What is the best period-correct automotive accessory?

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Welcome to According to You, a weekly prompt on Hagerty Media where we pose a question, collect the answers, and share them the following week!

We want to know, what is the best automotive accessory of its time?

To clarify, the question isn’t about adding vintage memorabilia (like tapes, records, or die cast models) to your classic or vintage vehicle. (And this definitely has nothing to do with those Time Out dolls sometimes seen at car shows.) Nothing wrong with those bits, but we’re talking about the accessories owners added to cars back in the day.

Here are some examples over time, just in case you need inspiration to get your creative juices flowing:

1950s Accessory: Fuzzy dice

Hagerty

I know, I know…it’s clearly the lowest hanging fruit from this particular tree. Fuzzy dice are almost a cultural phenomenon at this point, even if they were originally for World War II fighter pilots. But they became one heckuva period-correct accessory by the 1950s.

1960s Accessory: Torq Thrust Wheels

1965 Pontiac GTO Torq Thrusts
1965 Pontiac GTO Mecum

We dug deep into these famous wheels for a previous According to You, but the fact remains that it was a serious upgrade for anyone in the 1960s looking for more style, and the performance benefits of lighter (magnesium or aluminum) wheels.

1970s Accessory: Fuzzbuster radar detector

You know you were the business, and that you were gonna stick to the man and his 55-mph speed limit if you had this faux-wood-grained beauty atop your dash. I still remember those vintage ads from car magazines, and I just knew it would be the perfect accessory to my 1972 Continental Mark IV.

1980s Accessory: In-car mobile phone

1985 Continental Mark VII LSC cell phone
Ford

While carphones existed beforehand, the larger adoption rate in the 1980s made this the must-have accessory for the Gordon Gekkos of the world, and anyone who could take advantage of it for business purposes. If you couldn’t afford the real thing, slapping on a non-functional antenna was the next best move. And guess what? Fake cell phone antennas are still available today!

1990s Accessory: Wings and body kits

Universal Pictures

While these are more well known in the sport compact scene, where the likes of Acura’s Integra, Toyota’s Supra, Nissan’s 300ZX, Honda’s Civic, and Mitsubishi’s Eclipse had a host of aftermarket styling kits available. But even more sedate vehicles from their respective line ups (especially the conservative Honda Accord) received the same treatment. And it tricked down to just about any vehicle from the 1990s: take the Ford Mustang MPH or ROUSH, the Taurus Rage, Dodge Neon, or even GMT 400 based GM pickups. It was kinda everywhere, and it was the accessory to have for so many people.

So in conclusion, I ask you once more: What is the best period-correct automotive accessory?

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Comments

    What happened to the dog on the back shelf who’s head bobbed up and down as you drove. Don’t forget the dingle balls around the inside of the front and back windshield, along with “twice pipes” below the back bumper. Muy Bueno!!

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