Who hasn’t driven their classic on a drizzly or misty day and been annoyed by the archaic two-speed wiper system that’s either too fast or too slow for the prevailing conditions? Reaching for the wiper switch and toggling it on and off gets old in a hurry, plus there’s the extra wear and tear on the switch and related electrical system and components. But right around the time the muscle car era was just getting underway, relief from the irritating responsibilities of wiper control was also being addressed.
We all have Robert Kearns, an engineer and relentless garage tinkerer, to thank for creating the impulse wiper system back in the mid-Sixties. His invention was so radical, however, that when the engineers at Ford Motor Company first saw it, they were convinced he was activating the prototype by a hidden switch and asked him to leave the room while they inspected his invention. Once convinced of its feasibility, Ford’s decision makers (and those of other car companies) soon offered Kearns’ concept in their new-car option lists.
Today, Kearns’ invention is ubiquitous enough that virtually all cars have standard equipment windshield wipers offering a varying number of blade speeds, allowing us to contend with any type of precipitation, from a drizzle to a downpour. The opportunity to retrofit classic machines with this technology was recognized by Detroit Speed & Engineering (DSE), which designed its Selecta-Speed wiper kits for many of the muscle era’s popular models. These kits are designed to provide a bolt-in replacement for the stock two-speed wiper motor, offering a relatively simple way to upfit your ride with a seven-speed (high, low, and five delays) impulse wiper system. The updated wiper system should vastly improve your ability to navigate through any kind of weather.