View Full Version : Useful additions to the car

victor tango
6th Jan 2015, 12:26
The biggest one I remember was back in the 60's where I replaced the old semaphore indicators with a purchased flashing indicator system, magic!

Essential reading of the time was CAR MECHANICS for about 1s 6d it was the bible.

Every week useful step by step maintenance projects taught me most of how to keep the car going as in those days you motored all week and then spent the weekend on your projects.....happy days:ok:

6th Jan 2015, 12:49
I installed a washer kit from Halfords. The tricky part was drilling the two holes in the bodywork without slipping and scratching it. Inside had to reach down and pump the little plunger to get enough spray ... while driving of course. No electrics then.

6th Jan 2015, 12:53
My original Volkswagen, 1974 edition, had no electrics for the windshield washer fluid. The reservoir was pressurized by the spare tire, which was lying flat in the boot, which is in the front in a rear engine Beetle. When you pulled the small lever on the steering column, which was also the wiper on off lever, it released the clamp on the hose and you got a squirt. Keeping the spare inflated was required to ensure that the stream was robust enough to clean off the window. It also ensure that when you needed it, you could use it ... which was fairly often.

That little feature, and the method for passing heat from the engine to the cabin, were two examples of why I liked the Beetle so much. Excellence in design and function.

6th Jan 2015, 13:10
Rear window demister (to see the flashing blue lights)
But had to turn it off if I wanted the flashers actually to flash!
Even FType got the hang of that requirement.

6th Jan 2015, 13:22
LW I had one of those, a 1965. No gas gauge, but you had a little 1 qt reserve tank that you opened via a lever in the footwell if you ran out of gas. It was enough to get you to a gas station if it wasn't too far. The 69 I had came equipped with a gas heater to supplement the exhaust heat exchangers. You could start the heater independent of the engine and it would shut itself off after 15 minutes. When Volks begat the rear window defogger the only other car that offered it as standard equipment was Cadillac.

wings folded
6th Jan 2015, 14:05

or diesel if appropriate

6th Jan 2015, 14:35
the method for passing heat from the engine to the cabin

Many non-VW aftermarket exhaust systems / heat exchangers were so poor quality that they rusted through and imperilled one's life by injecting exhaust fumes into the cab. Stainless steel was the only way to go - or giving up on heat completely and using straight through exhausts.

The VW 181 didn't have the heat exchangers but relied on the combustion heater.

6th Jan 2015, 14:46
When Volks begat the rear window defogger the only other car that offered it as standard equipment was Cadillac. Dunno about the VW and the Caddy, but a friend of mine had a 1956 Bentley S1. He complained that the terminal for the heated rear screen had broken and the only fix was a very expensive new rear screen.

I was unaware that any 1956 cars had such things.

I can also remember that Halford's sold rear screen heaters that were held on with 2 rubber suckers. A guy on my Squadron bought one of the new 100E Ford Anglia's with the 'reverse slope' rear screen. He dutifully moved his Halford's heater across from his old car, and then wondered why it didn't work very well in the Anglia :ugh:

6th Jan 2015, 15:52
Ian I should have added in North America, or better yet, affordable cars. ;)

Seriously, I think the rear defogger was an option on some popular makes, but the only two on which it cane as standard equipment was Volks and Caddy.

Lon More
6th Jan 2015, 17:22
who'd believe this without a dash cam?


6th Jan 2015, 19:37
He oughta take the golden horseshoe out of his ass and have it bronzed. :eek:

6th Jan 2015, 20:30
I miss the feature my Bristol car had many years ago. It the event of a puncture you did not have to get the jack out as there wasn't a traditional one, merely move a lever low down on the dashboard and two hydraulic jacks would descend on that side once the engine was started to raise both tyres from the ground. When the punctured tyre was replaced by the spare all that was necessary to do was to move the lever back to its central position and the jacks would retract. I've often wondered why other manufacturers failed to take that idea up.

Lon More
6th Jan 2015, 21:28
IIRC Alvis, some Austins and Citroen DS21s had built in jacks. Probably deleted by the beabcounters as tyres and roads improved,

Just googled it; you can buy electric jacks now to replace the OE one.In some cars the spare wheel and jack are disappearing altogether, just a small compressor and a can of sealant.

I'm surprised nobody mentioned K & N filters.

6th Jan 2015, 22:01
Henry what was it with Ford and those verdammt vacuum wipers? A friend owned a Ford Frontenac - Canadian version of the Ford Falcon I believe - with those things. They went into a veritable frenzy at highway speed, then barely moved in city traffic.

6th Jan 2015, 22:09
The Ford V8 Pilot also had hydraulic jacks, operated by a hand pump under the bonnet.

6th Jan 2015, 23:48
Anyone who bought a new Japanese car in the 1960's and early 1970's found that it came supplied with a range of good quality hand tools!
Pliers, adjustable wrench, spark plug wrench, screwdrivers of both Phillips and standard plain blade style, wheelbrace, and several open-end spanners as well.
All this came in a nice canvas wallet that rolled up neatly and which was fitted with press studs to hold it closed.
I still have (and use) several of those early Japanese tools and a couple of the tool wallets.

7th Jan 2015, 00:31
The irony being that Japanese cars probably had the least need of a tool kit !

7th Jan 2015, 08:14
Austins and Citroen DS21s had built in jacks.

