In the 90s, our brother the motorist was not given the opportunity to choose between a light or dark interior color and its finishing materials, and the concepts of Nappa and Alcantara were completely alien. Car owners enjoyed any interior, and it doesn’t matter with which upholstery - fabric or leatherette. The main thing is velor covers, which any self-respecting driver considered necessary to dress up his car. Curiously, the bright covers on the seats and head restraints were considered not only a means of protection against premature wear of the seats, but also served as a fashionable attribute. By the way, there were burgundy or gray covers in the trend, and even better, with black trim. When selling, the presence of such an accessory was an additional plus.
Despite the fact that the panoramic mirror, which was put on over the regular one, noticeably distorted the image, reducing objects and increasing the distance, almost all of them installed it. Firstly, it was cool, and secondly, sometimes it is simply necessary, because in those bad times, if the car was not stored in the garage, side mirrors (also very small and uninformative) quickly became the prey of hooligans. Thieves, no matter how tragic it may look, could easily sell them for cheap to your neighbor. Over time, the rear-view mirrors acquired a built-in electronic clock, a compass, and even a thermometer glowing in the dark. The latter, by the way, was the peak of perfection.
A mind-blowing contraption was used by savvy motorists to relieve static in the cabin. A rubber strip, and sometimes several more, hanging from under the rear bumper and dragging along the asphalt, served as a ground electrode, while at the same time attracting attention by the presence of a plentiful amount of reflectors. But the picture would be incomplete if, along with the antistatic agents, the towbar was not decorated with a toy or, more extravagantly, they put a doll’s head on it.
Another fetish of the then motorists can be called brake lights - individual square structures on the legs-brackets. The notorious red lamp, or even two, if not four, where they just didn’t put it - on the roof, on the bumper or under it, not to mention the rear windshield. Particularly sophisticated in the appendage to the motley lights, the “stoppers” hung a decorative flickering flashlight in the shape of a heart pierced by an arrow on the trunk shelf. The girls were thrilled.
The first burglar alarms were quite expensive. Not everyone could afford them, therefore, for the most part, consumers protected cars from theft, using more affordable mechanical locks. The straightforward design was an elongated handle that clings to the steering wheel on one side and rests against the dashboard on the other. The rim could be turned only by sawing a metal rod or by completely disassembling the upper part of the dashboard. However, such craftsmen were. Therefore, as an additional protection, car owners used another lock that simultaneously blocked both the steering wheel and the gas or brake pedal. Slightly evolved blockers are often found to this day.
No matter how inconvenient it was to carry a car player everywhere, but everyone wanted to have “detachable music” in their car. Still - it’s not a factory one, with a grief in half, picking up a VHF radio receiver, but the latest fashion cassette recorder, and even with auto reverse and FM tuner. Moreover, such a radio tape recorder will not be stolen. A little later, smart people came up with a much more ergonomic option - removable panels. However, they were often lost from the Russian man’s unaccustomedity, and it only saved that the “face” for any audio system could always be bought at the nearest car market. Alas, thieves used the same thing, not disdaining the remnants of your car radio.
Did you have to put cassettes with your favorite songs somewhere in the car? Therefore, special cassette boxes won swift popularity. They easily found their place in the glove box, under the "beard" of the center console or directly on the dashboard. But of particular value were the armrests with the provided niches for storing cassettes. They simply killed two birds with one stone in one fell swoop! Gradually replaced with magnetic tape media came laser discs, which, however, are common today. Although they will not last long - the AUX and USB connectors, as well as playback via bluetooth, are about to pass the death sentences to the “blanks”. Together with them, the eternally tearing covers for storing a CD will be left behind.
It would seem so special in a conventional antenna? But for motorists in perestroika times, it was only an indicator of steepness. Not only did one show off on the windshield, so even a couple could be on the body, say, on the roof and rear bumper. And few people cared that they were not even connected. A similar situation, by the way, happened with the built-in phones, which did not work for anyone, but their presence, of course, emphasized the importance of the car owner.
Air conditioning in a car - what a luxury at sunset in the USSR? A miniature sized fan was the best escape from the heat. And then he blew solely the driver - passengers had to be content with open windows. Over time, foreign cars with the magic button “A / C” filled the country, but the first stations for refueling and servicing air conditioning systems appeared much later. Naturally, none of the lucky owners of these machines thought about replacing the cabin filter, not to mention some kind of purge or disinfection.
So that our hands would not sweat, and the steering wheel would not be wiped off, our compatriots almost without exception used a decorative braid. Someone bought it in the car shop, someone wrapped the steering wheel on their own, using improvised tools, such as colored soft wire, a piece of fabric that was unnecessary in the household or ordinary electrical tape. More advanced ones fitted the rim with faux fur, and they were not at all embarrassed that it crumbled and quickly got dirty. In particular honor, such a fluffy steering wheel was with truckers.
A book with tear-off sheets for recording, and sometimes even with a built-in pen, was present in the car of anyone who considered himself a business man. And such, it must be said, in the nineties were practically all - civil servants, and cooperators, and brotherhoods. It's funny, but the notebook, which was glued with a suction cup onto the windshield, and fell off every now and then, unable to bear its own weight, only a few were used. In most cases, he was nothing more than an ornament.
A bulldog sitting on the dashboard and gaily shaking its muzzle was even among those who completely hated dogs. How can you not follow the latest fashion, even if the toy was gathering dust in the cabin of a rusty "classic" that leaves the road no more than twice a year. But how it looks! For the first couple of weeks, both the driver and passengers smiled, and then, like the annoying Full House program, they started to hate. But they did not dare to shoot.
PS: Write in the comments what accessories you once used and what pleased you / annoyed them.