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1959 Buicks-The first to advertise cup holders??


AK Buickman
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I originally thought that the 1966 full-size Buicks were the first cars to advertise cup holders as a feature of a car. Look in the 1966 Buick sales literature, and Buick shows a photo of a lip-smacking fountain drink sitting on the opened glove box door. (I wonder how many passengers ended up wearing their drink when the driver of a '66 Wildcat blasted off from a stoplight?)<BR>I now found out that the 1959 Buick takes the honors! The 1959 Buick Salesman's Facts & Figures Book shows a photo of the glove box door opened, and states that four stamped areas of the inside of the glove box door will serve as cupholders!. <BR>Did any other automobile companies advertise cup holders before the '59 Buicks?<BR>Will owners of today's minivans, using on the average of about 47 cupholders in each vehicle, now be enlightened to know this historically significant news?<P>Will the BCA have to amend their judging rules to include a category for "Cup Holders?"<P>AK Buickman.....

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Guest 70 Electra

Well, now....<P>I would submit that what you have described is not a cup HOLDER, but rather a cup SHELF, or cup placement location. wink.gif" border="0 The distinction being that these minor "divots" in the sheetmetal glove box door were intended for SETTING your cup down while the car was stopped. <P>There was never a claim or insinuation that they would actually HOLD your cup while car was in motion. It was just a place to set it, while you had that little picnic lunch in the car, with mom and the kiddies. <P>By the way, this may be just automotive urban legend, but here's the story I heard on how these divots came to be:<P>In order to stiffen the inside of the glove box lids, and prevent the thin metal from "oil canning", some sort of rib or embossment was necessary. The circles were easy to stamp and manufacture and performed the stiffening function.<P>Then some bright marketing guy (hey, is that an oxy-moron?) realized the size was just right for a cup of coffee. Viola! Suddenly a competitive "feature" at no extra cost!!<BR>Truth or Fiction? Who knows!<P>Don't know when these first occured, but I can tell you why they went away. Once the auto companies got serious about preventing accident injuries, they realized that a glove box lid that opened to a horizontal position (perfect for cups!) was like a knife edge in the knees during a collision when it pops open! As a result, the glove boxes were moved, eliminated, or made to only open partially. That was the end of the "first generation" cup holder.

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Guest Skyking

I think these glove box cupholders were put there for drive-in-movies, I know I used mine plenty of times back then....but then again, how many guys on this forum even remember drive-in-movies......??

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Guest sintid58

I remember using our cup holders while eating at drive-ins resteraunts. The kind with car hops a shake or soda fit perfectly. Inn those days you ate parked at the drive in, not driving down the road. grin.gif" border="0

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I need to check the '59 and '66 literature, but I think Buick used the words "cup holder" as a description. I agree that these style cup holders are not of the 21st Century style, but they are stil Super!!<P>'58 Buicks appear to be the first Buicks with the cup holders. Does any factory literature mention it?<P>AK Buickman................

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  • 3 months later...

In his earlier posting, 96roadmaster is absolutely correct about his '58 Buick having cup holders. Thanks for the correction.<BR>I verified this by checking my 1958 Buick color sales brochure. The brochure shows a picture of an opened glove box door, and has a short caption saying that there are four <BR>"beverage holders" built into the inside of the glove box door. Makes me think that if the '58 Buick used portholes, would a Buick Special have only 3 beverage holders, while the Century/Super/Roadmaster/Limited give their owners 4 in the glove box door?<BR>On acceleration from a standstill, or while cornering, there is nothing to keep your beverages from sliding off and onto the floor of the Buick. This must have been designed for use only at a drive-in movie, or at the local A&W Root Beer Drive-in. <P>AK Buickman...................

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Well, I went and gave my '54 a look-see, and there are no cup divots.<BR>HOWEVER, I stepped out into the garage, picked the glove box door to my '57 Chevy up off the floor, (never mind why it was on the floor), and there are three cut divots embossed on the back of it!<BR>Now, I've got a '56 Chevy as well, and it seems to me that, although I can't put my hands on the piece now (a sad tale I'm sure many of you can look out in your own garage and sympathize with), it seems to me the '56 had these divots in as well. I beleive the '56 and '57 used the same glove box door, and I know the '55 and '56 Chevy used the same, so it may be that the '55 Chevy had these divots!<BR>The guy I bought my '54 from almost sold it to someone else who has a fond memory of riding in one as a child and being in an accident, where he was thrown into the open glove box door head first, resulting in a nice scar across the top of his forehead. Almost scalped him! <BR>-Brad

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