Innovation is always encouraged and often celebrated, but sometimes the attempts to develop something novel yield an odd or, at times, useless result. The automotive industry is no different, seeing each brand develop new gadgets or features that eventually become standard – but not always. We have, at times, witnessed visions brought to flawed fruition; other times, we wonder what type of nightmare prompted the heinous creation. This idea led to our research, so allow us to present:
What Were They Thinking?
Rear Facing Seats
We’ll omit the name of the brand for this stroke of genius; however, if you can deduce who it is on your own – we sort of feel okay about that. A car-based pickup called the BRAT (Bi-drive Recreational All-Terrain Transport) introduced seats that are the equivalent to a classroom dunce cap. How did they market it?
“Ever want to shame your friends on a road trip?”
“Terrify your loved ones during rear-end collisions!”
“Do you have a friend who just won’t be quiet? If the answer is no, you’re probably that friend! Spare those around you the discomfort of needing to tell you to ‘Pipe down’ by sitting in the BRAT’s rear facing seats!”
Oh, these sweet seat treats were installed in the bed of the pickup that allowed the automaker to avoid the government’s “chicken tax” for imported pickups. Thankfully, this seat design was abandoned nearly four decades ago. We have to admit to feeling a bit more civilized at the moment.
Be a “Gentleman”
Every automaker is allowed a lapse in good judgment – even the German ones. The “Gentleman” function is definitely one of those mishaps, and it endowed the driver with the ability to adjust the passenger’s seat with power seat options. Yes: the driver … could use functions on his seat … to move the other front seat … Makes perfect sense because nothing says you’re a gentleman like screwing with your friend’s seat.
Oh, you’re comfortable? Let me fix that for you.
This Is Gold, for the Record (this sorry pun will make sense in a moment)
The true sign of luxury is its exclusivity. How many people have it? How many people can get it? Will I be one of the first? These pertinent questions led to purchases like Member’s Only jackets and choices such as the Jheri curl – held in place by mousse. Well, in 1956, drivers wanted to feel like they had an edge on everyone else. In response, a major automaker created the Highway Hi-Fi: a vinyl on a turntable, which was mounted beneath the dash. It was alleged to be able to absorb vibration and not skip … It was available for just one year. We’re guessing it skipped. A lot.
You can read about other genius automotive inventions on this Yahoo! article. Have you heard of, seen, or owned a vehicle with a peculiar feature? Tell us about it!