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building a CARSON style top for my 30 A coupester

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOLLYWQQD, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    BY CARSON STYLE I SIMPLY MEAN A LIFT OFF TOP , NOT A FOLDING TOP!
    decided a lift off top would be cool for the 30 COUPESTER i just picked up in a trade deal! here it is , step by step , headed off to an upholsterer this week . i'll post finished pics as soon as i get it back and take some.

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    grabbed a bunch of 1/2" electrical conduit from work and a hand bender and got started the other day after work.

    started by bending the side opening shape that i wanted and began wrapping around the back side of the seat area.

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    figured the best way to get it where i wanted it and have a spot to secure it would be to go to the top of the posts so i cut some of the material out with a cut off disc and bent it over in a 90* and will have one small bolt go through here in the end to hold the top to the posts and will also incorporate a strap that will snap to the inside of the windshield post to hold it down in the front as well.

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    i was working in the rain so i had to move it inside for the rest of the night. notice i taped all of the joints cause i don't have a welder at the house right now , i just use the one at the shop , so i fitted this all together and taped it untill i could get to a welder .

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    added some more tubes

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    then added some more

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    i made a header panel and some more braces front to back with some sheet on them to be able to secure a rear view mirror inside cause with a top on this thing it is much harder to see than it was without a top!

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    finally got to the shop and had my buddy steve tack it all together

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    and here is a quick mock up of the basic look it will have when done . i am going to chicken wire and pad it and have it wrapped in white cordura , and then putting a tuck and roll white headliner in it!!
    this mock up is just a piece of bubble wrap taped onto the side so i could stand back and make sure i was getting the look right when i first started it !!

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2011-10-09

    notice that in the mock up pick the top material will end up covering all of the red interior so from the outside it will not be visible . it will snap to all of the snaps that hold the interior to the outside part of the body on the fold over and the main frame work will also secure with some straps to a couple anchor points behind the seat.

    I will add more pics as i go and show details on how i plan on securing the rest of the top to the car without interfering with the current interior upholsery in any way!!

    jp
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2012
  2. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,289

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    that looks pretty trick.
     
  3. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    thanx
     
  4. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 6,030

    Dreddybear
    Member

    Good idea, however just a constructive critique. I would drop the top sides to fill in more like a steel roof would have...either way it's neat. Good luck..
     

    Attached Files:


  5. brigrat
    Joined: Nov 9, 2007
    Posts: 5,389

    brigrat
    Member
    from Wa.St.

    What Dreddy said and the back isn't flowing for me ( I know there isn't much room for "flowing"), maybe angle of pic? Please don't let this hurt your feelings as I will be stealing some of your great idea's AND that is one nice coupster!
     
  6. Koz
    Joined: May 5, 2008
    Posts: 2,374

    Koz
    Member

    Man that is one gorgeous coupster! I'm seeing more and more on here that look "right". I agree with Dreddybear, I feel the top should be a little fuller over the rear window, more like the profile of a deuce rag. Not knocking your stuff, it's really nice, just my opinion.

    Nice ride no matter what. Keep bangin' on it.
     
  7. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    i went back and forth with the same thoughts you guys are having and still as of last night when i posted this was unsure of the final look . i have a couple more pieces of conduit and was going to mock up fake bows to make it look like a real fold up rag top . i like the idea of making it more traditional but the stretched out wheel base on the car and the wheels and tires kinda made me think the rounded no bow look would suit the car better ,and i still have an actual folding top planned for the future if i keep the car long enough.(bought it to flip it and free up some cash and get into something cheaper,plus i have two other builds in the works for myself and a couple bikes and i am only one man and can only drive/ride one at a time) . i will make the fake bows tonight and look it over in mock up !! i may still go that route but i second guessed it originally for a reason so maybe i won't.

    jp
     
  8. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    i mocked up some bows and looked it over and i didn't like it !! i didn't get pics so this post doesn't mean much but it is definitely gonna stay exactly as it is pictured here . the idea was a carson style top , not a fake rag top ,so i'm happy with the final decision , until i change my mind again tomorrow : ) ;) thanx for the input guys and i will post pics as it progresses.

    jp
     
  9. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,918

    hillbilly4008
    Member
    from Rome NY

    JP, I know a guy here in Rome who worked for Amos Carson back in the early '50s. His job was to do the steel work. If you want to know how they really did it "way back when" I could take you to meet the guy.
     
