History Car Roofracks
Car Roof Rack
Car roof racks are a convenient way to add extra storage space to a car. By carrying equipment on the roof you can keep these belongings out of the interior of the car. This not only allows more space inside, it means that wet items like fishing rods, or hazardous item like fuel or gas, need not get the inside of the car dirty.
Cars in the 1960s always had a rain gutter on the roof. This was a rim of metal that ran along the sides of a car’s roof. This roof gutter made it easy to attach a semi-permanent roof rack to the vehicle. The disadvantage was that this rain gutter was prone to rusting.
Vehicle rain gutters started to fall out of favor in the late 1970s, and were almost never seen on cars made past the early 1990s. This was probably a sound advancement for the cars, which became more streamline and less prone to rust. But it made the fitting of a roof rack, much less a detachable roof rack, more difficult.
Car manufacturers were aware of the fact than at least some car owners needed a roof rack. These were commonly needed on 4WDs. So many cars were produced with fittings that allowed for the fitting of roof racks. This often consisted of bars that ran along the side of the vehicle’s roof. A few vehicles were produced that had roof racks as optional extras from the manufacturer.
Some removable roof racks can be installed to the top of a car’s door frame. Others can be fitted to a vehicle with side bars on the roof. Often the type of roof rack is limited by what is available on the particular vehicle. A heavy duty roof rack can probably not be fitted to a car door frame. But a light roof rack, suitable for fishing gear or a bicycle, is quite feasible.
Almost all 4WDs can have heavy duty roof racks fitted. These tend to be custom made for each model of vehicle, and they are permanently fitted. If they are reasonably light they allow a fair amount of gear to be attached. Their only disadvantage is that they cause the car to consume a little more fuel.