Inflated Convertible Top


   Inflated Convertible Top



      This is a concept to create a convertible top somewhat like an air bag that is shaped to conform to the design of the car.  The advantages are quick closing, weight reduction and reduced cost compared to the conventional “rag top”.  

      The convertible top would be engineered as a shaped hollow bag with internal ribs to maintain the concave shape for the passengers’ head room.  The material is reinforced vinyl similar to the cover over inflated tennis courts.  When the driver wants the top closed, compressed air is released into the hollow top, which then is filled and takes on the intended shape.  This inflated top eliminates the cost and weight of the mechanism associated with current cloth tops, and would inflate far faster than any cloth top or hard top.


Hines’ lab notebook p. 142



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