Ten Worst Car Features of All Time Page 2

October 27, 2009

2007 Dodge Caravan 4-door Wagon SE *Ltd Avail* Angular Front Exterior View

3. Woodside paneling --Another popular abomination which lasted for many years and survived well into the 90s: Dodge Caravan comes to mind.  In this example, the plastic sheet came off in little pieces and of course cost a fortune to replace. The idea was to imitate the woodies of old when real wood was used instead of metal (I understand then people painted the wood to look like metal).

2. Fake convertible tops --I know they are technically vinyl tops but while vinyl tops were harmful and unnecessary they at least looked good, sort of. The fake convertible tops are glued on as a highly prized custom look, and they are costly to boot. They are on Cadillacs and Lincolns mostly, and oh boy, are they for the stylishly challenged! Now, they simulate a convertible on a car which is not a convertible. I do love convertibles, but convertibles look good with the top down; with the top up they look like a famished nag with ribs poking out black vinyl swaying in between--lucky for all, a look harder and harder to find.

And the winner is:

1. Automatic shoulder belts --They were mandated in the late 80s when passive restraints became law. The man tried to make everybody buckle up, and finding it difficult to achieve full compliance, some genius, yes, a real genius, figured that if a system had the belt wrap around the driver automatically, all would be well. Of course the lap belt was not part of the program, and had to be still manually fastened! So, this really defying all logic arrangement still exposed the driver to danger if he drove only with the shoulder belt since this is not how belts are supposed to work. The mechanized belts tended to fail quickly, and caused all kinds of annoyances when working properly such as trying to strangle you if you opened the door and stuck your head out. This system actually doomed some cars, like the VW Corrado, from ever achieving a classic status.

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