I have always liked roadsters with different windshields. The selected windshield can make a big difference in the appearance of the Hot Rod. One of my favorites has always been the Duvall windshield installed with or without a top. The swept back look reminds me of the early Porsche Speedsters of the 60’s. Several versions have been made available over the years with the Cam Grant version being the most respected for quality and fitment. I have only owned the Wescott version which is also nice but the casting needs a lot of work to fit the glass and chrome plate. Having said that, when finished they look perfect. Installing a top requires someone with a good eye to make it flow smoothly and not make the car look top heavy. Thom Taylor helped me with my design which had the back bows way too high. Trial and error with 3/4″ tubing will give you the right “Speedster”look.
The original Duvall windshield was installed on all sorts of car in the early days from models A’s to B’s, Model 40’s and even later models like 36 and 37’s. Many customizers reworked the cowls to make them fit and look correct. As the saying goes, you either love ’em or hate ’em. Today, the Stanley Wanlass laid back version of the stock looking windshield has gained popularity with may builders such as JHRS and Adams Rod Shop. I still prefer the Duvall looking windscreen which is available from Speedway for around $1700. Not inexpensive as they still need to be plated or painted prior to be installed, which adds additional cost. In my experience, any combination of a windshield and top will usually run around $5,000 when finished unless you have a hand hammered aluminum top made then you can figure another $7-10,000 for the top only. Price a chopped top from some of the good metal men and you will be in the same ballpark.
I built my own top after talking to Tom Walsh who has built many of them. Take your time, have someone who knows how to bend tubing help you and you will be just fine. My top structure cost around $50.00 including the scraped tubing. The covering was around $1500.
Is there a roadster top in your future? I hope so, the LARS is not far away!
Have a wonderful weekend driving your roadster or visiting the Detroit Autorama with a little snow on the ground.
Times have changed over the years so add another zero and move the decimal point for the current price.
Not everyone likes the Duvall windshield on Hot Rods, but I do. Tom has one of the best cloth Deuce tops I have seen with this windshield. He hand formed it with round tubing and Sid covered it.
Early versions of the Duvall made by Cam fit the cowls without much work. Chucky fit his perfectly. Some even brought the tops in about an inch on each side to reduce the “large ear” appearance.
The most famous of all roadsters with the Duvall roadster was Doane’s which he made. Note the straight up outside posts compared to those shown above.
The highly chromed version really stands out against the Washington Blue body on this Deuce.
The Double Nickel roadster had a Steve Davis hand formed top over a Ron Covell wire form.
My friend Phil had Terry build him a similar top which is one of the best shapes I have seen.
Moal added twin scoops in this roadster which is his trademark.
A beautiful roaster â€” but the too high center bow gives it the bowed look.
I built my top for the 33 out of 3/4″ steel tubing and used a conduit bender to form the bends. Total time was about 20 hours. But I had a steep learning curve on bending the tubing.
Terry is shown here on one of his first outing with the roadster at the NHRA Museum cruise night. Good job Terry!
I personally like the Model 40 Duvall’s as they match the lean of the louvers and grille.
The smooth look fits the windshield perfectly as shown on Chet’s roadster.
The 33 is my favorite with the Duvall windshield it all just blends together.
The 34 also looks good but not as leaned back as far.
Roy added the Duvall to this 35 Phaeton and it turned out very stylish.
The 36 looks like it was made that way when using a Duvall windshield.
Here is a 36 being completed with the straight up sides which looks good.
Certainly one of the more famous early Duvall windshield installs is this Southern California Plating 35 Ford beauty.
A slight custom 36 roadster looks good with the Duvall installed.
Just about every body style can be make to look good with the Duvall windshield often called the “Boat Windshield!”
Inspiration for Someone!
Steve always has a neat idea for a new Hot Rod.