Fridays Tops

I have always loved convertibles ever since I purchased my 59 Corvette. The top down, wind in your face, sun burning your skin, and the waves your receive always put me in a positive frame of mind. At 75, I still get that same feeling as I did at 19. Of course, a roadster needs a top just like the Corvette offered. It was a lift off much like the Bop Top of today. I had the luxury of the convertible top with the corvette and the Bop Top offers the same advantage with a little more work to install — but not much more. My first Deuce roadster did not have a top but in LA you don’t need a top when you are young. The sun did some damage to some of us old timers, so now we need a top to keep the dreaded skin cancer away from our old skin.

When building my last roadster, I made the top myself and the correct shape was difficult to design. I laid it out with a cardboard pattern to a slope that would cover my head and flow gently to the Duvall windshield. I sent a photo to Thom and he let me know the rear slope and top bows needed some adjustment to look correct. I spend hours bending steel tubing with an electrical conduit bender until I came up with the shape I felt look correct. The project took almost a week to complete with a lots of that time spent thinking how to make a metal header rather than the normal oak wooden one. Sid has solved all those problems with his top which, in my mind, has the correct look and folds up to fit in the trunk. Mine was a lift off and stored in the hotel room.

Keeping in mind that I am still in the mood for another roadster, (never too old in my mind) I have collected some photos of tops I like on roadsters. Shown below are some examples including the now famous Bop Top as well as some old Carson/Gaylord style tops of the 50’s.

Could there be a roadster top in your future?

Stay Tooned!


click on photo for a larger image


The very first Gaylord top I saw was Mandy’s in about 1960.


Here is a current version of the Carson style top.


The Carson style top is still alive and being duplicated in a much better structure than the old ones.


Building the top requires a good eye to bend the bows to match the flow of the top.


Looking from the rear you can see the slope on this Carson style top.


The structure for this 39 convertible sedan will look good when padded and covered.


Here is an original Hauser Caron Padded Top tag.


Today modern metal shapers build tops out of aluminum with the shape desired by the builder.12376384_933284190059200_6691940768159647601_n

Here are a couple of tops using reworked stock irons and bows. Lance is an artist so he knows style and design.


Rodger always gets the tops right on his roadsters.


One of the nicest tops I’ve seen using stock irons and bows is this roadster.


The 80’s style Duvall windshield with a lift off padded top.


Jim owns one of my favorite roadsters with a Carson style top.


The Phaeton also can look good with a Carson style top.


The stock irons are and bows on this 40 are quite an engineering feat to have them fold down correctly. These bows are being lowered to give the top a better flow, which is needed on a 40.


Speed 33 has a stock top that looks good with a Sid’s covering.


I am into this style of top on a 33/4 Ford roadster. Heavy chop with stock irons.


This artist rendition of a Deuce roadster is right on with the top profile.


This shows kinda how they were back then. Not too perfect but looked good style wise.


Syd’s Bop Top on AMBR looks perfect to me and fits like it should.


Coming on strong from Adams Hot Rod Shop is the Rodwell top and windshield. Not sure about the driver’s sight line but I love the look.


If I had the money I would have one built.


Sid’s top has the perfect look on a traditional roadster.


My first attempt turned out good but I could improve on the rear bow on my next one.


The rear turned out pretty good using the snaps but I would conceal them on the next one.

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