Ten amusingly dumb car inventions

Since the invention of the car, enterprising individuals have been trying to make our lives better behind the wheel. When they succeed they improve our lives, when they fail they make us laugh. Here are the ten of the dumber car inventions as selected by Jalopnik readers.

Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our Jalopnik summer feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: Automotto.com

Ten amusingly dumb car inventions


10.) In-Car Video Displays

Suggested By: CRXPilot

Why It's Dumb: What ever happened to opening up a map? Or having the kids look away from the DVD player and out the window in the back seat? I happen to really enjoy a rousing game of padiddle on long road trips (or just driving through town, or walking to get lunch, or looking out my front door. I'm kind of a padiddle junkie.) And who decided that controlling your car's A/C or radio had to require a computer science degree? What happened to buttons on the dashboard?

Photo credit: 1973 914 Restoration


9.) In-Car Record Player

Suggested By: rawtoast

Why It's Dumb: I have a hard time walking across my room without making my record player skip. I have a hard time believing that one could drive a car any distance over any road surface that's not glass-like freshly-paved interstate without incessant skipping records. And don't give me the "They didn't have iPods back then! What were they supposed to listen to?" argument. The radio was a lot better then than it is now. I'm all for keeping your restored classic car original, so if that means keeping the turntable under the dashboard then so be it, I just hope you've got a boombox in the back seat.

Photo credit: Youtube


8.) Stopped Traffic & Lane Alert

Suggested By: Ex. President Mack

Why It's Dumb: "Even though I didn't know I was about to hit the back of a truck, my car did." Really? I feel like if you haven't noticed the eighteen-wheeler stopped in front of you, you probably shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car, sir. Nodding off and accidentally sliding out of your lane is never okay either, but then neither is having the steering wheel vibrate violently whenever you purposefully change lanes on the highway. I'm really just concerned for this guy who didn't see the truck, though. Does anyone know if he's ok?

Photo credit: Youtube

Ten amusingly dumb car inventions


7.) In-Car Microwave

Suggested By: Danger Ranger

Why It's Dumb: The in-car microwave is just perfect for those times when you just can't wait to wrap your lips around a piping hot bean burrito at 70 miles per hour, surrounded by other cars. Or when you just have to have bad microwaved pizza while cruising through town. It's a whole new level of convenience. It's a whole new world of comfort. It's a little plastic box that will warm your heart and your food, and maybe change your life.

Photo credit: Hardwaresphere.com


6.) Wrist-Twist Steering

Suggested By: $kaycog

Why It's Dumb: Even if we remove the misogynistic overtones from the Wrist-Twist video clip, it's still a bad idea. Why fix something that isn't broken? And if you're going to fix something that doesn't need it, why replace it with two smaller versions of itself? The Wrist-Twist doesn't seem too much easier, and looks like just another couple of pieces of equipment to break and fail on your car.

Photo credit:


5.) Cheap Car Alarms

Suggested By: minardi

Why It's Dumb: No, it's fine, I wasn't planning on sleeping tonight anyway. I really don't mind that a neighborhood cat looked the wrong way at your car at three in the morning, and you're somehow comatose enough to sleep through the blaring soundtrack to my insomnia. I actually really enjoy hearing the various and sundry sound effects now screaming through the 'hood. That's cool. You should totally set off your car alarm every night. I think I'm getting used to it, and it might help me fall asleep tomorrow night.

Photo credit: Youtube

Ten amusingly dumb car inventions


4.) Truck Nutz

Suggested By: resplendent.bitch

Why It's Dumb: Whoever owns this truck must be one awesome dude. Not only is it a F-350, it's got gigantic testicles hanging off its bumper. Clearly, its owner is a tasteful, understated gentleman who knows he has a sweet ride, but wants to advertise it discretely by letting his nutz hang out for the world to admire. Thank you F-350 owner, for showing us just how much of a man your really are.

Photo credit: Pickup specialties

Ten amusingly dumb car inventions


3.) Steering Wheel Table

Suggested By: e30m3

Why It's Dumb: I know what you're thinking. "Man oh man, what a great idea! I've always said I didn't have enough room to properly spread out my Mc Double Triple Whopper with cheese gordita and really enjoy it. A million thanks to the person who invented this flimsy piece of plastic that I've strapped across my steering wheel!" And while we all enjoy a heart attack in a bag now and again, we shouldn't enjoy it like this. This is just sad. This is everything that's wrong with America. Either get up and walk thirty feet from your car to the inside of the fast food place, or try to juggle your burger, large fry and soda without dripping it all on your upholstery. That is the real American way.

Photo credit: Crunchgear.com


2.) Automatic Seat Belts

Suggested By: freds4hb

Why It's Dumb: Who told our cars it was okay to try to choke us every time we closed the door? Was that the first step of the machine uprising, and we all just missed it? Seriously, did the design and engineering teams really think that people couldn't handle reaching back over their shoulders and pulling a piece of fabric across themselves? Half of the folks that owned cars with this "luxury" feature ended up just buckling and unbuckling the things like normal people anyway.

Photo credit: Youtube


1.) Whistle Tips

Suggested By: yoda2

Why It's Dumb: The whistles go woo-woo! Thanks Bubb Rubb. The world is a better place now that I can hear your donk at two in the morning cruising down the block, three blocks from where I live. You know, maybe overly-loud whistle tips are really just a response to too-quiet hybrids prowling the streets. Yeah. That's it.

Photo credit: Youtube