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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

Rear Window: 6 GM coupes with dazzling back glass | Hagerty Media

When enthusiasts pick design details on vehicles to obsessively critique, the front-end bits usually get all the attention. Grilles, scoops, emblems, and ornaments are all proudly displayed in the front of a vehicle and clamor for attention. Nobody seems to have a favorite trunk.
https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/rear-window-6-gm-coupes-with-dazzling-back-glass/
62 REPLIES 62
Canuckfan13
New Driver

My sister has our father's 1986 Gran Prix 2+2. Great highway cruiser with a useless opening for a trunk. Got it new for 1/2 the price of a Grand National cause nobody wanted them. Cool looking, but underwhelming power.
RiviGold
New Driver

When my wife was a young girl, her parents bought a ’71 Riviera. When riding in the car, she would slump down in the back seat hoping that none of her friends would see her. In her mind it was the weirdest car she had ever seen, with the back window being the biggest offender. Fast forward 49 years - we still own the car and she is proud to be seen riding in the boat-tail Rivi.
oilbrnr
Pit Crew

Dear oh dear. What happened to GM's mojo????????
JK
Intermediate Driver

That happened when the GM Board of Directors did not approve Bill Mitchell's recommendation for who was to be his successor.  Then in the Board's infinite wisdom (hah!) they made the same mistake when they did not approve Chuck Jordan's selection for his successor.  Each time the Board selected the pliable instead of the true leader that believed in the sanctity of Design and was willing to fight for it.  Now it is too late for Earls and Mitchells to be allowed to happen again.  Shame on the board for squandering the legacy of what Harley Earl created.

Doximan
New Driver

I thought the Caprice were called Donks for the square headlights
chrlsful
Instructor

definatly the 'split' for the vette, but how can the other miss, it's so close but again, no crack of the ball'n bat ("a swing'n a miss"). I'd also go w/the riveria/toranado screens. Earlier (1st gen each) for the bodies tho. Finally the earlier ute is my model too, 4th gen el camino (Chevelle Malibu Classic). Both the above & this one have the convex window. The rest are for other followers. As a "ford guy" thats a big enuff "spread de lub mahn". 8^ 0
SJ
Instructor

A coupe or coupé is a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roofline and two doors. The term coupe was first applied to horse-drawn carriages for two passengers without rear-facing seats. It comes from the French translation of "cut"
Rider79
Instructor

Loved that last-gen El Camino, and its flying buttress B/C pillars.
OldRoad
Instructor

In the trailer park of my late great mother in law lived a spectacularly mint vanilla yellow 71 Buick Riviera. I was mesmerized as I've never seen one so beautifully kept in great condition. The owner was very proud of this factory original gem and as an original owner worked hard through the years to keep it that way inside and out. I was happy to tell this gentleman that this, at that time, 30 year old Riviera looked as though he had purchased it brand new yesterday.
Carthropology
New Driver

I will add yet two new highlights in GMs use of glasswork to stylize their cars. The first is the 1966
"Vista Cruiser" station wagons. Equipped with no less than four pieces of roof glass that were contoured to the body design. Occupants from the back seat all the way to the rear of the car could gaze skyward and watch the clouds pass by.

The second innovative use of glass was in the 1974 clamshell station wagons which had wrap around rear glass windows that framed an automated rear access system comprised of a window that retracted up into the roof and a tailgate that retracted below the rear shelf of the car. the look was a little like a precursor to the AMC Pacer which really played it up... but with less technical bravado.

Lastly, I want to re-iterate a previous writers vote that the 1967 Cadillac Eldorado had a very stylish rear window which is little appreciated and even less discussed today... but must have been a real coup for GM styling to get manufactured at the time.
MrBill-1943
Intermediate Driver

Love the examples. Bought my 87 MC SS in 88 one of the last 2 on the Middletown NY showroom floor. One was a While Areocoup Bucket Seats the other a Black 87 Bench seat. Did not like the look of the Aerocoup back then then so bought and still have my recently restored 87.MC SS. Looking back the Bubble does not look as bad as I thought it did back then and also would be worth more today. Again great article. Never could afford the 63 Split but still love looking at them.
grc810
Pit Crew

It wasn't so much the shape of the glass, but how it was mounted. I thought the "tunnel windows" of the mid-sixties Cutlass, Chevelle, LeMans, & GTO's were a great design element. The practicality, not so much in the winter climates. Having owned a 1966 Cutlass, I remember how the tunnel captured snow and made removing it more difficult. Since moisture lingered in that area, it was also prone to rusting. It still looked cool.
Maaak
New Driver

The Corvette, the Riviera, and the Toro, I get. The others not so much.
Meanwhile you totally forgot the Impala coupe’s inverted curve window, and the GTO’s original couple rear window styling.