D Yaros

Factory Options in 40s & 50s

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GM I think did experiment and advertised a device that automatically put your top up on Convertibles if it sensed rain.  (I think it might be listed in my 1955 Chevy Color and Upholstery album under accessories)  I think Cadillac offered it as well ,atleast in it's original phase when they developed it,  though I've never actually seen it on a car.  I'm guessing it probably didn't work real well if at all. 

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There was a do it yourself gadget to automatically raise the top when it rained. Take a spring clothes pin, put 2 electrical contacts in the jaws and clamp an aspirin tablet in between. Mount behind the rear seat with a funnel over it. When it starts to rain the aspirin dissolves, the contacts close, and they are wired to the top control switch. Saw the plans in a Popular Mechanics magazine from the forties or early fifties.

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I remember seeing a Pontiac based 2-seater on Worth Avenue with an automagic top. Also had a vacuum ashtray that carried butts to a glass canister under the hood. Could have bought it for $2k but it had a Hydromatic (GM execs commonly wintered there in the '50s).

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1 minute ago, padgett said:

I remember seeing a Pontiac based 2-seater on Worth Avenue with an automagic top. Also had a vacuum ashtray that carried butts to a glass canister under the hood. Could have bought it for $2k but it had a Hydromatic (GM execs commonly wintered there in the '50s).

Doesn't matter what year that car was, $2000 seems like it was a good deal and a serious opportunity missed. Hopefully you aren't talking about one fo the 50's dream cars.  I'd still be kicking myself to this day. 

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Bought a Jag XK-150s (triple carb) for $1500 instead. Four speed Moss gearbox (taught me double clutching to get into 1st at 25 mph) and Laycock de Normanville overdrive. Was much easier to shift once I heated/straightened the shift lever. Back of white shirt became red on a hot day. Prolly reason I like a DOHC 6 with a manual trans & white car with red interior.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

 Also had a vacuum ashtray that carried butts to a glass canister under the hood.

 

I have one of those gizmos that I think is aftermarket. It looks like it has never been used.

I keep thinking I will put it in one of my cars but I don't smoke or let anyone smoke in any of my vehicles.

 

I just lied, I have some Cuban cigars that I bought recently and I will enjoy one of those on occasion. But not in any of my vehicles.

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On ‎10‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 10:02 PM, auburnseeker said:

GM I think did experiment and advertised a device that automatically put your top up on Convertibles if it sensed rain.  (I think it might be listed in my 1955 Chevy Color and Upholstery album under accessories)  I think Cadillac offered it as well ,atleast in it's original phase when they developed it,  though I've never actually seen it on a car.  I'm guessing it probably didn't work real well if at all. 

The 1951 LeSabre showcar was the first GM car with that feature. 

 

Craig

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On ‎11‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 7:24 AM, padgett said:

Also had a vacuum ashtray that carried butts to a glass canister under the hood.

That was a common aftermarket accessory.  It was called "Ashaway"

 

Craig

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I don't think that the "Ashaway" was meant for cigarette butts, though. I think it was about just the ashes. Hudson dealers, and I'm sure just about everyone else, offered battery fluid tenders. They were devices that would keep the battery acid above the plates. I'll bet that more strange and wonderful goodies were sold by dealers than the factory.

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16 hours ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

I'll bet that more strange and wonderful goodies were sold by dealers than the factory.

Not always.  There are some obscure factory authorized accessories.

 

And here, Mercedes Benz thought they were the first to come up with the 'Airscarf®': http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?79763-Dealer-Public-Relations-Material

 

Craig

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Got down to a guy that talks about a Windscarf. But I am not authorized to access the link.

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On 2/7/2017 at 0:30 PM, joe_padavano said:

 

They are illegal everywhere.  Red or amber are the only colors legally allowed at the rear of a car. Blue dots were intended to thumb one's nose at the law; seeing how long you could get away without being cited.  Most police don't bother with them, since they really are harmless, but they can be an excuse if the officer wants to hassle you.

 

Update:  Apparently they have been made legal in SOME states in the last few years on cars that qualify for antique status.  Lawmakers have apparently figured out these cars don't really get driven much.

