We’ve all seen them. You’ve been trapped behind a car in a traffic jam and you’ve starred aimlessly at someone’s parcel shelf and wondered where on earth they have gathered all the stuff perched upon it. There is no doubt in many cases it’s just a simple attempt to characterise a car beyond the mundane styles of the showroom.
Over the years there have been many fashions for extra parcel shelf passengers. We thought we’d take a look at some of the most popular, including a few that are still going strong.
One of the most common things that people leave on a parcel shelf is a box of tissues. The reason for this is pretty simple – it’s a hangover from the days when the rear window heating wasn’t as good as it is today, when condensation used to be a real problem. Now it’s especially useful if someone has a cold, needs to blow their nose, or if there’s an especially emotional moment on the road.
Who knows why people do it, but a popular choice of parcel shelf companion seems to be cuddly toys, with some people possibly even restricting their view to the point of danger with the sheer amount of fluff and plush in front of their back window. Whether or not this strategy is designed to soften down your heart in the face of bad driving is unproven, where the thinking is you’ll be let off bad manoeuvres in the face of childhood toys.
There’s no better way to indicate that you’re the travelling type than placing a hat on your parcel shelf. Apparently different types of hat indicate to other road users that you have a membership to a particular social group too. From bandanas through to pork pies, if you want to let people know that you were a member of a swinging subculture then this is the way to do it.
We get it. You’re a football fan. From the scarf through to the little version of your team’s kit that’s hanging off one of those sucker pads, everything about your parcel shelf shows passers-by your allegiance. There’s no missing out on it and you’re definitely proud of your boys, but not so proud that you’ve had your entire vehicle repainted in your team’s livery.
OK, it’s not strictly on the parcel shelf, but stickers have long been a mainstay of the British motoring trade. From the classic 1980s favourites like Sex Machine and My Other Car’s a Porsche through to more modern, thought out examples like the famous Baby On Board, stickers have relayed messages from the back of your car to other motorists. Our personal favourite has to be If You Can Read This You’re Too Close – a great combination of dry comedy and road safety.
The Nodding Dog
Which came first, the insurance advert or the nodding dog models? Who knows and more to the point does anyone care about the history of this fashion? One thing is for sure, which is that nodding dogs have bought a smile to many a driver’s face and perhaps carefully cut down the amount of stress on the roads, maybe saving an insurance claim or two.
Whatever you balance on your parcel shelf, or even if you prefer the pristine manufacturer’s look, there’s always something great about asserting your individuality through the parcel shelf. And more power to those of you out there that do it.