phil sorry i took so long to reply to this. In my first post you asked me if I thought the rust around the window was due to the vinyl top. Yes definately. It held moisture right around the trim and it was so bad it bubbled. The car only has 40k on it total and was restored in 95-96, which is when the vinyl top was put on. The car had one from the factory as well. I can only assume it sat outside, but due to the poor resto job I have no idea how they prepped the roof. The rear 1/4s were both replaced, front windshield had some bondo/lead work done to it, and the roof had like 6 different colors of filler. The lips on top of the rear 1/4s were all covered with bondo that was so much thicker then you are ever supposed to use it. Even if the car sits inside. If its not driven and not kept it a strict moisture controlled environment I dont think i would put a vinyl top back on. If you plan on driving it often that might be different. I dont think i can save the pillars on this car so i might end up putting a whole roof on it. If i do the car will definatly not get a vinyl top. A guy i work with has an early gto with a vinyl top that he drives monthly and it has no problems at all with rust or moisture. I also have a friend with several old licolns that sit or sat for exteneded periods of time outside and you can push holes throught the body where the trim was its so thin from rust.
Its hard to see because of the crappy pic, but you can definatly make out a color difference where the top used to be. the bottome 6" was all flaky rust. And the car sat inside a garage from about 98 or 99 until today without being driven. I can also see in to the car in several places where the trim was.
if you look at the paint around the trim you can see it bubbling up.
I dont want to discourage you from putting one on. Personally I loved the look of the car in hugger orange with the SS clone stuff and vinyl top. I like the look of the cars with vinyl tops if they have all the orig trim with the car, emblems and everything. It really dates them. If you are trying to modernize it i would steer away from it.
good luck with your choice