Didn't the Citroen DS come with a 'prop'?
You put this under the car and flicked a switch to lower the suspension.
Because of the prop stopped the car going down, the wheel lifted.

7th Jan 2015, 08:40
I seem to recall the Citroen DS-21's would balance on 3 wheels, and therefore had no need for a jack? :) (well, on the rear wheels, anyway)

7th Jan 2015, 08:48
Those little, oval shaped, illuminated Wolseley radiator badges on the 50s and 60s models. It was wonderful how many others slowed down and pulled over to let you pass when you came up behind them. :E
(For those too young to remember, all police cars were Wolseleys then in UK).

7th Jan 2015, 09:01
A 'cone of silence' would be useful at times for the front passenger seat :E

7th Jan 2015, 09:03
JWP, they weren't all Wolseley. They also used the MG Magnette, and then there were the Zodiacs and Zephyrs of "Z-Cars" fame.

7th Jan 2015, 09:34
And some of the luckier police drivers of that period were issued with Daimler Dart SP250 sports cars.

7th Jan 2015, 10:50
MG TA, TB and TC Police Car Photos (http://www.mg-tabc.org/resources/police-cars/photos/)

Police cars : MG - AROnline : AROnline (http://www.aronline.co.uk/blogs/news/mg-news/police-cars-mg/)

7th Jan 2015, 16:04
the Citroen DS-21's would balance on 3 wheels,

Nice trick for after getting the wheel off, but to change a wheel, you 1st still need to get the weight of the car off the wheel.

8th Jan 2015, 09:02
OK OK pedant mode off guys. My mistake - MOST police patrol cars...........
The point of the story was the badge and other motorists' reaction to it on seeing my ex police 2.4 coming behind them so my mistake didn't make much difference.

8th Jan 2015, 11:43
Anyone else remember those draught excluders that were very popular in the 60s ?

I noticed from a TV programme that they still seem to be popular in Italy.

8th Jan 2015, 11:46
There used to be a story that if the the lamp in the little Wolseley advert blew it was replaced for free by any Wolseley dealer, was that true or is it just another urban myth?

8th Jan 2015, 12:40
I'm surprised nobody mentioned K & N filters.

Good idea for carburettor equipped engines, not so good for some fuel injection systems; e.g. those with a heated wire mass airflow metering system.

Loose rivets
8th Jan 2015, 18:29
My Wolseley had and oval badge. I remember buying a bulb for it from my local garage. I sold the badge, and that bulb, in 2011 on e-thingy.

My Wolseley also had a Jack All system. Open the bonnet and select Front Back or All and start pumping with a lever stowed nearby.

One night I was with a longterm girlfriend who told me Tonight was the night. At last . . . after all these years :} anyway, after a lot of messin' I found myself stuck in a field of high corn. I'd finally elected to ZOOOOOM around in the field and charge at the muddy ramp to get up despite my bald tires. However, at the furthest point, the four jacks, even up, stuck into the soil. Not a chance of moving.

I walked with the snarling creature that had been a beautiful love of my life minutes before. I looked back at the mauve light glowing above the corn. (Yes, that mauve light)

Cost me 30/= to get it out, but nice garage man did it that night and I never got caught.

8th Jan 2015, 23:10
I have a unused set from Toyota Carina - early 70's. Keep it hidden and hope it will be collectable some time (long after my Daughter have inherited it)!

9th Jan 2015, 00:05
I reckon there's a multi-million dollar/pound market for someone inventing a MIL ejector seat for a car. :E

9th Jan 2015, 02:45
OK OK pedant mode off guys. My mistake - MOST police patrol cars...........
The point of the story was the badge and other motorists' reaction to it on seeing my ex police 2.4 coming behind them so my mistake didn't make much difference.

I get the same effect when I close up on the back of the preceeding car on my motor bike - wearing my HiVis yellow jacket. Such fun.

John Hill
9th Jan 2015, 04:16
Back in the day if you had a Triumph Speed Twin the thing to do was paint the word 'TERRIFIC' on the front fairing..

9th Jan 2015, 04:53
Back when I was a little less mature, I installed an external sound system (speaker behind the grille) through which I could play pre-recorded sounds.

One favourite was, when everybody had pulled up at a major set of lights, a recording of railway-crossing activity could be played.

"Ding-ding-ding-ding..." being drowned out by the sound of a fast-approaching steam locomotive blowing its whistle.

This, of course was accompanied by the doppler-effect and the subsequent "clicketty-clack" of the following carriages fading into the distance.

We were naughty boys, we were.

John Hill
9th Jan 2015, 05:49
One of these can be fun! All you need is an original Mini and a big stereo!

9th Jan 2015, 09:59
Probes and Worrals have this? :)


9th Jan 2015, 22:46
Back in the mists of time I had an MGB, a fairly early model. As I used to drive from London down to Yeovil late on Sunday nights, but mostly because I fancied myself a boy racer, I butchered the front grill and hung two Cibie Oscar driving lights off the inside cross member connected to the high beam cable.

They lit up the road for about half a mile but, being an early model, the car only had a dynamo, not an alternator, so when they were turned on the amp meter needle dived all the way down the wrong side, even at 90mph going across Salisbury plain.

Drove an MGB at 55mph a few months ago. Don't know how I survived beyond twenty two. Blind luck, suppose.