Does anyone here have one of these tops installed on thier T, or know someone who has one? I would like to see how these were made and how you attached them.
I’m not sure if the following patent has enough pictorial or descriptive information
to help answer your question, but perhaps it will be of interest.
KOUPET AUTO TOP
An additional but later patent had to do with a “Spring Catch” which may or may not
have been incorporated into his later production.
A T with a California top showed up a Model T maintenance class at Greenfield Village in fall of 2004 or spring of 2005. Haven't seen it since.
Lots of good info in the patents. I see the spring catch was a full year earlier and was for the windshield. Interesting how the patent drawings all show sliding windows but no apparent existence of these on the advertising picture. I guess there is enough information on the patent to allow you to build one of these.
Have found an ad with somewhat fuzzy fine print, but appears to indicate...
“Glass panes in doors slide open, half width, for easy signaling”
Hmm - tried to cancel that post, but seems once it asks for the file there's no backing out!
Anyway here is the ad...
I've seen a 22 Franklin roadster in Calif with a California top.
Thanks for the info.
THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION.
I think these sorts of "assesories" whare made all over the world. I think many of the more creative coach builders could do stuff like this, and I know of one - Holbæk Limosette Fabrik - which made "Limosette" tops for various open tourings here.
I doubt the filed for patents - they just made them.
The ultimate conversion was one like my Ford went through as latest research shows it started out as a Touring in 1921 and was redone as closed Fordor sometime in 1926/27.
Removable tops continued on for quite a while, I remember well a "Carson ?" removable top for cars of the day, '50's or so, and others.
If I remember right I think Speedy Bill has one in his museum.
Mark Cameron had a '13 runabout in his shop recently that had a California top on it.
I own a 1917 Franklin Four Passenger Roadster with a California Top added in the '20's. It attaches semi-permanently with irons to the wood of the body. To seal up against weather, it is fitted with side curtains.
I see the patent drawings imply they are on a '15-16 T. In AJ's picture they have gone to the windows opening with the doors and sliders like the British sports cars had in the '50's.
I like the statement "rides quietly", until the glass channels got worn or dirty and the glass wouldn't slide anymore.
It seems to me that on some of the CA tops the windows slide up into the roof. Just a recollection I have seen that.
Anyway Jay apparently for $55.00 you can order on for your roadster (or 75.00 for the Ford touring)
It would be a interesting project to build one.
Many thanks guys, great info.
Art, the patent stuff is really neat.
I know a guy with a '22 Franklin touring with a Ca. top. Looks great and he never takes it off.
The Muntz Jet of '50 to '54 came with a removable top and no folding convertible top. Shucks, I have a removable plastic top for my MGB.
I think there was maybe a dozen or more popular companies that made those removable tops in the T days, judging from the adds I've seen taken from old magazines. And many more that were small unknown makers that did it as a sideline.
There was a big Studebaker 4 door in the 30's that had a fabrick top permanently fixed to the car and the side curtains slid up into the roof like a '32 Ford station wagon. A fellow I know has a Stude like that. I forget what they were called.
I always thought a California Top was one that was more or less rigid as opposed to one that folded down. It looked kinda like a Touring/Roadster top, but you couldn't lay it down. I guess I never thought much about whether that meant it didn't have side windows, or if it did, were they attached to the top somehow or removeable like side curtains? Probably 12 years ago, I took a top out to the Bakersfield Swap Meet which had some metal tracks in the roof of a regular roadster top. There were windows, like side curtains, that followed channels down to the top of the doors, etc. What I had was a roadster top but I think the track system had been adapted from a touring top model.
California top on 1917 Franklin: