Start Small & Dream Big - The American Sunroof Corporation Story: Part 1
The story of American Sunroof Corporation, or ASC, is similar to many small companies founded by young Americans...it started from humble beginnings and grew larger over time. While its a sort of "rags to riches" story that we've all grown fond of, the ASC story is also one mired in tragedy. In order to understand how this supply and innovation giant became such a big player in the automotive industry, we'll need to head back in time and travel the sun-laden freeways of 1960's southern California.
|Heinz C. Prechter, Founder of ASC|
|After selling less than 10,000 units, Ford pulled the plug on the bubbletops, but wouldn't totally abandon the idea of a sunroof.|
Prechter's aftermarket company was gaining the attention of numerous automotive manufacturers in the late 1960's, not just the blue oval boys. Ford remained his bread & butter, and by 1973, Ford execs sent ASC their flagship Lincoln Mark IV coupes to get "moonroofs" or glass roll-back sunroofs installed. (The term "moonroof" was coined by a Lincoln marketing guru during this time.). It seemed that the future was getting brighter each year for the company. Later projects included a custom engineered vinyl rear top and fiberglass frame for the Lincoln Versailles, a move that essentially redesigned the roofline of the sedan that was based on the Ford Granada platform. Ford had been good to ASC, and the relationship was strong. But heading into the 1980's, the R & D portion of ASC would soon be tapped to bring true open-air motoring back to Ford's biggest rival...General Motors.