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Publication numberUS2046574 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 7, 1936
Filing dateMay 9, 1930
Priority dateMay 9, 1930
Publication numberUS 2046574 A, US 2046574A, US-A-2046574, US2046574 A, US2046574A
InventorsOlivier Jules A
Original AssigneeDietrich Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Auto top
US 2046574 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 7, 1936. J. A. OLIVIER AUTO TOP Filed May 9, 1950 s Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR Zea 17. OZ


y J. OLlVlER 2,046,574

' AUTO TOP Fil ed May 9; 1930 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR Jzfles fl. dliz/z'en ATTORNEY y 1936- V J.A. QLIVIER 2,046,574

AUTO TOP Filed May 9, 1950 3' Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR N2 fil s fl. OZZY/6 1 E BY 50 the cover and compress the sealing means into Patented July 7, 1936 STATE AUTO TOP Jules A. Olivier, Detroit, Mich., assignor to Dietrich, Incorporated, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Application May 9, 1930, Serial No. 450,939 3 Claims. (01. 29s 107) This invention relates to collapsible vehicle tops, andparticularly to the means by which they are collapsed and stowed away.

One object of this invention is to provide a vehicle top that will be neat in appearance, and appear solid and permanent when up in its raised position.

Another object is to provide a vehicle top that will be completely invisible, when down in its collapsed position, so stowed away, that the rear deck of the body is substantially clear and uninterrupted, the streamline lines of the body are unbroken, and the place where the top has entered is substantially invisible thus giving the 5 car a neat shipshape appearance with clean stream lines, not only when the top is up, but also when it is down.

Another object is to provide a strong terminal edge to the top material.

20 Another object is to form a weather-tight seal around the edge of the top where it touches the body.

Another object is to provide suitable holding means for securing the top to the body in weath- 25 er-tight relation.

Another object is to provide a top that will fold more compactly than previous tops and take up less space when folded.

Another object is to provide a neat ship-shape,

30 substantially waterproof, sunproof and dustproof case, into which the top may be stowed, where it will be protected from the ravages of the ele ments.

Another object is to provide a cover for such 5 a case that is made of the same material as the body and is hinged thereto, and which when closed forms a streamline continuation of the body, giving the vehicle a neat appearance.

Another object is to provide a weather tight 40 seal around the edge of such a cover so that when it is closed Water and dust cannot enter the compartment adapted to contain the folded top, and to construct such a weather seal in a simple and practical manner to provide a cheap and yet pos- 45 itive sealing means.

Another object is to provide a manipulating. locking, and hold-down means, for such a sealing means, having a neat appearing operating handle or knob and adapted to lock and unlock sealing relation with the body or release it from such relation, by simple rotation of the knob in alternate opposite directions, and to provide cheap, simpleand yet substantial and positive 55 means to accomplish these results.

Another object is to give this weatherproof case such position, outline and construction so that it will conform to the stream-line lines of the vehicle, and will add to, rather than detract from, the general appearance of the vehicle as a 5 whole.

Another object is to provide a top that is easily handled, is strong .and substantial, and when collapsed and folded away will protect the covering material of the top from excessive bending, l0 stretching, or other stresses.

Another object is to provide a vehicle top that is very simple in construction withfew parts, the

,parts themselves being simple and easily fabricated, so as to provide a strong substantial top,

that is also collapsible, at a relatively low cost of manufacture.

Numerous other objects and features of novelty will be apparent, upon reading the specification and accompanying drawings, in which an illustrative embodiment of this invention is shown, in which:

Fig. 1 is an elevation, with parts broken away to show details of construction, of an automobile in which is mounted an illustrative form of my invention with the top raised.

Fig. 2 is a fragmentary elevation of the same automobile with the top lowered and stowed away.

Fig. 3 is a fragmentary plan view of Fig. 2.

Fig. 4 is a cross-section of Fig. 1 taken on a vertical plane along the longitudinal axis of the automobile.

Fig. 5 is cross-sectional view of a portion of Fig. 3 taken along the line 5-5 looking in the direction indicated.

Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of Fig. 2 taken along the line 66 looking in the direction indicated.

