Things I miss: Vent Windows

By the late 1980s an automotive feature that I love, colloquially known as Vent Windows, or Wing Windows, or Bat Wings had largely been phased out.

As a kid, I loved sitting up front in my Dad's (later my) Volkswagen Bug. The best part of a ride with Dad was opening the "bat wing" and hosing fresh air right into my face. I could ride for miles trying to see if the airflow would dry out my lips, eyes or tongue.

Today I love opening the wings on my VW Vanagon. When I hit 45-50 mph the volume of airflow blows a LOT of loose dog hair out of the bus. Vent Windows are every bit as effective as I remember from my youth in the 1970s! Where did they go? Why did we lose them?

I've heard tell that they created so much aerodynamic drag in a time desperate for fuel mileage savings that they were disappeared. I've also heard that air conditioning that works well killed them off, or they made cars too easy to break in to and steal. Most likely, to me anyways, was that it is simply cheaper now to make 1 piece windows that can retract on a rail.

I believe a few Ford trucks still had these windows as recently as the mid 1990s.

I certainly miss them.