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Old 2nd July 2008, 10:58   #1
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Default Top Ten List of 'Outrageous Options ever invented for automobiles

This is from Forbes, the list of top 10 outrageous options for automobiles.

Read the full article here:
  • Automatic Lit Cigarette Dispenser -- As a "safety" item, this was an aftermarket accessory designed to eliminate the distractions of lighting a cigarette while motoring down the road. This option was unveiled in the late 1940s and in one application was attached to a steering wheel.
  • Highway Hi-Fi (16 2/3 LP Player) -- This option was developed in 1955 and was offered as an option on 1956 Chrysler models. The drawback was in the performance of the record player while encountering the smallest of bumps, slamming on the brakes or taking a fast corner!
  • Destroilet -- An optional "Destroilet" gas incinerator-type toilet was available for early 1960s Dodge motor homes, which was meant to simplify waste disposal. After use, when the top lid was closed, a small, thick metal lid would also close over the well at the bottom. A jet of burning gas would incinerate the solid waste and vaporize the liquid. A chimney to the outdoors carried the vapors away.
  • Electric Shaver -- An electric shaver that was powered by a vehicle's electrical system was developed by aftermarket automotive suppliers in the 1940s, and was an available factory option for a 1957 Chevrolet.
  • Automotive Swamp Cooler -- These were popular from the late 1940s through the 1950s to help cool the interior of cars before air conditioning systems became readily available. Swamp Coolers were available through the aftermarket and attached to one of the car's windows. The theory was simply to cool by evaporation. There was a reservoir for cool water, a wick to soak it up, and it relied on air movement from traveling down the road to force cooled air into the interior of the vehicle. These are highly collectible now and are commonly seen at vintage car shows.
  • Steam Pressure Cooker -- This accessory mounted to the rear bumper to cook food while motoring down the road. It routed exhaust gases through the inner chambers of the cooker to provide the heat to cook the food.
  • Steering Wheel Watch -- In 1958 a steering wheel mounted watch for was available on DeSotos.
  • Trafficators -- Back in the days before flashing turn signals, a driver would flip a switch on the dash and a lit semaphore arm would swing out of a panel on the appropriate side of the car and signal the driver's intention to turn.
  • Swivel Seats -- These seats, available on a 1959 Chrysler, would automatically swivel out as the door opened to make it easier for the passenger to exit the automobile.
  • Talking Car -- In the early 1980s, the Chrysler LeBaron literally talked. It would say phrases such as "Your door is ajar," "All monitored systems functioning," and if you listened to the command of "Please fasten your seatbelt," it would promptly reply with "Thank you!" The cars with a taped voice were
Question: What are the options (NOT Accessories) that we have in India that can be simply termed 'outrageous'

One from me would be: Coffee Cup holders.

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Old 2nd July 2008, 11:41   #2
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Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
This is from Forbes, the list of top 10 outrageous options for automobiles.

Read the full article here:
  • Steam Pressure Cooker -- This accessory mounted to the rear bumper to cook food while motoring down the road. It routed exhaust gases through the inner chambers of the cooker to provide the heat to cook the food.
This one takes the cake IMHO Or, should I say, this one Bakes the Cake?

.
  • Talking Car -- In the early 1980s, the Chrysler LeBaron literally talked. It would say phrases such as "Your door is ajar," "All monitored systems functioning," and if you listened to the command of "Please fasten your seatbelt," it would promptly reply with "Thank you!" The cars with a taped voice were
Our Scorpio does this even now. And there is no Shut-up switch either(at least i couldnt find one)
'

One from me would be: Coffee Cup holders.
What about the mad-massaging seats in the limos (S-class/Maybach) ? Aren't they really outrageous?
Headlight-Wipers in some old Merc-S class models (I've seen this miniwipers working, and was pretty amsued myself)
The Rain-Sensing wipers/light Sensing headlamps in new M-Hawk (Not a Scorpio basher, I like the car for most of its capabilities) Cant the drivers sense these themselves?
Power/Economy Mode indicators in the TVS-Bikes?
Inverted Wiper/Hedlamp control stalks and Hood relase on the left side for Ford Cars (I know this one do not qualify, but still,It feels strange,every time you hop into a ford after driving another car)

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Old 2nd July 2008, 11:59   #3
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aravindwarrier : Inverted Wiper/Hedlamp control stalks and Hood relase on the left side for Ford Cars ...
It's not called outrageous. The correct description is 'Laziness'. Ford could not do a simple thing as that, even with localised manufacture of these items.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:02   #4
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Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
One from me would be: Coffee Cup holders.
Can I ask why is this outrageous. For a lot of people so much of time is spent in car in a day. Maybe co-passengers want to continue journey with a coffee or a cool drink. People use that to hold small plastic bottles of water as well. So much better and safer option than bottles freely rolling around when you brake and get stuck below your brake pedal. Have seen this happen on a friend's Safari. Cost of repair 70K after he rear ended a Scorpio.

