Modern Cars Ultimate in Vision, Ventilation

Modern Cars Ultimate in Vision, Ventilation.

(From Ward’s Automotive Reports, March 2, 1953)

Some years ago, about the time wind-safety-glass windshields first made their appearance, a leading builder of automobiles began affixing a small imprint V-V in the lower corner of glass panels. It stood for "Vision-Ventilation." Little did this manufacturer realize then how far vision and ventilation would go in body design. Wraparound rear windows, wrap-around windshields, vanishing corner posts and dividing strips, two-door hard-tops, now four-door hard-tops, more and more glass area has been the trend ever since.

The day of the transparent roof panel has not yet arrived, although a lot of designers have worked it into their sketches of cars to come. Some taxicabs, of course, have modified versions in the form of "sky-view" panels.

Perhaps vision and ventilation have been over-worked a trifle. Some drivers object to traveling around in glass showcases -- one-arm drivers particularly.

The objections are not altogether against exposure to passersby. Glare from the sun and from headlights, front and rear, can be most annoying—even dangerous. Thus the trend toward dimming-out window glass by tinting with blue or green is accelerated, and thus the popularity of the windshield sun visor and even "eyebrows" over side windows—monstrosities from an appearance standpoint, yet distinctly practical.

So, too, with ventilation. Anyone who cannot get thoroughly ventilated in a 1953 model either does not know how work heater and air conditioning controls or has serious congestion of the pores. As a matter of fact, air conditioning involving refrigeration equipment has been consistently ridiculed by manufacturers as impractical, unhealthy and too expensive; that is, until the last couple of years. Now you can buy it on several popular makes, if you care to lay several hundred dollars extra on the line.

Whatever the pros and cons, no one can deny that passenger cars have about reached the zenith of vision and ventilation. Unless maybe someone might come up with a clear plastic floor pan so passengers could observe the size and character of holes in the roads!

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