Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Bench Seat Gets Benched


The bench seats many Flintoids grew up with are fading fast. John Pearley Huffman of The New York Times reports:
The 2013 Cadillac XTS comes with only front bucket seats, unlike the DTS it replaced, leaving only one new passenger car in the United States with an available front bench seat. That car, the current-generation Chevrolet Impala, will go away in a few months, too. 
Front bench seats — essentially a door-to-door couch — were the default seating mode for most of the American car industry’s history. Benches were cheaper to make than individual chairs, and they provided space for the most passengers. The column-mounted gear shifter, which freed space for a third passenger in the middle of the front seat, was a breakthrough when it appeared on Cadillacs and Pontiacs in 1938. 
But as affordable European sports cars arrived in America after World War II, individual seats gained cachet; they spread to sporty American cars, including the first Chevrolet Corvettes, and contributed to the glamorous image of luxurious performance cars like the 1959 Chrysler 300E. In the ’60s, most American brands offered sporty trim packages, like Chevy’s Super Sport option with a bucket-seat upgrade. In the decades since, buckets spread to cars of all sizes and types.

7 comments:

  1. A whole blog post about bench seats, and it doesn't mention sexuality even once. Amazing.

    Back seats oten are shorter side-to-side. They're less convenient to get to; after all, the two of you are already in the front seat. If you go to a drive-in movie on the pretense that you'll watch the movie, you really need to start out in front, because the screen just isn't that visible from in back. And, driving while your main squeeze is snuggled up against you, maybe doing her best to get you to notice her entrancing presence while you manfully struggle to keep your eyes and part of your brain focused on the road, is rightfully classed as fore-foreplay.

    Hurrah for bench seats. Not for driving...they're the pits for driving...but otherwise definitely.

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  2. I'm proud to say all of my vehicles have some sort of bench seat up front; either a 60/40 split or an old-school, straight up bench. My Chevelle (1965) originally had a bench seat, but when I got it, it had buckets. I kicked those sorry things to the curb and put in the correct seat; so much better and one more person can ride up front!

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  3. And that, JWilly, is why the Chevy Van was invented. In case you didn't already get the idea, they even came up with a song to put ideas in your head and get you to buy one.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LDaVG5Syqw

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  4. Hey you guys, this blog is intended for a family audience. Keep it clean. Ha ha.

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  5. Hey Randy, good to hear from you. It's been a while. Hope all is well with you.

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  6. > Hey you guys, this blog is intended for a family audience.

    "Family audience" requires families.

    The intersection of (teenagers) and (automobile-with-spacious-bench-seat) has always been very much linked to the starting of families.

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