New cars do have some advantages

I’m with @ValvoV70 on this one. I don’t remember the all details, but do remember it was a great read. Then next time you can just link to it.

Forget it…I didn’t notice I wasn’t on the last page.


B.L.E., I hated those vacuum operated wipers. Never did understand why manufacturers used them.

I well remember when the heater was a box under the dashboard. The 1939 Chevrolet my dad owned until I was in 4th grade didn’t have a,way to send heated air to the windshield so there was,no defroster. There was only a fan control switch. The coolant constantly flowed through the heater core unless a valve was turned off under the the hood. He later owned both a 1947 Dodge and a,1947 DeSoto. These cars had the lowest level heaters, but did have a knob that when pulled out to direct air to the windshield for defrosting. However to stop the coolant flow,through the heater, you turned a valve under the hood. Thus,you opened the valve in the late fall to have heat and closed the valve in the spring.
One “modern” feature I didn’t like in the old carburetor days,was the automatic choke. I much preferred the hand choke. There was often a throttle control to raise the idle speed in cold weather when the engine was cold.

@"the same mountainbike"‌ – I wonder if vacuum wipers were used so that manufacturers wouldn’t, have to use a higher capacity generator. In the later years of alternators, though, vacuum wipers didn’t make sense. My 1965 Rambler and my 1968_AMC Javelin both had vacuum wipers and a fuel pump with a vacuum booster section. I would think an electric wiped motor with a simpler fuel pump would have been cheaper. I know that the 1940 Chryslers had electric wipers and higher output generators than other cars

So B.L.E., did that guy get the engine started again before it hit the ground? Boy that’s desperation and a good thing the prop was within reach. Gives me shivers.

Our 1960 Falcon had the vacuum wipers. You didn’t want to try and pass anyone while it was raining. Of course you normally didn’t pass anyone anyway with that one.

Makes sense, Triedaq. I wish I knew.

I,do,know that once,a,person gets used to certain doesn’t want to do without them. The strippo 1965 Rambler did not have backup lights,or a windshield washer as my previous car had. I had these features installed not long after I bought the car.
My dad never wanted options. He purchased a new Buick Century back in 1978. My mother told me how my dad got leg cramps after driving any distance. I made up an excuse to trade cars,with him for a day and had a. cruise control installed,as a birthday present. He immediately took the car on a long trip and thought the cruise control was great. All his next cars had to have cruise controls.

My '89 Toyota pickup strippee had no cruise control. Or power windows. Or A/C. Or power locks, or even carpets. But my priorities are highly reliability focused, and it was extremely reliable for many many years and miles.

I confess that after about 15 years I had a sliding rear window installed. Best $125 I ever spent.

The downside to the high tech, gee whiz factor on modern cars is the diagnosis and repair costs associated with it.

Many people love the high tech, gee whiz until something goes wrong with it and the bill comes due.

I can’t answer Triedaq’s question about the use of vacuum wipers and electrical load but it’s possible that electrical load could have been a factor back in the day.

For many years back then Harleys used a 3 brush 6 Volt generator. It was normally charging with 2 brushes with additional current provided by the 3rd brush when the lighting was in use.
Some people found that adding additional accessory lighting would do in the generator.

A 6 volt wiper motor would probably pull a lot of current.

Good point about the 6 volts. I forgot about that.

ok4450 The lights on my 1966 Triumph 650 Bonneville with magneto were almost non-existent at idle.

the same mountainbike Early VW Beetles were actually quite modern compared to my AH Sprite Mk1 and MGA. They had door handles and roll-up windows.

B.L.E. I had several vehicles with vacuum wipers. They worked great at idle when you were stopped and didn’t really need them.

VDCdriver When purchasing my 2010 Kia Forte SX the salesman mentioned the traction/stability control. I asked if it could be turned off. He replied “yes but why would anyone want to”? I answered. “I’m special ordering the sport model with manual transmission. I prefer actually driving my cars and am quite capable of doing so. I would want to.”

Yeah its possible I guess that electrical load could be part of it. Also I think they were cheaper than electric wipers. I told the story before but when I took the 60 Falcon out my dad warned me not to use the radio or it would discharge the battery. I used the radio anyway of course and it did discharge the battery. The generator was not big enough to keep up with the radio and heater around town driving.


So B.L.E., did that guy get the engine started again before it hit the ground? Boy that’s desperation and a good thing the prop was within reach. Gives me shivers.

I dunno, but I’m pretty sure it was an air show stunt. Besides, airplanes can be safely landed with the engine out if you can make it to a landing area.
My flying experience is mostly radio control and some of the prettiest landings I ever did were the dead engine landings.

I believe that the weak 6-volt systems of yesteryear were the prime factor for retaining vacuum-powered wipers far longer than they should have been.

Let us not forget that the earliest optional power windows and power seats on cars were hydraulic, powered by an engine-driven pump. The only reason that mfrs went to the trouble of running all of those hydraulic lines was because those 6 volt systems just couldn’t power electric motors for windows and seats.

Most likely Triedaq is the only one other than me who remembers this, but those hydraulic power windows had the…charming…habit of developing leaks after a few years, thus leaving streaks of hydraulic oil on various parts of the car, sometimes including the fabric-covered door panels.

Here is an interesting look at a 1955 Packard Patrician, the last of the great Packards before they (briefly) became just re-badged Studebakers. This graceful old car was certainly comfortable, but I don’t think that most of us would want it as a daily driver today.

It’s -9 degrees here today. You’re bloody right I appreciate modern cars and their fast warmups and heated seats. :wink:

I still have 2 vehicles which are very basic. They don’t even have power windows, power steering, or air conditioning. One doesn’t have a radio. They’re both very reliable. One is a fun car (a CRX) and one is a utility car (pickup). And you know what? When it’s 100 degrees out, I try to avoid driving either one of them. I’m in the MR2 or the Acura because they have air conditioning. When it’s negative-a-million out like today, I’m taking the car with heated seats and mirrors. Modern cars are great. The anti-modern-car-technology movement makes sense when you’re talking about some of the stupid crap BMW puts in their cars (voice activated command system that doesn’t work right because if you activate the voice command feature while the radio is playing it will listen to what the radio is playing and try to execute it as a command), but when you’re talking about stuff that’s genuinely nice to have, being against it strikes me as markedly luddite.

Us Luddites don’t get no respect.