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Publication numberUS2234040 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1941
Filing dateNov 30, 1939
Priority dateNov 30, 1939
Publication numberUS 2234040 A, US 2234040A, US-A-2234040, US2234040 A, US2234040A
InventorsCarr Raymond L
Original AssigneeCarr Raymond L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible body
US 2234040 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 4, 1941. R. CARR 2,234,040

CONVERTIBLE BODY Filed Nov. 30, 1939 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 March 4, 1941. R. L. CARR.

CONVERTIBLE. BODY Filed Nov. 30 1939 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 March 4, 1941. R A 2,234,040

CONVERTIBLE BODY Filed Nov. 30 1939 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Marvin? Patented Mar. 4, 1941 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 17 Claims.

This invention relates to improved vehicle bodies of the general type disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 35,610, filed August 10, 1935. A body of this type is characterized by a top comprising a body portion or a shell which is movable from a raised position to a lowered position in a deck behind the passenger compartment. Preferably the deck may contain a storage compartment, the shell of the top providin an opening which is closed by a separate rear panel when the top is raised, the panel being movable to lowered position in such a. manner that access is afforded to the storage compartment through the opening in the rear of the shell when the top is lowered.

As disclosed in said copending application, the deck may have a fixed wall portion extending, for example, to a region substantially over the mid-portion of the lowered top. In front of this wall section the deck may provide an opening through which the shell passes from its raised to its lowered position. A suitable closure or closures may be afforded for this opening.

The present invention is more particularly directed to an improved arrangement of a closure or closures for this opening, to an improved arrangement for mounting the panel and for positioning the same when lowered, .and generally to linkage for interconnecting two closures for the openin at the front of the deck and/or for connecting one or both of these closures to the rear panel of the top. In general, arrangements of the type disclosed herein 5 permit the more convenient lowering and raising of the top.

One important aspect of the present invention involves the positioning of the rear panel, when lowered, so that its upper, narrower vpor- 40 tion may be straddled by the rear part of the top, which provides the lower wider portion of the rear opening, while the wider lower part of the panel may be disposed below the path of the top. In this position the panel may be dis- 5 posed so that the face thereof which was outermost and uppermost when the top was raised is located below the face thereof which was innermost when the top was raised. Thus the panel may be swung through an angle of more 50 than 90, for example, ofthe order of 120. The panel preferably may be provided with guiding means to ensure its proper positioning both when raised and when lowered.

Preferably two swinging closures may be pro- 55 vlded for the opening at the front of the deck,

these closures having juxtaposed edges in the region of the rear part of the raised top. The front closure preferably swings downwardly and forwardly and the rear closure upwardly and rearwardly. These closures preferably are in- 5 terconnected so that manipulation of one thereof is effective in causing concomitant movement of the other closure and so that, when one closure is locked in normal position, the other closure is .also simultaneously locked in its normal 10 position. v

Another aspect of the invention involves the interconnection of the swinging rear panel with a closure so that movement of the closure is effective in swinging the panel when the top is 15 raised, suitable means being provided to prevent such movement of the panel in response to movement of the closure when the top is lowered.

A further aspect of the invention relates to the arrangement of the parts so that they may 20 move in counterbalancing relation to each other, and further to the provision of counterbalancing means for the swinging rear panel.

In the accompanying drawings:

Fig. 1 is a side elevation of the rear part of a 25 Vehicle body exemplifying the principles of this invention, a part of the wall of the body being broken away and parts being shown in optional positions by dot and dash lines;

7 Fig. .2 is a diagrammatic view of the linkage .30 connecting the closures and the rear panel, also showing the position of certain adjoining parts;

- Fig. 3 is an elevational detail of a portion of the body, showing the closures in their normal positions when the top is in its lowered position;

Fig, 4 is a plan view of a portion of the body, with the rear seat and the closures for the opening at the front of the deck removed, parts being broken away and shown in section; and

Fig. 5 is a plan view of a similar portion of the body, showing the top in its raised position.

