Hand brakes, also known as emergency brakes, were a standard feature in classic cars. They provided a way for drivers to secure their vehicles when parked on an incline or in an emergency. Hand brakes were often operated by a lever or pedal located on the floor of the car. While they were effective at holding the car in place, they weren’t as reliable as modern parking brakes (via Car & Driver).
They could be prone to rust and wear, which could cause them to fail over time. Additionally, they required more effort to operate than modern parking brakes, which are often operated by a simple button or switch.