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? See the Toyota Camry Wagon models for sale near you
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. Find a Toyota Camry Wagon for sale
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.