I challenge you to find a single new car that offers a cassette player, even as an optional feature. My friend you would be hard pressed to find a cassette player, or cassettes for that matter, even in Auto Accessory stores.
As the cassette player was phased out, CDs, and their players were center stage. Wonderful sound, wonderful systems and cars even made space for your CDs. But today, you will find them an expensive option on some of the newer cars, but these too are on their way out, being replaced by the ultra modern smart phones, USB players, and many of the other uber cool auto-audio upgrades.
Buttons and knobs
I remember as a child, I was always ultra curious about the use of different buttons! Of course, this was usually much to my detriment when my parents found the object of my curiosity no longer functional. Nevertheless, those quaint, curiosity builders are now a dying breed in cars of this generation. Most cars have touch screens that manage sound systems, cooling and heating, navigation, and a plethora of other functions.
However, touch screens are not yet completely reliable. They are known to have occasional lags in response time and even total system failures! Of course, there is the biggest hurdle of safety. The use of touch screens requires the driver to see what one is touching to ensure systems are properly engaged as opposed to the old-fashioned method of reaching out your hand flicking a knob or a button. So thank heavens, button and knobs will continue to grace your new cars for a little while longer. At least until the brains behind the scenes overcome these obstacles.
My friends the time is coming and is already here when we must bid farewell to the fun of driving a stick shift. Automatic transmission has been available since the 1950s. Since then cars have usually been offered in semi-automatic and automatic. However, today’s over worked generation prefers the ride, handling, and fuel efficiency of an automatic to the joy of controlling the drive with a stick, clutch, and accelerator. So my friends prepare your tales, because your children (if you don’t have any yet your grand children) are going to be flabbergasted when you tell them about the times your car had gears!
These features my friends, are just a few of car features I lament about in nostalgia, as I look at the latest models that debut the different auto shows.
Richard Kershaw, the writer, is a successful businessman and a car enthusiast and co-owner of GreenCash4Cars where he pays cash for cars & trucks in the southern California area. He loves purchasing the latest and the coolest new cars. He says for him driving is therapeutic and relaxing. He writes business and automobile related articles in his spare time.
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