Jump to content

What's the history on auto Venetian blinds?


Recommended Posts

As always having the thirst for knowledge, I can't find any information on these blinds. Lots of modern pictures of owners who currently have them in their classics but, can anyone shed more light on this so called option? Maybe you had a grandfather who had them in their car when you were a kid? Maybe even you had them in your classic as a teen? I'm trying to find if this is just a modern fad or truly a retro accessory. Thanks for the history lesson!

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

Brando/Stieger in On the Waterfront (1954).

 

Thanks guys....I always knew of the quote, "I could have been a contender" but never knew where it was from. I really need to brush up on my classic films! I still wonder who was the fellow behind the idea of these in a car.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I worked in a gas station in the late sixties. One of our customers was an old man who drove a shiny black 1950 Cadillac with a venetian blind in the back window. It's the only one I remember seeing back in the day. He hardly used the car, we might fill it up once or twice a year. We would see it only in the summer and only on sunny days.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

They were very popular, especially with high school kids, when I was growing up in the 1950's.  I believe Buick offered them as an accessory during the 1940's also.  I grew up in the Washington DC area on the Virginia side.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in 1940 my Dad bought a new 40 Pontiac Special Six two door Touring Sedan. He immediately sent the car over to some custom coachwork place in Pasadena Ca. to be modified. You see my mom and little sister didn't like sleeping in a tent while we were on surfing trips, so the car was converted so that the rear seat folded into a bed which extended into the trunk area so my mom and sister could sleep in the car. My mom made side curtains for the windows, but the backlight had venetian blinds ( we just called them blinds ). Later, in 1950 my oldest cousin bought the car and seemed to have a lot of fun on dates.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Hans1 said:

Director likely wanted to exclude distractions out side of car. 

 

The producer skimped on the set giving the director only half a cab to work with and no background. This would have meant the scene would be shot and out the back window you would have seen the studio, not a moving street background. At the suggestion of one of the crew members venetian blinds were thrown in the back to cover up the window. Oddly, a special feature on a DVD has film critic Martin Landau commenting on the brilliant decision for the blinds and how it only helped the mood of the scene.
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, GregLaR said:

You are right John. I just don't recall if that scene was in the DeSoto cab or in Johnny Friendly's Cadillac.

 

7 hours ago, Summershandy said:

 

The producer skimped on the set giving the director only half a cab to work with and no background...

 

 

Here's the taxi with obvious blinds:

 

747956191_Taxi1.jpg.769a2017795da1f24ddea59b58ba7320.jpg

 

and here's the Pontiac (not Chev as you can see the end of the Pontiac hood trim).  Enough of the back window is visible to tell there are no blinds.

 

Pontiac.jpg.8418f0027394bba5e41427ec970a5e95.jpg

 

So I'd say the scene is in the taxi.  And I think it's the real car, not a mock-up - at least it looks that way in this pic:

 

436562174_Taxi2.jpg.85d62398f392f8928954e3d836415a94.jpg

 

Although the blinds may well have been closed to block the view out the back window.

 

Finally, are we sure the taxi is a DeSoto?  The rear window and trunk don't look right - nor does the front end, especially the hood badge:

 

1415890979_Taxi3.jpg.4e15d7b89ee7d662a9c5c28543cb27d2.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, Pfeil said:

...Later, in 1950 my oldest cousin bought the car and seemed to have a lot of fun on dates.

 

My dad had a 61 Plymouth wagon when I was dating - had a lot of fun with the back seat folded down.  ;)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen pictures of a special DeSoto taxicab body that was cut in half diagonally and fitted out for use as a movie prop. The same body was used in dozens of movies over a 10 year period. Behind it was a movie screen, they could project film taken from a moving car to make it seem like it was driving down the street.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I picked up my blinds and put them in yesterday. I liked the color they came in, matches the exterior. Quick easy install. Longest time was having to trim each blind but I didn't want to start hacking and come up short. I only had one example from the website to see the results and it looked like the blinds went straight down due to the curvature of the rear window. When in fact, they have a little contour to them. I'm happy and can't wait to show them off. I've yet to see any at the shows I've been at. 

 

IMG_7857.JPG

IMG_7856.JPG

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/28/2019 at 1:38 PM, Summershandy said:

I picked up my blinds and put them in yesterday. I liked the color they came in, matches the exterior. Quick easy install. Longest time was having to trim each blind but I didn't want to start hacking and come up short. I only had one example from the website to see the results and it looked like the blinds went straight down due to the curvature of the rear window. When in fact, they have a little contour to them. I'm happy and can't wait to show them off. I've yet to see any at the shows I've been at. 

 

IMG_7857.JPG

IMG_7856.JPG

 

Congrats on the period-correct aftermarket upgrade at a time when A/C was a rarity.

 

My 1952 Nash Ambassador 4-door sedan had a set of Venetian Blinds in the rar window,

and had the seats which folded into a bed.

I remember picking up a date to go to a Drive-In movie in New Jersey around 1962/1963.

Her father took one look at my car's blinds and bed,

called it a "hormone-driven Play Pen",

and had me park it and drive his MG-TD instead.

 

Image result for 1952 nash ambassador airflyte

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Flim Flam Man said:

may I ask where you got them from?

 

AVB Auto Venetian Blinds - Ruben Tapia. Seems like a good guy. Good communication too. Just a heads up. When I picked up the blinds shipped USPS the box was very badly beaten up. Worse I've ever seen in all my years of ordering. Luckily, nothing was damaged or missing. I reported it to Ruben for future. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Marty Roth said:

Congrats on the period-correct aftermarket upgrade at a time when A/C was a rarity.

 

Thanks for that observant comment. I like my accessories/options for any of my toys but I wanted to keep the poncho as you say, period correct as much as possible.

Thanks for the story and picture, that's just too cool! 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Summershandy said:

 

Thanks for that observant comment. I like my accessories/options for any of my toys but I wanted to keep the poncho as you say, period correct as much as possible.

Thanks for the story and picture, that's just too cool! 

 

Your Pontiac is just so cool. Years ago, my own very first every day driver in 1959/1960 was a 1949 red Pontiac convertible, Straight-Eight, and three-on-the-tree. It was a blast through my high school senior year, and the following summer when I played trumpet with a band at a resort hotel in New York's Catskill Mountains, as well as trips to Tanglewood for time with the Boston Philharmonic and the Boston Pops. Arthur Fiedler was not only an amazing conductor, but also as enamored as I with fire fighting equipment.

 

Now, as a father and grandfather, Per my date, my Nash and the MG, I can appreciate her dad's insistance that I drive his MG-TD.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

I've taken the car to 3 shows this summer and the blinds are a hit! Still the only car with them. 

I've also been using the movie as a reference of them as I speak to the spectators.....to sound like I know what I'm talking about of course LOL

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Summershandy said:

I've taken the car to 3 shows this summer and the blinds are a hit! Still the only car with them. 

I've also been using the movie as a reference of them as I speak to the spectators.....to sound like I know what I'm talking about of course LOL

 

Try going to some of the low rider car shows in East L.A. and you'll find plenty.

Image result for low rider cars with window treatmentImage result for low rider 40's 50's cars imagesRelated image

Link to post
Share on other sites

The one that sticks out in my memory was a black '47 or '48 Chevrolet with blinds in the back window.  Mom's cousin and her husband  and the cousin's mother stopped by to see us on their way to Indiana to visit relatives.  That car had blinds in the back window.  I believe the car was brand new and had been purchased to make the trip to Indiana.  Our neighbor also had a black '48 Chevy coupe and I believe it also had blinds in it but not sure about it.  I would have been about 8 years old then. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...