Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2486905 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 1, 1949
Filing dateJan 17, 1946
Priority dateJan 17, 1946
Publication numberUS 2486905 A, US 2486905A, US-A-2486905, US2486905 A, US2486905A
InventorsJohn W J Ackermans
Original AssigneeJohn W J Ackermans
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible top latching means
US 2486905 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

New. 1, W49 J. w. J. ACKEZRMANS CONVERTIBLE TOP LATCHING MEANS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 17, 1946 NW. 1, W49 .1. w. J. ACKERMANS 2,486,905

CONVERTIBLE TOP LATCHING MEANS 76 gt a I N VEN TOR.

Patented Nov. 1, 1949 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CONVERTIBLE T01 LATCHING MEANS John W. J. Ackermans, Detroit, Mich.

Application January 17, 1946, Serial No. 641,788

12 Claims.

The invention relates broadly to foldable vehicle tops and more particularly to an improved means for latching the top in a closed position.

In conventional vehicles, foldable tops are supported in the closed position by body frame members which extend above and behind the windshield and are held attached thereto by suitable clamps. Since these clamps must be separately loosened or tightened each time the top is opened or closed, the operation of engaging or releasing the top is an arduous one. The difficulty is aggravated by the fact that a substantial number of the clamps are usually provided and many of them are located in diflicultly accessible places; moreover, they are located at spaced intervals along the forward edge of the top and the person opening or closing the clamps must reach from one side of the car to the other in order to complete the operation.

An important object of the present invention is to provide means for latching the foldable top to the frame wherein all of the latch members may be released or engaged simultaneously.

Another object of the invention is to provide a device of the above mentioned character in which the latch means is operated by a single handle located within the vehicle and substantially medially of the top.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a device of the above mentioned character in which the operating handle is readily accessible to and easily operated by any person in the vehicle while being substantially flush with the lower surface of the foremost bow.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a folding top construction which permits a vertical, flush-type seam or joint between the forward end of the top and the frame members.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent during the course of the following description.

In the drawings forming a part of this specification and wherein like numerals are employed to designate like parts throughout the same,

Figure 1 is a plan view showing a latching mechanism embodying the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 3--3 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary, longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 5-5 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along the line fi6 of Fig. 3;

Fig. '7 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially along line of Fig. 1; and,

Fig. 8 is a detail view showing how a tacking strip is mounted in Figs. 3 and 4.

Considered in certain of its broader aspects, the vehicle top construction embodying the present invention comprises a stationary frame or cowling at the front of the roof and a foldable top which is carried by a plurality of supports or bows, the foremost of which is U-shaped. These bows are pivoted on the body of the vehicle in the conventional manner and when the top is closed, the foremost bow is supported by the edge of the cowling.

I have provided a novel union between the foremost bow and the cowling which permits the bow to be easily moved from or against the cowling and provides a vertical flush-type weatherproof seam or joint therebetween. Attached to the edge of the cowling and extending transversely across the vehicle roof is a hollow rail which supports the bow when the top is closed. The bow carries a hollow or tubular support and the latter is provided with a forwardly projecting lip which fits in a recess at the upper rear edge of the rail. Disposed between the walls of the recess and the confronting surfaces of the lip is a sealing strip of rubber or the like. Manifestly, the sealing strip can be attached either to the walls of the recess or to the lip but I prefer that it be carried by the latter.

From the foregoing, it will be readily apparent that the recess defines a horizontal shoulder which extends under the lip to the inner face of the rail and also a vertical wall which extends to the top of the rail and sustains forward thrust of the bow. This construction permits easy engagement and disengagement of the foldable top with the cowling; and, at the same time, provides a weathertight joint therebetween.

