While it’s not known exactly who developed the first roof racks, it is known that the concept became popular in the 1950s and 1960s, when cars and trucks had rain gutters as a standard part of roof designs. It was fairly simple to attach rack-type devices securely with the brace and support of the rain gutters in place.
In the 1970s, cars started being designed without rain gutters. This began with the 1975 AMC Pacer and Chevy Monza. Gutters were out of style and easing out of vehicle design.
This meant if a driver wanted to strap items to a vehicle’s roof, they would need something special installed.
Enter the specialty roof rack suppliers. They designed new rack products to attach to a variety of cars. Their goal was to make sure the rack was safe, stable, and secure. After testing various components, they discovered that roof racks would need towers, fitting pieces, crossbars, and gear mounts for the best results.
Here are some rack types that came to be, and we still see in various forms today:
- Bare Roof (hooks can fit snugly on door frame tops)
- Fixed Point (for vehicles installed with pre-set fittings for proprietary racks)
- Side Rail (factory installed rails are available)
- Factory Bar (permanent from the factory)
Choosing a roof rack is based on weight and strength capacity, loading profile, and accessories needed or wanted. Contact the team at Jazz It Up Truck & Auto — your expert on all Denver truck accessories — for more great roof rack information!