Brake lights & one-pedal driving

In 1965, I was only 15, so you are a bit older than me. But I still often price items (in spite of inflation…) based on my old days of earning minimum wages… At $1.25 an hour, a buck bought almost 5-gallons of gas (today gas was $3.16 and 80% of $15 ($12) would buy only 3.7 gallons. Cigarettes cost about $.25 a pack or a little over $2.00 a carton, now they are $5.75 a pack or $55 a carton (over 3-hours pay today…)

Well, you know where my head was in 1965 as a 15-year old, who already owned his first car, but still had to wait until I hit 16 to drive legally…

I bought my first car, a 1954 Dodge Meadowbrook, from a neighbor. The price was $100, I only had $50 or so and he let me have it, with the balance due before I turned 16. It was about a month before I turned 16 when I paid it off. The next day he came over to the house with an old oil can. It had been cleaned out and it was stuffed with one-dollar bills (100 of them…). He told me that when he found out I wanted the car; he decided to give it to me. I asked why he made me pay for it then and he said it was to ensure I appreciated it, especially when I had to work so hard to earn the money. He also told me that he accepted the payments so I would learn that when you have an obligation, you meet that obligation…

I’ve carried that lesson forward over the years, regretfully, not all my “students” (nieces, nephews, neighbor’s kids, even friends, etc…) learned anything… But Hope Springs Eternal…


In a book about Harley Earl (head of GM styling), the author stated that all of the styling staff detested what Earl had done to their '55/'56 model. Earl’s habit of hanging extra chrome was bad enough, but when he insisted on adding the simulated rocket launchers on the hood, the styling staff was universal in their belief that their boss had ruined the “purity” of their design.

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Chrysler corporation introduced the rear center brake light.on it’s entire line (Plymouth, Dodge, DeSoto, Chrysler) in 1941. This was the only light that came on when one stepped on the brake pedal. My parents had a 1940 Chrysler and it did not have this feature. However, their 1947 Dodge, 1947 DeSoto, and 1949 Dodge had this feature, as did the 1948 Dodge I once owned. This center brake light feature was eliminated on Chrysler products beginning with its 1950 products. In 1950, the tail lights had dual filament bulbs and the brighter filament was the brake lights.
I believe the center brake was introduced on all cars in 1986. I owned a 1985 Ford Tempo and it did not have this rear center brake light. I bought kits from J.C. Whitney and installed a center brake light on the 1985 Tempo and 1978 Oldsmobile I owned at the time. There was a logic circuit which consisted of an AND gate so that the center brake light didn’t flash with the turning signals.


Well imho the experts were wrong and the majority of the public liked the new designs. I found one of those rocket launchers in the dump once with some other body parts. I took it home and mounted it on my royal norseman go cart. It didn’t go very well but looked neat.

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I believe model year 1986 and up passenger cars were required to have that 3rd brake light

None of the model year 1985 and earlier Benzes came with the third brake light . . . CHMSL . . . but some people retrofitted one from newer vehicles


My 81 did not have it but both my 86s had the brake light so that sounds right.

Teenage me used to mow lawns as a summer job. I charged $30 per month, single payment in October. I asked my customers to pay in $1 bills so it looked like I was making a lot … lol …

Our '85 Corolla doesn’t have one and never will… On two occasions over the years we have been pulled over by the police for having an “inoperable” 3rd brake light, I asked the officer if they had not run our plates before pulling us over and they replied that they had and then I’ve asked why were we pulled over for have an “inoperable, non-existent” brake light and the reply was “Safety Check…” I let it go there as I did not want them coming back with “I smell marijuana, pop the trunk…”

And NO, they would not have found anything illegal… But then we would probably get into a discussion of asking him to call his supervisor, who might stick up for their cop and then I would still not agree for the inspection, and then they would threaten to have our car towed back to their station (at our expense) while we are being held in “protective custody…”

Do you sense a bit of resentment here… I had a young airman who worked for me years ago traveling back-home, cross-country, on-leave, and it happened to him, they arrested him, towed his car, kept him in jail all night and most of the next day, until they could “borrow” a drug dog from the adjacent jurisdiction. Nothing was found, he was not charged and because he was in “protective custody,” he was not afforded a phone call nor did they feed him and he had to pay for the tow to have his car released.

Somethings just raise my hackles…

Heh heh. I seem to accumulate one dollar bills in my money clip. I only put 20 s and larger in my bill fold. At any rate when they get too many, I unload them at one of the self service checkouts when they aren’t busy. Takes a little bit to feed in 15 one dollar bills.

That sounds like abuse of power, overstepping your authority, police misconduct, waste of public resources, etc.


OK , I can see not wanting to spend the money for the third brake light but your post reads as if you have something against them . They do make a difference .

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I can see why you would think that (doesn’t have one and never will…), but no, I am most definitely not against the third brake light and I agree they do reduce rear end collisions, but I’m just not going to install a third one on the '85.

@LoudThunder Since the 3rd brake light became mandatory 38 years ago, I would be surprised if the 3rd brake light kits are still available.
The installation was simple in the kits I installed. The light is attached to the rear window. The light contains the logic board which simulates two switches in series. One wire goes to the left side brake light/turn signal and the other to the right side brake light/turn signal. If a turn signal is on, the logic board will not send current to the third brake light. This prevents it from blinking with the turning signal. However, depressing the brake allows the logic board to send current to the third brake light just like closing two switches wired in parallel. Turning on the emergency flashers also caused the third brake light to flash with the kits I installed.

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The cops are not your friends. They are your adversaries

Software is written to the specifications spelled out by the client. They wouldn’t make functionality decisions. Software contracts are spelled out in great detail to avoid any confusion from both parties. When I did consulting, there were times I spent 2-3 weeks with a client working on the specs. Sometimes lawyers get involved.

I have no idea why you say it was outsourced.

Perhaps. Besides being stopped for no reason at all, which they claim is DUI-prevention enforcement, I’ve been stopped & ticketed for what I consider to be ver minor offenses several times, including for bizarre rules for right turns on red lights at certain intersections, & a burned out license plate light bulb. But maybe your assessment of the police is still a little over the top? IMO they do some good things too. For example I was riding my bicycle during a major windstorm a few months ago, policeman notices and tells me to go home, forget about bike riding, major high voltage power lines blown down on the ground ahead of where I was going.

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Rubber tires on the bike, just don’t get off.

I’m not sure what the dui law is now but I think they cannot set up the road blocks anymore. In Minnesota now a household can have two pounds of pot, which seemed like a pretty good sized bag. It sounded like they have a saliva test to determine if you have used it though. Still how do they determine if they are under the influence or not. My guess is they’ll have to wait for a crash first and then do the test. Interesting though that after the total hullabaloo from our public health friends over tobacco, and smokeless (whatever that’s called again), there has been nary a peep over pot. Some of us wonder why, but then we know anyway. Prepare for fried brains man. Easy to fall out of a boat without drugs so wear a preserver.

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Its even simpler to avoid boats in the first place.

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How about a 1936 tricycle?