10 Most Outrageous Car Options From Back in The Day
Can you think of a wild option to add to a vehicle? What about a swamp cooler, record player, electric shaver or pressure cooker. These are actual options that have been available in past years, very long past years.
Have you ever owned a vehicle with one of these options:
Hagerty Insurance researched dozens of these unheard of inventions to create a list of the top 10 quirkiest options ever invented for the automobile.
Automotive Swamp Cooler
These were popular from the late 1940s through the 1950s to help cool the interior of cars before air conditioning systems became readily available. Swamp coolers were available through the aftermarket and attached to one of the car’s windows. These are highly collectible now and are commonly seen at vintage car shows.
Highway Hi-Fi (16 2/3 LP Player)
Developed in 1955 and offered as an option on 1956 Chrysler models, the Highway Hi-Fi had one big drawback: Drive over even the smallest of bumps, slam on the brakes or take a corner fast, and it would skip.
An optional “Destroilet” gas incinerator-type toilet was available for early 1960s Dodge motor homes, which was meant to simplify waste disposal. After use, when the top lid was closed, a small, thick metal lid would also close over the well at the bottom. A jet of burning gas would incinerate the solid waste and vaporize the liquid.
An electric shaver that was powered by the vehicle’s electrical system was developed by aftermarket automotive suppliers in the 1940s and was an available factory option for a 1957 Chevrolet.
Automatic Lit Cigarette Dispenser
As a “safety” item, this was an aftermarket accessory designed to eliminate the distractions of lighting a cigarette while motoring down the road. Unveiled in the late 1940s, it was attached to the steering wheel.
Steam Pressure Cooker
This accessory mounted to the rear bumper to cook food while motoring down the road. It routed exhaust gases through the inner chambers of the cooker to provide the heat to cook the food. Yum!
Steering Wheel Watch
In 1958, a steering wheel-mounted watch was available on DeSotos.
Back in the days before flashing turn signals, a driver would flip a switch on the dash and a lit semaphore arm would swing out of a panel on the appropriate side of the car and signal the driver’s intention to turn.
These seats, available on a ’59 Chrysler, would automatically swivel out as the door opened to make it easier for the passenger to exit the automobile.
In the early 1980s, the Chrysler LeBaron talked. It would say phrases such as “Your door is ajar” and “All monitored systems functioning.” If you followed the command of “Please fasten your seatbelt,” it would promptly reply with “Thank you!”