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BangShift’s Question Of The Day: What’s The Weirdest Option You’ve Ever Heard Of?


BangShift’s Question Of The Day: What’s The Weirdest Option You’ve Ever Heard Of?

While options were around well before it’s arrival, the 1965 Ford Mustang was the car that really clued in manufacturers to what options could do for their bottom line. Car customization was a bigger deal than they had expected, and within a few years, the options lists grew…and grew…and then turned into packaged deals that eliminated the fun of optioning out a car. Do us a favor, OEMs, and bring back the options list, ok?

Or, maybe not. Some of the options that OEMs have come up with over the years have been a bit strange. Ford’s Mystichrome paint was certainly one of them…cool color-shifting paint codes, for sure, but Just hearing the name left more than a few people wondering when it came out. What about the Starlight Headliner? This is a Rolls-Royce option and it turns the headliner into a neat black-and-light façade that looks like a night sky. It’s fun, but really, who is going to be looking at the roof of the Roller and admiring the night sky? Actually, don’t answer that question, I don’t want to know.

Now let’s go to a couple truly bizarre names. The first was a seat material option used in mid-1960s Ford LTDs. The official name isn’t known, but the synthetic, soft-textured fabric was known as “panty cloth”. Keep in mind, that the LTD was one of Lee Iacocca’s ideas at Ford, a car that bragged about opulence more than it actually delivered. Then there’s BMW, with the weirdest one of all, the “Gentlemen Function”: It allows the driver to take over the seat controls of the passenger seat. In reality, the function is more to allow a driver to move the seat for backseat passengers who might want more legroom, but when I showed my wife this, her response was a lot more colorful and invoked some kind of James Bond meets Makeout Point scenario.

Can you top these?


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14 thoughts on “BangShift’s Question Of The Day: What’s The Weirdest Option You’ve Ever Heard Of?

  1. Fabricator john

    Years ago I did a assembly job on a 70 or 71 ss 454 Monte Carlo , I had a factory assembly manual , in the back of the book. Are the BPO pages (options) it showed a onboard track bite ( VHT ) system using lines and aresol cans that was dash triggered with spray nozzles in the wheelwells over the rear tires and ingenious brackets holding the cans in the trunk ,,,,, gotta be bang shift approved

    Reply
    1. HotRodPop

      Never saw, but heard, of it. Always thought the guy was bs’n me (and I don’t mean BangShiftin’), but he claimed ownership in the day and owned a ’72 400 and a ’73 350 Carlo at the time. I’ve owned a ’73 350 and a ’75 307 myself.

      Reply
  2. Weasel1

    57 Cadillac Eldorado glove box minni bar complete with magnets on the glasses so they did not spill. Found it in a “barn find” car in the early 70’s. Found out it was actually a factory option

    Reply
    1. Don Felts

      Had one on 57 chevy Bel Air wagon.
      It went to a jar under hood connevtef to engine intake manifold. Said to be the rarest option on the 57.

      Reply
  3. Davey

    Luxury dispensing – Mercedes benz and the Fiat 500 had perfume / cologne dispensers – for those times you want to set the mood in your vehicle… but the Fiat also a factory option for an espresso machine – you know, for “after”

    Roughing it – Audi, Pontiac and Chevrolet had camping options. Literally a tent off the back of the vehicle. Bentley has a fly fishing option that includes 4 rods in leather cases, a tackle box and a Master Tackle Station. The Honda CRV has a power shower option (Yes… a real shower). Rolls Royce has an option for umbrellas that are kept in the door jambs along the fenders

    More than few makers tried the cooler / ice maker options. Chrysler in the 50’s had a record player / turntable option

    Rim Blow – the option to blow the car horn by gripping the steering wheel tighter. Shrinking plastics causing the horn to go off and an increase in road rage undoubtedly put an end to this option

    The epitome of lazy – Cadillac had motorized cup holder covers that retracted to reveal… tah Dah… the cup holders. because the effort to open them manually was so bourgois

    Scooter – The Honda City had the option for a scooter. A little 2.5 hp suitcase with wheels… so when you’ve had enough of stop and go or your electric vehicle is out of charge, you can abandon ship and lane split on your scooter

    Reply
  4. Scott

    my 1975 IH pickup has the ‘City and Country Horn” option. As quoted from the owner’s manual; “Vehicles equipped with this type of horn system will have an automatic switching device which will select the proper horn for the speed of the vehicle. This was done to comply with noise laws in different locales.

    Reply
  5. Mopar or No Car

    Imperial Mobile director only available in coupes. The front passenger seat turned around 180 degrees and there was an office in the back with table, lamp, phone and fax machine.

    Also as noted above Highway Hi-Fi in some Chrysler vehicles. A record player in a car. What were they thinking? And the playback RPM was unique to the system so you couldn’t use the records anywhere else.

    Reply
  6. Crazy

    I guess, most of what was optional equipment that is now standard affair on even the most basic econobox. would be the oddest.
    Go read old vehicle dealer catalogs.
    even passanger seating was optional equipment in some vehicles.

    Reply
  7. Ski

    2006 honda crv…lid for inside spare tire well is a card table…since they moved the spare inside in later models, no more card table…

    Reply
  8. Mustangs are tough

    VW Beetle \”Fender\” Edition. The car had a built in guitar amplifier, because why not.

    AMC Gremlin Levi\’s Edition. Full Levi\’s denim interior. Complete with copper rivets and red Levi\’s tabs on the front seats. The perfect accessory to your Canadian Tuxedo.

    Reply
  9. Matt Cramer

    Not sure I can top some of the others already posted, like the Fiat with the onboard espresso machine, but here’s a few others not yet mentioned.

    The Mercedes R63 AMG. A 500 horsepower, all wheel drive option for the family minivan.

    Chrysler Mod Tops. Take a floral or paisley pattern too loud to use it as the upholstery, and put it on a vinyl roof.

    The Mazda Roadpacer. This was a massive Holden land yacht re-powered by a Mazda 13B rotary. That would be crazy enough – but apparently you could get this with a fridge in the trunk and a Dictaphone voice recorder option.

    Reply

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