Fig. 7 is an enlarged elevation in cross-section of the hold-down means for the rear top material holder indicated as H19 in Fig. 4.

Fig. 8 is a plan view of the spring retainer indicated as H2 in Figs. '7 and 9.

Fig. 9 is an enlarged view of a portion of Fig. 4 at the point where the top is attached to the Windshield, showing details of construction.

Fig. 10 is a fragmentary constructional plan view of Fig. 4 showing in dotted lines intermediate positions of the top as it is folded up.

Fig. 11 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line H-ll of Fig. 4 showing the construction of the auxiliary spring cover with the top raised.

Fig. 12 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line I2-|2 of Fig. 3 looking in the direction indicated, showing the cover with the top lowered and stowed away.

Fig. 13 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of Fig. 3 taken along the line I3|3 looking in the direction indicated, showing the overlap of the main and auxiliary covers.

rearwardly extending frame members 4 and 6 are secured.

A transverse frame member I is connected to the members 4 and 6. Mounted rigidly on these frame members is an opentopped, U-shaped, top container box 8 composed of Vertical sides 9, II and I2, and horizontal floor I3. A hinged cover I4 composed of horizontal frame members I6 and I1, transverse frame members I8 and I9 and body covering material 2| fastened to the frame members is provided for closing the top of the container. 7 r 7 Secured to transverse frame member I, are a pair of spaced horizontal brackets 22 and 213 of identical construction, to which hinge members 24 and 26 are pivotally mounted by pivot pins 21 and28, respectively. These hinge members carry the cover I4, supporting the rear edge I9 thereof when in lowered position and limiting the openingmovement of the cover by means of the bowed portions 29 coming against the transverse frame member I. V

The rear sides of the top ends of the vertical frame members 2 and 3 have horizontally extending brackets 3| and 32 rigidly secured thereto. The brackets 3| and 32 pivotallysupport the lower ends of a main top bow 33 by. means ofpivot pins 34 and 36.

On the rear side nearthe lower ends of main top bow 33 are horizontal lugs 31 and 38 to which are pivotally mounted. links 39 and 4|, and pivotally mounted on the ends of said links is secondary top bow 42. The purpose of these pivots and links is to allow the lower end of secondary top bow 42 to swing around in the dotted line path 43s0 as to shorten its effective length to that of the main top bow when it is lowered into the top container 8.

When in raised position as shown in Fig. 4, the tension in top material 44'causes secondary top bow 42 to force links 39 and 4| in a forward direction until transverse extensions of pivot pins 46 and 41 rest against main top bow 33 which limits'the travel of links 39 and'4I.'

Holding'the main top bow 33 braced in an upright position from the body are a pair of folding braces consisting of longitudinal elements 49, 50, 5|, and 55 connected by hinges'52'and 60. The rear end of these braces are pivotally secured to the rear top material holder 98 and the forward ends are pivotally secured to the main top bow Near the upper ends of the rear faces of main top bow 33 are two pairs outstanding horizontally disposed lugs 53, 54, 56, and 51 which extend rearwardly and contain a pivot pin 58 which swing-, Y in ly support a pair of forward extending brace consists of a rigid member 98which is firmly members 59 and GI The function of this pivoted support is to allow folding movement of the brace members, as shown in Fig. 10, in dotted line parts 63 and 64 which are progressive points in the folding movement. a 5 Extending-horizontally forward from pivot pins 58 and 59 on lugs 53, 54, 56, and 51 of the main top bow 33, are a pair of forward brace mem bers composed of longitudinal members 59, 6|, 62, and 66 hingedly'connected to intermediate link members 6'! and 88 by means of hinge pins 69, II, I2, and I3. The forward longitudinal members 62 and 66 are pivotally connected to intermediate members I4 and I6 by'means of pivot pins TI and I8, the function of the pivoted connections being to allow the collapse of the longitudinal brace members as shown in Fig. 10. This brace means is made collapsible so'that it may fold up through the dotted line'positions 63 and 64 in Fig. 10 and go into the top container 8 as shown'in Fig. 5. 1 v 1 Hinged to theintermediate members .14 and I6 by means of hinge pins I9 and 8| are vertically disposed half hinges 82 and 83 which are $6- curely mounted atthe rear of both ends of for ward top material holder 84.

