Why do old cars have familiar things in unusual places

Everything was very difficult

Approaching old cars with modern standards is guaranteed to be a mess. The most familiar for today’s motorist units and mechanisms on theclassiccan look and work completely differently. Well, at least

Please note: This FIAT 509 from the second half of the 1920s has the steering wheel on the right side. And no, this is not a lefthand drive version of the UK model. It’s just that for a very long time, automotive designers believed that the driver should sit closer to the side of the road, that is, to the right. What for? To be more agile around pedestrians. The general realization that it is better for a person to drive to sit on the left and, thus, to drive away more successfully with hitchhikers, came only in the 30s

Fiat - 509 A - 1928 - Catawiki

Topmounted wipers

It is difficult to understand why, but before the wiper mountings were located not in the lower part of the forehead, but strictly opposite, that is, on top. The efficiency of such wipers is a topic for a separate story. Quite sad, by the way. They covered a small area, they did not adhere very tightly to the glass. It was more of a smear of water on the glass than something resembling cleaning.

Turn signals? Semaphores!

Yeah, the simplest, as it seems to all of us today, blinking lights indicating the direction of the car’s movement, did not appear immediately. In the 1920s and 1930s, and even after the Second World War, they were replaced by such semaphore flags that jumped out of the cavities in the body. For better visibility, the flag was made of brightyellow or orangeplastic. So they were at least slightly visible in the dark. Provided, of course, that at least someone used the ancient semaphore turn signals

Fiat 509 – France

Table mirror


It’s funny: if the wipers were previously mounted on top, then the rearview mirror was found exclusively on the dashboard for a long time. It is not at all difficult to imagine what kind of view such a mirror provided. Mostly the driver saw his shoulders in himBut the saying aboutsomething better than nothingwas also not invented today.

Foot washer

What, it would seem, may be more natural and more convenient than pulling the steering lever to activate the windshield washer? But earlier this issue was solved differently. Even in the relatively recent 70s, a button to the left of the pedal assembly was responsible for irrigating the windshield. By the way, those who used this on Sovietkopecksandthree rubleswere quite satisfied with the process and the result.

Gas tank with a secret

Today, not everyone will immediately remember on which side the gas tank flap is located on his car. And earlier, the search for a gas filler could turn into an exciting game with elements of a quest. She could refuse under the hood, in the front fender, behind the license plate, or, in the case of the classic Mustang, behind the logo.

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