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We are again approaching the time of year where cold winds and low-pressure weather systems move down from the north. That of course leads to significantly more rain than what we’ve become accustomed to during this beautiful, warm and sunny summer which seemingly engulfed all of Europe. Hopefully this shouldn’t keep us from continuing to drive our classics, but we will of course need our windshield wipers. A component haunted by evil spirits and disappointingly poor abilities.

Perhaps you’ve already been out and about in your classic during the past week or two, where dark and heavy clouds have hung low in the sky and occasionally dumped unreasonable amounts of moisture on your windscreen? Optimistically, you switched on your wipers – only to be met with disappointment as they are apparently only any good as a shiny decoration. If your wipers are anything like mine, their greatest talent is removing the last little hope of forward vision, through a technic best described as “smearing”. A thorough smudge of the horrid mixture of rainwater, dirt and road grime which inevitably assembles on your windscreen whenever you encounter precipitation.

Do you use period-correct but utterly useless windscreen wipers?

– or have you sacrificed your good connections with die Original Polizei, and instead installed a set of modern plastic wipers?

I struggle to find a viable solution to this conundrum. So I will now seek the help of our well-informed ViaRETRO readers. What in heaven’s name do you do, in order to maintain a clean and clear windscreen when it rains? And please don’t tell me that you simply accept this thoroughly unacceptable situation, or that you just don’t drive your classic if there’s the slightest risk of rain. Neither should be regarded as a feasible answer. Not even the infallible Porsche-owners can lean back this time, and claim that their German manufactured Bosch wipers are the perfect solution – at least not if they insist on retaining authenticity by using the period-correct stainless steel wipers from the sixties and early seventies.

Even though there are still a few different options when it comes to period-correct wiper blades, it’s hardly like in the good old days…

No, what I’m seeking is knowledge and experience on the subject of the cream of replacement rubber for the old stainless steel wipers. Or alternatively, some ingenious explanation on enhanced spring tension for certain brands of wiper blades compared to others. I’m desperate for a solution!

Somehow, I foresee a day full of classic car owners selling me the virtues of chemistry and nanotechnology to solve the issues of rain combined with antiquated windshield wiping. Okay, if there really is no other way, then please reveal to me exactly what I should buy and how I should use it.

And now that we’re at it, let’s not forget the good old windshield-wiper-arm-spoiler. This peculiar little device which was once available from any respectable car accessory shop – or even your local petrol station for that matter – seems to be experiencing a renascence. Albeit in a sleeker, windtunnel-tested design, but the High-Street-cruising-tosser-of-the-seventies was right: They work! At least I presume so, as the modern wiper blades now incorporate the discreet spoiler in their design. But where in this day and age can I find a pair of classic retro-fit wiper spoilers?

Are wiper spoilers the solution to achieve a clearer vision of the road ahead?

Or should we simply surrender ourselves to the black magic of modern chemical solutions?

 

About The Author

All cars are lovable. Especially if they are Italian or French. I prefer them kept original, displaying as few modifications as possible. Sherry, a good cup of coffee and the sound of Miles Davis sums up the good life. Søren's keeper is a 1969 Alfa Romeo 1750 GTV – but he continually flirts with French connections such as DS, 2CV and R4.

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4 Responses

  1. YrHmblHst
    You drive a classic car for the whole visceral , retro feel of it – so buck up cupcake and include the windshield wipers in the experience. Be authentic. [and put some Rain-X on the glass too…]
    Reply
  2. Anders Bilidt
    HaHaHa… Søren, you have just been told! :-D
    Harden up and accept the lack of clarity. You’re driving a classic after all…

    Easy for me to say – the wipers on the 02 are actually pretty good. Maybe it’s simply down to good old German engineering, and the discretely integrated wiper spoiler on the driver’s side. It seems to work.

    Reply
  3. Dave Leadbetter
    Rain-X. I tend to find it’s more of a problem keeping the inside of the screen clear, but perhaps I just have especially toxic early morning dog-breath or something.
    Reply
  4. YrHmblHst
    Oops…maybe yall couldnt see the smile on my face from way over there…
    having said that, i stand by my original comment as first interpreted if the car is an occasional use vehicle; modern wipers on an old car really grate me. In fact, once judging a concours at a national convention, correct looking wipers actually garnered a win on my sheet over a MAYBE 1 point better car otherwise…
    BUT! if its a daily, do whatever you can to help your chances against the incompetent morons populating and polluting our roads – its a matter of survival.

    Oh, and as for the inside of the screen, you might try some stuff called fog-free; its some magic goo motorcyclists use on the inside of their helmet visor. helps a little – maybe worth a try.

    Reply

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