Imagine a World Without Cup Holders in Cars

Can you imagine a world without cup holders in vehicles? It wasn’t until 1983 when the built-in cup holder — capable of holding a variety of cup shapes and sizes — arrived in U.S. vehicles, and Chrysler made it all happen. The automaker created an entirely new category of vehicle with the invention of the minivan. A sturdy, 2-cup holder was sunk into the console of the Dodge Caravan and Plymouth Voyager. Cup holders became more commonplace after that, but it wasn’t until 1994 — when McDonald’s famously paid Stella Liebeck a $640,000 settlement after she spilled boiling hot coffee into her lap while sitting in her car — that they became standard on all automobiles. Prior to 1983, cup holder attachments were the best the public could do. They were even available on the 1920 Model T by ordering through the Sears catalog. (see below)