Some of us have to be forgiven for having no idea what a wing window is.
There was a time when a car that pours in chilled air through vents was a luxury item with a hefty upcharge.
A wing window (or vent window) served as a kind of old school air conditioning.
These triangular panes of glass were designed so that you can angle them in such a way that cool air from outside the car could be channeled into the car as you drive to keep you and your passengers comfortable.
Let’s take a look at some wing windows on some pretty cool old cars:
1. Volkswagen Beetle
image source: Fast Lane Cars
Designed in the 1930s by Ferdinand Porsche, the Beetle was affordable, practical and reliable.
Thirty years later it became a symbol of the 1960s until production ceased in the 1970s. It’s the car that help make Volkswagen the world’s larger automaker.
Now the company owns other such prestigious brands like Lamborghini and Bugatti.
2. Porsche 356
image source: Motor1
Porsche is one of the most prestigious car brands in the world. Introduced in 1948, the 356 was Porsche’s first proper production car.
Along with a wing window, it featured a rear-mounted, air-cooled boxer engine. The 356 remained in production until 1965, two years after the arrival of the beloved 911.
3. MGB Roadster
image source: Classic Car Garage
I saw these a lot growing up. It seemed like every freshly licensed teen was getting one at the time.
Production began in 1962 and ended in 1980. This is a 1970 MGB Roadster which came with wing windows.
There were a number of changes introduced in the ’70 model year, the most noticeable of which was a recessed radiator grille; the sculpted Roystyle wheels; revised folding hood; new taillights and a British Leyland badge.
4. Dodge Charger
image source: Muscle Car Definition
If ever there were a more iconic car, the Charger started life back in 1966 as a late comer to the muscle car party.
It featured a two-door coupe design with wing vents.
In 1968 came the design we’re all more familiar with retaining the wing vents and adopting a menacing grille.
The ’71 to ’74 era is my favorite, but it loses the wing vents.
5. Chevrolet Suburban
image source: Toy Shed Trucks
You probably don’t think of a Chevy Suburban as an aspirational car.
But when I was in elementary, this was the car I saw most often dropping kids off and picking kids up. Of course, this was back before the SUV market exploded.
And CUVs weren’t even a thing yet. So, naturally its on my list of dream cars.
Birthed during the Great Depression, it’s tough; you can drive it on the roughest roads; it can carry a decent load; and it comes with wing windows.
Is it any wonder why Suburban is one of the most resilient American nameplates?