S-type Sunroof

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S-Type Sunroof
by David Reilly, S-Type Register
posted 2/16/04

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Postwar Jaguar Saloons, through the Mk 9, could be fitted at the factory with an optional sliding metal sunroof. With the introduction of the 3.4 litre Saloon (Mk 1) this option was no longer available as Jaguar engineering did not know what liberties could be taken with the breakthrough design of the new unitary construction bodies. Jaguar did not offer a factory-fitted sunroof again until the introduction of the XJ-series. The folding fabric sun-roof, a European tradition, became the preferred aftermarket solution for Mk1, Mk 2, 420 and .S.-type drivers who wanted to enjoy open air motoring. Both Golde and Webasto sunroofs were popular due to the very large, almost convertible-like, roof opening they provide when open, and also their weather-tightness when closed.

Webasto was (and is) the best known maker of folding sunroofs and, lthough rare, the one most commonly seen on .S.-types. Wilhelm Baier established Webasto AG in 1901 in Germany as a manufacturer of bicycle parts. The word .Webasto. is actually an acronym. The .We. stands for Wilhelm (in German .W. is pronounced .way. or .weh. therefore the letters .We. are used). The .Ba. comes from the first two letters of .Baier.. The .Sto. comes from the first three letters of the town .Stockdorf. (near Munich, Germany).

In 1932 Wilhelm Baier designed the first folding sunroof which could be opened and closed easily according to weather conditions. It had 2 latches, 1 over each door window and a round steel bar going across and over the front seats that was grabbed and pulled back to open. In 1956 Webasto developed the first steel sunroof on the aftermarket. Previously, internal sliding sunroofs had been factory options in luxury cars. The steel sunroof panel slides open between the metal roof and interior head liner, requiring some loss of headroom but providing a full opening in the roof. Some models included wind deflectors and a tilt up feature for venting.

Andries & Alice Slagter (1B78266DN) of the Netherlands recently sent in to the S-type Register photos of their .S.-type showing a steel sunroof by Coenen AG. This appears to be a very nice conversion. Research has failed to turn up any information on the Company, but their patent plate indicates operations in several western European countries. Can any member help with details? if so, contact the S-type Register via email :