Rare factory options thread

  • Thread starter Heldenzeit
Three spoke wheels were a rare factory option on the mid-90s Buick Park Ave if you opted for the Ultra package.



Saw this a while back and wasn't prepared to address it at the time, much less to derail the thread I saw it in. I was just geeking out over a gorgeous LS6 convertible and that reminded me.

Apparently only 20 were made in this configuration:

1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6

Unless it's a really obscure, specific build sheet, an LS6 Chevelle isn't quite that rare.

Nearly 4500 LS6 cars were built. There was no production breakdown between the Sport Coupe, convertible and El Camino (the three SS cars for 1970, and the hot rat was only available for an RPO Z15 SS build), but the Sport Coupe is likely to be in the top two when it comes to desirability.

Rare in the grand scheme of things, but a far cry from "only 20 made" rare.
Maybe it's like a Mecum auction, where the car crossing the block is one where someone ordered a '71 Barracuda with a 440/4-speed in baby:censored: green with a blue interior and wire wheels and the commentators have to note that it's "one of four in this rare option combination"
Last edited:
Maybe it's like a Mecum auction, where the car crossing the block is one where someone ordered a '71 Barracuda with a 440/4-speed in baby:censored: green with a blue interior and wire wheels and the commentators have to note that it's "one of four in this rare option combination"

As far as I know, my Porsche 986 is one of ONE with its VIN combination.

