When did you last see roll-up windows on a car? Have you ever seen a button on the driver's floorboard and wondered what it did? Or can you imagine riding in the back of a station wagon, in a jump seat that faces out the back? Whether or not you've used these things, this video from Timely Tales will take you on a trip to the automotive past.
The detachable stereo faceplate was a popular item in the 1990s and early 2000s. It was a response to the rise of car stereo thefts, which coincided with the popularity of aftermarket stereos. The faceplate containing the controls would pop off the stereo at the touch of a button, rendering the remaining part of the head unit worthless. It was also a popular fashion accessory, especially if the stereo came with its own leather case to carry the faceplate. Imagine rolling up in your 1994 Volkswagen Golf and impressing your friends by popping the faceplate off your Pioneer CD player.
Going back a bit farther in time, there was a period when almost every car had a button on the left side of the driver's floorboard to switch the headlights from low to high beams. That was a common practice back when cars had a single stalk on the steering column for the turn signals and used switches on the dashboard for the headlights and windshield wipers. The high beam switch was relocated as manufacturers added functions to the turn signal stalk. By the early 1990s, only a handful of vehicles used a floor switch for the high beams, including the Ford F-150.
There was also a time when most cars used hand cranks to roll up windows. Power windows were available on luxury cars like Cadillac as far back as the 1950s. But you had to be fancy to own one. The rest of us made do with hand cranks which maintained arm muscle tone.
Finally, the best feature of all was the rear-facing jumpseat. If you were a kid in the 1970s or 1980s, you didn't call "shotgun" and head for the front. You grabbed the rear-facing jump seat in the back. Looking out the rear window while your mom transported eight kids to a pizza party, you could pretend to be a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber. At least, that's what I'm told.