QOTD: What's Your Favorite Ride With Odd Windshield Wipers?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Look, with the best word in the world, we’re all pretty odd around here. Writers, readers, editors (past and future), we’re a community of pedantic gearheads with an affinity for the peculiar. How else to explain Panther Love or Sajeev’s Bitter Tears?

I’m no different, which is why I like it here. One of the things I enjoy — which no one in my immediate family can seem to explain — are cars and trucks with a weird number of wipers. Two wipers? Pah! How pedestrian. The discerning TTACer requires – nay, demands! – their ride of choice to be equipped with rain-clearing devices of the oddest configuration!

Ahem. Yes. Let’s look at a few, shall we?

Toyota’s FJ Cruiser boasts seemingly non-existent depreciation and a trio of wipers with which to clear its windscreen. T’would would appear the house of Akido discovered two wipers would clear the FJ’s mail-slot forward glass with the effectiveness of a worn-out Regina Electrikbroom, and decided to give it three of the things. I think it was a fabulous decision.

Single wipers are a hoot, too. Some were deployed by their penny-pinching manufacturers in a bid to save a few simoleons, such as on the old Fiat Panda and Renault Twingo. Come replacement time, cheapskate owners of these hatchbacks could bask in their half-price wiper fees.

On the other end of the single-wiper spectrum is the Monoblade system developed by Mercedes and found on the W124 cars. In what is definitely one of the best solo blade systems on the planet, the Benzo’s arm manages to extend outwards during its sweep, clearing more of the glass than it would otherwise — a full 86 percent, according to M-B propaganda.

If one is good, two are better, right? That edict might not hold true for headaches, lawsuits, or bouts of the dropsy, but from 1992-1996 Toyota saw fit to endow the Camry wagon with a brace of wipers on its rear hatch. The twin rear wiper setup cleared the vast expanse of glass in a jiffy, leading me to think some manufacturers would do well to adopt this idea today, especially when I’m trying valiantly to see out the pitiful mailslot that’s been cleared by the single rear wiper on [choose just about any modern crossover].

What’s your favourite odd windshield wiper setup? Don’t be shy; we’re all odd around here … perhaps even odder than the wiper solution on the EleMMent Palazzo.

[Image: Sashkin/ Bigstock, Toyota]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • JustPassinThru JustPassinThru on Jul 05, 2017

    Not mentioned: The Ford Falcon/Mustang/Maverick wipers that had different points, right arm to left, at the end of their swing. Reason being, the motor crank was offset with two rods working each wiper, and the top point was different relative to the two pivots. It was really annoying, to have first the one wiper stop, than the other as the first wiper took off in the reverse direction. Single wiper: The current generation Toyota Yaris. Say what you want about that McCar, but the single wiper, with its articulation arm (shades of 1970s GM!) does in fact clear more of the glass, and more effectively, than most sets of two wipers on most cars.

  • Thevolvoguy35 Thevolvoguy35 on Oct 22, 2019

    I like the wipers on the R107, w116, and w126 Mercedes. There are two wipers, but both rest on top of each other. One wiper swipes completely to the other side, and the other one goes halfway. It works very well, and it is very neat to see in action. On the w126 the wipers rested below the hood, they were out of sight until needed. And they were very quick on the fastest setting. That system came before the Monoblade system that was introduced on the w124 chassis.

  • 2ACL Not as bad as some have quipped, but half the appeal of a sport compact is the car on which it's based. The Ion was one of the worst in segment, blunting the outreach of GMPD's work. More marginalization hit in the form of competitors evolving into some of their most compelling interations. $8.5k? KBB tells Joe Average to aim for half that. Within the context of those specifically interested in this model, the magic words for asking more than market seem to be 'Competition Package.' If the best the seller can do in a short ad is vaguely reference aftermarket audio, they don't deserve a premium.
  • The Oracle I can’t wait to see the UAW attempt to organize the Chinese plants when they come.
  • Redapple2 They strove to excel and improve in this era ( on the cheap? ). They gave us Saturnasty and Northstarubish and the F150 grew in dependability and features over the Silveradoffal. -gm- a legacy of utter garbage.
  • Tane94 Yes and yes to both questions. GM and Fird have long used built-in-China components in their vehicles -- the GM 3.4L engines used in past SUVs being just one example. Why is the US so scared of China's manufacturing prowess? Why is the US so scared of China's ascendency to world super-power? Look at China's high speed rail network, including mag-lev trains, and then US trains. I would buy a China-built vehicle with no trepidation.
  • Theflyersfan Adding to what Posky said (and for once, I kinda agree with what he wrote), and as an auto enthusiast it kills me to think this, but why should auto makers care about enthusiasts any longer? Hear me out... It can be argued that the first real enthusiasts were those coming home from WW2, having served in Europe, and fell in love with their cars. And Detroit responded. That carried over to the Boomers and Gen X. The WW2 generation for all sakes and purposes is no longer with us. The Boomers are decreasing in number. The first years of Gen X are nearing retirement. After us (Gen X), that's when we see the love of cars tail off. That was the generation that seemed to wait to get a license, grew up with smart phones and social media, got saddled with crippling home and student debt, and just didn't have the same love that we have. They for the most part are voting on do-all CUVs. Yes, automakers throw us a bone with special models, but they tend to be very expensive, saddled with markups, high insurance rates, and sometimes rare. Looking at you Audi and Lexus. Friends of mine who currently have or have just raised teens said their kids just don't care about cars. Their world is not out in the open and enjoying the moment with the roar of the engine. It's in the world they created for themselves at their fingertips. If they want bland and an appliance, that's what will be built.