A vehicle body of the type disclosed herein may beprovided with a passenger compartment including a front seat (not shown) and a rear 4 seat I. The body is provided with a top having a body portion or shell T to extend over the passenger compartment in the general manner disclosed in my above-identified copending application. Such a top is provided with .a rear panel H) which, when removed, leaves an openeing in the shell so that the latter may move downwardly in straddling relation to a baggage or storage compartment II. A rear door [2 affords access to this compartment through the opening at the rear of the lowered shell. In front of the door l2 the rear deck is provided with a fixed wall section I4, and in front of this section there is an opening through which the shell T may move from its raised position to its lowered position, shown in dot and dash lines in Fig. 1.

Any suitable supporting and guiding structure may be provided for the shell T, such as a guide G at each side of the body comprlsinga straight upwardly inclined channel at the'rear ofithe deck and a continuation thereof in the form of a more steeply inclined channel having upwardly diverging flanges. Rolls I6 may be mounted on brackets B at each side of the shell in the general manner disclosed in my copending application Serial No. 306,794, filed on even date herewith, and may be guided in thechannel'to-directthe shell T from its raised to its lowered position or vice versa.

As shown for example in Fig. 5, the panel In and the corresponding opening at the rear of shell T may be wider at theirlower par-tsor near the rear of' the top than attheir upper parts. In accordance with this invention, the lowered panel may be positioned so that its narrower portionis straddled -by the rear'of'thetop T as the latter passes from its raised to its lowered position, the portion of thetop which defines the lower, wider part of the rear opening straddling the upper, narrower part of the panel, and the wider, lower part of the panel being disposed below the path of the shell or top. Thus" adequate clearance may be provided to permit movement of the top without interference by the panel and yet the panel may be rigid and nondistortable. In this position, as shown, the normally'outer face of the panelis disposed beneath the inner portion thereof; in other words, the panel may be swung through an anglesomewhat greater than a right angle, for example, of the order of In its lowered position, the upper part of the panel It] may conveniently rest upon a downwardly and forwardly inclined wall at' the front of the storage compartment ll. This wall' may be covered with suitable cushioning material such as a soft pile fabric: The lower part of the panel may engage a transverse frame" member 20 which connects longitudinalframe members- 2| that extend along oppositesides of the body beside the rear seat.

The fuel tank F may conveniently be positioned directly back of they seat I and below the lowered panel H] as well as in front'of the storage compartment ll. Thus the storage compartment may have a more convenient shape than otherwise would be feasible.

Preferably the panel I0 is provided with suit.- able guiding and supporting means to facilitate its movement from lowered to raised position and particularly to ensure its proper lateral positioning when brought into engagement with the top T. For this purpose I prefer to-employ curved supporting arms 24 at each side of the panel, which swing about a transverse axis, being fixed, for example, to the ends of atransverse rotatable shaft 25 that lies between the upper ends of guides G (Fig. 4).

The opening at the front of the deck preferably is provided with a swinging lidor closure 26 which is connected by suitable'hlnges 21 to the fixed wall l4. Thus the closure 26 maybe swung upwardly to the position shown in-f Fl'g. 2. The front edge of" the lid 26 preferably is flared upwardly and may be provided with any suitable cushioning and weather sealing means, such as a rubber strip, to engage the lower portion of the outer wall of the top, both at the sides and the rear of the latter. It is thus evident that when the top is in its normal raised position and the lid is engaging the same, a continuous relatively smooth and finished appearance is afforded for the outer part of the body.

If desired, the remaining portion of the opening;through which the shell passes from raised to lowered position may be left uncovered or a suitable fiexible apron may be provided to cover ,this opening, at least when the top is lowered,

suitable snap buttons or the like being provided to retain this apron in position. However, I prefer to employ a second relatively rigid closure 3'0- for the front portion of the opening, this closure having its rear edge juxtaposed to the front edge of the closure 26 when the closures are in normal position. The closure 30 preferably may be mounted on a pair of supporting arms- 32 which are fixed to a transverse shaft 33 below and. somewhat; behind the shaft 25. Preferably the arms 32 may be pivotally connected". to the corresponding sides of the lid 30 t'o permit slight movement of the lid relative to thearms;

A suitable handle 36 maybe arranged at the front-ofthe closure 30' to operate a lock or latch 3|, the-bolt of which engages a striker 38 (Fig. 2) on theupper part of the rear seat back.