I have also provided a novel latch mechanism for holding the foremost bow securely attached to the cowling in which all of the latches can be engaged or released simultaneously by means of a readily accessible handle located Within the vehicle. Mounted within the support and projecting forwardly thereof through suitable openings are pivoted latches which enter aligning openings in the rail and releasably engage respective catches provided therein. The actuator mechanism for the latches includes a rockshaft which extends longitudinally in the support and between the latches. Attached to the rockshaft is a manually operated handle which extends into the vehicle through a transverse slot in the support. Preferably, the operating handle is located at the front of the top and substantially medially in the vehicle where it is readily accessible. This handle can be swung through a predetermined arc and a spring clip securely but releasably engages therewith at each end of its travel to hold it stationary. .At-it-s ends thes'rockshaft=is =provided with .laterallyioifset portions and :each of these portions is coupled to a respectiv latch by a suitable linkage. These linkages are identical and each comprises a horizontalslideanda link pivoted at one end to the slide and at the other end to the latch. The slide has awertical slot which loosely receives the end portions of the rockshaft. By reason of the *slotte'd connection between the rockshaft and the plate, .the 'construction adapts itselfareadily to the arched for- ..mation of the .bow and variations incurvature thereof. This.-is an importanhfeature of the invention since .the curvature .in .thebow, may .vary considerably :and even though it varies, the same latches may .be employed since .they will accommodate such variations. end portions .swing about .the axis of .the shaft, they .actuate the slides which Iin turn .rock the latches about their pivots through the medium .ofthelinks. When the. handlefis swung, forwardly the latches .are engaged with the .catches, and -.when .the handleis. swung .rearwardly, the. latches .arereleased from the catches. vThe'latchespref- .erablyexert-a wedging action .against the catch .elements,.-in.order .to..draw .thelbow and rail together and press the sealing strip solidly against the .vertical .wall .of .the recess. This insures a Weathertightjoint.

.To close \the .top .it is swung forwardly .in the .usualmanner .with the .handle pulledjbackto hold .thelatches in.acatchreleasin tposition. As the foremost .bow approaches .the rail, .the guide ,or 'dovetail engages .toeffect alignment ..of the parts .longitudinallyof .the vehicle. To .latch the top .it .is.mer e1y ne,cessar.y to reverse .the ,positionpf the (operating handle which moves .thelatches simultaneously into interlocking. engagement with the: catch elements.

Flora more detailed=description-of theinven- ,tion, {IBfGIBIlCEslS had .to the. accompanying.draw- .ingswherein the numeral m designate-sa frag- .mentary portion .of (the cowling which icovers the forward portion of the .vehicle .roof. .Attached tea-flange lfatrtherearward edge-of .the cowling lllfandtoannnder supporting plate l4 .is.a hollow .or .tubularrail ll 6. :materialand extendsltransversely across-the ve- .hicle roof. Immediately below .,the=flange.l2, the rail :lfi is formed .with .ahorizontal extension .20 .whichgtogether with the flange J 2,-.defines .a longitudinalrabbeted recess atrthe upper-edge of the rail. The rail 5! (his-secured.tozashort'metal-chan- ;nel :2-2! which: is :centrally located and? this channel istweldedito lthe rail as :indicated .at 2.4. Within the :channel a .fibrous' block 26 is :provided and this'block is secured by a bolt28 and nut29 'to --a metal plate 30=which is'welde'dto the 'front wall of the channel. Both front walls of the rail -l6 and channel 22 have openings 3| to accommodate 'said bolt "and nut 'so that'the fibrous block may beeasily secured .in place. I

,As best shown by Fig. 6, the block 26 has a V-shaped notch or;recess 32 which opens upwardly and the rail extension 20 'is .open in the region of the notch as'indicated at 33. The notch .Thus, when the offset Thelatter .is formed of.sheet and Weldedor otherwise secured thereto.

is adapted to receive a V-shaped metal element which presently will be described.

The foremost bow 33 is substantially tubular in form and the portion thereof which extends across the vehicle top comprises a support for the latching mechanism. The upper portion of the support comprises a metal strip 34 which xtends transversely across the fabri top 36 and thelower portion thereof -.comprises .a U-shaped .metal stripGB. The rearawall 6'3 of thelower strip 38 is welded to a depending flange 42 on the upper :.strip 34 and the front wall M thereof is formed with a forwardly extending flang 16 which is flush-with theforward edge of the upper strip At its forward end, the strip 34 is folded downwardly as indicated atz'lll'gand retain a tacking strip 48 and .the.fabric 36 i tacked to the latter by tacks 50 which extend through notches or scallops 5| in strip .34.

"The strip l-8 form-s'a projecting lip along the "upperedge of the 'bow which-enters the recess 'in th 'rail "ifi'when the bow is swung to'the'closed position. Attached to the lip and closing the joint between'it and-the walls of the recess is 'a sealing'strip 52 of rubber or the'like. Preferably, the sealing strip 52 covers the entire front and bottom surfaces of the lip, as shown in Fig. 3,-so that it seats on theextension'ZU and-against-the 'flange l2 to hold the top flush with the'cowling and prevent metal-to-metal contact "between the bow andirail.

