NO KNEES-FREEZE with this plug-in car blanket that works on car juice or drive-in outlet. For winter sports car drivers and their victims. Bill Hickey, Stillwater, N.Y.

KNOW MORE ABOUT MPG with this clever fuel gauge that tells you how much gas you have in gallons instead of the usual full-empty gauge. Earl J. Heckel. Galesburg, Ill.

NO MORE STICKING NECKS OUT with headlights that turn in any direction desired. A boon to night travelers finding their way in suburbia. Barry Biesen, Everett. Wash.

NO MORE BACK-BUSTING with this foot pedal that opens your trunk for you, eliminating purple-faced bend to put down heavy burden. Dean Robertson, San Diego, Calif.

NO MORE BIG JERKS on the tow line if it has a spring in the middle to soak them up. Just happy little jerks seated at the wheel. Douglas Anderson, Detroit Lakes, Minn.

  1. Kosher Ham says: January 6, 20121:06 pm

    Interesting how much of the technologies asked for in this article are standard if not optional accessories. Think heated seats for example.

  2. Hirudinea says: January 6, 20123:05 pm

    I think everything except the tow line is available now. (Well the blankets are heated seats and the trunk pedle is a key fob, but same result.)

  3. Sean says: January 6, 20123:33 pm

    Last weekend, when I needed a tow out of the mud, I hooked my car to the truck with a couple stretchy nylon ropes for that exact reason.

    The foot pedal would be nice, but how do you keep it locked?

  4. whoozle whaazle says: January 6, 20127:09 pm

    “NO knees will freeze…”

    But that doesn’t mean my face will 🙂

  5. Hirundinea says: January 6, 20127:47 pm

    @ whoozle whaazle – You ever try to dirve with a blanket on your face? Trust me you don’t want to drive with a blanket on your face!

  6. Andrew L. Ayers says: January 6, 201211:42 pm

    A fuel gauge that shows how many gallons are left? Did Mr. Heckel forget to read the owner’s manual for his car (which should have the information about how many gallons the tank holds – if not there, then ask the dealer), while simultaneously forgetting how to use fractions?

  7. whoozle whaazle says: January 7, 201210:35 am

    @Hirundinea – but that’s why you drive in the winter with the hood up. Upon closer inspection, there is no collapsible hood on that car .__.

  8. Hirundinea says: January 7, 20124:13 pm

    @ whoozle whaazle – Driving with the hood up is worse than driving with a blanket on your face, not only can’t you see but your face is still cold! Driving with the roof up might be a good idea but then it wouldn’t be the real convertible experience then would it?

  9. whoozle whaazle says: January 7, 20129:49 pm

    @Hirundinea – it is comment like yours why I keep coming back to this website ! Thanks for putting a smile on my face 🙂

    (Oh and I find these old magazine articles, covers, and advertisements to be interesting.)

  10. Charlene says: January 8, 20124:26 am

    Where I live, they have a nickname for people who drive convertibles with the top down in winter: “the deceased”.

  11. ajricher says: January 8, 201210:33 am

    @Charlene: Around here they’re called New Englanders…. and I must confess to being guilty of it myself on sunny days.

  12. Toronto says: January 8, 20124:33 pm

    Charlene – not this winter! It was +8C today here. (Mind you, it was -19C last Monday, and windy too. I had to use warm 90% methanol to unlock my bicycle.)

  13. hwertz says: January 9, 20129:43 pm

    @Andrew L. Ayers, I know how big my tank is, the gauge has markings that imply 3/4, 1/2, and 1/4, but they aren’t. Every car I’ve owned, 1/2 is generally accurate, the rest of the gauge isn’t. And others I’ve asked have said the same thing — with two big exceptions: Cadillacs and such that digitally show # of gallons remaining. And Volkswagens — they have a special warning in the manual that empty *actually means empty*.

    On my current Buick (16 gallon tank) — from full, it takes about 3 gallons for the needle to move at all from full. It takes another 3 gallons to go from full to 3/4s. That is over 1/3rd of a tank used when it says it’s 3/4s full, I’ve got about 2 gallons less than the gauge indicates. It takes about 4 gallons to swing from 3/4 to 1/4* — 1/2 is roughly accurate though. At 1/4 that means I have 2 gallons more than the gauge indicates. It takes about 3 gallons to go from 1/4 to empty, and when the low fuel light comes on I’ve got about 3 gallons left. This part is intentional, the car makers figure us Americans love to drive on fumes, so they make the car claim it’s empty when it’s not (again, except Volkswagen..)

    *That 3/4 to 1/4 swing is the worst, I can drive 5 miles and see that needle move. I’ll be like “how the hell am I getting such bad MPG? Oh wait, that’s the middle part of the gauge…”

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