 

I had purple lights behind my cab and I went through a weight station in CA at nite and they had me pull to the back. They made me remove the lights and a 1000.00 fine.

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7 minutes ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

Dave, how many amp alternator to keep all of that lit?

This was my friends truck. Mine was this car hauler that had 500 plus lights that were a show truck for Volvo. They are all LEDs and the hardly take any amperage. I was using one 160 amp Leece-Neville alternator.

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21 minutes ago, Hudsy Wudsy said:

LEDs, of course. I was thinking back in the filament days.

They rarely had a lot of lights back then. If they did and it was usually the bull haulers, they would have piggyback alternators and sometimes more.

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Turn those lights on at idle and the engine stalls ?

 

Florida Statutes 320.0863 Custom vehicles and street rods; (basically at least 25 years old or built to resemble one such).

...

(b) Such vehicle may also be equipped with blue dot tail lights for stop lamps, rear turning indicator lamps, rear hazard lamps, and rear reflectors.

 

 

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On 2/10/2017 at 11:58 AM, padgett said:

"Electric gas caps " - talk about a Really Dumb Idea (RDI (c))

I have never ever heard of a fire or explosion caused by one of these caps.    Have you?

 

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By 1949 you could get most everything we have today but just not on the same car. A little browsing produced this:

1876  Power steering

1910  Cruise control  (Peerless)

1917  Electric wipers

1920  Power brakes ( Pierce-Arrow)

1939 Automatic transmission (Oldsmobile)

!940  Air conditioning  (Packard)

1940  Power windows  (Packard)

1940's  Power seats-just forward and back, 1955 T-Bird had 4 way

 

Didn't check accessory items and of course nothing involving computers or many electronics. Surprising how long some have been around.

 

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I like continental kits on some cars; mostly convertibles and 2-Door hardtops.  Some of the best were -46-49 Town & Country's, 56-57 Fords, 51-56 Packards, -55-56 Cadillacs, '57 Oldsmobiles, and especially '57-58 Pontiacs, to name a few.  What I never did like and still don't  was those cheap looking kits used on '55-60 Chevrolets where the bumper started out right at the end of the fender, just like bumpers on cars that did not have continental kits, and then stuck out right in the middle to accommodate the tire kit.  Gross.  I grew up during the '40-50's and only remember two cars in our neighborhood with blue dot tail lights, a light blue fast back '49-50 Pontiac and a '50 Ford.  Didn't Packard have a self-leveling suspension in '55 or ''56 or both?

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I have never seen a continental kit on a 1946-49 or 1950 Chrysler T&C... ever. I would like to see a picture of one.

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Talked to a man and wife, who have a nice collection of post-wars fords, at a cruise Friday night. That night they had a wonderful original (paint and interior) 1953 Mercury convertible with a dealer installed continental kit. It had been on the car from new, but he said that he was going to remove it. It was in great shape, it looked great and period correct. He also had a period correct spotlight that he said that was coming off. To each his own, but it all sounded like a lot of work for gaining nothing! 

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On February 10, 2017 at 6:44 AM, Brass is Best said:

As far as continental kits most were dealer installed. They came from a variety of manufactures. The two cars that come to mind with standard factory installed continentals are the 1940-1948 Lincoln Continental and 1956 Ford Thunderbird. The rest would have been a dealer installed option.

So my '57 retractable was dealer installed?

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3 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

So my '57 retractable was dealer installed?

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To the best of my knowledge yes. This would have been a dealer installed kit. That is why you see variation with continental kits. They came from several suppliers and were not built all the same.

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On ‎2‎/‎11‎/‎2017 at 0:02 AM, auburnseeker said:

GM I think did experiment and advertised a device that automatically put your top up on Convertibles if it sensed rain.  (I think it might be listed in my 1955 Chevy Color and Upholstery album under accessories)  I think Cadillac offered it as well ,atleast in it's original phase when they developed it,  though I've never actually seen it on a car.  I'm guessing it probably didn't work real well if at all. 

 

The "rain drop" top was a show car feature. It was used on the LeSabre and several other Concept Cars. It did work very well from all accounts. But there was a safety concern with putting it in use. I do not believe that it ever made production.

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