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The NEW Home of...........
The Studebaker Skytop Registry
1963 Studebaker Daytona SkytopEven Mr. Ed had a Skytop!1961 Lark hardtop with Skytop - Factory Photo
1963 Daytona Hardtop with SkytopEven Mr. Ed likes a Skytop!1961 Lark 4-door with Skytop

New On The Skytop Registry:

  • April 4, 2011......................Skytop 'Mysteries' car found! Go here and scroll down.
  • March 6. 2011...................Added two new Skytop-related cars for sale on the For Sale & Wanted page here.
  • February 5, 2011.............Significant additions to the 'Other Vehicles with Fabric Folding Sunroofs' page here. These include pictures of a '64 (yes, 1964!) Daytona with a Skytop; pictures of a '56 Golden Hawk with a Golde sunroof; updated info on Paul McKeehan's '53 Starliner which had a Skytop assembly added in 1964; more info on the Chevy Nova 'Sky Roof' option; and more pictures of Volkswagens with Golde sunroofs,
  • January 30, 2011............Added a new story by John Metzker on the Skytop Stories page here.
  • January 16, 2011............Added the 'Skytop Mysteries' section here.
  • January 15, 2011............Added some great winter pics of George Hamlin's '63 Lark Custom 4-door here.
  • January 10, 2011...........Updated Skytop Registry here (including one new Skytop!)
  • January 02, 2011..........Happy New Year 2011 from the Skytop Registry! After a long hiatus (some of it resulting from a crashed hard drive and subsequent loss of the website files), updates to the site will begin again. As you can imagine, there is a backlog of information to be posted to the site. The first will be an updated Registry of surviving Skytops, hopefully within the next couple of weeks. Update info with links will be posted here, so keep checking back.

Studebaker Skytops, a short history............

The Skytop was an option on certain 1961, 1962, and 1963 Studebaker automobiles. Specifically, a Skytop-equipped car could be purchased in the following Lark body styles:

W-body, which was the 4-door sedan
Y-body, which was the long wheelbase 4-door sedan
F-body, which was the 2-door sedan
J-body, which was the 2-door hardtop

The Skytop was a fabric covering over metal bows, attached to a track assembly to allow the roof to be slid back. The fabric covering was available in two colors: black, and white. According to Richard Quinn, the cost of the Skytop option was $185 for all three years it was offered.

Studebaker sourced the sliding sunroof components from Golde, a German company. Hans Traugott Golde & Co G.M.B.H. of Frankfurt West Germany, more commonly called simply Golde, held several patents on sunroofs in the late fifties and early sixties. In the US, the distributor for Golde sunroofs appears to have been Golde Body Parts Division located in Michigan. Golde manufactured not only the Skytop-style fabric sliding sunroofs, but also metal sliding sunroofs. In 1972 Golde was taken over by Rockwell International under the new name Rockwell Golde GmbH. In 1998 the sunroof production continued under the new name Meritor Light Vehicle Systems, part of the huge ArvinMeritor multi-national corporation. The sunroof production is still based in Frankfurt, and still includes canvas sunroofs. ArvinMeritor companies include Gabriel, Maremont, and Purolator Filters, among many others. See the 'Skytop Links' page for more information.

The Skytop option disappeared with the introduction of the 1964 Studebaker line; however, unsubstantiated rumors say that at least a couple of 1964 Lark-type cars were fitted with Skytops.


The Skytop Registry Project:

In discussions with several Skytop Owners over the past few years, the question keeps coming up......."How many are out there?"  A Roster, or Registry, was very common in the early days of the Studebaker Drivers Club. There were Rosters for many different types of Studebaker and Studebaker-related cars, trucks, and horse-drawn vehicles. However, by the late-1990s, active Rosters seemed to dwindle down to just a few.

However, the benefits of Rosters, to search out and communicate with Owners of like vehicles, are still very valid today. Best of all, the Internet now gives us a medium to easily store information for use by the Owners, communicate easily and quickly with other Owners, and to show off our "pride-and-joys" to others. The premier Registry is probably 'The 1956 Studebaker Golden Hawk Owners Register' located at http://www.1956goldenhawk.com/.  Frank Ambrogio started this Registry in 1989, and through his and others' hard work, has researched authenticity issues, issued a '56 GH Parts Catalog, been instrumental in reproducing a number of hard to find '56 GH items, and most of all has fostered communication and assistance among '56 Golden Hawk Owners. The hope is that Skytop Owners can eventually accomplish the same thing.

Purpose:   To document the surviving Studebaker Skytop-equipped cars; to facilitate the sharing of information on Skytops between Owners; to educate the public about Studebaker Skytops; and most importantly to have fun with our Studebakers!

Current Status:  The collection of information on the remaining Skytops has been an on-going project since 2004. Currently, there are forty-five Skytops in the Registry - a few verified as being scrapped, and some known to still exist but with unknown Owners. The current Registry can be viewed on the Skytop Registry page. A domain name, StudebakerSkytop.com, has been established to allow the publishing of a permanent website. The gathering of Skytop pictures, sales literature, ads, and factory photos continues.

Future Goals:  Continue to document Skytop Stories, and gather technical and how-to information pertaining to maintenance and repair of the Skytop-specific components. Of course, the big future goal would be an exhaustive search through the Studebaker National Museum archive of '61/'62/'63 Production Orders to document once and for all how many Skytop-equipped Studebakers were built - any takers?

Security:  Owner's addresses will not be shared 'publicly'. Email addresses will be shared unless an Owner specifically requests that their email not be shared. If a fellow Skytop Owner would like to contact another Owner listed on the Registry, this can either be done by email, or the Registry facilitator will act as the intermediary for snail mail.


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