Some innovations in passenger cars have been around for quite a while:

1936       Hidden headlights – by Cord (manual cranks on the dashboard)

1939       Air conditioning – Packard

1939       Automatic transmission – Oldsmobile

1951       Power steering – Chrysler (first with large scale production)

1952       Self-dipping headlights – GM

1962       Turbocharged road car – Oldsmobile in volume with the F-82 Jetfire

(or Chevrolet in the Corvair Spyder, by a few weeks, but with only a few sold))

1971       Traction control in production car – Buick

1981       Cylinder deactivation – Cadillac

Much of the information from the December issue of Car magazine (http://www.carmagazine.co.uk/), in an article on US innovations.

(BTW, I think Car is a consistently excellent read with well-crafted journalism and superb photography)

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