Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: useless japanese car innovations

Useless Japanese car innovations: quick hand warmer

It took some time, but I finally found another useless Japanese car innovation: the quick hand warmer! The Doctor sent me this nice useless innovation. It is a picture from a Japanese X70 brochure he owns.
Useless Japanese car innovation: the quick hand warmer
Useless Japanese car innovation: the quick hand warmer

This quick hand warmer (QHW for short) was an option on the whole Toyota X70 (GX71 and MX70) range and served its purpose to warm the hands of the mid-level salarymen who bought this special option. Probably mostly used when they went golfing with their boss in Autumn…

Basically it is a minified hair dryer stuffed inside the steering column and operated by a switch right behind the air duct:
The quick hand warmer assembly from the EPC
The quick hand warmer assembly from the EPC

You need a lot of amps going through the wires to bring a 12 volts unit quickly up to temperature, so Toyota installed an amplifier (87760) under the bonnet connected with a big lead to the unit in the steering column. I don’t want to know what will happen when this goes wrong with a short circuit or something!

Useless Japanese car innovations: spoken reverse warning signal

I managed to find another useless innovation: we all know the reverse warning signal, short beeps indicating a big truck is reversing (with no rear vision at all). That’s very useful and people are used to it and act upon it.

In the early 80s Toyota innovated the reverse warning signal and equipped their MarkII with a spoken reverse warning signal:

Of course this innovation is only useful for people understanding Japanese, if they are used to it at all… If someone would reverse with their Jaguar and that car would tell me in English “Watch out, big lump of iron is reversing! Keep away! Do not stand in the turning circle! Etc. etc.” I would not really act upon that: I’d probably first start laughing my ass off and then probably congratulate the driver with such cynical car!

You see, that’s why this can only fall into the category of useless Japanese car innovations!

Useless Japanese car innovations: side mirror wipers

This is going to be a new regular feature to my blog, just like the Carina Sightings.

You’ve seen them around on Japanese cars: useless car innovations which hardly add anything to the experience. Most of them emerged somewhere in the late 80s and early 90s till the Asia-recession struck Japan very hard and made the car manufacturers save costs by eliminating these innovations.

For starters I found these great side mirror wipers:
useless car innovations: side mirror wipers
Side mirror wipers on a 1988 Toyota Mark II X80

They are not really mirror wipers, but rather side screen wipers for only a small portion of the side screen.

Then what is the actual use of this innovation? Well, as you can see this wiper is mounted on the left side of the car. So for a Japanese it would be on the passenger side of the car. That means you don’t need to open the window on the passenger side to clean the side window. But if you already have power windows (most probably Mark II models of 1988 did feature power windows) you can clean them by opening and closing the passenger window, so what is the use??

Well, the only use I can think about is that you won’t get cold by opening the passenger window. What a great innovation! :P

© 2024

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