These hinges TI, I8, 19, and 8| are to allow the forward top material holder 84 to swing around into the dotted line position 85 as the top is collapsed so it can fit into the top container'in the position shown in Fig. 5. r

The forward top material holder 84 has the forward end of top maerial 44 firmly secured theretoand is mounted by means of holesB'I and 88 and set screws 89 and 9| on an upstanding rib 93 integrally formed on the top side of the windshield support frame 96. The forward top material holder is detachably secured to the windshield support frame in order that it may be detached therefrom and folded back with the remainder of the top into the top container. V I

The windshield support frame 96 is securely mounted on a forward part of the: body I and supports the windshield glass 9! as well as the forward top material holder. On. an extension of transverse pivot pins 34 and 36 (which are mounted on horizontal brackets 3| and 33, secured to vertical body frame members 2 and 3) is pivotally mounted U-shaped horizontally extending rear top material holder 98 which passesup, out openings 99 and II]! andruns, around the rear deck upon the top of top container cover 2|. The rear top material holder surrounded by a hem I02 in the lower edge I93 oftop material 44 which is fastened back on itself at I04 by cementing or sewing or otherwise fastening the material together. a

Similarly fastened to material I03 is material 60 I06 which is formed with a hem I01 in which is firmly held a tube I08 ofrubber or other elastic or deformable material. This tube is so positioned as to be between the rigid member 98 and. the deck 2| of the top container cover I4 to 65 seal out water as will be explained later on;

7 At one or more points in its length rigidm'ember 98 has lugs I09, extending horizontally and inwardly therefrom, and having a wing bolt III the bushing seats on end of sleeve II5is opening I I4.

The bore I I I of this bushing has a screw thread arid a'bolt H8 having a washer II9 on its shank is screwed upwardly into the bore and drawing the bushing tightly into place in opening II4.

* Wing boltI II is adapted to be screwed downwardly'into the top of vertical threaded bore Ill of bushing II 4so as to draw horizontal lug I89 and rigidimember 98 down toward deck 2I so as to deform and compress tube I08 which closes the space between rigid member 98 and deck 2I completely and without injury to the high finish the deck 2| and the lower near the lower end of the the rear of top material 44'.

In Fig. 14 is shown an enlarged view of the sealing and locking means for the cover I4. Extending completely around the internal upper peripheral edge of the top container compartment 8, with the exception of the portions of the ends of the U-shaped arms covered by the auxiliary covers I ZI and I22 (to be described further on in this specification) and with the exception of short interruptions to allow the passage of hinge members 24 and 26, is a. sealing flange I 28.

This metal flange I28 is fastened rigidly to the body frame members, such as I29, by suitable means such as screws I3I, and has an outwardly spaced upwardly projecting terminal edge I32 adapted to engage a. rubber strip gasket I33 to seal the compartment 8.

' Mounted in a channel in the lower surface and near the outer peripheral edge of the frame members, such as I8, of the cover I4 is a, rubber strip gasket I33. This gasket is compressed against flange I28 by means of a locking means consisting of a cylindrical bushing I34 having a circumferential flange I36 and secured rigidly in cover frame member I 8. The bushing I34 has a rectangular opening I31-in its wall. A sleeve I38 is mounted in the bore of the bushing for rotation through a right angle by means of a pin I39 mounted on the sleeve and extending into the rectangular opening in the bushing. Extending radially out from the sleeve is a lug I4I adapted to catch under flange I23 at one extreme of the right angle movement: A nut I42 is spot-welded or soldered to the sleeve concentric to the bore thereof. V

Extendingthrough the bores of the sleeve and bushing and having a manipulating knob I 43 on its upper end is a screw-threaded rod I44 threaded in nut I42 and having its end deformed at I48 to prevent removal therefrom.

. In Figs. 11, 12, and 13 the auxiliary covers are shown in detail.

