9 November 2021

Five Classic Car Features That Are Banned

Over the last few years, automotive laws regarding emissions, loudness and safety regulations have become progressively stricter. These new regulations have led to unique features that you would usually find in classic vehicles, to now become banned, and also limit what modifications can be done to your own vehicle. We go through a list of five things that are now banned on vehicles.

1. Ashtrays and Cigarette Lighters

Manufacturers joined forces to ban lighters and ashtrays in vehicles to put an end to smoking in cars. It started with Chrysler, who in 1994 stopped offering cars with ashtrays and others soon joined the bandwagon. Manufacturers offered different incentives instead, but Hyundai repurposed the space that was once for the cigarette lighter with USB ports.

2. Car TVs

Some luxury car makers have the option for televisions to be installed in the back of headrests for rear passengers to enjoy a movie when going on a long drive. However, some carmakers took it a bit too far by implementing an option to tune into live TV or play a DVD in the centre console at the front of the vehicle. Of course, this was a horrible idea and only distracts a driver constantly.

3. Slim A-Pillars

Cars have to be able to withstand harsher impacts and much harsher crash tests in this day and age to pass their safety tests. To strengthen a vehicles overall rigidity, manufacturers had to increase the width of the A-pillars. While this does make cars safer in the event of a collision, it also causes larger blind spots as brands prioritised crash safety over visibility.

4. Exhaust sound

Where the number of emissions a vehicle is producing is in question, it’s no surprise that rev limiters are mandatory in all production cars in order to reduce the amount of pollution given off. If you buy a new vehicle and are unhappy with it’s exhaust note, don’t even think about modifying the system because it is illegal.

5. Pop-up headlights

Whether you are into cars or not, most people can agree that pop-up headlights look cool. Unfortunately like all good things, the run of pop-up headlights had to come to an end due to safety concerns for pedestrians in the case of an accident. Maybe one day pop-ups will return in a more pedestrian-friendly way, but until then we can only reminisce on their timeless style.

Can you think of any other classic features that are now banned? Let us know in the comments.

Information sourced from HotCars: hotcars.com

Fixed bonnet mascots and side-facing seats (as in the old Land Rover Defender Station Wagon).

Nuclear Pete, 13/11/2021

The “removal of cigarette lighters and ashtrays in cars by manufacturers” is both perverse and counterproductive. It is not up to a motor manufacturer to dictate what a customer can and can’t do in one of their products. If it was desired to stop people smoking in vehicles, (something with which I agree- particularly for the driver!), it is legislation that should make this happen, not the manufacturer. The removal of these features will not stop someone who is determined to smoke in a car from doing so, except now they will have the added danger of using a gas or petrol lighter or matches for ignition, and undoubtedly throw a lighted cigarette end out of the window, (where else is it going to go?) with the high potential for the extreme fires that have been seen recently. This is lunacy. Manufacturers fit seat belts, but can’t legislate for their use. The reverse is the case here. Incidentally, I have a late model BMW in the UK which has both cigarette lighter and ashtray. They are not used!