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Fisher No-Draft Ventilation System Revolutionizes Car Comfort

GM No-Draft Ventilation

General Motors introduced one of the most important innovations in closed car passenger comfort, its new “No Draft I.C.V Ventilation” window system to car buyers in 1933. GM’s unique new vent window system led the way by offering this new individualized comfort to all passengers who rode in its Fischer-bodied cars.

Alfred J. Fischer was listed as the inventor of the new adjustable four-window arrangement on the patent application (patent drawings below) that was filed on Nov. 28, 1932. It was assigned to the Ternstedt Mfg. Co., a GM subsidiary that manufactured components for the automaker.

Ternstedt manufactured many of the parts of the new system and followed up with a patent application filed on May 10, 1933, with later improvements. Another early-1933 patent application was also filed for screens on the leading edge of the window (see below.) In time it became known as the wind wing window, because of a feature that also allowed the front edge to open out and scoop in air.

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  • Illustration in the “Automotive Industries” Dec. 17, 1932 issue showing (top above) the flow of air with the back side of the windows open. The second drawing (bottom above) with the windows opened to scoop in outside air.

  •        A video showing a two-way view of a flip-book GM used to demonstrate the windows.

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32 responses to “Fisher No-Draft Ventilation System Revolutionizes Car Comfort

  1. I had a 1954 Chrysler with four of these vent windows. They were triangular and somewhat large. It was amazing how effective they were!

  2. There is now more than one generation that has never known these. at least on passenger vehicles. Too bad the second drawing is undated, as it’s for a crank-operated vent window. Chrysler and Ford products remained strictly push and pull until vents were eliminated.

    • For Ford, not quite. Ford and Mercury, on the full-sized cars went to crank vents in 1965. I believe Lincoln went to crank in 1961.

      • I do stand corrected. Thanks, Phil. After seeing your post I went “a=googling” and saw the 63 Full-sized Fords had crank out vents, as well. The 1962 models did not.

    • 1934 Chrysler and DeSoto Airflow models had crank-out vent windows. (Not sure about later Airflows.) Also mid-60s C Body Mopars (Chryslers, large Dodges and Plymouths) Mopars had crank-out vent windows. Maybe more models, but those at least.

    • My 65’ Plymouth Sport Fury has crank operated wind wings. I think the Chrysler’s and Imperials had electric ones from this decade.

  3. My old man always called it the no-draft. When used as an air scoop, it was a very important part of the A/C process in older cars, especially my ’50 Packard. ( unfortunately, it scoops in bees, as well) Man, that car was hot in the summer.

  4. My father’s 1966 Chrysler Newport had cranks on the vent windows. He didn’t like for us to use them because he thought they would break or wear out. They worked perfectly , even when the car had over 200,000 miles on it and the rear spring perch rusted out and the leaf spring went into the trunk.

  5. Most of my earlier cars had these “wind wings” (another name for them) and they were quite effective, especially in conjunction with the large cowl vent, which was screened to keep out those bees! In the summer, if you turned them as far as they could go, a real hurricane of air would come in. (Of course it was hot, humid air, but it was fresh air.) I had a FoMoCo variation as late as a ’73 Mercury Colony Park wagon. Small triangle vents would retract into the window well before the main window started down.

    • I was going to say the same.

      That doesn’t look like Eleanor though.

      Nor does it look like Lucy Page Mercer Rutherfurd .

  6. Dad had a ’51Merc he commuted between MS and San Francisco in during the late 50’s and early 60’s. Being a 4-door it had 4 vent windows. Early one morning on a trip across the Mojave desert he put a 100 lb. block of ice in the right front floorboard and two 50 lb. blocks in the back. He opened the vent windows and the firewall vents maintaining around 80 degrees until early afternoon. Given the flat floor the water drained easily.

    • The vent windows were perfect when many people smoked while driving. It sucked the smoke directly out of the car and was an easy ashtray. The lady in the car must be happy with that cigar smoke going elsewhere.

      • As a young rear-seat passenger who was always bothered by his father’s cigarette smoke, I didn’t think the vent windows worked all that well. The best they ever did was maybe reduce the smoke in the car a little bit.

  7. In the 50’s our family bought new ’49, ’51 and ’54 Chevys which all had these vent windows. We did call them No-Draft windows. Also when the new Camaros came out in 1967 they had them for one year only. 1968 and up did not. I believe the popularity of A/C made them obsolete .

  8. I could never figure out why the vent windows on my Chevy van let in a hurricane of air at around 30 mph but my Dodge van would hardly let in any air even at 60.

  9. It is amazing to realize how some simple thing we grew up with had so much history and development behind it! I think all of the cars we had until I was almost eighteen had them. I wish the cars today still did. To this day I don’t like to run the AC very often. I much prefer a breeze from a slightly open window and fresh air circulating about.
    Thank you David G! I hope all is well again with the data processing part of your world.

  10. I always liked the “no-draft windows”. I used to race a ’67 Camaro that had them. In my quest for speed I swapped the ’67 doors for ’68 doors that didn’t have them and lost about 100 lbs. And of course, none of the new cars have them.

  11. The last wing window I had was a 1989 Lincoln Town Car. It was also the last year for a full frame under that car. Boy, I sure do miss the leather power seats up front.

  12. It was a sad day when they did away with “wing windows” and the floor vents. Aerodynamics became more important.

  13. I had them on my ’66 Lincoln Continental Coupe except they were power-operated and they worked great even up to a year ago when I sold the car when it was 52 years old. My 1970s Dodge Vans always had push/pull vent windows and they worked great.

    I miss features as simple as vent windows and I never understood why they went away. But, if you look at modern buildings, a lot of them are as hermetically-sealed as a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall’s front porch so that an office worker doesn’t open a window to get some fresh air (what a concept!) and mess up the uber-complicated mechanical systems in the building.

  14. My ’49 DeSoto Custom 4 door has front door and rear door wing windows. Those along with the cowl vent open, create quite an air transfer even at low speeds.

  15. They were also known as a “cozy wing,” as I recall.

    Where does Fisher/Fischer come in to the picture? I do not see that name on any patent app or drawing?

  16. Some medium duty and bigger trucks still have openable vent windows.

    The auto-glass industry still refers to these pieces of glass located on front and rear doors, (many cars still have them) as “Vents,” even though they no longer open.

    Just had to explain and demonstrate how the vent windows work on my recently acquired ’55 Stude pickup to my 8 year old daughter.

  17. My 1960 Volvo PV544 had “wind wings” that could be rotated enough to shove a goodly amount of air into the cabin, a welcome feature on a black, Swedish car with a heater that could NOT be turned off effectively in the Midwestern summer. However it also shoved a bumblebee into my chest at 65-mph one day on US-65 just outside of Waverly, Missouri! That screen idea might have been a good one!

    • I drove my 544 today here in Nashville and enjoyed the vent windows and thought I needed to do something to kill that heater in the summer!

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