Blind Leading the Blind Spot II: The Sequel

So I guess I’m obsessed by this whole visibility thing.

But check this out: Here’s the cover of a brochure from the 1965 Mustang Fastback.

Hey, there's a lady in that window, not just a disembodied floating head

See the perfectly coiffed young lady in the passenger side? Note that you can see her head and shoulder over the frame of the door.

Now look at this picture from the September 2010 issue of Ca

" I can't reach my juicebox!"

r and Driver

All you can see is this guy’s tiny, pin-like head poking up over the doorsill, like he’s seven years old and he just stole his dad’s keys.

Hang your arm out that window and you’re in for Tommy John surgery before your first scheduled oil change. What’s going on?


About Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald is an automotive writer, photographer and editor with credits in Hemmings Motor New, the Boston Globe, Forbes, the Washington Post, Esquire and
This entry was posted in New Cars, Vintage Cars and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Blind Leading the Blind Spot II: The Sequel

  1. 3d1sc0v3ry says:

    It freaking annoys me that one of the greatest pleasures of motoring, driving with your elbow out the window, has been removed from most automobiles. The only recent car we’ve owned that allowed this was our Miata. One of the things that kept us from buying an S2000 was the fact that the door’s top edge was by my left ear.

    Fortunately, our F150 seems perfectly suited to driving around with the window down, elbow in the place God and Henry Ford intended.

    Dont’ get me started on internal height. I’m just under 6′ and have a hard time fitting in many cars, particularly “sporty” ones. Where does it say that sporty cars require a windshield like a bunker slit and a roof that makes me drive around with my neck listing to port?

    Doesn’t anyone actually drive these cars?

  2. Beez says:

    That probably has something to do with older cars having 14″ wheels and higher ground clearance. Thus the overall beltline could be lower. Now it’s 18″ + wheels and the slammed look. Also roofs are lower as it seems the car designers are mimicing the chopped look. So the beltline has to be raised to fit those big wheels and all the other side safety stuff.

    My wife had an Audi TT and if I tried to put my arm out the window my shoulder would hit my ear first. At the drive-thru you had to tip the drinks sideways to get them through the window. The blind spots on that car were ridiculous.

  3. yankeedriver says:

    Dave, a discussion we’ll save for another day is why the bedrails on the current 4×4 F-150 are five and a half feet off the ground. Having thrown plenty of pallets and full trash barrels over the sides of a pickup truck over the years, it makes me wonder if the designers had to do any actual work with these things when they were putting them together.

  4. yankeedriver says:

    That’s absolutely right, Beez. Once you build in the 18″ (and larger) wheels, the car absolutely has to get proportionally larger. Yet if the entire car got larger, you’d have a Mustang that was as tall as a first generation Bronco.

    So they scoop out the floors so your legs stick way out in front of you, rather than as if you were sitting in a chair.

    Also, if you’ve ever dropped your glasses down between the seats and the console, you know that you’d have better luck getting the engine out through the air vents than you would of retrieving anything down there. The seats are ON THE FLOOR.

    In a vintage Mustang, you could stash a .45, a six pack of ‘Gansett, a box of condoms and a bible under there. What are you supposed to put under the seat of a 2010 Mustang, a Visa card?

  5. Madoc says:

    Side impact safety regulations have a lot to do with window sill height nowadays.

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