- May 20, 2014
Retro Features Car Shoppers Still Want
The technology we use inside of cars is changing more rapidly than ever before. CD players, introduced a mere twenty years ago, have already begun to disappear from the dash, for example.
While many new car shoppers look forward to the new technologies found in new cars, such as blindspot assist, bluetooth audio, head-up display or adaptive cruise control, some car shoppers are firmly stuck in the past, still looking for that perfect new car with a tape deck, or even running boards.
Click through the top retro features users searched for on Swaplease.com while looking for a new ride.
Cassette Tape Player
With all of the entertainment options available to car shoppers in the 21st century, it's amazing some are still looking for the height of 1990's luxury: the tape deck.
While they were an improvement over the old 8-track players, cassette tape players were essentially eliminated from cars when the CD player came on the scene. CD players didn't stay on top for long, though, as they're slowly being phased out in favor of streaming audio from satellite radio or a smartphone. Regardless of all the new and improved options available, 0.2 percent of searches for new cars on Swaplease.com requested a tape deck.
Running boards gave owners of cars in the 20th century a leg up when they went to climb into their high centered cars. Running boards began disappearing long ago, though, phased out by designers even on big SUVs and trucks. Despite their becoming passé years ago, 1.6 percent of searches on Swapalease.com were for cars with running boards.
The targa roof was popularized by the Porsche 911 Targa. Not quite a convertible, a targa roof usually has a stationary back window and an unbroken bar arching over the seats, where the removable roof panels come out. It's airier than a T-Top, but safer than a convertible.
You can still find targa top cars, though they are rare and usually reserved for the enthusiast driver. The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray comes with a targa option, for instance. Around one percent of total searches were for cars featuring it in the Swapalease.com marketplace.
T-TopA T-Top is a car with removable panels on each side and a bar running down the center of the passenger compartment. It was popular mainly in the 1970s and 1980s, though a few American muscle models carried the tradition well into the early 2000s.
The last time a mass-produced car sported a T-Top was in 2002. Afterwards, the Corvette and even the Trans Am, which were well known for having them, retired the look. It’s a very retro body style, but it still represents a little less than one percent of total searches in the marketplace.
Leatherette / Vinyl Seats
Most car interiors today feature some sort of man-made, leather-like material (you have to pay for extra to sit on anything that used to be attached to a cow), but it's far better than the vinyl found inside classic cars.
Vinyl doesn't require the upkeep that real leather requires, and its resistance to cracking and fading made it a darling in cars from the 60s and 70s. The nonporous material sticks bare skin to seats on hot days, however, and the petroleum-based material doesn't come close to meeting fire safety guidelines. Still, a few car buyers are on the lookout for it, as 1.9 percent of searches on Swapalease.com included vinyl or leatherette seats.