Can I have my millions now?
I...highly doubt those are factory. I know Ultras could be had with larger "turbocast" style wheels like this:
View attachment 988547
But I seriously doubt Buick would've offered tart American-Racing style wheels from the factory.
Yeah I don't see anywhere where that style of wheel was offered on the Park Avenue much less any Buick of the time. Those are definitely aftermarket wheels with Buick emblems attached. Also, it may be an illusion, but those look to be wheel covers. It looks like there is a wheel weight poking out from behind in the 5:00 position.
I'll bring this one back. Here are some interesting car option oddities I've compiled in a document over some time:
  • The base trim of the 2000-2005 Buick Lesabre, a premium full-sized car, could be had with no radio.
  • The 2011-2016 Chevrolet Cruze in the Eco trim came with bespoke, lightweight forged rims instead of the traditional alloys.
  • The 2022- Subaru WRX can be optioned with a CD player.
  • Early model, manual Volvo 240s, for some reason, have an analog clock instead of a tachometer.
  • Volvo 240s also could come with a dashboard-mounted plastic clip for the purpose of holding notes and tickets.
  • Early 2000s Volvo S80 Executive models could be optioned with a small refrigerator in the rear seat center fold down.
  • Only the second generation of the Lexus ES (1991-1996) could be optioned with a manual transmission.
  • A moonroof was available as an option on the Pontiac Firebird, 1976 only. Allegedly only 30 of them were produced.
  • An automatic transmission was actually the option for the 2002-2006 Porsche Cayenne, only with the 3.2 V6 engine. With the 3.2 V6, a 6-speed manual was standard.
  • The 1st gen Geo Tracker/Suzuki Sidekick could never be optioned with air conditioning from the factory. Dealers in southern states would occasionally add AC themselves to encourage sales.
  • The base trim 1978-1982 Ford Fairmont's horn was located not on the steering wheel, rather a button on the turn signal lever.
  • The 1999-2005 Saturn L-Series could be optioned with heated mirrors, auto-dimming mirrors, and a rear-seat VHS player (only on the Wagon model, oddly).
  • It's relatively common knowledge that the early model Pontiac Azteks could be had with a folding tent, but did you know that an inflatable air mattress was also an option?
  • A fax machine was an option for the E32 7-Series.
  • A chalet-themed camper option was available on the mid 1970s Chevrolet Blazer called "Blazer Chalet".
  • The 1967-1969 Pontiac Firebird could be had with a front bench seat, even with a manual transmission.
  • The 1958 DeSoto Adventurer could be had with electronic fuel injection, the first car in history to do so.
  • Late model FD RX-7s, in Japan only, came with complimentary bottles of Nikka Red Label whiskey.
  • Heated rear seats were available in the Saab 9-3 only in 1999.
  • 1998-2001 Saab 9-5s could be optioned with both heated and cooled seats.
  • Civilian versions of the 1998-2011 Crown Victoria had ABS as standard, yet it was optional on police package versions.
  • The 2010-2013 Toyota 4Runner had a very obscure option: “Tailgate Party Mode”. A button that directs all sound to the rear speakers only.
  • The second generation Mini Cooper Convertible could come with an option called the “Openometer”, which showed how much you drove it with the top down.
  • One could option a full first-aid kit in the 1996-1999 Lexus LS. It could be located either in the trunk or its very own compartment under the drivers’ seat.
  • The 1993-1996 Cadillac Fleetwood had a “towing package” option. Cadillac claimed it could tow up to 7000lbs.
  • The short-wheelbase second-gen Dodge Caravan/Plymouth Voyager could have both the “high-torque” 2.5 turbo 4-cyl and a 5-speed manual.
  • The Bentley Bentayga Mulliner comes with a falconry kit.
  • The 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air could be had with a built-in tissue dispenser and, for convertible models, a sensor that would automatically close the top upon detecting rain or snow.
  • As late as 2007, power windows were optional on the base trim Audi A4.
  • The 1966-1967 Oldsmobile 4-4-2, a muscle car, could still be optioned with wire wheels.
  • Early model first-gen Audi TTs could be had with a denim cloth interior in Europe, though it is apparently so rare that no images exist of it on Google.
  • 4WD was an option on the 1984-1987 Ford Tempo, but only with the diesel engine. It was one of the slowest cars available in the US at the time.
  • Later model Buick Park Avenues and Cadillac Devilles could come with heads-up display, built by Raytheon, unheard of for the early 2000s.
  • In the mid 2000s, Saab had a short-lived feature called “Night Panel Mode”, in which the entire dashboard would go pitch black except for a dimly-lit speedometer.
  • The 2008-2010 Chrysler Town N Country came with optional second-row swivel seats called “Swivel N Go”.
  • The 1956 Chrysler 300 had an option called “Highway Hi-Fi” , a factory installed, dashboard-mounted record player.
  • The 1971-1974 Dodge Charger had an option called “Recording Secretary” in which one could record and play back the radio, or oneself.
  • The Mercedes-Benz GLE and GLS have “Car Wash Mode”, in which the automatic wipers shut off, retracts the side mirror, and shuts off the parking sensor alarms.
  • The 2013-2015 Chevrolet Spark had optional 16’ silver and red painted alloy wheels for $1,100, a tenth of the car’s price to begin with.
  • In 2003 only, the Acura TL Type S A-Spec package came with a complimentary black leather jacket with blue inserts.
  • Early model Chrysler PT Cruisers could be had with a built-in flashlight in the dashboard. PT Cruisers were also the last cars in the US to not have standard ABS, lasting all the way up to 2010.
  • In 2014, the first model year of the C7 Corvette, GM offered a $5,000 option called the “Experience Package”, in which one would get a complimentary flight to and tour of the Corvette factory in Kentucky, even allowing buyers to assist in the manufacturing process of the engine and other components.
  • The 2004-2007 VW Phaeton could be had with a driver door-mounted umbrella holder.
  • 2010-2014 Ford Mustangs with the V6 could be optioned with both a manual transmission and adaptive cruise control. Somehow, the cruise control was still reported to work smoothly.
That's enough for now.
Last edited:
  • The Lexus SC 430 could be optioned with a cassette tape player, all the way until 2010, the last car to do so.
  • The Subaru Ascent can be optioned with as many as 19 cupholders.
  • The Jaguar X-Type could be simultaneously optioned with AWD, three open differentials, and no traction control, from 2002-2004.
  • The Land Rover Range Rover can be optioned with sonar under the wing mirrors that tells you how deep the water you're in is.
  • The Nissan 350Z even offered a passenger-seat mounted child booster seat anchor.
  • The 1998-2002 Mazda 626 had an option called "swing mode", in which the dashboard air vents would rotate from the drivers side to the passengers' side.
  • The first-gen Audi A8 could be had with a roof-mounted solar panel that charged when sunny, and the power was used to operate fans that blew ambient air throughout the car when it was parked so the interior temperature was the same as outside.
  • The 1991-1995 Mazda 929 (Japan-spec only) also could be had with the same feature as the A8.
  • The current-gen Chrysler 300 has heating and cooling cup holders as an option.
  • The current-gen Honda Civic can be had with both a CVT transmission and paddle shifters. How useful.
  • The 1997-2005 Pontiac Montana could be optioned with a built-in telephone that one would need to add minutes to in order to use.
  • The 2003-2007 Honda Inspire (Japanese version of USDM Accord) could be had with a passenger swivel seat with the luxury ALMAS package.
  • Some later 1950s Chevrolets had a dealer-installed option that used an engine vacuum to empty the ash tray contents into a bottle in the engine compartment.
  • The 1997-2004 Volkswagen Passat, and the 2010-2020 Dodge Journey, could be had with an air-conditioned glove box.
  • In 2004 only, the Lexus RX could be optioned with a multi-tiered moonroof.
  • The European spec Volvo S40 and V50 in the mid-2000s could be optioned with a transparent plastic dashboard trim. Due to its ugly, out-of-place look, this option was very rare.
  • The Chrysler Pacifica offered an instrument cluster navigation system as early as 2004, almost unheard of at that time, but given its high price tag it's a very rare option to find on a Pacifica.
  • Late 1970s Chevrolet Monte Carlos briefly had swiveling a drivers' bucket seat as an option.
  • Cadillac offered a trip computer called Tripmaster on the Seville as early as 1979, to differentiate it as a more "modern" offering.
  • The 1990-1996 Pontiac Grand Prix Sedan could be offered with a 4-seat package instead of the traditional 5.
  • In the late 1980s, the Audi 5000 and 100 could be offered with a rear-seat switch-operated headphone device, so that rear passengers could listen to separate music than those up front.
  • The early models of the 1988-1993 Audi V8 could be optioned with a wool interior.
  • The 2000-2005 Lexus LS could be optioned with rear massaging seats.
  • As late as 2013 (technically 2016, for rental fleet spec only), the Chevrolet Impala could be had with a front bench seat and column shifter, the last US market sedan to do so.
Last edited:
The European spec Volvo S40 and V50 in the mid-2000s could be optioned with a transparent plastic dashboard trim. Due to its ugly, out-of-place look, this option was very rare.
It was called "Iced Aqua" and, while rare, you can still source them if you find the right parts dealer. The last mention of it I know of is 2008.


The really rare center waterfall trim was "Nordic Oak" which replaced the Iced Aqua and was inspired by Scandinavian furniture. I've seen exactly one car with that trim on it and the guy could only source the waterfall and nothing else. Looked cool though.
Crazy as it sounds, I've seen references (in OEM Porsche parts information) to wood interior trim for these cars.
This isn't the infamous pistachio one or actually a Boxster, but here you go:

Did you want your probably $120,000 Porsche to look like a conversion van? Porsche would (just as now) happily hook you up with all the 90s-Buick-but-actually-real-wood you want; and these are the best photos I've ever seen of one this... "well" equipped. He even ordered the leather-wrapped cupholders.
Last edited: