1913 109 years ago
The world’s first ‘closed’ production car was introduced, the Hudson Motor Car Company’s Model 54 Saloon. Earlier cars had been open to the elements or at best had convertible roofs. But did it have seals ?
Its hard to believe that cars were not always wind and waterproof. But where did car seals take a turn, and why? Cars have beenJo commercially available since 1879 but it took a while for car manufacturers to come around to the idea that people might want to be protected from the elements while driving. The first closed car was the Hudson Model 54 made in 1913.
The Model 54 came in many different variations, some of which didn't have the soft top or windshield. But nevertheless this car was the first commercially available car that attempted to give its driver and passengers some protection.
The next big step in automobile evolution regarding seals would be when car manufacturers started making cars with all metal body. This added the advantage to create windows that can make a complete waterproof seal like the 1918 Cadillac Type 57 Victoria and much later the 1934 Chevy Master. By this time car manufacturers figured out how to make the body out of larger pieces of steel and could build many features like window channels and doors as part of the large steel sheets.
Its unclear exactly when windshields were sealed with rubber extrusions as seals but in this image of the 1934 Chevy Master interior you can clearly see a type of U channel the window sits in and a rope seal for the door.
It took the better part of a day looking at car images from years 1928 to 1934 to finally find the first evidence of a seal being used on a car door that seems intentionally put there to act as a seal against weather
To see more about how rubber extrusions are made visit this link for an informative breakdown Rubber Extrusion
In Conclusion, it seems like rubber used as weather seals only came about in the late 30’s but car manufacturers have been trying to solve the problem since 1930. With restored cars not being accurate and very few originals surviving its hard to say exactly what car first had rubber seals as there were hundreds of production models by 1939.
If you have any comments or information on early rubber seals please leave a comment. Or have a look at our seals for your classic car