March 1, 2024

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10 Weird And Unique Classic Car Features We’d Love To See In 2023

10 Weird And Unique Classic Car Features We’d Love To See In 2023

Modern cars are pretty amazing. They are certainly a far cry from the vehicles of our parents and grandparents. The features are seemingly endless; heated and cooled seats, 360-degree cameras, GPS, self-parking. Imagine telling Henry Ford that one day you’d be able to use your phone to not only start, but locate, heat/cool, and diagnose your car. Of course, you’d also have to explain how you can carry a working phone around in your pocket, but that’s another story.


While we definitely enjoy a lot of cool features in today’s vehicles, there are a few weird and unique features from Classic Cars of the past we’d love to see reintroduced in 2023. These 10 features would add convenience and cachet to any car.

10/10 Ashtrays

Rolls-Royce Ashtrays
Via BigBoyToys

No, not for the reason you might be thinking. Sure, most cars have glove boxes, cupholders, center console storage, and maybe even bins in the doors that will hold a magazine or water bottles. But what about trash?

Resurrect the ashtray, but make it a little bigger, and removable. Lift the lid to deposit trash, and when it gets full, it pops out for easy emptying. No more cupholders littered with gum wrappers, straw wrappers, and drive-thru receipts, or hanging a grocery bag from your gearshift.

9/10 Tail Fins

A car with Tail fins.
Via sfgate.com

The 1950s to 1960s was considered America’s “golden age” of automotive design. Tail fins were a classic feature of the post-war era that really should make a comeback. In a world obsessed with going to space, carmakers saw an opportunity to profit off the hysteria.

1961 Chrysler Imperial tail fins
Via Barrett-Jackson

While they served no actual purpose, and may even have hampered visibility, they were super stylish and futuristic. With our collective excitement over a possible future on Mars, it’s the perfect time for our cars to have a more galactic look, albeit a more subtle one.

Related: 5 Interior Car Trends Going Out Of Style In 2023 (And 5 Exterior Ones)

8/10 Talking Cars

The In 1983, Nissan Maxima Came To the US Shores After The Successful Debut Of The Datsun 240Z
Via Pinterest

It all began in 1981, when the Datsun Maxima — yes, Datsun — became the first vehicle in the US with a voice warning system. A pleasant, feminine voice would alert you to “please turn off the lights.” Over the years, the technology was expanded, and some cars even said “thank you,” when you complied with their demand.

KITT Knight Rider
Mic via Flickr

These voice alerts had basically phased out by the 1990s. Now, we give the vocal commands. But, wouldn’t it be fun to feel like Knight Rider, driving around with a car that tells you what’s going on?

7/10 Window Cranks

Manual Window
Via Motorward

Back in the days before power windows were standard, one had to physically raise and lower the window by turning the crank handle. While it might seem like only a caveman would want to return to those days, there is a practical reason to have them.

Open interior door with window crank and red upholstery
Mecum

If you’ve never gotten mildly frustrated because you accidentally opened the car door before remembering to roll up a window, have you even driven a car in the last 10 years? Imagine if there was a hidden crank you could pop out to roll up the window, and avoid having to turn the car back on. Sounds good, right?

6/10 Spare Tires

Full Size Spare Tire
Via VWWaterCooled.com

So many carmakers are foregoing the spare tire, instead offering a tire repair kit, or roadside assistance. This seems like a great way to free up cargo space, but what happens if your tire blows when you are miles from nowhere?

Tesla Spare Tire
via Reader’s Digest

Even a donut is better than nothing if it otherwise means having to wait for hours for a tow. Spare tires should make a comeback in 2023, particularly in areas where you might very well be stuck in harsh weather for long periods of time waiting for help to arrive.

5/10 Keys

Set of vintage ignition keys
Pinterest

Technology has come a long way since the invention of the automobile. It wasn’t even until 1949 that ignition keys were used to start the car. Buying a car today means you get a fob with buttons, and probably start the engine by pushing a button, or using your phone.

Fob with pop out key
Walmart

Of course, if your fob dies, breaks, or gets lost, what do you do? You might still be able to unlock the doors with an app, but how do you drive? Carmakers should bring back the ignition key, so we can at least drive to get a new fob.

4/10 Toyota Van Ice Maker

Toyota Van Ice Maker
Car and Driver

In the 80s, some models of the Toyota Van (real original name, Toyota) were equipped with an ice maker. It was located in the center console, between the shifter and the dash. The compartment was cooled with refrigerant, and came with ice trays.

Silver Toyota Van
via wheelsage.org

While an actual ice maker might not be the most practical feature, it would sure come in handy on road trips. Being able to keep drinks and snacks nice and cold would certainly make long treks much more pleasant.

RELATED: The Toyota Sienna Camper by Oasis Camper Vans Has Everything You Need for an Adventure

3/10 Swivel Seats

chrysler300f resize3
Via: Flickr / Stan F

Way back in the 1950s, the designers at Chrysler had a genius idea: seats that swivel to make entry and exit easier. This idea was expanded upon, and some vehicles even had front seats that could turn 180 degrees, creating a little conversation pit when the car was parked.

Swivel seats in classic cars
Photo Credit: Car-from-UK

Reintroducing this feature into modern vehicles would make life more convenient for everyone. Taking into consideration the different levels of mobility of the driving public, it seems like a no-brainer to bring back the swivel seat in 2023.

2/10 The Dodge La Femme Features

 Dodge La Femme
Via: Timeline

There is no denying that the 1955 Dodge La Femme was patronizingly sexist. With a white and pink exterior, and an interior covered in a pink rosebud tapestry material, it was designed to appeal to “Her Majesty…the American Woman.” However, some of the features are incredibly useful.

Dodge La Femme
Via: All That’s Interesting

Each car came with a matching purse that fit perfectly into its own special compartment. The purse came packed with all the accessories one might need on the go. There was also a compartment on the back of the driver’s seat, holding a raincoat, rain hat, and umbrella. Whatever your gender, these built-in conveniences sound pretty appealing.

1/10 Fun Interiors

Teal and white interior
Pinterest

The inside of your car is probably bathed in varying shades of either brown or gray; the upholstery is likely either a simple cloth, or real/faux leather. It’s definitely uninspired and very, very boring. The bland landscape inside makes driving less appealing. It was a different story several decades ago, when car interiors were much more colorful, upholstered in a variety of materials, colors, and patterns.

Backseat upholstered in orange plaid
Mecum

Picture this: it’s a gloomy day, and you have to run errands. You slide into your car (via swivel seat?), and are greeted by bright orange plaid. Your day is automatically brighter. Let’s put a little personality back into interiors!