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Old 12-03-2008, 11:21 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
5,149 posts, read 9,732,604 times
Reputation: 3840
Some cars had the housing in the middle of the rear trunk lid...most were on the drivers side. Some car models had the spare tire mounted behind the box shaped rear trunk...similiar to the continental spare tire kit models of later yrs. Most all the early cars of the 20's and 30's had only one tail lite housing. Google up some old cars...Essex..Durant..Willys..Willys Knight..Dodge Brothers..Model T & A Fords..Chevys..La Salle.. just to name a few. I grew up in the 30's and saw most of them as my dad was a mechanic and had a shop behind our house. I even had the chance to drive a 1934 V16 Cyl Limo around the block that my dad had worked on. Now THAT was a TRIP to remember. Steve
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:50 PM
 
13,504 posts, read 24,628,462 times
Reputation: 7789
Cars originally didn't come with mirrors at all... there was even a State that had a law prohibiting mirrors equivalent to laws against radar detectors today... it was considered to hinder law enforcement efforts to catch scofflaws.

Most of my vehicles only have one tail/stop light... some don't have any and some don't have any mirrors either. It all depends on the the vehicle code at the time the car was manufactured.

More recently, cars only were required to have a passenger side mirror in my State when the view of the interior rear-view mirror was obstructed... such as when towing a tall trailer or hauling a load in the bed of a truck so as to block the view.

Since the 30's, maybe earlier, side-view mirrors have been an option. Either aftermarket or Dealer sold accessory.

It wasn't too long ago that AM radios and a car heater were extra cost options

... and don't forget white side wall tires!
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Old 12-03-2008, 11:54 PM
 
2,384 posts, read 4,787,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennesseestorm View Post
Yep, thats right. I think pretty much the only cars with standard passenger side mirrors were the high-end luxury models like the upper class models of the Cadillac, Lincolns and Imperials. I think that even on the Electras, Ninety-Eights, etc they were optional. I have a 1973 Pontiac Grand Ville (which was the fanciest Pontiac in 1973) and it has the optional passenger side mirror.
I have seen some late 1970s Lincoln's without the passenger side mirror's and some mid 1970's Cadillac's without the passenger side mirror's, you rarely see any Grandville's around and I think they're really nice cars, how good is your Grandville as far as performance goes? It must have the 455 4 barrel motor am I correct?
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Ohio
2,174 posts, read 4,860,178 times
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The OP could find out some things that would probably amaze him/her with some research if he/she is interested.
Most roads in the country up untill the 1950's were 2 lanes.
The interstates started being built in the 50's when President Eisenhower passed a bill for a multi-lane highway system to be built across the country. The original purpose of this was to establish a way to move military supplies by truck over long distances faster than could be done with the existing network of roads along with providing faster travel for the general public.
According to history books there were more miles of dirt roads in the country in the 40's than there were paved roads.
As far as cars,- heaters, radios, armrests, passenger sun visor, rt side w/s wiper were options rather than standard equipment on cars in years gone by. There were other items as well.
There was a time when the w/s wiper was operated by hand with a lever from the inside. There was a time when you had to turn a crank handle by hand to start the engine.
I have a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe. It was bought new in Buckhannon W.va. It still had the papers in it when I got it. The guy that bought it new must have been pretty well off for the times. It has arm rests on all 4 doors. It has the full horn ring on the steering wheel. The standard steering wheel just had a horn button in the center of the wheel. It has both outside mirrors. It has turn signals. It has full wheel covers instead of what was called the dog dish hubcaps. It has a radio and clock instead of just the delete plates. All of these were options on that car in 1949 unless it had the Deluxe package. It is pretty well decked out for a 1949 model car. It has tail and turn signal lights on each rear fender but the brake light is a single light mounted above the trunk handle. It has a 217 cid L-head engine with a standard 3 speed transmission with the gear shift mounted on the steering column. (three on the tree)
I was born in 1947 and can remember some of the pre war cars and trucks that were still running around when I was a kid. I can remember the narrow crooked roads too.
I'm an old car buff and have messed around with them for a number of years. My Plymouth could be a daily driver but I choose to just drive it occasionally. It was the wedding car when my son got married last fall.
I love driving that car. It takes me back to a simpler, slower paced way of life that I remember as a kid.
Do a google search for - cars of the 1920's- or any decade you want to look at.
Or even You Tube for classic or antique car rides. Some people have video on there of them driving very old cars.
It can be quite interesting. Especialy for the younger folks who think cars made in the last 30 or 40 yrs are pretty much the way they always were.
Some of the most beautiful mass produced cars ever built were made in the 30's, 40's, and 50's. Not so much in the 40's though because of the war years. Many of the brand names from back then no longer exist.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:08 AM
 
Location: southern california
48,871 posts, read 45,073,226 times
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same reason as they carried 1 gun. figured if they used it well, they would not need another.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Earth
4,214 posts, read 11,385,263 times
Reputation: 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Since the 30's, maybe earlier, side-view mirrors have been an option. Either aftermarket or Dealer sold accessory.

It wasn't too long ago that AM radios and a car heater were extra cost options

... and don't forget white side wall tires!
Don't forget the cigarette lighter.

You can see a Pontiac Grandville in Napoleon Dynamite.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:00 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, MN
3,834 posts, read 1,860,285 times
Reputation: 1507
My first car was a 1984 VW Rabbit (diesel) and it only had a driver's side mirror. That car was so barebones it was painful.

No A/C, no stereo, no power steering, no power locks, no power windows. The only options it had was a 5-spd (4-spd was standard) and four doors. Ha! We installed a stereo, but it still only had speakers in the front...there were speaker grilles in the back, but no speakers.

With only 52 hp, its top speed on a flat straightaway was 85 mph.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Southern Arizona
7,841 posts, read 15,400,315 times
Reputation: 6244
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopac1980 View Post
Back in the old days why did they make cars with only one side mirror? That is one thing I could never understand about the way they made them old cars is lack of a passenger side mirror.
Good question, Mopac . . . as others have posted ahead of me, lots of standard features of today were considered "extra cost options" not too many years ago.
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:23 PM
 
2,384 posts, read 4,787,531 times
Reputation: 1272
I notice that power windows is still an option on the entry level cars
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Old 12-04-2008, 01:27 PM
 
7,273 posts, read 6,754,730 times
Reputation: 8972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mopac1980 View Post
I have never known that most of the highways back in the old days were only one lane each way.
And in the 1950s, many of them were still dirt.
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