Fads you may have had in your car

Car accessory trends come and go… and then come back again! Check out our list and tell us what we missed.


ROLL THE DICE: Originally used by pilots for luck in WWII, fuzzy dice are still manufactured today.

Fuzzy Dice
In reality, the original fuzzy dice were not fuzzy at all and were made of polyurethane squares. It was believed the idea came home from World War II, where American fighter pilots put dice on their dashboards as a good luck symbol. In the 1950s, the dice became one of the first items sold that were specifically designed to hang from a rear-view mirror of a car.

Garfield car window ornaments
Everyone’s favourite lasagne loving cat Garfield was created in an American comic in 1978 which later turned into a cartoon series. The popularity of Garfield saw a range of merchandise created in the 80s which included plush window ornaments that stuck to windows with suction cups. There were many spin offs using other popular characters, some of which were made holding baby on board signs – another popular product by the mid 80s.

Car window and bumper stickers
You would need to publish an encyclopedia to catalogue every bumper or car window sticker ever stuck on a car! Some standouts are the Bad Boy sticker and longhorn decals and of course the location stickers plastered around bumpers and rear windscreens for every place you’ve visited on holidays. In NSW, the mid-noughties saw the rise of the frangipani stickers. Plus, who could forgot the “my family” stick figure stickers which launched in 2010!

Car antlers, flags and Red Nose Day
No longer satisfied with personalising the bumper and windows, manufacturers saw an opportunity to promote their products (or a favourite sports team) with car flags. We also know now when it’s nearing Christmas with car antlers and Red Nose Day promoted with noses for cars, buses and trucks too.

Coat hanger radio antenna
Do you remember the crafty coat hanger antennas and the work it took to bend them to shape the perfect map of Australia? Inventive motorists would use a metal coat hanger in the shape of Australia as a cheap alternative in place to replacing the antenna on their car if it had broken.

Were there any we’ve missed? Let us know or own up to what you had!

12 thoughts on “Fads you may have had in your car

  1. I had the Tiger’s tail at one stage, but my best extra was a home made one.
    Being in the meat industry at the time I scrounged a set of cows horns. I boiled them a few times and cleaned them up and added a coat of clear varnish.
    When dry I put a red light globe inside each one then ran wiring from the globe through the horns then through a small hole in the wooden base. I mounted them on the rear window ledge and run the wires into the rear brake light wiring inside the boot.
    Hit the anchors and these two horns lite up, looked great.

    • Hey Geoff, What a great story and dedication to the cause! I can only imagine the looks and questions you must have got wherever you went. Cheers, Paul – NRMA Community Manager

  2. What about the venetian blinds for the rear window or the string of pom poms around the back window.

    The best I ever saw was two wall vases, one on either side of the inside of the car on the bit between the the front and back doors and they had plastic ivy trailing over the ceiling to the back of the car

  3. Billiard Ball gear shift knobs?

    I heard that ‘the dice’, in aircraft, came in handy for a check on your artificial horizon instrument when flying in bad weather.

  4. Oakley stickers went on for a while.

    “Shopping List” modification stickers on the side just behind the front wheels on ‘modified’ cars.

  5. Not so much mods, but a guy I knew back in day claimed he had a “hot” FJ Holden with;
    Twin overhead windscreen wipers.
    Shaved hubcaps
    Twin overhead foxtails

    There were more but I can’t remember them.

  6. Wire mesh head light covers, spats over the rear wheels, scuff plates for door handles, sun visors over the top of the front window, panic straps for passengers and wind deflectors on the back roof. Parcel tray under the passengers side dash. All still on my 1962 EK Holden.

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