I got curious as to whether there could have been a 1958 TBird with a Golde sliding roof in 1958 (in other words, was it added later as a prototype for the actual 1960 efforts?).
I found the following out:
So the Squarebird prototype was certainly possible. The one detail that required some real effort was the windbar, which has nothing to do with Golde, per se, and would require casting for production, although a prototype could have been hand made.
Lest anyone think Golde somehow pioneered the sunroof, they should know that the 1938-1942 Cadillac line offered sunroofs as an option (like the 1960 Squarebird, very few were chosen by customers - 1509 over the 4 year period). See http://www.car-nection.com/Yann/Dbas_txt/Factq-s.htm Sunroofs, both mechanical and electrical, were available in the 1950s as well.
The original patent in the US goes back to 1938 and a fellow named Emery Glenn Simpson . (see again http://www.car-nection.com/Yann/Dbas_txt/Factq-s.htm )
At some point, a 1960 Squarebird was located in a New Hampshire salvage yard that had an electric version, the only known example. It was eventually removed and shipped to Europe (to Rockin' Kev, see http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ead.php?t=1891 in this forum) and he in turn used it. The question at that time was: could this have been an original example or something done after the fact? Having read all that I have tonight, it would now seem entirely possible (which is not the same as saying it was guaranteed).
(I got interested in pursuing this tonight while watching an old episode of My Classic Car where the episode focused on a 1938 Caddie with a sunroof. In reading Alexander's original posts again, recently, in Squarebirds, I realized how fascinated he was with the Golde Tops, and felt he might appreciate some fresh information.)
** (later) I found a copy of that issue of Popular Science and bought it ($4) so I can look at the photo in a bit better form.
#8452 TBird Registry
Last edited by JohnG : 03-12-2010 at 12:03 PM. Reason: added urls to sources