Tuesday’s Tops

Thanks to all of you who commented on my foot problem. They still don’t know what is wrong but it is improving each day and I can walk and drive again after three weeks. Some illness’s just take a little longer to heal when you are older. I hope to be back to normal in a few more days.

For you roadster and convertible guys and gals, designing the top for your ride is important. The shape must fit the profile of your Hot Rod to enhance the overall look. We have all seen tops that just look wrong. They are either too low or too tall, slope to the front or rear too much and don’t flow with the body. A good eye is needed to make tops look like they were made for body style. Purchasing a ready made top like a Bop Top takes the guess work out of obtaining the correct look. Sid has the eye for what looks good. Making your own bows or structure requires trial and error using tape to provide an idea of what the covering will look like. The color of the top also can affect the final appearance . Tops come in all color but normally are black or tan but I have seen them in all colors including red.

Finally, the top must be secured so that it doesn’t fly off going down the freeway which has happened to several of my friends who forgot about the wind force at 70 mph. Tops normally flop under the pressure so that your top looks like a balloon about ready to take off. Today, I will talk about how to reduce some of this pressure.

Tops are not required for roadsters or convertibles but sure are handy in inclement weather and the dreaded sun beating down on our skin. Hats help, sunblock is a must and common sense on how long to stay driving under a beating sun.

Going topless is just a saying and many live by that saying. And many end up with serious skin cancer problems. Please be safe when driving topless.

Stay Tooned,



click on photo for a larger image

I always use this drawing when showing people who ask, what I think a top should look like. An Automotive artist can make it perfect on his board but duplicating sometimes becomes difficult.

White tops seem to be correct for early build styles.

Early style customs had the Carson style top incorporated on most builds.White was the color.

Early tops had a tendency to run uphill like this one.

Here is an example of a top with the Duvall windshield.

Here is Tom’s using a homemade frame made from 1″ tubing. Note slope of side window compared to the top photo.

Yes, 51 Mercury’s also are cool customs. Stock top is utilized in the perfect restoration.

Jeff had Moal build him a top out of tubing for his beautiful roadster. This roadster is available.

Roy and Sid built one of the first RPU’s for Poteet utilizing a Bop Top.

Bob had an aluminum lift-off top built for his Boyd tub. Greg likes this one as you can tell by his smile.

Rodger is king of the tops using stock/modified irons and bows. He always achieves the correct flow.

His tub has always been my favorite top on a tub. He let me sit in the back seat in MN and I was impressed with the vision.

Nick is working on his tub and has the shape he wants with some yellow tape. The Duvall makes is hard to flow perfect.

I was involved in the top for Tom’s roadster. Neil Gates built the stock irons and bows.

Here is a good example of two different style of tops on model 40 roadsters. Mark’s top (L) is a stock and Dennis’s is a Duvall with a fabricated top. Both tops are blue. Which do you like?

If you can’t decide on what color for the wheels and top have them photoshopped.

Changing the color on the top and wheels provides a completely different look.

I’m not sure whose top this is but it looks good with the laid back windshield.

Sid also built this nice top for the Brizo built 35 Phaeton with a Duvall.

I prefer the 39 convertible over the 40 when it comes to tops. The flow is perfect as is the car.

My friend Tom has owned more nice cars than most and this 39 was one of them. Top outlined in red is stock.

Brizio built beauty with Sids top really set the bar high for 33 roadsters.

This is how you get the structure correct. Yellow or Blue tape works great and is inexpensive.

This photo shows how much work is involved in building a Carson style top.

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