Jump to content

2-Window, 3-Window, 5-Window? - what it the right name?


Recommended Posts

13 minutes ago, bryankazmer said:

late 90's Saturn came ina three door coupe

 

9 minutes ago, J.H.Boland said:

A 1923 Willy's -Knight three door coupe ! 

A friend used to have one of these ,all in black. Seeing it coming down the road at night gave you goose bumps, like a four wheeled apparition.

1923 willys knight three door coupe.jpg

 

16 minutes ago, CHuDWah said:

Now watch someone post a picture of an actual one.  🤣

 

Told ya so!  😄

 

However, I would argue the Saturn and the W-K are not coupes since they have more than one row of seat(s).

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, CHuDWah said:

A coupe has no rear seat.  

Some business coupes had optional opera seats in the rear.  Studebaker offered them on their 3-passenger coupes up to 1946, and were known as a 'double-dater'.

 

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, 8E45E said:

Some business coupes had optional opera seats in the rear.  Studebaker offered them on their 3-passenger coupes up to 1946, and were known as a 'double-dater'.

 

Craig

 

True, and some have rumble seats - still doesn't make them sedans.

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

If the responses in this thread prove anything, it's my point that "coupe", "sedan" and other such terms mean different things to different people and therefore are meaningless.

 

 

I mostly agree with that. Where I would differ somewhat, is that I wouldn't go quite so far as to say they were "meaningless". However, we need to be tolerant of other people's interpretation of the words. Their perspective will come from a somewhat different area, or amount of interest in different marques. This why I began tossing out my "colloquialisms, why is it always colloquialisms" line. Although language must have MEANING, and words MUST mean some defined parameter? Time and distance alters meanings constantly. (Oxymoron? "Alters" and "constant"?) 

Of course, marketing always trying to find new ways to describe and define things is behind a lot of the confusion. I (personal opinion here) think we should try to some extent use the terms as they were used and intended at the time our cars were built. In the 1910s and '20s, a sedan was an enclosed vehicle with full front and rear seating, while a touring car was an open topped car with full front and rear seating. People should not be calling cars of the '20s "touring sedans". By the mid 1930s, the term "touring sedan" was being used for an enclosed automobile with full front and rear seating and a built-in large (?) trunk.

Etymology is in itself a fascinating subject. Interesting to notice that "sedan" came from the chair on two rails carried by two men (usually slaves) so that the royalty need not walk among the great unwashed.

People like to draw "lines in the sand", believing that everything should be on one side or the other. Reality however, is that those lines are more fuzzy than distinct. In so many things, there is as much gray as black or white.

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

 

True, and some have rumble seats - still doesn't make them sedans.

I agree on that one.  I never stated a '5-window coupe' with very little to non-existent space to accommodate a rear seat is a 'sedan'.

 

Not to mention, most 2-door coupes with rear quarter windows don't roll down. they are either fixed, or they swing open.

 

Craig

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/28/2020 at 5:27 PM, wayne sheldon said:

 

 

I mostly agree with that. Where I would differ somewhat, is that I wouldn't go quite so far as to say they were "meaningless". However, we need to be tolerant of other people's interpretation of the words. Their perspective will come from a somewhat different area, or amount of interest in different marques. This why I began tossing out my "colloquialisms, why is it always colloquialisms" line. Although language must have MEANING, and words MUST mean some defined parameter? Time and distance alters meanings constantly. (Oxymoron? "Alters" and "constant"?) 

Of course, marketing always trying to find new ways to describe and define things is behind a lot of the confusion. I (personal opinion here) think we should try to some extent use the terms as they were used and intended at the time our cars were built. In the 1910s and '20s, a sedan was an enclosed vehicle with full front and rear seating, while a touring car was an open topped car with full front and rear seating. People should not be calling cars of the '20s "touring sedans". By the mid 1930s, the term "touring sedan" was being used for an enclosed automobile with full front and rear seating and a built-in large (?) trunk.

Etymology is in itself a fascinating subject. Interesting to notice that "sedan" came from the chair on two rails carried by two men (usually slaves) so that the royalty need not walk among the great unwashed.

People like to draw "lines in the sand", believing that everything should be on one side or the other. Reality however, is that those lines are more fuzzy than distinct. In so many things, there is as much gray as black or white.

I’m not drawing lines in the sand and I’m not intolerant of others’ interpretations.  And I agree we should use terms that are “period correct” to the cars.  But here’s a perhaps oversimplified example of what mean.  I define a coupe as a non-commercial passenger vehicle with two doors, a fixed roof and one row of more-or-less fixed seat(s).  Rumble/jump/opera/auxiliary/whatever seats don’t count.  I realize word meanings change over time.  My definition is pretty much the pre-WW2 one.  Since then, coupes have evolved to grow a full rear seat, and that’s the current definition (I call that a sedan).  But if I’m interpreting “coupe” per the prewar definition and you’re using the postwar definition, I may as well be speaking ancient Babylonian and you Chinese.  If we don’t agree on a definition of the term we’re using to describe a given vehicle then, yes, the term is meaningless.

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

CHuDWah, I think you and I are very close on this. I wasn't meaning you drawing lines in the sand, just an issue I have fought for a very long time on a great many subjects and debates. The Horseless Carriage Clubs have been debating cutoff dates and allowable percentages of original versus reproduction or replaced materials. Every time they begin to debate it again, they discover instead of cutting back on bad model Ts, they eliminated half the Stanley Steamers and curved Dash Oldsmobiles instead!

People in general seem to want easy white or black. Just doesn't work in the real world.

Edited by wayne sheldon
I hate leaving typos! (see edit history)
  • Thanks 1
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...