Do You Have One of these in Your Car?

July 2016

    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  July 20, 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

Gee, we’ve come full circle.  A while back we rented a Chevy with 18 buttons for the radio, including several on the steering wheel.  Even with the owner’s manual in the week we had the car we never did figure all of them out.  My best guess is that GM was the target of an aggressive push button salesman.
One time renting a Pontiac I had to get dual instruction on how to operate the electric windows.  Another time we had to call the car manufacturer when we couldn’t start the car, only to find out the brake pedal had to be depressed or the car wouldn’t start.  Nowhere was this recited in the owners literature.
Sometimes the manufacturers are too smart for the consumer.


Dimmer Switch

AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  Randy Jafka

   Dated:  July 21 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

Jim,
When you say Hutchinson, you do mean Hutchinson, KS?  If so, were you there when the Naval Air Station was there?  If so, that was the place my Dad was the Medical CO of the medical clinic/hospital during WW-II.
hang tuff,
Randy


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  July 22, 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

Do I remember foot operated dimmer switches?  Sure do, I've got three 70s cars with them out in the garage.  Always makes my son stop to think when he drives one of them..
Steve


    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  July 21 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

Randy,
Yes, I mean Hutchinson, KS.  I was born there in June 1934 and didn't leave until I went into the Army in 1953.
I remember the Naval Air Station fairly well.  It covered four square miles (sections) and was a Navy multi-engine training base during WW2.  Between the base and a Cessna Aircraft plant, housing was extremely tight.  At one time there was even a "Quonset hut" housing area for dependents.  In more recent years, I have learned (or realized?) that what is now a privately owned club near the business district was once the Navy's Officers Club.  It was the only place where you could get a drink for miles around because Kansas was still a dry state.  I've also located where the USO "for blacks" used to be.  As expected, it was on the south side of town which was an older, poorer and more racially mixed area.  I still haven't figured out where the USO "for whites" might have been.  In those days, they had to have been separate.   Perhaps just before I left home, I think after both the Air Force and the Navy had left.  I remember going down there (it was about six or seven miles southeast of town) to go roller skating.  What had originally been the base gym had a good hardwood floor and had been turned into an excellent skating rink.
Today, the Kansas Highway Patrol has a police academy on part of the old base and the local community college also has something down there--but I don't know what for sure.
The Air Force used it for a radar site for a while after the war and then the Navy came back for some reason--but I don't remember why.   I do remember that a high school classmate and daughter of one of my parents' friends dated a sailor from the base for a while around 1951 or 1952--which meant that I also got to know him fairly well.  He was sent to Japan for a short period of time and when he came back he brought me a two-piece pool cue as a present from Japan.  The thinner, front halt could be stored inside the larger back half and the outside of the back half had a map of Japan carved on it.  It was the first thing "Oriental" I ever owned.  He eventually left and the girl married a local guy a few years later.
Jim W

PS:  Due to a bumber wheat crop this year, part of the old runway is being used as an outdoor storage area for wheat.   The grain elevators are all packed!


    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  July 21 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

No, I don't have these in my car mainly because I don't have a car. I sold my last car, a 1960 Falcon, in 1970.  For a number of years my Dad would drive to the Wichita Airport to meet me whenever I went "back home" and then would usually drive me "where ever" while I was there.  So probably the last vehicle I drove, again for a number of years, was one of the AFVN vehicles just before I left in June 1971.
But by 1986 my Dad was getting up in years and I didn't want him to driving on the highway so I got a rental car at Wichita Airport.  Just think--I had suddenly gone from 1960 to 1986 (as far as cars were concerned) in an instant.  It was about dusk, so I wanted to turn on the headlights.  "Where's the dang push-pull light switch?"   It didn't exist!  I didn't want to go back in and ask the rent-a-car clerk how I turned the headlights on--she might well have taken the keys away from me and refunded my money!  But, after 15 or 20 minutes of "trying this and trying that" I finally got everything pretty well figured out.  Made it to Hutchinson safely enough and drove around town for the week or 10 days I was home.  There was, however, one mysterious lever on the side of the steering wheel post that I didn't dare touch!  What if it was the ejection seat lever?  My sister-in-law finally showed me that it was to adjust the steering wheel up and down.  Gee!
So I fully sympathize with Steve and the problem of having 18 buttons for the radio.   That is really way too many, because I discovered a number of years ago that, at least when one driving down the highway in Kansas, as one radio station fades out you can always find another one--but it has the same danged syndicated program!  Finding and listening to a "different station" used to be fun.
Jim W
PS:  No, Steven, manufacturers are not "too smart," they are "too dumb" to write a decent owners manual.  Their offspring are now writing computer and software manuals. 


    From:  Paul Kasper

   Dated:  July 19, 2016

Subject:  Fuzzy Car Muffs
Because cold weather makes people loopy enough to put fuzzy warmers on their cars. What was promoted as a "countrywide rage" featured wrapped fuzzy white fur over mirrors, horn rings, visors and car club plaques. It's like driving a polar bear! Today's Boston version would undoubtedly include a snow shovel. Vintage sale price in the 1960s: $0.79 ? $1.50.

Dashboard Record Player
Was this an early version of the aux port? The integrated mp3?  No. But it was an interesting idea: hook up a portable record player to the car radio. It played 45s with the claim that it "Performs smoothly even over rough roads, rough curves, even during fast starting and stopping." There were also full-size record players available for travel trailers during the 40s and 50s. Vintage sale price in the 1960s: $59.95.

Foot Operated Radio Selection Switch
Serious drivers want to know: Why move your hands from the wheel to tune the radio, when you can do it with the tap of your foot? And what's the difference between this and today's advanced head's up display telematics? Vintage sale price in the 1960s: $2.95.


    From:  David Pinto

   Dated:  July 19, 2016

Subject:  Did You Have these in Your Car?

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