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6 “Bad” Features of Retro Cars That Are Missing in New Cars

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13th May 2022

Most often, modifications benefit cars, and every year they become more powerful with the same engine size, safer, and more comfortable. But there are quite a few features of vintage cars that were not as bad as they are described.

Below are 6 features that are considered bad in retro cars but actually missing in newer ones.

1. Chrome bumpers

Remember those chrome bumpers? In addition to the fact that they stand out brightly against the background of the entire body and add a certain charm to the car, they also perform a protective function for the car. But around the 80s, manufacturers decided that it is better to abandon chrome bumpers in favor of those that go flush with the body because this would create a more harmonious design. 

The problem with modern bumpers that run flush with the body is that even with a slight impact on another car, for example, during parking, they easily crack and break, as they are made of plastic. The chrome-plated bumper made it possible to make contact parking, that is, before the “hit”, without fear of damaging both your own and someone else's car.

2. Full-size spare wheels with easy access

To save space as well as money, manufacturers are gradually abandoning the practice of equipping new cars with spare wheels.  But not so long ago, almost all cars had a spare wheel in the trunk, completely ready for operation without any restrictions.  

Manufacturers considered this a “bad” feature, because the spare wheel takes up a lot of space, even if it is placed in a kind of hatch in the trunk. Therefore, it was first placed under the trunk, and then the manufacturers decide to remove it altogether and replace it with an almost disposable disk with a cheap tire, on which you can drive no faster than 60 kilometers per hour.

3. Manual window opening

The same thing that was annoying in old cars when you had to turn the handle to open the window. Today, even in basic configurations, electric windows are installed, but it would be better if they were good old handles. The fact is that cheap electric window opening systems are unreliable and can behave very unpredictably. In frosty conditions, they may even refuse to work at all. In addition, their repair will require knowledge of electrics.  

Another thing is manual opening. Yes, this is inconvenient, especially if the glass is jammed or the mechanism is rusted, and then it becomes difficult to turn the handle.  But if the mechanism is working, the opening is sometimes even faster than with an electronic system.

4. Standard steering wheel

If we compare the steering wheels of modern cars, especially those of medium and high class, with the steering wheels of retro cars, then the latter will turn out to be just a circle with a signal in the middle. The new steering wheels are a kind of gadget that not only have a more stylish and ergonomic design, but also many opportunities for interacting with built-in systems, such as switching radio stations, answering a call, and so on.  

This really simplifies the interaction, but it causes a significant increase in the cost of this node and a drop in its reliability. In this regard, the old steering wheels are better, because there is simply nothing to break in them. In addition, older steering wheels most often use stiffer and more reliable materials. Yes, from a safety point of view, the new steering wheels are better, because they will not break your nose and jaw in an accident, but in everyday tasks, the old steering wheels feel better.

5. Bench seats

Today, car manufacturers prefer to put bucket seats like those found in sports cars. Such seats are more ergonomic and allow you not to strain the muscles of the back and neck while driving.  The old seats were not very ergonomic and were more like sofas, suitable for relaxing, not for driving. But they had one nice feature - the ability to accommodate more people. 

While now cars have a divider and gear lever between the front seats, in older cars there was a single sofa like the one in the back row. This allows more people to sit in the middle without much discomfort. Yes, this is not safe and gives the driver some discomfort, because it becomes more difficult to change gears, but still.

6. Primitive interior

Today, cars are turning into something like the control console of a Formula 1 car or even the cockpit of a fighter jet, so many different buttons and switches are in them, despite the ubiquity of touch screens for control. And this is good because the driver has access to fine-tuning and can better control the car. But at the same time, this leads to a decrease in reliability and an increase in the cost, including repairs. 

Another thing is the old interiors. They are primitive, often in the literal sense of the word, wooden, and have practically no buttons and switches. But just a little, you can fix everything yourself and easily find the right part, because about the same is on both older and younger models of the same brand. However, if you prefer newer cars, visit the best car leasing service to find your ideal brand new car.