Below the rubber 52, the front wall 44 has 'a U-shaped element 53 welded thereto and this elementisadapted to enter the opening 32 inc tension '23 on rail i6 and seat in the notchfifl in block26. It is evident that the element 53 and notch3'3 co-operate to center the front end of the top laterally of the vehicle and to guide the top to its proper position. This is particularly important in connection with latching means to be described as it ensures proper location of the latches for :engagement and disengagement.

'Inorder'tolatch the foldabletop to the cowling "I provide ;a pair 'of spaced catch elements 54 in "the lower portion of the rail l6 and a pair of pivoted latches 56in the lowerportion of the'bow 33. While only one catch element 54 and one latch 56 ;is shown in the drawings, it will be understood that there are two of each and that they are disposed at opposite sides of the roof. Such latches 56 are mounted on 'vertical pivots 58 and project forwardly of the bow 33 through the openingsfifi. When the bow is against the rail I Sjthe'latches areadapted to project through aligning openings 62 in "the latter and engage catch elements 54.

Each of the latches 56 is actuated by-a rock- 'shaft 154 which extends longitudinally through "the'bow 33 and between the latches. Attheir inner ends, the rockshaft '64 projects into op- -posite ends of a tube fifiand are welded thereto.

The tube'65 fits at its ends in downwardlyopen semicircular'recesses 63 provided indownwardly projecting flanges 61 formed on a bracket plate 6.8 welded to strip 38. Such-ends of-the tube are held in the recesses .66 by plates 69 :having U- U-shaped recess or hole receiving the shaft 64 is bolted to the flange and the two separable parts turnably support the shaft. It is evident that the shafts $4 and tube 65 may be easily assembled with plates 69 and 14 during assembly of the latter and bow. The portions 15 of the rockshaft which extends beyond bearing plates 12 are laterally offset, as shown in Fig. 1. As suggested, the offset portions 15 actuate latches 55 through the medium of suitable linkages when the rockshaft is oscillated.

Oscillation of rockshaft 64 is accomplished manually by means of a handle 16, which handle is attached to the tube 55 at substantially its middle and extends into the vehicle through a transverse slot 18 in the lower part 38 of bow 33. At its inner or attached end the handle 15 is provided with laterally extending fingers l9 and 80 which embrace the tube 65, and these fingers are attached to the tube rockshaft by a bolt 82 and nut 34. When the handle 16 is in the forward position, as shown by the full lines in Fig. 3, the offset end portions 15 are positioned forwardly in the how 33 as shown in Fig. 1. On

the other hand, when the handle 16 is in the rearward position shown by the dot and dash lines in Fig. 3, the offset end portions 15 extend rearwardly as shown by dot and dash lines in Fig. 1. In order to prevent metal-to-metal contact of handle 16 with the rail l5 and support 2 68, it is equipped with a suitable bumper 85 of rubber or the like.

The handle '66 is releasably held in the two positions shown in Fig. 3 by means of a spring clip 88 which is attached to the support 58 at the front of the tube 65. As best shown in Fig. 5 the clip 88 is provided with a pair of laterally spaced resilient arms 59 and 92 Which snap into recesses 94 and 96 in the sides of fingers 19 and 80. When handle 15 extends forwardly, the finger I9 is engaged by clip 88, and when the handle extends rearwardly. the finger 80 is engaged thereby, as shown in Fig. 3.

The linkages for transmitting motion from rockshaft B4 to the latches 56 comprise slides 98 and links I110. The slides 98 are carried by supports 73 and are provided with vertically elongated slots E02 which receive journals Hi l on the offset ends 15. The vertically elongated slots I52 in slides 98 accommodate the vertical movement of the offset end portions 15 of the rockshaft 5%, and, as shown in Fig. 2, the slotted connections between the rockshaft and the slides permit the mechanism to readily adapt itself to the arched formation of the how 33. As best shown in Fig. 4, the bottom portions H of bracket plate 53 are spaced from the how 33 and the lower portions of the slides 58 extend through elongated slots therein. The upper edges of the slides 98 are provided with grooves use and these grooves receive guides llll which are carried. by supports I3. At one side of the slides 98, the plates 13 are depressed downwardly as at H2, and the depressed portions rest solidly on the bottom of the bow 33. One end of the links Hill are pivoted to brackets I It on the slides 98 and the other ends thereof are pivotally attached to the latches 56 at one side of the pivot pins 58.

It will be readily apparent that when the offset end portions 15 are swung rearwardly, the slides 98 are retracted and the links I00 move the latches 56 away from catches 54. When the offset end portions are swung forwardly the slides 98 are advanced and links I00 move the latches 56 into engagement with the catches 54. As the latches move into engagement, inclined surfaces H6 thereon exert a wedging action against the catches which press-holds the bow 33 solidly against the rail l6 and compresses the rubber sealing strip 52. Behind the inclined surfaces H5, the latch elements are provided with shallow sockets H8 which receive the catch elements and hold the latches securely but releasably associated therewith.

It is to be understood that when the latches are retracted, their front ends will move out of slots 62 and be fully retracted through slots so that the top may be opened and closed without the latches interfering with such operations. 1

In the foregoing it has been mentioned that th rubber strip 52 seals the line between folding top and stationary part or bow at the rear end thereof. While this is an efficient means to prevent leakage, etc., it may be stated too that the bow may be slightly concave in cross-section or otherwise shaped to form a water collecting gutter extending crosswise of the vehicle so as to drain any water possibly leaking past the seal to points at opposite sides of the vehicle.

Although only one form of the invention has been illustrated and described in detail, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the claims.

Having thus described the invention, I claim:

1. In combination with a foldable vehicle top of the type adapted to be supported at its forward end by body frame members, means for latching the top to the frame members comprising a pair of spaced vertical catch elements carried by said frame members; a bow carried by and movable with the forward edge of the top; a pair of latches pivoted on the bow and adapted to move in substantially horizontal planes into and out of engagement with respective catch elements and when engaged therewith to hold the top solidly attached to the frame members; and an actuator operable from within the vehicle for simultaneously moving the latches to either a catch engaging position or a catch releasing position, said actuator including a rockshaft extending trans versely across the top and journaled in said bow, said rockshaft having crank end portions which swing about the axis of the shaft, a handle attached to the rockshaft and adapted to swing said end portions through a predetermined arc, and coupling assemblies including horizontally movable slides having vertically elongated slots which receive said crank ends, said assemblies tiltable about the crank ends and having a relatively great angular adjustment and adapted to transmit motion from said end portions to the latches whereby the latter are rocked about their pivots and relative to said catch elements.

2. In combination with a foldable vehicle top of the type adapted to be supported at its forward end by body frame members, means for latching the top to the frame members comprising a pair of spaced vertical catch elements carried by said frame members; a bow carried by and movable with the forward edge of the top; a pair of latches pivoted on the bow and adapted to move in substantially horizontal planes into and out of engagement with respective catch elements and when engaged therewith to hold the top solidly attached to the frame members; and an actuator operable from within the vehicle for simultaneously moving the latches to either a catch engaging position or a catch releasing posiztiomrsaidractuator including a rockshaftaextendtransversely across thetopand journaled to .said :bow, :saidrockshait ,having crank end por- 11710115;Whl;Ch:SWiIig abut1the axisiof the shaft, a :handle :attached'to {the .rockshaft and adapted to swing said end gPOItiQIlS through :a predeterzmined arc, transverse =plate.members having ver- :tically elongated :slots which receive said crank endsi-and permit relatively great angular adjustment in a vertical plane containing said rockshaft, zmeans sholding the plates against rotation abut permitting sliding :movement thereof in iplanes substantiall transverse to itheaaxisaofsaid --r.o,ckshaft, and pivoted links =carriedby the plates and attached :to-theil-atches-atone side ,of their :gIJiVOtS.

