Whatever happened to …

… vent windows?

Thanks, Sheila Stewart, for the suggestion.

Thanks, Wikimedia https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/cd/1965_AMC_Ambassador_detail_of_vent_window.jpg

When I bought my latest car (2014 Ford Fusion), I was kind of excited when I saw it from a distance. It looked like it had a vented window. Sadly, not. It was just a piece in the design and the window that actually rolled was smaller because of the design.

But I certainly remember the original vent windows from vehicles gone by. In my case, if was well before air conditioning. Now, you could roll down the main window but sometimes it just let in too much wind and could cause complaints from the rear passenger. With the vent window, you could get just enough wind coming through. They were very flexible and you could open them a bit or a lot and some of them actually spun around to allow even more air in.

This was also the time when people smoked cigarettes in cars. (not me, never had that vice). But, with the vent window, you could flick off the ashes easily through these small vents rather than dirty up the ash tray in the car. (Whatever happened to ash trays?)

For a Sunday…

  • Did you or your family ever own a vehicle with vent windows?
  • How did you use them?
  • As Sheila mentioned when she sent me the suggestion, they were actually kind of easy to break into since they were just held closed by a rotating lock (if you remembered to lock it!)
  • What was your first vehicle with air conditioning?
  • Do you prefer air conditioning or the ability to roll windows down and get air in from the outside?
  • Do you know of any current new vehicle that comes with vent windows?

As always, I’d like to read your thoughts. Please share them in the comments below.

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Published by dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

8 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Doug, I don’t remember vented windows, but I think I would love them. I never use my air-conditioning in the car. I love putting down all the windows and feeling the breeze as I drive (with nice loud music playing as I go). At home, I love my air-conditioning, but in the car, I’ll always pass on it. Curious if anyone else feels the same.


    Liked by 2 people

  2. Let me loan you my shedding dog for a day and you might change your mind about wind blowing around in your car! Seriously, though, I do enjoy driving with the windows down but only up to a certain temperature. When I gets really hot and humid as it is liable to do around here, mark me down in the air conditioning column. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Aviva.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I suspect they disappeared after the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards were brought in in 1975. With the push to increase gas mileage, manufacturers did their best to reduce the drag coefficient (Cd) of their cars. I’ll bet the “quarter glass” had a serious effect on Cd so they had to go.

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  4. I remember vent windows. Like you said, before A/C was common. My father used to buy car air conditioners when they were dealer add ons. Dad loved gadgets. 🙂

    Opening windows increases drag and reduces gas mileage. The weight of an air conditioner also impacts gas mileage but that is the case even if the A/C is not in use. It’s probably less drag than opening a window though.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Hi Doug, Aviva, Peter, Alfred!

    I remember the triangular vent windows. They were definitely our air conditioning back when I was a kid. We had Volkswagons, station wagons, and Ford vans over the years, and I seem to think that the vans still had vent windows in the late 70s early 80s. I didn’t have air conditioning in a vehicle until I graduated from University. The vehicle was a Mercury Lynx.

    After reading Doug’s article I went off to do a little bit of research with Google, and then I came back and read the comments!

    Peter and Alfred have it right, any kind of open window creates considerable drag, even if the window is only lowered into the door, as driver and passenger side windows do today. Sticking a window out at an angle like the old vent windows would only only increase the wind resistance further and decrease fuel efficiency. Apparently driving with windows closed and the AC on is more fuel-efficient than driving with the AC off and the windows open.

    I also came across the term “quarter glass” as referenced by Peter (fixed triangular windows that can appear at the front and/or back of the car, as well as “opera windows.” Who knew these windows had their own special names?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thanks for taking the topic further, Doug. I hadn’t thought of the convenient “ashtray” aspect of them! Enjoying the comments and research of others here too 🙂


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