Pivotally mounted immedately inside of main top bow 33 on each side of the body I are auxiliary covers I2I and I22 which are spring pressed by helical torsion springs I23 and I24 against main top bow 33 and which follow the main top bow automatically as it is lowered down into the top container 8, whereupon the auxiliary covers cover the openings 99 and IIII out of which rear top material holder and main top bow formerly projected. The main top cover has upturned flanges I24 and I26 which fit under overhanging flanges I 21 and I 28 to complete the weather-tight sealing of the top container 8.

The operation is as follows: To lower the top from the raised position shown tion shown in Fig. 2, the operator unscrews wing bolts III until they clear the bore I I! of bushings II 4. clockwise, which causes latch downwardly until clear of flange I28, whereupon friction will cause latch arm I4! to swing counterclockwise out of the way of flange I28 as pin I39 moves inopening I31. This releases the cover. Then he raises rear top material holder 98 up until it raises secondary top bow 42 high enough to allow him to swing U-shaped top container cover I4 up to its raised and open position and he opens the top container.

Dropping the rear top material holder down into the container he proceeds to the front of the car and loosens set screws 89 and 9I until he can raise front top material holder 84 off the upstanding rib 93. He then folds brace members 59, GI, 62, and 68 by pushing them inwards at their midpoints and collapses the front of the top towards the back up to the main top bow 33, the front top material holder dropping to position 86 as the top material gets some slack in it.

He then bends hinges 52 and 69 and collapsing brace means 49, 59, 5|, and 55, slowly lowers the whole top until it rests entirely within the container as shown in Fig. tainer covers I2I and I22 following the main top bow 33 down, urged by helical torsion springs I23 and I25 until they close openings 99 and IOI which are at the extreme ends of the arms of U-shaped top container 8.

He then lowers the U-shaped top container cover I4 which forms a continuation of the rear deck of the vehicle and which completely covers I 44 to unscrew the remainder of the opening and the operation is complete. To raisethe top the same general process is gone through in reverse order.

The combination and construction of the collapsible' frame members for the top constitute an important feature of the invention and are particularly designed to fold together so that in collapsed position they will occupy very little space. The front header member or material holder 84 and the side rails which connect it with the main bow 33 are so constructed and arranged and attached to the main bow as to fold into a position between' the sides of the main bow, thus materially reducing the thickness of the bow stack when the top is folded. This is accomplished by mounting the rear ends of the side rail members on vertical pivots which permit therails to fold inwardly between the vertical sides of the bow and. also by providing vertical joints in the rails in their mid portions so that they may fold both vertical and horizontal pivots for the header member so that it may fold downwardly relative to the side rails and thereby lay forwardly of them when in folded position and between the sides of the main bow member. As illustrated in Figure 5, the rear intermediate bow 42 is connected by links to the lower side portions of the main bow 33 whereby the links may fold relatively to the main bow to bring the outer portion 2, the auxiliary top conupon themselves and providing Then he rotates knob I43 counter- 4 er portions of the bow members 33 and 42 as shown in Figure 5. The diagonal brace members 49 and 5! are also specially arranged to lend to the compac'tness of the top. Theyare connected at one end to the sides of the main bow and at their other ends to the sides of the rear terminal bow or-material holder 98 and thus do not interfere with or require special openings to be made in the pocket cover 2!. It has beenconventional practice to attach the rear ends of such bracing members to the side frame members of the body. In such cases it is necessary to provide special openings in the cover for the top receiving pocket to accommodate the braces when the top is in raised position. In my construction all of the collapsible members are connected in'one compact unit which is secured at the single point 34 to the vehicle body making these the only points at which separate cover arrangements must be made for the top receiving pocket.

The advantages of this invention are numerous, the main advantages being that the top while raised is strong, substantial, and solid, and will not collapse of its own accord, and that while in the raised position the container is covered at all times by a continuation of the rear deck of the body. It is easily lowered, without damage to the top, into a compact, small space, that does not interfere with the functions of the vehide or weaken it structurally in any way.

When it is in lowered position, it is completely covered and protected from sun, atmosphere, water, dust and other'deleterious agents, and the covering conforms to the stream lines of the body so that there is no unsightly bump, or ridge, or other evidence of where The little flanges H6 on bushings H4 may be plated with lustrous metal in which case they are decorative, or countersunk and finished as'the body of the car, in which case they are invisible.