In my opinion it is a well thought of option. I have seen some excellent ones in volvo truck, where there are cooling vents inside the holder to keep the drink extra cool as well despite the cabin being A/C. You can call that outrageous if you want
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:06   #5
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- these days many companies and most malls require inspection of boot. Somebody has to pull that lever. How would Ford owners react in such situations?
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The correct description is 'Laziness'. Ford could not do a simple thing as that, even with localised manufacture of these items.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:06   #6
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Maybe you should watch pimp my ride hosted by Xzibit. This show has some of the most outrageous optional stuff installed in the car.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:10   #7
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- these days many companies and most malls require inspection of boot. Somebody has to pull that lever. How would Ford owners react in such situations?
diabloo, only the bonnet release lever is on the wrong side in the Fiesta. The boot release lever is on the dash above the main headlamps knob, IIRC.

I hope malls and IT parks don't ask for bonnets to be opened anytime, though that is bound to happen.

OT but on the same topic: The Premier Padmini, for many years, had the bonnet release lever on the LHS under the dash. What was hilarious was the positioning of the handbrake lever on the LHS of the transmission tunnel.

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Old 4th July 2008, 01:12   #8
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Maybe you should watch pimp my ride hosted by Xzibit. This show has some of the most outrageous optional stuff installed in the car.
That show is so bad, It makes me want to hurl.
LCDs behind the seats of a car that is a 2 seater.
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Old 4th July 2008, 12:25   #9
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Artificial Engine Sounds!

Yes you heard it right..
I think in future car manufacturers going the Hybrid way will provide options for Engine sounds too.

(Just an Idea..)
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Old 4th July 2008, 12:41   #10
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Originally Posted by Bullfrog View Post
Can I ask why is this outrageous. For a lot of people so much of time is spent in car in a day. Maybe co-passengers want to continue journey with a coffee or a cool drink.

The coffee cup holder in a Wagor R is on the right hand side.
There is a bottle holder in front of the gear stick.

The coffee cup holder cannot be used by passengers as they will not be able to reach it.

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But I still find it quite usefull.
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Old 4th July 2008, 13:57   #11
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[*]Steam Pressure Cooker -- This accessory mounted to the rear bumper to cook food while motoring down the road. It routed exhaust gases through the inner chambers of the cooker to provide the heat to cook the food.[/list][list]
Hey this ones a cool invention, i remember seeing someone use this on a show on Discovery / NATL channel. It think it was a DIY kinds. It was actually quite helpfull for them as they were in some remote area without Human civilization.

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Old 4th July 2008, 19:23   #12
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Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
... Trafficators -- Back in the days before flashing turn signals, a driver would flip a switch on the dash and a lit semaphore arm would swing out of a panel on the appropriate side of the car and signal the driver's intention to turn. ...
This I have seen till the 60's in buses and cars. The Indian version used be just a metal plate without the illumination, the driver had to pull a lever by his side! Would have been unusable in today's traffic condition: "Dekh dekh dekh ... krrrackkk ... tchah, s...a auto-walla maar ke chala gaya"!

Rotating seats were available as an option (hinged tables too) even till recently in some MUVs - Renault Espace etc. - so that a traveling family could play scrabble or other board games!
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Old 4th July 2008, 21:41   #13
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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
The coffee cup holder in a Wagor R is on the right hand side.
There is a bottle holder in front of the gear stick.

The coffee cup holder cannot be used by passengers as they will not be able to reach it.
I thought the cup holders were usually meant for the driver, and if it's in the middle then the co-passenger can use it as well. Pretty useful in cars with automatic transmissions.

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Old 4th July 2008, 23:12   #14
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Originally Posted by hrag View Post
diabloo, only the bonnet release lever is on the wrong side in the Fiesta. The boot release lever is on the dash above the main headlamps knob, IIRC.

I hope malls and IT parks don't ask for bonnets to be opened anytime, though that is bound to happen.
We need to open the bonnet sometimes (randomly) at office entry. So one needs to stretch over and bend to reach the lever. A pain, unless you have a lady colleague as a passenger.
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