In last month’s Deluxe column, we ran down a few key automotive items, dating as far back as the 1930’s, and as recently as the 1970’s. There are so many vintage and cherished parts from all of the decades in between those dates, so we try our best to bring many of them to your attention. Who knows? Maybe it’ll be the first time that some of you see these parts, and whether you can find them or not, we hope that seeing them will at least give you builders out there some great accessory ideas for your rides.
This month, we stepped up our game and enlisted some help from Bowtie Connection, out of Torrance, CA – a place known for building quality rides. Part of their success can be attributed to their attention to detail. This is a shop that definitely likes to incorporate many time period accessories in their builds, much like the parts we feature in this column. It was only right that we team up with them for this month’s edition, to see what goodies they might have in store for us. We stopped by and got a sneak peak at some cars that showcased some fresh-out-of-the-box NOS items, which we bring to you for your viewing pleasure. Now follow along, as we show you some of the most sought after accessories in our Lowrider Deluxe section.
The saying “one man’s trash becomes another man’s treasure” couldn’t be more true than in the world of automobile restoration. If you have some vintage accessories and artifacts that you want to share with the public, drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t really pinpoint the first car with rear defroster technology. Rear defrosters were one of the select options that didn’t become popular until the ’70’s. Nowadays, it’s not even an option, as it has become standard equipment. If you own a pre-1970’s car, and it came with that option, make sure not to throw that part out, as the one that we are featuring today was purchased new for $1,500. Remember, having a rear window defroster will allow your car club plaque to be visible during those cold nights!
1964 Impala emergency flasher system, introduced in 1959. A new system like this was only a few dollars back then; if you were to add it to your vehicle today, you will most likely end up paying a few hundred dollars. In the case of this 100 point car restoration, it cost $650.
Pres-A-Lite by Master-Lite
This was an era-accessory of the 40’s that was designed to keep the smokers smoking. This small device would attach to the steering column and was in easy reach of the driver. According to the promotional flyer, the Pres-A-Lite “hands you lighted ready to smoke cigarettes while you drive, 100% automatic, avoids accidents, fits all cars, clamp it on in a few minutes, holds 23 cigarettes, beautifully made of Bakelite and pressed aluminum, designed by Raymond Loewy, over one million now in use, endorsed by safety authorities everywhere, only $6.95!” Today, we are more conscious about smoking and a product like this would probably be banned by the government. This accessory can still be purchased new from collectors for about $400, as we found out on eBay. We also found used ones with starting bids of $10.
Tri-Power Air Cleaner
When you hear “big block Chevy,” you know that you’re playing with the big boys. The classic 409s are expensive to assemble, and are even more expensive to restore, with accessories costing in the thousands. Let me give you an example: Today, there are reproduction air cleaners that can cost as much as a NOS one. This restored air cleaner was purchased for $1600, but was one of the last touches that the car needed to be complete. This owner might have paid even more, but the guy selling it took the first offer.
Level Air Emblem
If you were to find a NOS Level Air Emblem, you could probably name your price, as they are considered priceless to some of today’s builders and collectors. To be honest, this was the first Level Air Emblem I’ve ever seen in this type of quality.