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Author Topic: Vinyl Top  (Read 3956 times)
shift1313
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« on: November 23, 2005, 03:50:37 PM »

I was just wondering why you dont see many vinyl topped cars?  Were there few from the factory or after repaint do most guys leave them off?

thanks

matt
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nuch_ss396
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« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2005, 06:06:34 PM »

Matt,

Here is my take on this ( BTW, I have an original vinyl top car ):

Vinyl tops were a late 1960's and early 1970's icon of sorts.  They were truly a sign of the times.  When I restored my car in the very early 1980's,
I purchased original GM quarter panels ( these came with the sail panels intact ).  So, we cut both of the original quarters off up to the seam between
the sail panels and the roof.  That effectively removed 85% of the rivets used to mount the vinyl top molding.  I could not bring myself to drill holes
in these beautiful GM quarter panels, so I ground off the remaining rivets on the roof and the vinyl top was no more.  So many Camaros suffered a
similar fate due to wheel well rot, lower rear window rot, etc..  How many of us got tired of seeing Camaros with rust in these places?  Replacing the
quarters was the only real option if you had the $$.

Since so many cars back in the day had vinyl tops, I just wanted a non-vinyl top car for a change.  I was certainly not alone in that sentiment.  Remember
the times back in the 80's & early 90's.  There were no Camaro forums, no eBay, no Camaro Nationals, damn few Camaro oriented suppliers ( anybody
remember Camaro Headquarters in Jenkentown, PA ? ), and no Jerry MacNeish or similar expert knowledge available.  So, few, if any could decode the trim
tags and say to you, "Hey, shouldn't that SS have a black vinyl top on it?"

Now, fade to the late 1990's and up to today.  We all know the state of the hobby now, so it is pointless to cover that.  Suffuce it to say that I have now
changed my mind on the vinyl top issue and I expect to drill those little holes in the quarters & roof so I can mount the vinyl top trim.  Besides, the vinyl
tops on the 69's were absolutely sexy with the trim being offset from the drip rails by 1.5 inches ( or so ) coupled with the body color being applied in this
area.  It's amazing how time changes our perspective - huh?  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Steve
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69 SS 396, Hugger Orange, D/80, D/90
Chambered Exhaust, N/66, THM400, 3:73 posi

Steve A.
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shift1313
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« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2005, 10:16:59 AM »

i was born in 81 so i dont have much insight from back then.  I grew up watching my brother tinker with cars(a mechanic since 84).  im not new to cars by any means but the few classic cars that i was fortunate enough to own were either convertable or vinyl top cars.  I just realize that the vinyl tops when sitting are a horrible things for cars.  I personally like my 68 with the vinyl top on it more then ones without and this car will be kept inside and never see rain so im not too worry about the elements taking their toll.  Maybe its because of the trim that goes along with it that follows the body lines, not sure.  I know for a fact there is some rust underneath it because you can feel it but the condition of the vinyl top is excelent.  Were the factory vinyl top cars only primer underneath? or were they color match to the body?  Im just wondernig what im going to find underneath there when i pull it off.  No matter what i find after a repaint the vinyl top will be reinstalled.

thanks for your input

matt
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chuck69ss
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2005, 10:55:39 AM »

I was a teenager in the late 70s/early 80s.  Everyone I know who restored (or hacked) a car got rid of the vinyl roof at that time.  It was not considered cool.  I left mine on, though I'm not sure if I would have had I completed my car when I was a teen.  I think that I prefer the look without but like the top too.  I like the fact that my car has the top and is frost grren (or will be once again when it is done.)  That is a combo I almost never see.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2005, 11:07:07 AM by chuck69ss » Logged

Chuck B
69 Camaro SS Clone - owned 20+ years, finally getting into the restoration.
http://hobbystage.net/camaro/chuck69ss/
http://chuckbro.smugmug.com/Cars
shift1313
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2005, 01:00:10 PM »

i really like the looks both ways. the only thing that deters me from putting a vinyl top on is the damage they do.  I never plan on this car sitting outside or seeing rain but thats the only thing that worries me.  especially now that i have the vinyl top off.  This car was repainted once that I know of so the top isnt orig but there is a ton of rust under it from around the window trim and on the top where the seams are.

do you guys have any insight on this.  maybe there is a right way to install a vinyl top thats not harmful.
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waynechipman
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2005, 09:02:35 PM »

From a racing perspective,  vynil tops put a few pounds in the very last place You would want the weight. I see lots of vynil topped Camaros on Ebay. Myself keep the vynil top and the convertibles, Ill take a Hardtop any Day. The above are correct, tearing off the vynil was the first thing I or friends did over the years. Vynil tops beg for rust to come in.
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