Numerous other advantages and novel features will beobvious on reading the specification, the drawings and the claims.

The invention is broad in scope and solves the problem of what to do with the top and how to keep the material from being ruined by cracking or rotting when in a lowered position.

Because of this: i

The invention does'not limit itself to a top for an automobile, as it may be used on a runabout type motor boat, or any other vehicle.

The invention does not limit itself to the exact illustrative form described in the specification and drawings, as numerous modifications and changes of form or detail may obviously be made without departing from the true scope of the invention, which is set forth in the following claims.

I claim: 7

I 1. A top frame for a vehicle body comprising a main top bow pivotally connected to the body, folding brace means holding the main top bow in braced relation, a link member pivotally connected to the main top bow, a secondary top bow 'f or securing said the top 1s, or was, or has gone,

, shield and supporting pivotally connected to the link member, a for ward top' material holder detachablysecured to the body and hingedly secured and heldin braced relation'to themain top bow by collapsible 'means, and a rear top material holder pivoted to the body, and detachably secured thereto, and means holder to the body'in sealed relation thereto.

2. In a vehicle body, a collapsible top frame comprising a main bow" member pivotally connected at its ends to the intermediate side portions of the body, a forward transverse'member, vertically jointed side rails having their rear ends connected by verticalpivots to the upper side portionsof said main bow and their forward ends connected by vertical and horizontal pivots to said forward transverse member, a rear. intermediate bow member having a pivotallink connection with the lower side portions of said main bow, a rear terminal bow having its ends pivotally connected to the intermediate side portions of said body, and jointed braces each having an end pivotally connected to the intermediate side portions of said main bow and said rear terminal bow.

3. In a vehicle body having an upright windshield at the forward end of the passenger sec-' tion and an upwardly opening pocket along the rear sides and back of the passenger section, a collapsibletop comprising a flexible cover for the rear, sides and top of said passenger section, a collapsible frame for supporting said cover comprising a main bow having its ends pivotally mounted within the forward ends of said pocket and adapted to pivot into and out of theconfines of said pocket, a windshield header adapted for releasable attachment the forward end of said cover, vertically jointed side rails having vertical and horizontal pivotal connections with header and having vertical pivotal connection at their rear ends with the upper side portions of said main bow, whereby said side rails and header may be folded and disposed between the sides of said main bow, a rear terminal bow sup orting the rear end of said flexible cover and having its ends pivotally mounted within the forward ends of said pocket "adjacent the ends of said main bow and adapted'to pivot into and out of the confines of said pocket, jointed brace members pivotally connecting the intermediate side portions of said main bow and rear terminal how, a rear-' wardly extending intermediate bow, linkspivotally connected to the ends of said intermediate bow and to the sides of said main bow whereby the length of said bow may for disposal in said pocket immediatelybeneath said main bow, a unitary said pocket having an exterior surface corre-' sponding in contour and fiush with the exterior surface of said body and providing a support for said rear terminal bow when the top is in raised position.


removable cover for be shortened in folding

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2747928 *Jan 13, 1953May 29, 1956Gen Motors CorpFolding top compartment cover
US3087753 *Mar 1, 1960Apr 30, 1963Daimler Benz AgVehicle top construction
US4991904 *Apr 11, 1989Feb 12, 1991Daimler-Benz AgCollapsible top for motor vehicles
US6604774 *Jul 12, 2002Aug 12, 2003Daimlerchysler AgCover device for a folding top compartment
US6616213 *Jul 12, 2002Sep 9, 2003Daimlerchrysler AgCover device for a folding top compartment
US6722723 *Sep 19, 2002Apr 20, 2004Edscha Cabrio-Dachsysteme GmbhTop for a convertible vehicle
US6736443 *Nov 23, 2002May 18, 2004Cts Fahrzeug-Dachsysteme GmbhCover arrangement for vehicles with removable vehicle roof
U.S. Classification296/107.8
International ClassificationB60J7/12, B60J7/08
Cooperative ClassificationB60J7/1282
European ClassificationB60J7/12C10D