Vis-à-vis (carriage)

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Historical Vis-à-vis carriage
Test & Moret Vis-à-vis automobile from 1902

A vis-à-vis is a carriage in which the passengers sit face to face with the front passengers facing rearward and the rear passengers facing forward.[1] The term comes from the French vis-à-vis, meaning face to face.[1][2] These carriages are still commonly made by Amish carriage makers in the midwestern United States. Also in the Western world, the vis-a-vis is the most common type of carriage style used to cart tourists and leisure seekers in downtown urban settings.


The following types of carriage had vis-à-vis seating:


Vis-à-vis automobiles were popular in the early history of motoring.[2] These were driven from the forward-facing rear seat, with front passengers sitting ahead of the steering controls and facing the driver.[1][2][3] Passengers in the front seat would obstruct the vision of the driver in the rear seat,[2] and the style fell out of favour before 1905.[1][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Haajanen 2003, p. 155.
  2. ^ a b c d Beattie 1977, p. 28.
  3. ^ Culshaw & Horribin 2013, p. 484.
  4. ^ Beattie 1977, p. 27.


  • Beattie, Ian (1977). The Complete Book of Automobile Body Design. Yeovil, UK: The Haynes Publishing Group. ISBN 0854292179. 
  • Culshaw, David; Horrobin, Peter (2013) [1974]. "Appendix 5: Coachwork Styles". The Complete Catalogue of British Cars 1895 - 1975 (e-book ed.). Poundbury, Dorchester, UK: Veloce Publishing. pp. 480–484. ISBN 978-1-845845-83-4. 
  • Haajanen, Lennart W. (2003). Illustrated Dictionary of Automobile Body Styles. Illustrations by Bertil Nydén; foreword by Karl Ludvigsen. Jefferson, NC USA: McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-1276-3. LCCN 2002014546. 

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