A T-top is an automobile roof with removable panels on either side of a rigid bar running from the center of one structural bar between pillars to the center of the next structural bar.
The T-top was patented by Gordon Buehrig on
June 5, 1951. [ [http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=7461 This Day In History - June 5: Automotive] ] It was used in the design of the unsuccessful TASCO sports car. [http://www.coachbuilt.com/des/b/buehrig/buehrig.htm Coachbuilt: Gordon Buehrig 1904–1990] ] .
The 1968 Chevrolet Corvette coupe was the first U.S.-built production automobile to feature a T-top roof. [ [http://www.musclecarclub.com/musclecars/chevrolet-corvette/chevrolet-corvette-history-3.shtml Muscle Car Club: Chevrolet Corvette - History, Third Generation, 1968–1982] .] This increased the popularity of the coupe, such that it outsold the convertible and later led to the discontinuation of the Corvette convertible after 1975 until it was revived in 1986.Fact|date=January 2008 The style of roof was later used on other cars, including
Chevrolet Camaro, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Pontiac Fiero, Pontiac Firebird, Pontiac Grand Prix, Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, Ford Thunderbird, Ford Mustang, Mercury Capri, Chrysler Cordoba, Dodge Magnum, Datsun 280ZX, Nissan Pulsar, Nissan NX, Nissan 300ZX, and the Toyota MR2.
T-tops were engineered to provide a safer, comparable alternative to the convertible roof.Fact|date=December 2007 This was due to the existence of a roof structure that would protect the heads and the bodies of the passengers in the car in the case of a serious accident better than a convertible without a roll bar would. Fact|date=January 2008
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