In accordance with this invention, the closures preferably are interconnected. For this purpose the shaft 33 may extend outwardly beyond the guides G'- at each side of the vehicle and may support crank arms 40 which are articulated to elongate links M that in turn are pivotally connected'. to arms 42 fixed to the swinging portions of the hinges 21. Preferably these parts are so arranged that when the front closure 3!! has been swung downwardly to its open position in front of the upper portion of the back of the rear seat, as shown in Fig. 2, the cranks 49 have movedthrough dead center positions, so that 30* so" that some effort is required to move the latter toward its open position.

When the-closure 3fl is. in its normal position, itmay'provide a portion extending beneath the rear part" of the top. When the handle 36 is actuated, this closure may be swung slightly about its pivotal connections witharms 32- so that its' lower-end is depressed and its upper end is raised to clear the rear part. of the top and the upper edgeofthe rear seat back respectively.

The closure is then: swung downwardly, and as this movement occurs, the lid 26 is swung upwardly and the movement is continued until the cranks 41} pass through their dead center positions so that'the closure 26 is thereupon temporarily locked inplace;

Preferably, although not necessarily, the panel- IB isalso arranged sothat'it may be moved from raised to lowered position or vice versa in response; to movement; of the closure" 3.0. For

thi's'purpose' Ipreferabl'y provide" a link 50 (Fig.

2) articulated to a crank 5| fixed to the midportion of the shaft 33. The axis of the pivotal connection between link and crank 5| in the illustrated arrangement (Fig. 4) is aligned with the axes of the connections between links 4| and cranks 40. The upper end of the link 50 is preferably pivotally connected to a disk 52 (Fig. 4) which is freely rotatable upon the shaft 25 near the mid-portion of the latter. The disk 52 conveniently forms one member of a dog clutch, the cooperating member 54 of which is slidable along the shaft 25 and is rotatable therewith, a key or spline being provided for that purpose. The member 54 preferably is in the form of a hollow casing containing a compression spring 56 surrounding the shaft 25 and tending to urge the members 54 and 52 of the dog clutch apart. The face of the member 54 remote from the disk 52 is preferably beveled, as shown.

Assuming that the clutch is engaged, the disk .52 is then rotatable with the shaft 25. Accordingly when the closure 30 is swung from its closed to its lowered position, rotation of the shaft 33 is effective through the crank 5| and link 50 in causing rotation of the shaft 25 to swing the panel I!) from its raised to its lowered position. As this occurs, the weight of the panel I!) is effective in aiding the closure 30 in counterbalancing the weight of the rising closure 26, and in fact it may be desirable to provide a counterbalancing spring 66 to balance a portion of the excess weight of the panel ID. The spring 66, for example, may have one end secured to the shaft 33 and the other end connected to a curved rod 58 extending from the disk 52 (Figs. 2 and 4).

The arrangement so far described would result in the'lii'ting of the panel I 0 whenever the closure 35 was moved to its raised or closed posi tion, which would be undesirable when the shell T was lowered. I therefore have provided the spring 56 for disengaging the clutch provided by members 52 and 54 when the shell is lowered. Under these conditions, the spring 56 is effective in urging the parts 54 and 52 apart so that movement of the closures can take place without affecting movement of the panel III, which is then in its lowered position.

When the top T is raised, however, one of the brackets B thereon, which carries the rolls Hi, engages the out-turned end of an arm 60 provided on a swinging rod or shaft 6|, the inner end of which provides a radial arm 63 (Figs. 2 and 4) engageable with the beveled face of the member 54, these parts providing a cam-like action so that swinging movement of the member BI is effective in urging the member 54 inwardly against the action of the spring 56 to engage the cooperating parts of the dog clutch. Accordingly, when the shell is raised and the closure 30 is swung downwardly preparatory to lowering the shell, this movement is simultaneously effective in causing the upward movement of the closure 25 and the downward movement of the panel I0 to its lowered position. Thereupon the top T may be rolled to its lowered position, shown in dot and dash lines in Fig. 1. When this occurs, the member 6| is free to swing in a clockwise direction, as viewed in Figs. 1 and 2, in response to the camming action of the part 54 under the action of spring 56 and the clutch is disengaged so that the closures 30 and 26 may be returned to their normal positions without affecting the panel It).

