Published on May 9, 2014

Hey, let’s all go retro

(Mentalfloss.com photo)
Pop that baby in and cruise to the rockin’ sounds of…The Captain and Tennille?

CINCINNATI (May 9, 2014) — Believe it or not, there are still car shoppers in 2014 looking for a cassette tape deck in a vehicle.

Vehicle leasing website Swapalease.com said it analyzed more than 20,000 vehicle searches on its car lease marketplace to find items and features people still seek in a car or truck. It found that some items were popular decades ago, while others traditionally have been only for select tastes.

Here’s a rundown on what some vehicle shoppers would like:

T-tops: If you’re old enough to be a fan of “Smokey and the Bandit,” you’ll realize why T-Tops are still a fan favorite for some, Swapalease.com said. These car features are still sought out by Swapalease.com shoppers, although they represent less than 1 percent of total searches for features in the marketplace.

Targa roof: Known as a semi-convertible body style, a Targa Roof, also known as a Targa Top, was made popular by Porsche. Targa Tops are different than T-Tops in that it allows for a more open rooftop feel, according to Swapalease.com. Like T-Tops, these roof features represent less than 1 percent of total searched features in the Swapalease.com marketplace.

Cassette tape deck: Drivers who actually know what a “Smokey and the Bandit” is are likely also to remember having to rewind a favorite song a bunch of times until their vehicle’s cassette deck was ruined. And a certain number of Swapalease.com shoppers apparently still long for those days—though this feature is requested in only 0.2 percent of searches.

Running boards: These features add muscle to any truck, Swapalease.com said. “Perhaps this item is a dying breed because they just don’t look right on SUVs and Crossovers, but running boards are represented in 1.6 percent of searches” on the company’s website, it said.

Leatherette: Mmmm, can you smell it? Nothing says “luxury” like the soft, supple touch of vinyl on your skin as you sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway—during a cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof summer. Leatherette, or synthetic leather, is represented in 1.9 percent of searches on Swapalease.com, according to the company.

“There are certain features that were once popular that you typically no longer find in a car, nevertheless a car lease no older than 2011,” said Scot Hall, Swapalease.com executive vice president. “However, there are a few hardcore fans out there that continue to seek vehicles with these items, even on the Swapalease.com marketplace.”

The Cincinnati-based company said its website matches a person wanting out of their auto lease with a person who is interested in taking over the remaining portion of the lease contract. The online marketplace has vehicles and customers in every state in the continental U.S. and across Canada.

Prospective buyers can search Swapalease.com’s listings for the exact vehicle they want, and then register for a “nominal” fee, allowing them to use the website’s safe online system to contact a prospective seller and close the deal, the company said.

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