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Some Obsolete Items From the 1970s

Updated on December 19, 2016


I remember in the early 1970s, when I bought my first car, what was the talk of the town. It was a time of gas shortages and odd and even lines and the Carter administration. Life was quite different then.

Dec. 2016


It was a foggy morning in the Northeast and we had to drive to NJ for a family engagement. My mind drifted to back in the 1970s for some odd reason. I started to think what was going on in my life back then and what was prevalent. Here is what I came up with.

  • fog lights
  • radar detector
  • CB radios
  • tape deck stereo sound system
  • Ziebart under coating


I remember driving in the fog and many cars had the bright yellow lights attached to the under carriage of their car. It was an add on that you must have to drive safely in the fog. It also looked cool.

I would be listening to a Harry Chapin tape playing in my car stereo. One that I added as an option.

On a long trip, I would be listening in on my CB radio and hear truck drivers and other motorists talking about accidents ahead or Smokey (police) hidden on the side looking for speeders.

I would also have my radar detector turned on while cruising down Route 84 at 75 miles per hour.

My car would also had to be protected with the latest undercoating rust protection by Ziebart. A chain of franchaises that popped up to undercoat your new car. They drill holes in the chassis and doors of your car and spray a black coat of rustproofing to protect the car.

What Happened...

These things just seem to disappear with new technologies and changing habbits. I think fog lights just didn't work as well as they claim. It was best to just slow down when driving in the fog.

The tape deck went away and replaced by CD players and now by bluetooth connections.

The CB radio was a fad that just went away just as the radar detectors when people realized it was just safer to drive at a little above the speed limit and not worry about getting caught speeding.

I did a search and their is only one Ziebart store left near where I live. Appparently, the new cars are made so much better to fight rust that the undercoating was not needed anymore.

Lastly, I do think the one innovation that changed our driving is the GPS system. It has made driving so much easier and less stressful. I never worry about getting lost or stuck in traffic. The GPS just guides me to where I want to go and I have the confidence that I will get there. Some technologies are just a blessing.

Not to mention the cell phone, which changed our communications by a major way. We use to have to wait for a truck driver to call for help or get to one of those call boxes. Now, we can reach anyone instantaneously in most places except where the cell tower is too far or blocked by a mountain.


In summary, life was simpler back in the 1970s. Perhaps it was nostalgia that made it seem simple and innocent. I wouldn't trade what we have today with the past. Modern conveniences are great. I can't wait to see what the next 30 years will bring.

Next time you drive in a fog, see if you can find a car with an external fog lights.


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    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      Some of them are perpetually in a fog!

    • jackclee lm profile image

      Jack Lee 14 months ago from Yorktown NY

      Perhaps the self driving Uber is for you...haha

      I wonder how they will do in the fog.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 14 months ago

      Next time I drive in the fog, it will be with tears in my eyes. I can never see a thing!