2-3. ,-In combination with ca .foldable vehicle top ..of :the type adapted to be-supported at ,its forward end .-by :body frame members, ;means for ilatchingithe top to the framem'embers comprislingra pair ofspaced vertical vcatch elements car- ,ried -by said {frame members; a bow-carried by and movable with the forwardedge of the top; aapair'ofilatches .pivotedson the bow and-movable about said pivots iin substantially horizontal planes, said slatches having catchrengagingends adapted to .move back and forth relative to the zlongitudinahmiddle v of'the ,vehicle top into and nut of engagement withrespective catchelements and when engaged therewith to press-hold the top solidly-attached to the frame members; and -:-an actuator :operable from within the vehicle for simultaneously :moving the latches to either a .catchengagingposition or a catch releasing position, said actuator including a rockshaft extending transversely across the top and jour naled to :said bow, said rockshaft ,having crank end por- :tions which-swing about the axis ofithe shaft, a handle attached to the rockshaft and adapted to .SWiIlg saidend portions through apredeterm'ined iarc, plate members carried by said end portions and provided with vertically elongated .slots through which said :end portions extend and which permit relatively great angular. adjustment of said ,plate members @about said crank :ends whereby tocompensatefor curvatureiin said ,ve- ,hicle top, guide ,means supporting said plate :members for-movement in a-zdirection transverse lto:the,-axis of said rockshaftand normal to the .major .axes of said slots, and pivoted links carried by the plate members and attached to said latches atone side of their pivots, the various parts :of said actuator so constructed and arrangedx-thata full movement of said handle moves thecatch engaging ends of said latches through an angle substantially less than said predeter- .iminedl'arc.

'4. aArfoldable top construction for vehicles comprising "a stationary hollow vrail at the forward end of the vehicle, said rail extending transverselyacross the vehicle roof and provided with "a recess; a ,foldable top mounted on the vehicle; .a hollow bow carriedby the top, a-sealingistrip between the \bow ,andlsaid .raiLadapted .to close the ,joint ,therebetween; spaced catch elements ,incsaidlrail ,pivoted llatches ,mounted in the .bow ,and projecting lforwardly through openings in the -lattensaid ilatches adapted to enter openings in the rail and engage the catch elements; .an extension onts'aidbow adapted to enter and it snugly in said recess when the top is closed, .said ,recess and said extension having ,corre- .spondingly tapered side Walls which wedgesolidly together to .hold the .topinfixed association with the railhand are operative .to position said latches :in proper. relation .tosaid catches and to prevent loosening and rattling .of the latches due to lateral movement of the toprelative to said rail when the vehicle is in motion; and an actuator operable from-within the vehicle for simultaneously moving the latches to either a catch engaging position or a catch releasing positiomsaid actuator including -,a rockshaft journaled in the vbowland extending longitudinally therethrough between said latches, said rockshaft having laterally offset crank end portions, a handle attached to the rockshaft and extending into the vehicle through a transverse slot ,in the bow,

.said'handle being manually operable and adapted to swing the end portions of the rockshaft through a predetermined arc,-plate members provided with vertically elongated slots which receive and accommodate vertical movement of said crank end portions whereby said plate members are vertically stationary in the how but slidablyactuated horizontally by the rockshaft,

and pivoted links carried by the plate members andattached to said latches at one side of their pivots whereby to rock the latches about their pivots .and relative to the catch elements when the plate members are cslidably actuated by the rockshaft.

5. A foldable top construction for vehicles comprising astationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the front of the vehicle, said rail provided at the rearward edge thereof with a rabbet which extends continuously across the top of the vehicle and said rabbet having an upwardly and rearwardly opening centrallylo- ,ingstrip between theend surface of the top and the vertical wall of the rabbetfor closing the joint therebetween; and latch means for releasably attaching the ,roof to the rail and for pulling the former solidly against said sealing means.

v6. A foldable top construction for vehicles comprising an arched stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the front of the vehicle, said rail provided at the rearward edge thereof with a rabbet which opens onto the top of the vehicle roof and having an upwardly and rearwardly vopening recess located centrally of therabbet; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle, the forward end of said top shaped to interfit with saidrabbet and adapted to be supported-by saidcrail, said'end having a fixed member positioned to enter the recess, said recess .andsaid fixed member having correspondingly tapered side walls which wedge solidly together when the top is closed; a sealing strip carried by the top and adapted to seat against the vertilcal wail of the rabbet and means for latching vthe top -to the .rail including spaced catch elements carried by the rail below said rabbet,

.pivoted latches carriedby saidltop and-adapted to .move into and out .of engagement with the catch elements and when engaged therewith -to hold the sealing strip pressed solidly against the vertical wall of the rabbet, said latches automatically positioned for proper engagement with said catch elements by said recess and said fixed member, and an actuator operable from within the vehicle and cooperatively associated with said latch members, said actuator adapted to move the latches simultaneously to either a catch engaging or a catch releasing position.

