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What automotive fads do you remember most?

Some that come to my mind right off are those trunk-mounted luggage racks that were installed on mostly circa 1980's GM cars like the Grand Am, 6000, Park Ave, etc. Then, when just about every manufacturer offered trunk wings or spoilers on everything from econoboxes to true sportscars.

What are some of yours?
 

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- Seatbelts (well just the should part) that slide from the top of the A pillar to the B pillar when the door was opened.

- Body cladding (I won't mention specifics for fear of backlash)

- Pop up headlights

- Vinyl tops

- White walls
 

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The really dark tinted GTS headlight and tailight covers
Playboy bunny-door lock plungers, lock surrounds, etc
Fake TV boomerang and cell phone antenne
Triple limo tints with the "bass" shockwave
Mini-trucks(anything)
Euro license plates with custom sayings on the "2 LO 4 U?"(made while you wait at Barefoot Mailman)
The triple blade body colored wipers
 

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^ Nice, I was thinking OEM trends more than aftermarket fads!

Who had a "Local Motion" sticker? :D
 

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hahahaha...


I forgot about the Local Motion sticker!


You could also get a Grant GT steering wheel and a Blaupunkt "goose neck" EQ!


OEM trends...


Well, in the 70's there was the CB craze, GM was the first OEM that offered a factory CB radio that worked right through the factory radio and speakers, it was 1977 or so. They were not cheap, the factory one on my 1978 Eldo stickered for $500 or so dollars.

Remember fendertip turn signal indicator(Chrysler had them on everything from Darts to Imperials) and the GM fiber-optic light monitors?

Opera windows and opera lamps(tisk tisk....you cant have an opera window without the proper lamp to go with it)

Phony convertible tops(pervert-ables as my friend used to call them)

Digital dashes(hated by all the magazines, yet somehow ok in a new 2008 Civic still)

Woodgrain!- on everything!(my Eldo even has some on the back of the front seats!)

The proliferation of ashtrays & lighters-again, to use the Cadillac as an example, one in each rear armrest, one in the right front passenger door, and a dual ashtray in the dash(SALT III talks in the 80's started a unilateral ashtray disarmament treaty between Cadillac and Lincoln)

Pillowy wrinkled gathered leather-I love this stuff, its like sitting in a giant leather pillow.

Hood ornaments-dont see them around anymore, but they were pretty common on higher end cars even until the 90's.

The digital flip clocks-Many 70's and some 80's cars had these, the clock looks like an old microwave clock the numbers rotate from right to left.

Silver faced gauges- Buick, Lincoln, Mercury, Chrysler and Cadillac all played around with these.
 

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Fins on the rear fenders.

Hidden wiper blades (that got iced over and rendered useless)

Rear wheel covers that covered half the wheel.

Front lightbars.

Cornering lamps.

Horizontal speedometers (I always liked those.)
 

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The black plastic things they put on the back of Camaro's, Mustang's, Celica's, Supra's, etc. in the 80's
 

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talking chryslers, and my talking nissan from 85, along w/ it's silver plastic tape player/radio deck, which has made it's return

GM's throaty burbly exhaust on all v6's. I put chrome tips on my beretta so people could not only hear that lusty 2.8, but see the bling from which it came!
 

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Wire Hubcaps
Window Vents (the little triangle windows on the front of the door)
Continental Kits
chrome trim running the length of the car (think side of a 57 Chevy)
wrap around front windsheild
 
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Ahh, man, I'm old enough to have seen many fads/trends. I can't think of any off hand, but let me put some thought to it.

- Body cladding (I won't mention specifics for fear of backlash)
k, I'll say it for you, 'Pontiac'.

Euro license plates with custom sayings on the "2 LO 4 U?"(made while you wait at Barefoot Mailman)
Ha ha. Or those European stickers people would put on the back of their cars in the 90's of the country flag of their heritage, such as the Swedish flag, or German flag. No asswipe, you are an American.

Well, in the 70's there was the CB craze, GM was the first OEM that offered a factory CB radio that worked right through the factory radio and speakers, it was 1977 or so. They were not cheap, the factory one on my 1978 Eldo stickered for $500 or so dollars.
Yep. Remember CB radios.