When the top is again raised, the bracket B swings the member 606l to the position shown in Fig. 1, thereby reengaging the clutch so that. when the closure 30 is again swung to its normal position, the panel I0 is raised into engagement with the rear of the top while the closure 26 is swung downwardly over the same.

While I have disclosed herein 'the preferred arrangement of interconnecting the various moving parts associated with a lowerable top.

shell, namely the closure or closures for the opening at the front of the deck and the panel at the rear of the top, it is to be understood that portions of this invention may be employed to particular advantage without necessarily employing all parts thereof. Thus, for example, it is advantageous to mount the panel ID in the manner illustrated herein without interconnecting the same with one or more closures. It is, also advantageous to provide a swinging outer closure without a swinging inner closure, and it is advantageous to connect either a front or rear closure to the swinging panel.

It is evident that the present invention'provides particularly convenient means facilitating the movement of a top of the type disclosed herein from its raised to its lowered position, since the top need only be disconnected from the windshield standards in the usual manner,

the closure 35 swung downwardly, which automatically lowers the panel l0 and opens the closure 26, and the top then be rolled to its lowered position, whereupon the closures may be returned to normal position merely by manipulation of the closure 3U.

age in holding both closures in. their normal positions, and the front edge of the closure 26 which engages the lower part of the panel [9 cooperates with the arms 24 and the linkage in retaining the panel in its raised position, although additional fastening means may be provided for this panel if desired. a

While I have disclosed but a single fastening means on the closure 30, it is obvious that fasing a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, and guiding and supporting structure for said shell, said panel being rigid and separable from the shell for movement to a lowered position, the upper parts of the opening and of the panel being narrower than the lower parts thereof, the lowered tioned so that its narrower upper part is straddled by the portion of the shell defining the wider part of the opening as the shell moves between raised and lowered position and so that the wider part of the panel is below the path of the shell.

2. A vehicle body according to claim 1; also provided with means supporting the panel for swinging movement between its raised and lowered positions.

3. A vehicle body according to claim 1, also. provided with means supporting the panel for The locking means 3| 3 on the closure 30 is effective through thelinkpanel being posiswinging movement between its raised and lowel eq position, as well as provided with acounterbalancing spring for, urging the panel toward its raised position.

4 A vehicle body according to claim 1, also provided with guiding means to direct said panel toitslowered position.

, 5.,A vehicle. body according to claim 1, including a storage compartment beneath the rear of t e Shell, and also including a fuel tank in front of said. compartment and beneath the lowered panel. Y

6. In a vehicle body, the combination comprisinga passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, and a swinging lid for said last-named opening, said lid swinging about a transverse aXis and having a width of the order of that of the last-named opening.

'1 .'In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a front and a rear closure for said opening, normally juxtaposed portions of these closures .beingin the region of the lower rear portion of the raised top, and mechanism operatively interconnecting said closures, so that one may be moved to efiect concomitant movement of both, said mechanism being arranged so that both closures-are held in opened position to permit move mentof the shell.

8. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over saidcompartment to a lowered position' within said deck, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a closure for said opening, the major portion of said closure being disposed in front of the rear of the raised top, and means movably supporting said closure so that it may swing downwardly and forwardly to uncover the open ing.

9. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, guiding and supporting structure forsaid shell, the front, of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a closure for said opening, the major portion of said closure being disposed in front of the rear of the raised top, said closure being swingable downwardly and forwardly, and a sec-- ond closure for said opening at the rear of the first closure, the second closure being swingable upwardly andrearwardly.

10. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, atop shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, guiding and supfliportlngstructure for said shell, the front of the viding an opening through which the h p; may pass, a closure for said opening, said l r being swingable downwardly and forwardly, a, second closure for said opening at the rear of, the first closure, the second closure bein swingable upwardly and rearwardly, and linkage interconnecting said closures for concomitant movement.

11. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a swinging closurefor said last-named opening and mechanism operatively interconmeeting the panel and closure so that said panel is automatically movable to lowered position when the shell is in raised position in response to swinging movement of said closure to uncover the opening.

12. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartmentto a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a swinging lid for said last-named opening and mechanism operatively interconnecting said lid and panel so that said panel is automatically movable to raised position when the shell is in raised position in response to swing-ing movement of said lid to cover the opening.

13. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said openingwhen the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a front and a rear closure for said last-named opening, and linkage interconnecting the closures and panel, automatically in response to movement of one closure to cause movement of the other closure and the panel.

1 41. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, 2. top'shell movable from a raised positionover saidcompartment to a lowcred-position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel forclosing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a front and .a rear closure for said last-named opening, normally juxtaposed por tions of these closures being in the region of the lowerrear portion of the'raised top, linkage interconnecting the closures and panel, automatically in response to movement of one closure to cause movement of the other closure and the pan- F el, andmeans associated with said linkage automatically effective when the shell is in lowered position toprevent movement of the panel in response to movement of either closure;

15. In a, vehicle: body, the. combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the front of the deck providing an opening through which the shell may pass, a front and a rear closure for said lastnamed opening, normally juxtaposed portions of these closures being in the region of the lower rear portion of the raised top, linkage interconnecting the closures and panel, automatically in response to movement of one closure to cause movement of the other closure and the panel, and locking means upon one of said closures for locking both closures and the panel in their respective normal positions.

16. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell over said compartment, said shell having a rear opening, a movable panel for said opening, said panel when in normal engagement with said shell having a generally upward and forward inclination, and means swingably supporting said panel so that it is movable through an angle somewhat greater than a right angle to a lowered position in the front of the deck and in spaced relation to the shell.

17. In a vehicle body, the combination comprising a passenger compartment, a deck behind said compartment, a top shell movable from a raised position over said compartment to a lowered position within said deck, said shell having a rear opening, a panel for closing said opening when the shell is raised, guiding and supporting structure for said shell, the deck providing a front opening through which said shell may pass, a movable closure for said front opening, mechanism operatively interconnecting said panel and closure when the shell is raised so that movement of the closure to uncover the front opening occurs concomitantly with the lowering of the panel and so that movement of the closure to close the front opening occurs concomitantly with movement of the panel to close the opening in the shell, said mechanism being arranged so that movement of the closure independently of the panel is permitted when the shell and panel are in their lowered positions.

RAYMOND L. CARR.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2768024 *Feb 9, 1953Oct 23, 1956Ford Motor CoRetractable rigid automobile top
US2782070 *Dec 31, 1953Feb 19, 1957Joseph M ChabanRetractable automobile roof top
US2860914 *Jan 26, 1956Nov 18, 1958Kerr James WRetractible hardtop for motor vehicles
US6702361 *May 22, 2003Mar 9, 2004Wilhelm Karmann GmbhConvertible Vehicle Comprising a Top Storable Underneath a Lid
US6866324Feb 6, 2003Mar 15, 2005Ssr Roofing Systems, L.L.C.Folding hardtop with rear window articulation
US6866327Feb 6, 2003Mar 15, 2005Asc IncorporatedTonneau panel mechanism
US6964340Apr 19, 2004Nov 15, 2005Wilhelm Karmann GmbhRetractable hardtop with articulating center panel
US7182390Oct 26, 2005Feb 27, 2007Wilhelm Karmann GmbhRetractable hardtop with articulating center panel
US7198318Mar 23, 2004Apr 3, 2007Asc IncorporatedRetractable roof structural system
US7712817Jun 1, 2005May 11, 2010Wilheim Karmann GmbhConvertible vehicle
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/107.2, 296/107.8
International ClassificationB60J7/02
Cooperative ClassificationB60J7/026
European ClassificationB60J7/02G