Author Topic: Wing Window  (Read 443 times)

smallengineshop

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Wing Window
« on: September 23, 2022, 04:32:02 PM »

Wing windows were part of the front side windows used on many older cars and trucks. The wing window was the smaller part of a 2 part side window used for both the driver and passenger that locked in place or could be rotated about 135 degrees. They were usually triangular in shape and could be used to either vent air out or force air into the car or truck.

I always thought the wing window was designed for smokers to vent smoke out of the car on cold days when it was too cold to roll down the main window. But I think it was primarily designed to force air into the car or truck on hot days when air conditioning wasn't an option. Air conditioning first appeared on a car in 1939, and for many years after that it was an expensive optional feature. Many car and truck buyers didn't get air conditioning because of cost. The first car to include air conditioning as standard equipment was the 1968 AMC Ambassador, and that got the ball rolling. Today I think every car is sold with air conditioning.

I remember the first generation Dodge Ram pickup trucks came with wing windows and many of them were sold with air conditioning. The first generation Ram lasted from 1981 to 1993. In 1994 Dodge released the second generation Dodge Ram and the wing window was gone. By early 2000's I think wing windows officially became a thing of the past.

It became most noticeable that wing windows were fading away in the 1980's and 90's. I guess it had something to do with more cars and trucks having air conditioning and better climate control, but nobody seems to really know for sure. One explanation for the wing windows disappearance was better window manufacturing processes. It was cheaper and easier in the old days for car manufacturers to produce a 2 part side window rather than 1 large window. Also, removing the wing window gave car manufacturers more space to reposition the side mirrors, so maybe safety played a role. I wonder if the stigmatization and decline of smoking tobacco played a part in the disappearance of wing windows?

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