#968: Carapace

Generally, I dislike soft-top cars compared to their robuster, roof-reinforced relatives. I was looking in disbelief at the complexity of a particular BMW convertible the other day…the folding mechanical lid seemed to work smoothly enough, but the resulting hard top was covered in seams and the otherwise smooth shape of the 3-series was lost completely in a patchwork quilt of panels.


Today’s invention is therefore a convertible roof consisting of two components, each an arc of a cylinder.

These would lock together along one pair of edges to allow open-topped motoring. They would then be rotated in opposite directions so as to join the other two edges overhead.

Each tube could have a reinforced window section, without greatly compromising strength and providing some of the drama of gull-wing doors. The drive would be via gears embedded in the circular end of each cylinder and be potentially fast enough to raise the roof in the event of a rollover.

For ease of access, I’d like to see the roof joint in the left hand image also act as a hinge and thus allow both sections to rotate upwards, like the wing casings of a scarab.

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