Definitions

rumble-seat

Rumble seat

A rumble seat, dicky seat, dickie seat or dickey seat is an upholstered exterior seat which hinges or otherwise opens out from the rear deck of a pre-World War II automobile, and seats one or more passengers. In a carriage, a rumble (short for "rumble-tumble") was a seat behind the body used by servants. Roadster, Coupe and Cabriolet auto body styles were offered with either a luggage compartment or a rumble seat in the deck. Models equipped with a rumble seat were often referred to as a sport coupe or sport roadster.

In America, this type of seating became largely obsolete in the mid-1930s when cars became too fast and streamlined for the comfort of passengers in such a seat. Their popularity was further diminished by the frequent injuries, including decapitation that sometimes occurred in accidents. Rumble seat passengers were essentially seated out in the elements, and received little or no protection from the regular passenger compartment top. Folding tops and side curtains for rumble seats were available for some cars (including the Ford Model A) but never achieved much popularity. It is possible that the last American-built car with a rumble seat was the 1939 Ford convertible coupe.

Prior to World War I, a single, center-mounted rumble seat was sometimes referred to as a mother-in-law seat.

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