How long ago was this? I can't recall ever seeing a car without A/C, except for maybe a the Beetle that my parents had when I was a kid.
I'm 28 and cars with a/c were rare among my family.
Although it was more "This car had a/c at some point but its borked and the kids can just sweat, I need cigarettes." (Or in my mom's case "Car's a/c does not work, but can't afford to fix it.") Apparently a few of us as kids nodded off in the car during drives and were later found to have heat sickness. And my dear aunt, whose van had a heater that she blasted in Texas Summer, while locking all the passenger windows and chain smoking. I didn't learn until I was 19 and started smoking for a month or so what the strange wobbliness I'd get after riding with Aunt was. Nicotine high! (Its been nine years since I smoked a cigarette and I still kinda want one. Not enough to buy a pack but I would bum or buy one off a smoker if I knew any.)
My first car had no a/c, I just kept all the windows down and carried a hair brush. It was a '91 Honda Civic and I miss it terribly, where I live now the lack of a/c wouldn't matter. But when it hit triple digits I cursed its lack of cooling almost as much as I adored its amazing gas mileage.