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Vintage Things That Have Disappeared In Your Lifetime?

Messages
10,870
Location
Germany
Different colours of good old fluorescent tubes in the hardware (chain) stores. Only white in different types available, these days.
Twelve years ago, you could still get blue ones and others.

The funny thing is, that the regular tubes (energy class "G") are still cheap. You can get one for 5 bucks!
The more expensive ones for 15+ bucks are special models for aquarium or terrarium and they got a higher energy-efficency (class "B").
But who cares for the price? The good old tubes just last so long. Like I said before, my first one lasted 9 years! The actual one is working since more than 3 years.
 

LostInTyme

A-List Customer
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Ingramite

Familiar Face
Messages
88
Location
The Texas Hill Country
20220804_203157.jpg


Close your eyes and imagine a car interior that's made of metal. No padding on the dash and the steering column pointing at your chest like a spear.

The seats in my 1959 VW beetle are like sitting up high on marshmallows. Seat belts? In 59 I hadn't even heard of Ralph Nader.

No gas gage or sun visors either. Air conditioner comes on board when you open the wing windows. How about something as forgotten as a stick shift?

60mph feels like you're flying.

It's not the destination, it's the trip....and what a long strange trip it's been.
 

Zachary

One of the Regulars
Messages
159
Location
Vienna, Austria
My father's first car (he was born in the late 1940s in communist East Germany) was a Moskvitch 410. Of course it was a stick shift car, one reverse gear, three standard gears; according to him, you could run-up in gear 3 and continue ahead on the autobahn in gear 3 as well.

The oldest car I consciously sat in was a 1983 Austin Montego, which was even equipped with seat belts in the rear – which cannot be said about the Wartburg 1.3, made in 1989, which was our family carriage until 2005.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
Different colours of good old fluorescent tubes in the hardware (chain) stores. Only white in different types available, these days.
Twelve years ago, you could still get blue ones and others.

The funny thing is, that the regular tubes (energy class "G") are still cheap. You can get one for 5 bucks!
The more expensive ones for 15+ bucks are special models for aquarium or terrarium and they got a higher energy-efficency (class "B").
But who cares for the price? The good old tubes just last so long. Like I said before, my first one lasted 9 years! The actual one is working since more than 3 years.
The tropical plants I keep on a covered deck during the warm months come back inside once the weather forecast calls for temperatures nearing freezing. I put them near windows and supplement light with LED fixtures. I recently bought a pair of four-tube fixtures that consume 60 watts each but produce 3800 lumens each, in a spectrum the plants can make best use of. The new fixtures are suspended over an east-facing window (weak natural light) and really brighten up this place on those short and sometimes gloomy winter days.

The fixtures cost a little under $100 for the pair. I’m hoping they’ll last as long as LED bulbs. I’ve had one such bulb burning nonstop in a shed for five or six years now. For my purposes, these things are clearly superior to incandescents and fluorescents.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
My first car was a '69 VW, and I was never unconscious, during the time I owned it, of the fact that it was 1930s technology. And when I got a 1941 Dodge, it was right back where I started from, except with a radiator, four doors, more room, and better running boards.
Of all the cars I regret selling, my ‘56 VW Beetle tops the list.

Oval rear window, sunroof, semaphores, accelerator pedal was more like a wheel than what we think of as a pedal, no gas gauge (a lever you turned instead, to tap into the reserve when it got to sputtering).

I’ve looked online for another and the money the things bring today is just too much for what would honestly be little more than a toy.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
And you would have to perfectly conservate a Beetle to avoid rusting away. Worth all the effort, just to have the original Porsche driving?
I owned a few old air-cooled VW’s — a ‘58 Karmann Ghia (my first car); a ‘62 panel van (doors on both sides, Boeing Company surplus); a ‘66 window bus; and the ‘56 Beetle I alluded to above. This was when they were just used cars that could be had cheap. Today they’d likely fetch six figures combined.

I’m not much of a mechanic, but necessity had me turning wrenches back then. It was either that or walk. And those old VW’s were so simple and straightforward, and the parts so interchangeable, that I could cobble together at least one operable vehicle inexpensively and pretty much on my own.

I’d likelier do more harm than good if I attempted the same with late-model cars these days. So I don’t.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
31,301
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
Rust had gotten to my '69 before I did. When I bought it there was a big fiberglass patch on the floorpan covering a rust hole in the battery compartment under the back seat, and there was another hole that had been punched by a screwdriver to allow water to drain out -- whenever you drove the poor thing in the rain, water would be thrown in by the wheels thru a rust hole in the firewall, and if the drain hole plugged there'd soon be a couple of inches of water sloshing around your feet.

It got worse the longer I owned the car. One day when I put my foot on the running board and the running board fell on the ground, I knew the game was up. I reluctantly and sadly traded it in on an '81 Rabbit, and when they hitched it to a tow to haul it away to the junk yard, the entire front end broke off. I started sobbing. I really loved that stupid little car.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
View attachment 453584

Close your eyes and imagine a car interior that's made of metal. No padding on the dash and the steering column pointing at your chest like a spear.

The seats in my 1959 VW beetle are like sitting up high on marshmallows. Seat belts? In 59 I hadn't even heard of Ralph Nader.

