Home » Is This The Smallest Car To Have An Opera Window?: Cold Start

Is This The Smallest Car To Have An Opera Window?: Cold Start

Cs Charade Opera 1

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:

Cs Operawindow

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

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.

Cs Charade Opera 2


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:

Cs Lecarvan

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.

Cs Charade 3

These seem like charming little cars, like a Civic’s cooler brother who dresses snazzier and plays a guitar.

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Ben Chia
Ben Chia
2 months ago

I remember this car from my childhood, and I always found the opera window fascinating. A random piece of round glass in an otherwise fairly ordinary 70s/80s small hatchback

Miguel Plano
Miguel Plano
2 months ago

Some coachbuilt Minis built by Wood & Pickett had one installed.


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