7. In a foldable top construction for vehicles, a stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the forward end of the vehicle,

said rail provided with an upwardly and rearwardly opening rabbet which extends longitudinally thereof and transversely of the vehicle, said rail also provided at substantially its middle with an upwardly and rearwardly opening recess; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle; a bow at the forward end of the top; and means for supporting the bow on the rail including a forwardly extending flange on the bow adapted to fit into said rabbet when the top is closed, and a forward extension on the bow which enters the recess when the top is ciosed, said extension and said recess having correspondingly tapered side walls which wedge together and coact to guide the bow into alignment with the rail and to prevent relative lateral movement or play between the rail and the bow when the top is closed, the mentioned parts of said rail and said bow permitting at least limited linear movement of the bow longitudinally of the vehicle and relative to said rail without disengaging the bow from the rail.

8. A foldable top construction for vehicles comprising a stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the forward end of the vehicle, said rail provided with a rabbet which extends longitudinally thereof and transversely of the vehicle and an upwardly and rearwardly opening recess; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle; a bow at the forward end of the top, said bow shaped to fit into said rabbet and having a forward extension which enters the recess when the top is closed, said extension and said recess having correspondingly tapered vertical walls which coact to guide the top into position when the latter is closed and to prevent lateral move- 1- ment of said top when the vehicle is in motion, the mentioned parts of said rail and said bow permitting at least limited linear movement of the bow longitudinally of the vehicle and relative of said rail; and means for latching the bow to the rail.

9. A foldable top construction for Vehicles comprising a stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the forward end of the vehicle, said rail provided with a rabbet which extends longitudinally thereof and transversely of the vehicle and an upwardly and rearwardly opening recess; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle; a bow at the forward end of the top, said how shaped to fit into said rabbet and having a forward extension which enters the recess when the top is closed, said extension and said recess having correspondingly tapered vertical walls which coact to guide the top into position when the latter is being closed and to prevent lateral movement of said top when the vehicle is in motion, the mentioned parts of said rail and said bow permitting at least limited linear movement of the bow longitudinally of the vehicle and relative to said rail; and interengageable catch and latch means carried by the rail and bow respectively operable when engaged with each other to ress-hold the bow solidly forwardly against the rail and to restrain the bow against independent movement longitudinally of the vehicle.

10. A foldable top construction for vehicles comprising a stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the forward end of the vehicle, said rail provided with a rabbet which extends longitudinally thereof and transversely of the vehicle and an upwardly and rearwardly opening recess; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle; a hollow bow at the forward end of the top, said how shaped to fit into said rabbet and having a forward extension which enters the recess when the top is closed, said extension and said recess having correspondingly tapered vertical walls which coact to guide the top into position when the latter is closed and to prevent lateral movement of said bow relative to the rail when the vehicle is in motion, the mentioned parts of said rail and said bow permitting at least limited movement of the bow longitudinally of the vehicle and relative to the rail when said bow is in engagement with and supported by said rail; sealing means for closing the joint between the bow and the rabbet; and means for latching the top to the rail including spaced catch elements carried by the rail, pivoted latches mounted on the bow, said latches projecting through openings in the bow and having cam surfaces which engage said catch elements to pull the bow forwardly against the rail and shallow sockets behind said cam surfaces which interlock with the catches to press-hold the bow against the rail, and actuator means for said latches.

11. A foldable top construction for vehicles comprising an arched stationary rail forming the roofs outer surface contour at the forward end of the vehicle, said rail provided with a rabbet which extends longitudinally thereof and transversely of the vehicle and an upwardly and rearwardly opening recess; a foldable top mounted on the vehicle; a hollow bow at the forward end of the top, said bow shaped to fit into said rabbet and having a forward extension which enters the recess when the top is closed, said extension and said recess having correspondingly tapered vertical walls which coact to guide the top into position when the latter is being closed and to prevent lateral movement of the top when the vehicle is in motion, the mentioned parts of said rail and said bow permitting at least limited linear movement of the bow longitudinally of the vehicle and relative to the rail when said how is in engagement with and supported by said rail; sealing means for closing the joint between the bow and the rabbet; and means for latching the top to the rail including spaced catch elements carried by the rail below said rabbet, piv oted latches carried by the bow and engageable with said catch elements to pull the bow forwardly solidly against the rail whereby to compress said sealing strip, and an actuator means operable from within the vehicle operatively associated at opposite sides of the vehicle with said latches by curvature compensating means, said actuator means adapted to move the latches simultaneously to either a catch-engaging or a catch-releasing position.

