Here’s a little something magical to start your day with: the car that I think may be the smallest car ever to come with that most decadent of luxo-details, the opera window. The car is the 1979 Daihatsu Charade Runabout, which featured a round, slightly domed window there on the C-pillar, working hard to impart a massive amount of classy-class to the overall car. Opera windows were another fascinating trend of the strangely fussy and obsessed-with-obsolete-status-markers ’70s, the same era that gave us silly landau bars, which I wrote about earlier this week. Here’s a sort of archetypal opera window:
You may want to stand in front of that picture and work all that class that’s being radiated from it into a lather you can slather all over your body, because, let’s be honest, it can’t hurt.
Daihatsu has always been a company that makes bold styling choices, and I think the addition of the round opera window here really makes the car. Plus, that’s a wide C-pillar, so I bet the bit of light and a chance to peek outside is a pretty welcome addition to whoever is stuck in that little back seat there. It’s also a good way to peek into the cargo area to see if you remembered to pack your special night pants or whatever.
Even though it’s a domed, round window, it shouldn’t be confused for a bubble window, like you’d see on a car like the Renault Le Car Van:
You see, for it to be an opera window, it has to exist with a more conventional rear quarter window. If it lives on an unbroken expanse of sheet metal alone, it’s something else.
These seem like charming little cars, like a Civic’s cooler brother who dresses snazzier and plays a guitar.