Travel: Cool Cars

Out of his Cadillac staggers a sweltering Texan and collapses in his living room. "Why didn't you roll down the car window, silly?" asks his wife. "What," he says, "and let everyone know I don't have an air-conditioned car?"

This Detroit joke points up the hottest —or coolest—long-term trend in the auto industry. Though an air-conditioning unit is the most expensive accessory available (average price: $350), it is getting to be one of the most popular. Eleven percent of all Detroit's 1962 model cars had factory-installed air conditioning (some 750,000 units), and about 250,000 more were installed...

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