|The MGA With An Attitude
SUN ROOF, Webatso - AT-207A
Edward Vandyk in the UK had provided these pictures and information about
a Wabatso sun roof installed in his MGA Coupe.
And here is a note from Edward:
"The sun roof was not a factory fitted option from the Heritage Certificate, but the sun roof in the car has a label on is saying 'A Owen' Clapham.
I saw on the internet: The Trimming Centre, Unit 6, St.Joseph's Business Park, St.Joseph's Close, Hove, East Sussex BN3 7ES, UK Tel/Fax: +441273 325256. Their advert is below".
[Quoting the internet ad]
Tudor Webatso Coachbuilt sunroofs
Pioneers of the fitting of the Webasto sunroof. handed down through generations over the last 55 years.
At the start of Tudor Webasto in the UK George Camp pioneered this sunroof with a small team of craftsmen after hours in a workshop in Clapham, London. Developing over the years into Roof Installations recognized at that time as the main suppliers and fitters of the Tudor Webasto coach built sunroof in the country. In 1969 George and his son, Steve Camp, started the Brighton franchise C & D Autos. At the height of the industry fitting around fifty Webasto sunroofs per week in the mid season.
George is now retired but Steve carries on the traditions at The Trimming Centre in Hove not only with the Tudor Webasto & Weathershield sunroofs but the complete range of Webasto Hollandia sunroofs from Glass pop tops to inbuilt Original Equipment type roofs. The Trimming Centre can repair and refurbish classic sunroofs, headlinings and vinyl roofs. Also offering a professional interior upholstery service.
[Edward] "I have spoken to Steve and his father (George) is still alive aged 96. George worked for A Owen which is where the Webasto product originated and they used to fit them in the evening. I think George was one of the originators. A Owen only fitted sun roofs for about 3 years around about 1962 (the Coupe was registered in September 1962). Apparently they still have the original colours and headlinings.
So a dealer fitted accessory but I would think dating from on or about delivery. The car was not registered until 11 September 1962. Maybe putting in a sunroof was the only way of shifting it given that the MGB was on sale by then.
On 12/7/2012, Edward Vandyk wrote:
"I took my coupe with the Webasto roof to Brighton (Sussex, UK) yesterday (6 December) and met with George Camp, on the left, who is now 86 and his son Steve who owns The Trimming Centre. George confirmed that he must have fitted the Webasto sun roof in my car as there were only two of them working after hours in a lock up just round the corner from the Owens coach works in South London. George said that initially they used the metal Owens badges and that later they switched to the plastic Owens badges that Richard Gough refers to on his Ash Green Twin Cam Coupe on your site.
Apparently the owner of Owens and the manager went to Germany to see how the roofs were fitted and the first roof, which George fitted, went in the owner's car.
The sunroof has always been made by Tudor Webasto who were based in Germany - that has always been the brand name. The name Owens was the company who took over the fitting in the UK around 1958; they were Coach body builders. The owner was Jack Rappaport. Early 1960's the UK side was taken over by Harry Stallwood under the name of Roof Installations. The first car to be installed with a Tudor Webasto roof was a Rover 90 which was owned by Mr Rappaport in 1958. George Camp worked for Owens building dress vans during the day, then he, Bill Podd and a car trimmer, Johnny Gravell, worked in the evening fitting the Webasto roofs until it was taken over by Roof Installations. He then worked as a manager, with the others, until he was given his own franchise in Brighton in 1968. Steve then joined him straight from School in 1969 as an apprentice. Steve has worked since then within the sunroof industry and trained as a car trimmer. he worked in California for 2 years fitting sunroofs before returning as a partner in the family business, The Trimming Centre, which he now own and runs". -- Edward Vandyk
On 11/14/2012, Richard Gough wrote:
"I have a Webasto fitted to my Twin Cam coupe road registered 27/7/59 which I think was probably fitted from new. The dealer in South London, who ran it from new for about six months had fitted lots of accessories and gismos. The reason I think the dealer was responsible is that I have spoken to one of the brothers who is still alive and he said that is what he would do, although he does not remember the car. The car was taken off the road in 1965 and was more or less untouched when I bought it in 2001.
"The "Autocar" of 18 July 1958 (Twin Cam launch issue)
shows under its monthly accessory page the Webasto sun roof installation by KJ Motors Ltd 137-149 Widmore Rd, Bromley, Kent, at £65 to £75 a throw. A product of Car Coverall Ltd. Regent St. London (Regent St. is in the posh West End of London). My roof was also installed by A Owen Clapham south west London. The installers decal though is black plastic with white lettering that is indented into the plastic".