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Pop Top
By Larry Edsall

Pop Top keeps your car's greenhouse cool

John Allen hated parking his then-new, 1980s-era Chevrolet Camaro out in the bright California sun every day. He bought a full car cover, but hated the way it took up half of the Camaro's trunk when it was time to leave the parking lot.

That was a decade ago. In the meantime, Allen tried using windshield-only folding cardboard sun shades, which are easier to use and fold compactly when not in use, but they didn't shade anything but the top of the dashboard and thus didn't prevent sun and heat damage to the rest of the interior.

So Allen, a 30-year veteran of the computer industry, went to work and developed the California Pop Top, a car cover that covers only the greenhouse, a car's roof and windows.

Allen's creation uses a breathable but water-proof DuPont material, Tyvek, to block out 99.8 percent of ultraviolet rays and also stores away in its own built-in pouch that's just slightly larger than a regulation football, so there's room for it even in the trunk of a tiny sports car.

Allen's Valencia-Calif.-based company says the California Pop Top not only keeps a car's interior cooler in the summer--usually a mere 3-5 degrees warmer than the outside ambient temperature, not the 180 degrees that a car interior can reach in bright sunshine—but also works well in cold weather to keep dew, frost and even snow off the windows.

The California Pop Top also can be used on a convertible to keep dirt and dust out when the top is down and the car is parked. Grab cords secure the top and provides a built-in locking mechanism that uses the truck deck lid and lock to keep the cover from being stolen.

The California Pop Top is available in four sizes, retails for $59.95 and is available through www.capoptop.com.

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