AUTO BREVITY


Glove Compartment Mirror

Automotive Mileposts
1969 Continental Mark III glove compartment mirror

The 1969 Continental Mark III came equipped with a standard Glove Compartment Mirror and a unique storage compartment to store the mirror when not needed.

Sometimes it's the little things that mean the most, like a mirror located in a handy spot!

Some even popped up automatically when the glove compartment door was opened...

For years, automobile manufacturers have provided handy mirrors on the passenger side sun visor for those last minute make up or hair touch ups, or to perhaps do a quick check of the teeth after eating, but as the sixties came to an end and more and more standard equipment was being provided on luxury cars, the car makers were looking for thoughtful convenience features that would make their cars stand out from the rest. Some of these features had more of a safety factor to them, such as the Fiber Optic Lamp Monitors. Others were designed to make long trips more comfortable, such as individually-adjustable front power seats that allowed both the driver and front seat passenger to adjust the seat to fit their personal comfort. And others were simply nice touches that were never used by some, and delighted others.

Two automobiles are noteworthy for their thoughtfulness when it came to providing mirrors for passenger use. They are the 1969 Continental Mark III, and the 1967-1968 Imperial. While ordinary luxury cars such as the Cadillac and Lincoln Continental supplied the visor mounted mirror, the Mark III and Imperial took it a step further, by providing mirrors in the glove compartments.

The Mark III mirror was stowed in a black plastic compartment mounted at the top of the glove compartment, so it could be slid in and out as needed. The mirror had a black textured plastic frame around it, and was marked in the lower right corner with "Continental" script. This was a one year only feature, and the mirror is often missing from cars today. Perhaps the original owner wanted to keep it as a souvenir at trade in time. For 1970, the mirror storage compartment was replaced by a small black metal clip that served to retain the Ownercard, which provided warranty documentation for the original owner.

The Imperial was a bit more advanced, by mounting the mirror inside the glove compartment with a spring-loaded hinge, so it popped up automatically when the glove compartment door was opened, and retracted down automatically when it was closed. Because these mirrors were actually attached to the car, it was a bit more difficult for people to walk off with them, so most of them today are still intact and serving duty for current owners.

By 1973, illuminated visor vanity mirrors appeared as an option for 1973 Cadillacs, trailed by most other makes the next year. Driver's side illuminated mirrors soon followed, and they are now common items on many of today's cars.

OTHER NOTABLE USES OF MIRRORS IN AUTOMOBILES

1965 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Luxury Sedan—mounted at center of front seat back

1965 Oldsmobile Ninety Eight Luxury Sedan front seat back mirror

1974 Ford Thunderbird—illuminated visor vanity mirror

1974 Ford Thunderbird illuminated visor vanity mirror
1968 Imperial glove compartment mirror

To the delight of many 1967-68 Imperial owners, a mirror mounted in the glove compartment is a convenient, thoughtful, and a functional feature