"California Top" Turns your Touring or Roadster into an Enclosed Car

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2009: "California Top" Turns your Touring or Roadster into an Enclosed Car
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern Ca. on Friday, December 04, 2009 - 03:30 pm:

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.
koupet


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A,J, Bell on Friday, December 04, 2009 - 11:05 pm:

Hi Jay

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
http://tinyurl.com/ydy92og

An additional but later patent had to do with a “Spring Catch” which may or may not
have been incorporated into his later production.

SPRING-CATCH
http://tinyurl.com/yfb6py7

Regards
Art


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David_Cockey on Friday, December 04, 2009 - 11:34 pm:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 01:06 am:

Art
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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A,J, Bell on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 01:23 am:

Les
Have found an ad with somewhat fuzzy fine print, but appears to indicate...
“Glass panes in doors slide open, half width, for easy signaling”
The Koupet Top


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By A,J, Bell on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 01:29 am:

Hmm - tried to cancel that post, but seems once it asks for the file there's no backing out!
Anyway here is the ad...
Art
The Koupet Top


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ricks - Surf City on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 05:52 am:

I've seen a 22 Franklin roadster in Calif with a California top.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Barbaar Brown on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 06:26 am:

Thanks for the info.
Barbara

caravan hire


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Barbaar Brown on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 06:27 am:

THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION.
Barbara
caravan sales


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Deichmann on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 06:41 am:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Grady Puryear on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 09:40 am:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Ned Protexter on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 11:26 am:

If I remember right I think Speedy Bill has one in his museum.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Warren Mortensen on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 11:32 am:

Mark Cameron had a '13 runabout in his shop recently that had a California top on it.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chuck Richardson on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 11:41 am:

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.

/image


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Les Schubert on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 12:05 pm:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jay - In Northern Ca. on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 01:45 pm:

Many thanks guys, great info.

Art, the patent stuff is really neat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Aaron Griffey on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 02:04 pm:

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.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Verne Shirk on Saturday, December 05, 2009 - 07:31 pm:

Jay,
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.
Verne


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chuck Richardson on Monday, December 07, 2009 - 05:12 pm:

California top on 1917 Franklin:
ctop


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Chuck Richardson on Monday, December 07, 2009 - 05:15 pm:

Another view:
ctop2


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