Leading car manufacturers often create such inventions that never go into serial production, but remain on the drawing board. This is not surprising, because there are various factors explaining this approach: high cost, limited market, subjective opinion of the company’s management, etc. Nevertheless, some developments have become a kind of starting point for the release of more advanced and functional accessories.
Double-sided seat cushions Packard Caribbean
In the mid-20th century, the Packard brand was very popular and respected, as its flagship model was considered one of the most luxurious in the Caribbean. The convertible was sold in three colors and emphasized its owner’s high social status.
Among the car’s features mentioned were the 2-sided seat cushions, which could easily be flipped, based on the driver’s preference. One accessory surface was lined with quilted leather, while the other was fabric with a fine texture.
Chrysler Highway Hi-Fi Media Player
In order to keep its leading position on the market Chrysler has invested huge sums in the development of innovative engineering and high-tech solutions. It owns such patents as the torsion air suspension and the torque-torque transmission. The brand is also known for its expressive style and creative approach to car design.
One of the greatest achievements of the time was Chrysler’s Highway Hi-Fi player, which allowed you to listen to your favorite songs at your convenience. However, the first version of the device required buying records at the company’s dealership, and the mechanism itself was vulnerable to damage from prolonged listening.
Minibar in the glove compartment
If we talk about the Cadillac brand, it has always been the epitome of luxury and prestige. In the late 50’s the company released an incredibly stylish and expensive by the standards of that time Bcam. At that time, its cost was $14,000, which is comparable to $132,000 in 2021.
Naturally, for such an amount of money, drivers expected to get the coolest options and accessories. Among them was a full bar with magnetized shot glasses. When the car was taken off the assembly line in 1958, the development completely lost its popularity and did not appear anywhere else.
Oldsmobile portable radio
Technological advances in the 1950s were steadily gaining momentum, across industries and consumer markets. As transistor receivers became more popular, listening to music in the car became much more comfortable and easier.
But while many automobile companies were looking at different ideas for integrating transistor receivers into their cars, developers at General Motors Delco introduced a completely alternative solution in the form of a portable radio. It can be removed from the car at any time and taken with you to the beach or a picnic.
The unique product appeared in the 1958 Oldsmobile lineup. Four batteries were used as batteries, and there was also a single speaker. When the stereo was installed in the dashboard, the signal was transmitted through the speaker.
Toyota Ice Maker
The 1984 Toyota Van stood out for a mass of design and engineering features. It had a stunning design and a number of interesting options, such as an ice maker, combined with a refrigerator.
Development appeared in the package LE, installed between the front seats. The versatile minivan soon became very popular in North America until the Previa replaced it in 1990.
Saab panel for safe night driving
Since Saab used to be active in the aviation industry, this also had an impact on the car line presented. The Saab Night Dashboard appeared on the new 900 version in 1993 – before it joined the lineup. When the option is launched, all instrument indicators (except for the speedometer) are turned off so that the driver can concentrate on the road and not be distracted by additional factors.
The option quickly received a lot of positive feedback, but due to low interest from automakers, it was never implemented. Nevertheless, it was actively used on the brand’s own models and has yet to be replicated.
The Italian brand Fiat offers a variety of tools to personalize its car. Among them is the Fiat 500 fragrance dispenser, which allows you to spray a pleasant fragrance throughout the cabin. But despite its extremely low cost, the accessory was not very popular and was soon removed from serial production.
Scandinavian automaker Volvo has always paid special attention to safety in its models. That’s why in 2007 it showed the world a unique system capable of analyzing the heart rate of the driver and passengers, based on data from vibration sensors in the backrests of the seats. The feature looked revolutionary, but never gained worldwide recognition.