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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:

  • December 23, 2018...........Updated Skytop Registry here 
  • December 24, 2018...........Updated owner information related to various picture captions and the Avanti-Powered Skytop list
  • December 26, 2018...........Added a list of links to '61, '62, and '63 Skytop TV Commercials here

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 sixty-one Skytops in the Registry - a few verified as being scrapped, and some known to still exist but with unknown Owners. The current Registry list can be viewed on the Studebaker Drivers Club Forum (see the Skytop Registry page of this website for a link to the Registry list on the SDC Forum). 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 physical addresses and email addresses will not be shared 'publicly'. If a fellow Skytop Owner would like to contact another Owner listed on the Registry, this can be done by requesting the email address from the Webmaster.




Questions or comments? Please contact us at
  webmaster@studebakerskytop.com