15 Vintage Car Features That Are No Longer Around


There’s a certain charm to vintage cars that modern vehicles can’t quite capture. Be it the iconic design elements or the quirky features, classic cars tell a story of a bygone era. While obsolete today, these beloved features remind us of a time when driving was a different kind of adventure. Discover 15 popular vintage car features that we’ll probably never see again.

Hood Ornaments

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Hood ornaments were the crown jewels of classic cars, embodying elegance and personality. Brands like Rolls-Royce and Jaguar made these decorative pieces iconic. These small statues weren’t just for show; they symbolized the brand’s prestige and were often crafted with intricate detail. Today, safety regulations and changing design trends have rendered them obsolete.

Parking Brake Handle

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Remember the thrill of pulling up the parking brake handle? Located on the floor or the dashboard, this feature gave drivers a tangible sense of control. Unlike today’s electronic systems, it requires a firm grip and a bit of muscle. Modern vehicles have mostly phased out this feature in favor of buttons and levers.

Cigarette Lighters and Ashtrays


These were once ubiquitous in every car, reflecting the smoking culture of the time. Drivers and passengers alike relied on these built-in conveniences. As smoking in cars became less common, manufacturers stopped including them, making way for USB ports and other modern amenities.

Rear-Hinged Doors


Also known as suicide doors, rear-hinged doors added a touch of flair to classic cars. These doors opened from the front, making getting in and out of the vehicle a stylish affair. Despite their aesthetic appeal, safety concerns led to their decline. Today, they’re rare, mostly reserved for luxury models and concept cars.

CD and Cassette Players

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For decades, car rides were accompanied by the sounds of mixtapes and favorite albums played on cassette and CD players. These devices were the pinnacle of in-car entertainment. In the age of digital music and streaming services, Bluetooth and auxiliary inputs have replaced them.

Pop-Up Headlights

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It added a playful, futuristic touch to many sports cars. When not in use, they remained hidden, creating a sleek look. A simple switch activated them, causing them to pop up with a mechanical hum. While charming, they were prone to mechanical issues, leading to their phase-out in favor of fixed designs.

Gas Filler Cap


This feature, located in different spots depending on the car, once required manual handling. Drivers had to remove and replace them each time they refueled. Modern cars now have capless systems, making refueling quicker and more efficient. The tactile experience of twisting the cap shut is now a thing of the past.

Manual Window Crank


Rolling down the window used to involve a bit of effort. The manual window crank was a standard feature, requiring drivers and passengers to turn a handle to adjust the window height. Power windows have now taken over, providing a smoother and more convenient experience.

Bench Seats


Bench seats in the front row allowed for a more communal seating arrangement, perfect for snuggling up on a date night. These wide seats could accommodate three people, offering a sense of togetherness. Today’s cars favor individual bucket seats for safety and comfort, making bench seats rare.

Spare Tire

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A spare tire was once an essential part of every car’s toolkit. It provided peace of mind on long journeys. Stored in the trunk or under the vehicle, it was a lifesaver in case of a flat. Modern cars often come with run-flat tires or emergency inflation kits, eliminating the need for a full-size spare.

Window Vent


Also known as vent windows or wing windows, these small, triangular windows allow additional airflow into the car without fully opening the main window. They could be angled to direct the breeze. However, they’ve disappeared from modern cars as air conditioning systems have become more efficient.

Car Keys

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Traditional car keys were simple yet essential. They started the engine, unlocked the doors, and sometimes even opened the trunk. The tactile feel of turning a key in the ignition is now replaced by push-button start systems and keyless entry fobs, which offer convenience but not much charm.

Power Antenna


Power antennas, which extended and retracted automatically when the radio was turned on or off, added a touch of sophistication. They improved radio reception and appeared majestically from the car’s body. Fixed and integrated antennas have now replaced these retractable versions.

Chrome Bumpers

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This added a shiny, stylish look to classic cars. They were often massive and gleaming, giving the car a bold appearance. Modern bumpers, designed for safety and fuel efficiency, are often made from plastic and painted to match the car’s body color, sacrificing the distinctive chrome look.

Analog Clocks


Analog clocks, often mounted on the dashboard, provided a classy touch to vintage car interiors. Their elegant faces and ticking hands offered a sense of timelessness. Digital clocks and infotainment systems have now taken over, providing more functionality but lacking the same charm.

Written by Bruno P