12. In combination with a foldable vehicle top of the type adapted to be supported at its forward end in a rabbet by how and frame members, which frame members form the roofs outer surface contour, means for latching the top in raised or closed position comprising spaced catch elements on said frame members; a bow at the forward edge of the top; latch means on th bow movable about substantially vertical pivots located adjacent the extremities of the bow and 1 1 provided, with catch-engaging end's swingable in arcuate' paths around said pivots-into and out of engagement with said catch elements; said catchengaging ends having cam surfaces arranged' to bear against the catch elements as the latches move intoengagement therewith and provided behind said cam surfaces with shallow sockets which interlock with said catch elements, said cam surfaces coactive with said catch elements to pull the bow forwardly against the vertical wall of said recess and said shallow sockets operativeto press-hold the bow thereagainst; and an actuator co-operatively associated with the-latch means, said actuator-'including'a manually movable handle, and means for transmitting motion from thehandle simultaneously: to the latch means, the arrangement being such-that in' one REFERENCES CITED The, following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 2,014,284 Mobbs Sept. 10, 1935 $109,710 Saives Mar. 1, 1938 2,305,715 Keller Dec. 22, 1942 2,360,524 Simpson Oct. 17,1944

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2014284 *Aug 9, 1932Sep 10, 1935Mobbs Richard OliverFastening means for vehicle roofs
US2109710 *Jun 10, 1936Mar 1, 1938Renault LouisDevice for the control of sliding body tops for vehicles
US2305715 *Nov 21, 1938Dec 22, 1942Motor State Products CompanyVehicle body
US2360524 *Sep 26, 1941Oct 17, 1944Ternstedt Mfg CoLatch for convertible automobile tops
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2586648 *Nov 12, 1948Feb 19, 1952Detroit Harvester CoLocking mechanism for folding tops
US2739012 *Dec 22, 1952Mar 20, 1956Gen Motors CorpAutomobile top latch
US2770489 *Sep 1, 1951Nov 13, 1956Gen Motors CorpVehicle folding top structure and power actuating means therefor
US2916327 *Dec 29, 1958Dec 8, 1959Gen Motors CorpPower operated convertible top header latch
US4610472 *Nov 3, 1982Sep 9, 1986Rolscreen CompanyLock for casement windows
US5042869 *Nov 27, 1990Aug 27, 1991Dr. Ing. H.C.F. Porsche AgLocking arrangement for a motor vehicle top
US5284378 *Nov 16, 1992Feb 8, 1994Wickes Manufacturing CompanySelf-storing convertible top latch system
US5301987 *Sep 4, 1992Apr 12, 1994Asc IncorporatedConvertible top stack latch
US5328229 *Mar 5, 1993Jul 12, 1994Wilhelm Karmann GmbhClosing apparatus for a folding roof of convertibles
US5624149 *Mar 30, 1994Apr 29, 1997Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automotive vehicle
US5678881 *Jun 7, 1995Oct 21, 1997Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automotive vehicle
US5755467 *Jan 31, 1995May 26, 1998Asc IncorporatedLatching and switch operating system for a convertible roof
US5772275 *Sep 13, 1996Jun 30, 1998Asc IncorporatedApparatus and method for securing a convertible roof to an automobile vehicle
US6042174 *Aug 22, 1997Mar 28, 2000Asc IncorporatedLatching and control apparatus for an automotive vehicle convertible roof
US6155614 *Oct 28, 1998Dec 5, 2000Asc IncorporatedLatching system for an automotive vehicle convertible roof
US6290281May 26, 1999Sep 18, 2001Asc IncorporatedPower latch for an automotive vehicle convertible roof system
US7021696Nov 14, 2002Apr 4, 2006Asc IncorporatedConvertible top latch
US7063371Mar 12, 2004Jun 20, 2006Asc IncorporatedConvertible hardtop roof
US7226110Aug 16, 2005Jun 5, 2007Asc IncorporatedConvertible top latch
US20050285410 *Aug 16, 2005Dec 29, 2005Doncov Stephen AConvertible top latch
Classifications
U.S. Classification296/120.1, 292/97, 292/DIG.500, 292/240
International ClassificationB60J7/185
Cooperative ClassificationY10S292/05, B60J7/1853
European ClassificationB60J7/185B1