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Encyclopedia Hoonatica: Cars with roll down rear windows

Kamil Kaluski April 2, 2018 Encyclopedia Hoonatica 52 Comments

There was a time when cars had large windows. A time when there was no need for blind-spot sensors because they were so small. And there were many vehicles that allowed all windows to be rolled down. This was especially common with full-size SUVs and station wagons. This was because years ago they all had tailgates and not hatches like they all do today. 

But there were a few non-wagon, non-utility cars that also had roll down rear windows, such as the above Honda Del Sol. Today we are looking for those cars with roll down rear windows. 

The Caveats (there are always caveats):

  • No body-on-frame vehicles such as SUVs and pickup trucks. There are too many of them, too easy. 
  • No station wagons, same reasons. 
  • Concept cars are allowed, why not?
  • Roll down rear solid panels are allowed simply because I don’t know if such thing even exists. 
  • Other non-conventional opening rear windows get partial credit. Or extra credit, depending on obscurity and/or innovation. 

Difficulty: 6.5 out of 8, enjoy the summer breeze. 

How This Works: Read the comments first and don’t post duplicates! Bonus points for adding photos.

Image source: Honda

  • P161911

    On 1968-1972 Corvette Coupes, the rear window was a removable panel.

    Combined with the standard T-tops, you got a near convertible.

    • I did not know those were removable!

      • P161911

        Only 1968-1972. They changed it for 1973. A cost cutting measure.

        • 0A5599

          It also gained a little cargo capacity. There was a built in storage compartment at the top of the area behind the seats. It took up the same amount of room whether or not it was holding the glass. And cargo space was at a premium in those cars, especially when the T tops were off.

          • P161911

            I know all about the cargo capacity of these things. I drove a 1977 Corvette while in college. It had room for one big suitcase, a book bag, and two 6X9 speakers in a small speaker boxes. That’s it!

            • 0A5599

              Mine was a ’69. With the T tops stowed, two small duffel bags was about all the additional luggage that would fit.

  • P161911

    Low hanging fruit, Mercury Turnpike Cruiser

    • smalleyxb122

      While this is a body-on-frame vehicle, the “Breezeway” Mercury is the poster child for roll down backlight and is in the spirit of the assignment.

      • Well, okay, if we’re going to ignore the body-on-frame restriction…

        • Writing this I kind of forgot that all cars used to be on frame. Ugh. Coffee me.

          • If you allow body-on-frame examples, roll-down rear windows were fairly common in the era of rumble seats, such as on this 1935 Dodge:

          • ptschett

            Some cars are body-on-frame
            Some cars are body-on-frame
            Some cars are body-on-frame
            Some cars are body-on-frame

            …sorry I’ve clearly been spending too much time on Twitter

            • P161911

              Almost all cars before the 1970s were body-on-frame.

  • Citric

    I think the Vivio T-top’s rear window is flip down but still counts.

    • Vairship

      Put some air in those tires! 😉

      • JayP

        Put some air in that car! It looks deflated!!

  • Hammer

    BMW 6 Series Convertible

    • Tomsk

      Yep. The vertical back window can be raised and lowered independently of the top, which allows it to serve as a wind blocker when the top is down.

    • Dang, I even reviewed that car!

    • Rover 1

  • tonyola

    1958-1960 Lincoln Continental (including the convertible).

    • Good call, as these have unibody construction.

    • outback_ute

      But not the Ford Anglia (aka Harry Potter car) that shared the same reverse-angled window

  • 0A5599

    If Corvette pop out counts, then Viper RT10 should, too.

    • P161911

      Did the early RT10 even have a rear window? I remember that the raincoat t-top/targa top was an afterthought and not meant to be attached while at speed.

      • 0A5599

        Yes. The hard top came along a few years into production and would detach above 160-something mph, but they did have back windows.

  • tonyola

    Ford coupes of the mid-1930s had roll-down rear windows, particularly meant for rumble seat models.

  • 0A5599

    Pulsar NX could be driven with the hatch on, odd, or replaced with a wagon roofline.

    • JayP

      My thought.

    • ptschett

      I passed a hatchback one of those on my way home from work the other day, and realized I don’t recall ever seeing one with the wagon roof though I’ve known of it for ~30 years. (Thanks, new-cars-for-198x edition of Parade magazine!)

    • I had one and drove it once in full convertible mode. The experience was essentially the same as just taking the t-tops off, not worth the trouble

  • Fred

    I had a TR6 and AW 3000, both of which their soft tops ziped out.

    • JayP

      Also MGB/C the RV8

    • As does my Thunderbird and, I think, my Dad’s Eldorado. I think it used to be fairly common with convertibles.

  • P161911

    How about convertibles like the Baur TC?

    Or Porsche 911 Targa soft window?

    • outback_ute

      Not really roll-down?

  • tonyola

    The 1967-1968 big Mercury sedans offered an electric rear window that could be retracted two inches.

    • This…. this is the stuff I love to see! You get a super bonus!

    • jim

      It was offered as early as 1963.

      • tonyola

        Yes, I know. But the ’67-’68 models were the only ones with the “normal” sedan roofline.

    • 0A5599

      The “better idea from Mercury” was originally on Shelby GT350R.

      It didn’t unroll, though. The glass was deliberately installed with the gap for competitive reasons (aero improvement).

  • wunno sev

    i don’t even have to cheat and call out the NA/NB’s unzippable rear window. as always, The Answer™…

  • 0A5599

    Can I get a ruling on Toyota Sunchaser? And if split roof convertibles count, what about second generation RX7?

  • SlowJoeCrow

    While it’s not really within the parameters the Toyota Tundra crew cab does have a roll down rear windwo which is rather unusual on a pickup

    • gord l

      avalanche and the envoy xuv both have rear window panels/sliders respectively
      can remove the avalanche rear window , keep the bed panels on and have stuff stored and still a breeze through

    • outback_ute

      Same for the 2005-2015 Mitsubishi L200/Triton although the window opening was not full-width. This was dropped for the next generation because it stole too much cabin space.

    • Yea, I thought about that but there are so many pickup variations of that, hence the rule.

  • Ross Ballot

    Miata RF’s back window hides away when the targa is down

  • Borkwagen

    I’m seeing a lot of soft-tops with roll-down plastic rear windows. Can we get a global ruling on that? The Triumph Stag and the Jaguar XJ-SC would fall into this category.

  • Monkey10is

    In terms of “other non-conventional opening rear windows” Alfa Romeo Zagato Juniors seemed to be a bit lacking in through-flow ventilation. However they could be (and usually are) driven with the rear hatch open just a notch:

    • Monkey10is

      And the Citroen Pluriel had a removable rear window as one step in its 5-part process from conventional hatchback.

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