No gas gage or sun visors either. Air conditioner comes on board when you open the wing windows. How about something as forgotten as a stick shift?

60mph feels like you're flying.

It's not the destination, it's the trip....and what a long strange trip it's been.
I owned a '59 Ghia. Loved that car. Went on to own a '64, '65, '67 Beetle and a '69 VW panel van. The '67 actually had a gas gauge.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
Of all the cars I regret selling, my ‘56 VW Beetle tops the list.

Oval rear window, sunroof, semaphores, accelerator pedal was more like a wheel than what we think of as a pedal, no gas gauge (a lever you turned instead, to tap into the reserve when it got to sputtering).

I’ve looked online for another and the money the things bring today is just too much for what would honestly be little more than a toy.
last year I saw a red original '67 Beetle for sale in a vintage garage No rust, all original with faded red paint. $7k US dollars. Damn I was tempted....nostalgia is not always a good thing.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
Rust had gotten to my '69 before I did. When I bought it there was a big fiberglass patch on the floorpan covering a rust hole in the battery compartment under the back seat, and there was another hole that had been punched by a screwdriver to allow water to drain out -- whenever you drove the poor thing in the rain, water would be thrown in by the wheels thru a rust hole in the firewall, and if the drain hole plugged there'd soon be a couple of inches of water sloshing around your feet.

It got worse the longer I owned the car. One day when I put my foot on the running board and the running board fell on the ground, I knew the game was up. I reluctantly and sadly traded it in on an '81 Rabbit, and when they hitched it to a tow to haul it away to the junk yard, the entire front end broke off. I started sobbing. I really loved that stupid little car.
My '69 VW panel van, a well used Dutch Postal Service van, should probably have been condemned long before I owned it. I blew a tire and had to buy one in France. The mechanic placed the hoist underneath and as it engaged and began to rise up the van did not rise at all but there was this horrible crunching noise.
The bottom pan of the van was being pushed into the body as the rusty bits fell to the floor. I started screaming at the mechanic to stop. With much searching he was able to find a spot solid enough to place the floor jack and raise it up enough to change the tire.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
last year I saw a red original '67 Beetle for sale in a vintage garage No rust, all original with faded red paint. $7k US dollars. Damn I was tempted....nostalgia is not always a good thing.
Yeah, I get tempted too. But as I’ve observed before, the reason I can afford something like a car that, truth be known, is mostly a toy is because I don’t buy things like cars that are mostly toys.

And if I did own such a thing I fear it would come to own me. It would be another thing to worry about, And I’d fear what might happen to it if I actually used it, you know, AS A CAR!

I take good care of my car, but I know it won’t last forever, that there will inevitably be dings and scratches and that there will come a time when it’s no longer worth fixing.

It’s good that people are saving old cars — restoring them, keeping them in heated garages, letting the rest of us catch a glimpse of them every now and then. I appreciate that. But I have neither the time nor the skills nor the space for that myself.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
Yeah, I get tempted too. But as I’ve observed before, the reason I can afford something like a car that, truth be known, is mostly a toy is because I don’t buy things like cars that are mostly toys.

And if I did own such a thing I fear it would come to own me. It would be another thing to worry about, And I’d fear what might happen to it if I actually used it, you know, AS A CAR!

I take good care of my car, but I know it won’t last forever, that there will inevitably be dings and scratches and that there will come a time when it’s no longer worth fixing.

It’s good that people are saving old cars — restoring them, keeping them in heated garages, letting the rest of us catch a glimpse of them every now and then. I appreciate that. But I have neither the time nor the skills nor the space for that myself.
After I left university I made a list of all the things I no nothing about.....it was lengthy. I knew how to read books, write essays but not much else. At the top of the list was mechanics. I owned a '51 Chevy and bought a '59 Ghia. I knocked on gas station doors asking for work as I wanted to learn mechanics and found an owner that made me a deal. I pumped gas and when it was slow I could work the shop and he would teach me. Between that and tearing down/rebuilding my Ghia and Chevy I learned auto mechanics and opened a back alley repair shop with a buddy. I did that for a few years, long enough to know that this was NOT to be my life's work and perhaps I should put my other abilities to work.
But I do miss sometimes the tinkering. Alas, working on cars takes up room that I do not have so my dreams of restoring something as simple as a 60's era Beetle will remain a day dream.
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,967
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^
If I were to take leave of my senses long enough to buy an old car in need of restoration I would hope that I wouldn’t be so loopy as for it to be anything more complicated than an old air-cooled VW. I could tackle that, if I had the garage space and the burning desire. I have neither.
 
Messages
11,530
Location
Southern California
last year I saw a red original '67 Beetle for sale in a vintage garage No rust, all original with faded red paint. $7k US dollars. Damn I was tempted....nostalgia is not always a good thing.
$7k, depending upon the actual condition, would be a very good deal for that car. I'd be sorely tempted, but ultimately I think I'd be forced to pass it up. No place in my life for a play/fun car at the moment.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,720
Location
vancouver, canada
$7k, depending upon the actual condition, would be a very good deal for that car. I'd be sorely tempted, but ultimately I think I'd be forced to pass it up. No place in my life for a play/fun car at the moment.
I can't remember the actual mileage but it was on the low side. Upholstery was still in great shape. It looked legit.
 

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