Opera windows and opera lamps(tisk tisk....you cant have an opera window without the proper lamp to go with it)
Yep, pops had that on his '79Lebaron. As well as the turning lamps. That was a nice car though. My old man was a Mopar man.

The proliferation of ashtrays & lighters-again, to use the Cadillac as an example, one in each rear armrest, one in the right front passenger door, and a dual ashtray in the dash(SALT III talks in the 80's started a unilateral ashtray disarmament treaty between Cadillac and Lincoln)
Yep. I used to play with those on long trips as a kid, and constantly flip 'em open, and closed.

Hood ornaments-dont see them around anymore, but they were pretty common on higher end cars even until the 90's.
Yep. It was cool when I bought my '79 K5 a few years ago. It had 'em. I missed those.

The black plastic things they put on the back of Camaro's, Mustang's, Celica's, Supra's, etc. in the 80's
Hey, man. I had those on my '79 Celica GT. I also had them on my '76 Firebird.
 

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Mistaken identities.
A few weeks ago, I saw a honda accord at a UDF. Only the honda badges had been taken off.
What were in their places?

Three big, red letters.

G M C


I almost died laughing.
 

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^ I saw a riced BMW M3 at A&W last night with shiny black steel rims and random vents on the side and it even had a huge spoiler on the back. I also have seen a KIA Rio with Infinti badges.
As for fads I like the wheel skirts on the front of some Nashes in the fifties "upside down bathtubs".
 

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Calvin pissing on Ford/Chevy/Dodge stickers

Stepside truck beds
I agree with the stickers but stepside beds? They weren't a fad, they are still pretty popular today. Heck, they were the original truck bed. Fleetsides didn't show up until 1958.
 

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The most obvious trend to me is tailfins from the 50s. They totally defined the era. Other trends would be woodgrain trim, white letter tires, real colored interiors (red, blue, etc), louvered front fenders, DICE, plastic testicles hanging from trailer receiver, wrap around windshield, and *shudders* body colored wheels.
 

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I guess I will add a couple too that I haven't seen mentioned:

( yeah yeah, I know, these are aftermarket )

Side pipes/exhaust stacks
Fuzzy dice
Air shocks
Traction bars
half moon headlight covers
center cap spinners
full length rearview mirrors
blue dots
 

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Lowrider Japanese pickups. I really hated the ones with the canted license plate in the tailgate.

Cheap tacked-on third brake lights right after they became compulsory. The horrid huge ones on the Camaro/Firebird (my wife calls them "Quasimodos"); Chrysler's and Mazda's cheap add-on jobs; the strange Isuzu pickup one mounted atop the roof...
 

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Stepside truck beds

I agree with the stickers but stepside beds? They weren't a fad, they are still pretty popular today

Well, no he's right, I can't think of a manufacturer that offers a step side bed on a truck right now, not GM, not Dodge, not Ford.

The sad fact is that they vanished without anyone knowing it, until he pointed it out I had forgotten that they were gone.

I know for a while there in the 90's the made a comeback and actually expanded down to the small trucks, remember the Ranger "Splash" with a mini stepside bed and the equivalent S10/Sonoma versions, where are they now?


Cornering Lamps-Ahhhh nothing says luxury like having lamps that just illuminate to the side when you are turning, another GM first, Cadillac started pimping them in 1962. By the 80's they had spread to almost everything, even the Corvette, which also had a matching rear set that illuminated to the sides whern you were backing up(ha! I bet everyone forgot about those!)

Custom Vans- A rolling 70's single guy's apartment on wheels! you almost expect Ron Burgandy to be lounging out in the back of one of these things Mood lights, lots of wood, and later, mysterious stains after the van got older. Hey! it's got a TV and a ladder on the back too!!, Where do I sign? Dealers loved these things, tons of mark up over the regular plumbers Econoline. I remember that these were so popular down here in Miami in the 80's that dealerships had "Custom Van Centers", with more than a hundred of these beasts on the lot.
 
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