I’m not certain if this 1974 Ford Thunderbird brochure is the first to prominently feature a car phone, but it has to be one of the first, at least in terms of a mass-market car from a major carmaker. The phone here was very much a prop, as the copy of the brochure only notes that the telephone is available from “outside sources,” and Ford couldn’t be bothered to give any more details. I kind of suspect the phone shown here was just the handset an cord from a regular landline phone, but I can’t really prove that, at least not yet.
Car phones, using a combination of radio and normal telephone lines, have been around since the mid ’40s, though back then the equipment was pretty significant and consumed a decent chunk of a car’s trunk. Here’s an old video explaining how it worked, along with a lot of hilariously stilted conversations:
This probably deserves more than just a Cold Start, but I couldn’t help talking about it a bit. Anyway, welcome to a new week.