Blog: When car mobile aerial was a status symbol

A mobile phone antenna on the window of your car used to have a certain status.

A mobile phone antenna on the window of your car used to have a certain status. - Credit: supplied

Passing an ageing car with a window-mounted mobile phone aerial made me quite nostalgic about a bygone era of in-car connectivity.

Having one sticking up from the front or back screen or side window was a bit of a status symbol in the days when hands-free kits were in their infancy.

I seem to recall you even buy fake antennas to stick on the window to make people think you were wired in to the new age of mobile in-car communication.

Many drivers now just accept being able to connect their mobile phone to the car's infotainment system for hands-free communication.

Now, with the wonders of Bluetooth and buttons often on the steering wheel to answer and finish calls, it takes a matter of seconds to link you car to the outside world. You can even mirror many of your phone's apps on the car's media system screen and have Wifi on the go.


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Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the ethics or safety implications age of the 'mobile in-car office', there's no denying the technology is getting simpler if no less daunting.

I recall having a hands-free kit fitted to my wife's car getting on for 15 years ago, the reasonsing being that, with our boys still at school, she could always be contacted.

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It took most of the morning to tuck wires up A-pillars and under the fascia to a speaker in the front passenger footwell, cost about £150 for the phone cradle which fixed on to the fascia – I had the bracket clipped into the gap beside the audio unit to avoid having fixing holes drilled into the interior trim – and labour.

Now the novelty of always being contactable has worn off, it's nice to be driving in the car for the excuse not to answer the phone. So, if I don't answer, you know I'm on the move!

Does you car still have a mobile phone aerial? Are you still using a hands-free phone cradle? Email motoring@archant.co.uk

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