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Remember When the Toyota Camry Wagon Had Two Rear Wipers?

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author photo by Doug DeMuro December 2016

If you're ever behind the (rather uncommon) station wagon version of the 1990s Toyota Camry, you might notice something strange: The rear window has two wipers. This is quite possibly the only automobile I can remember with such a feature.

Of course, a rear wiper on a vehicle with a tailgate isn't uncommon; in fact, most cars that have tailgates also have rear wipers, with only a few exceptions -- like the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe. What's weird about the Camry is the two-rear-wiper situation. So why'd they do it?

I've wondered about this for quite a long time, and I've eventually reached a conclusion. The styling of the Camry Wagon was such that it had a bit of an unusual design in back -- where the car combined a fairly wide rear window with a fairly low roofline. The result is that the back window of this particular Camry Wagon is just a little too wide and too low for one wiper to appropriately clean off -- and so, the idea of two wipers was born.

Unfortunately, we never got to see this design reach its final form, as this is the only time Toyota tried it: The two-wiper Camry Wagon was sold from 1992 to 1996, and then Toyota dropped the station wagon body style from the Camry lineup, never to bring it back.

Interestingly, I can think of about a dozen modern cars that could stand to benefit from two rear wipers. Take, for instance, the Chevy Traverse, whose styling creates the same problem as the Camry's: a rear window that's both too wide and too low for one wiper. But while the Camry used two wipers to solve this issue, the Traverse settles for a wiper that cleans off only a portion of the window. And it's not the only vehicle with this problem.

And so, I think we should bring back the brilliant two-windshield-wiper design. Or at least appreciate it the next time we're in traffic behind a Camry Wagon.

Doug DeMuro is an automotive journalist who has written for many online and magazine publications. He once owned a Nissan Cube and a Ferrari 360 Modena. At the same time.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Remember When the Toyota Camry Wagon Had Two Rear Wipers? - Autotrader