Are You Still Cranky?


Return with me now to the days of yesteryear. When men were men and windows had cranks.

Look Ma, a real window crank!

I’ve been reminded of that bygone era this past week while test driving the 2013 Ram 1500 pickup (the full review will come next week). It’s a pretty stripped down model which means no power locks, power mirrors or power windows. Living without them for a few days has made me realize how much I take them for granted.

I remember buying my first new car years ago and showing disgust at the mere thought of power windows. After all, who needs to waste the money when you can crank them up by hand so quickly? Fast forward 35 years and the answer is: me. I’ve found it very annoying this week to have to reach down and wind the crank to open or close the window.

1940 Packard (

Supposedly Packard had the first power windows back in 1940 on its 180 series. Ford followed the next year. Initially, they were an oddity. Then they shifted to a routine luxury item. Somewhere along the line they became the norm. The last numbers I can find from 2007 and show that 94% of all cars delivered that year had power windows.

So that's what that slot in the door is for!

Of course even more disconcerting is having to use a key in the door lock. I’m so used to clicking the button and having all the locks open. I have to remind myself to lean across and unlock the door when I’m letting someone in. Even scarier is that without the clicker I have the ability to leave the key in the car while I push on the door lock and close the door. I can’t remember the last time I locked keys in a car but I’m sure it involved a car without a clicker.

Manual mirrors on the driver's side are easy...

And don’t even get me started on manual side view mirrors. Getting that passenger side mirror right is a pain!

So while I may fondly remember my youth, I’m happy to let cranky windows stay a thing of the past.



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