floor-mounted shifter

15 Awesome Car Features We’ll Never See Again

In the ever-evolving world of automotive innovation, certain features have come and gone, leaving behind a legacy of nostalgia and wonder. From quirky gadgets to groundbreaking technologies, these 24 awesome car features represent the pinnacle of automotive ingenuity and creativity. While some have faded into obscurity due to changing trends and advancements in technology, others remain cherished memories for automotive enthusiasts around the world.

Manual roll-down windows

manual window crank
Image Credit: Flickr.

Manual roll-down windows required occupants to physically turn a crank to lower or raise the window glass, a task that has been replaced by electric power window systems in modern cars, offering convenience and ease of operation.

Hand-cranked starter

1912 Cadillac
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Before the advent of electric starters, hand-cranked starters required drivers to manually crank the engine to start the car. This feature has been replaced by electric starters, which provide effortless engine starting with the turn of a key or push of a button.

Choke control

Manual Chokes
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Choke controls were used to adjust the air-fuel mixture in carbureted engines during cold starts. With the widespread adoption of fuel injection systems in modern cars, choke controls are no longer necessary, as electronic engine management systems automatically adjust the air-fuel mixture for optimal starting and performance.

Cassette tape player

Cassette Decks

Cassette tape players were once a popular option for playing music in cars, but they have been largely replaced by CD players, MP3 players, and streaming services in modern infotainment systems, offering superior sound quality and a wider range of music options.


Carburetor Heat Controls
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Carburetors were used to mix air and fuel in internal combustion engines before the widespread adoption of fuel injection systems. Modern cars use electronic fuel injection systems, which offer improved fuel efficiency, emissions control, and engine performance compared to carburetors.

Non-collapsible steering columns

vintage steering wheel
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Non-collapsible steering columns were prone to collapse in the event of a frontal collision, increasing the risk of injury to the driver. Modern cars are equipped with collapsible steering columns, which are designed to absorb energy and reduce the risk of injury in the event of a collision.

Drum brakes

Drum brakes
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Drum brakes were once a common type of braking system used in cars, but they have been largely replaced by disc brakes in modern vehicles, offering improved stopping power, durability, and heat dissipation.

Manual transmission with a floor-mounted shifter

floor-mounted shifter
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Manual transmissions with floor-mounted shifters required drivers to manually shift gears using a lever mounted on the floor of the car. While manual transmissions are still available in some modern cars, they are often equipped with shifters mounted on the center console or steering column for improved ergonomics and ease of use.

Bench seats

Bench Seats
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Bench seats, which could accommodate multiple passengers in the front row of a car, have been largely replaced by individual bucket seats in modern vehicles, offering improved comfort, support, and customization options for occupants.

Vent windows

Wing Windows
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Vent windows, also known as wing windows, were small, hinged windows located in the front doors of cars that could be opened to provide additional ventilation. These windows have been largely replaced by air conditioning systems in modern cars, offering more effective cooling and climate control options.

Mechanical distributors


Mechanical distributors were used to regulate the timing of spark ignition in internal combustion engines. Modern cars use electronic ignition systems, which offer improved reliability, precision, and control over spark timing compared to mechanical distributors.

Manual steering

vintage steering wheel through window
Image Credit: Unsplash.

Manual steering systems required drivers to physically turn the steering wheel to maneuver the vehicle. Modern cars are equipped with power steering systems, which use hydraulic or electric assistance to reduce steering effort and improve maneuverability.

Pop-up headlights

pop up headlight
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Pop-up headlights were a popular feature in cars from the 1960s to the 1990s, but they have largely been replaced by fixed headlights in modern vehicles due to safety regulations and design preferences.

Manual windshield wipers

1951 Chevrolet 3100 Pick-Up
Image Credit: WikiCommons.

Manual windshield wipers required drivers to manually operate a lever or crank to wipe the windshield clean of rain or debris. Modern cars are equipped with electric windshield wipers, which offer automatic operation and variable speed settings for improved visibility in inclement weather.

Push-button AM radios

Women turning button on car radio for listening to music
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Push-button AM radios were a common feature in cars from the 1950s to the 1970s, but they have been largely replaced by modern infotainment systems with touchscreen displays, digital radio reception, and Bluetooth connectivity for streaming music and hands-free calling.

Author: Madison Cates

Title: Managing Editor


Research journalist, Freelance writer, Managing editor

  • Expertise: automotive content, trending topics.
  • Education: LeTourneau University, Bachelors of Science in Business Administration.
  • Over 400 articles and short news pieces published across the web.

Experience: Madison Cates is a journalist located in the great state of Texas. She began writing over eight years ago. Her first major research piece was published by the Journal of Business and Economics in 2018. After growing up in a household of eight brothers and a dad who was always restoring old Camaros, she naturally pivoted her freelance career into the automotive industry. There, she found her passion. Her experience paved the way for her to work with multiple large corporations in automotive news and trending topics. Now, she now finds her home at Wealth of Geeks where she proudly serves as Managing Editor of Autos. Madison is always down to geek out over the latest beautiful cars on the market, and she enjoys providing her readers with tips to make car ownership easier and more enjoyable.

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