Okay, so I have been searching Google for weeks on how to do this, and I have kludged some stuff together.
I want to combine a dropdown for year values, and combine it with a search box.
Now, I've figured out that I can create a view, and then pass contextual arguments through the URL. That works perfectly. I can get results for brakes manufactured for cars in 1977 by visiting the URL http://example.com/cars/1977,brakes.
I am trying to configure the interface that will pass the query now. I can do this by passing to a php function outside of Drupal core or related modules. As much as possible, I would like to keep this within the Drupal 7 interface.
My best guess now is using hook_form_alter to alter the url before it is passed. I am also guessing it would have to register a state change and grab the fully built url before passing it. Sorry if I am rambling here.
Has anyone ever built anything like this in D7? I know there was a module in D6 that did something close to this, but it has not been ported to D7. Any help would be much appreciated, with links to either tuts, or code examples.