Fun Gutter Facts: Gutters on Cars

fun-gutter-factsDid you know that cars used to have rain gutters too? I hadn’t really thought about it until I read this piece by Tim Blagg. It’s a humor piece, but it still got me thinking!

Of course, anyone who has lived here in Florida understands how great gutters on cars could be. Each of us has probably had the experience, at least once, of having a cascade of water come in just by opening the doors out into bad weather. Given most modern cars have a slew of electronics right on the car door this always causes me a moment of worry.

Blagg referenced a Detroit Free Press article that I thought I’d share directly.

“Drip rails or rain gutters used to be de rigueur on all automobiles,” said Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn. “They started to disappear in the mid-’80s. It was a concession to styling and fuel economy and reducing wind noise,” Anderson said, “but you do get snow on the seat and rain falling on your head.”

The change made cars more attractive and aerodynamic, said Peter Davis, vehicle design chief for consultant Tata Technologies. The rails on the roof disrupted air flow and altered the car’s profile.

Thank goodness we don’t worry about making houses more aerodynamic, and that aluminum rain gutters do a good job of taking care of the aesthetic problem. As it stands, both pieces point to the potential for a new sort of “rain gutter” design on cars in the future.

If you want a car with a gutter you’ll have to look to the 2015 Mustang coupe or convertible, since these are the car designs that are being slated to receive the rain gutter improvements.

Fortunately, you probably won’t have to clean out your car’s “rain strips” every spring and fall like you have to clean out your rain gutters. Speaking of which, have you gotten yours cleaned and checked yet?

If the answer is “no, I have not cleaned my gutters yet,” then don’t waste another minute. If you live in St. Petersburg, Largo, Clearwater or anywhere else in the Tampa Bay area, call us for a free estimate. We’ll keep you off that roof!

1 Comment

  1. Glenn says:

    You are right calling the roof sides a gutter, they simply divert water.
    But you may not be aware that other areas of a vehicle contain gutters too.
    That includes a car with a 5th door or “hatchback”. It’s the area that you see when you open the hatch that diverts water away from the interior.
    Same applies with a car that has a motor in the rear and under the front hood you can store luggage, gutters are used there too.
    Lastly, most restoration shops are very familiar with the name, like when restoring a 1969 Camero for example. That’s the painted steel part under the trunk lid that collects dirt and tree leaves and always rusts out. This gutter comes in 3 or more sections and is attached to the side of the rear quarter panels too.

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