  10. rosco gordy
    Joined: Jun 8, 2010
    Posts: 648

    rosco gordy
    Member

    Thats how I did my chev a few years back and covered with alum. worked just tits and was light too!
     
  11. bstie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2007
    Posts: 243

    bstie
    Member

    Your car is sweet top or not!
     
  12. ratster
    Joined: Sep 23, 2001
    Posts: 3,536

    ratster
    Member

    looks good, that how i built mine
     
  13. Rpmrex
    Joined: Nov 19, 2007
    Posts: 664

    Rpmrex
    Member
    from Indiana

    It works just fine however I get what the others are saying.
    Nice ride either way and you'll be able to sell it no problem.
     
  14. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    ok this post is in need of an update . i was very torn between making this top look more original like and leaving it as is . i threw the frame on the car and looked at it at least a hundred times . i let it sit in the yard and just stared at it with the top frame on it for hours at a time and thought my mind was made up then second guessed myself every time . so i dragged my ass on getting it covered cause i didn't want to waste the money and have to tear it apart to change it later! finally i added one more bow to the top , then i painted it real quick and brought it to an upholsterer . i figure i could go back and forth for years and never finish it or sell the car before its done so i said F&%$ it and dropped it off . here is a couple pics of the final look of the frame and i should have it back within a week or two and will post finished pics right away when it gets mounted up !!

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2012-07-07

    here is a profile pic . the bow i added will give it a little bit more traditional look but still fit the not so traditional but not too tasteless look of the rest of the car , it is being covered in white cordura this coming week and should be done the following week .

    [​IMG]
    Shot at 2012-07-07
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2012
  15. hellerlj
    Joined: Oct 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,071

    hellerlj
    Member
    from Minnesota

    Had a good friend sell a "Coupester" he built, if you are looking
    for cheap fold down top, check out MGB...you will be surprised
    how easy it will be to adapt.....
     
  16. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    That is a great looking car. Sometimes coupesters don't come out so good, but yours rocks.

    There is only one problem with putting a top on a roadster, once it is on there you will never take it off again. You say you will, but no one ever does. :D

    Don
     
  17. swissmike
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,297

    swissmike
    Member

    Very true! Especially in Florida...
     
  18. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Waiting to see this upholstered. Good thread.
     
  19. motoandy
    Joined: Sep 19, 2007
    Posts: 3,327

    motoandy
    Member
    from MB, SC

  20. swissmike
    Joined: Oct 22, 2003
    Posts: 1,297

    swissmike
    Member

    Agree 100 percent. The upholstery can make or break a Carson top very easily. Some of the bad examples remind me of a full diaper....
     
  21. VonKool13
    Joined: Feb 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,039

    VonKool13
    Member

    Cool coupster. Good looking frame. Can't wait to see the finished project. Just a question since I haven't built an A coupster, but it's always and option for me. How come no one seems to cut the doors down to the top of the belt line, as that would give it a better "roadster" look. Is it a hard thing to do?
     
  22. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    i did not build this but if i did one i would do the doors i think .everytime i look at it i think the same thing !!!
     
  23. HOLLYWQQD
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 694

    HOLLYWQQD
    Member
    from central NY

    this top will literally take all of 30 seconds to remove two thumb screws at the windshield posts and two quick clamps behind the seat . i will show pics as soon as it is done and i get it home , hopefully next week . material should be here by tomorrow or friday . . i hear ya on the leaving the top on thing . i really love the open top feel but i am constantly worried in upstate NY cause it rains when ever it wants and that's usually quite often . i drive this car alot ..... almost daily.......so it gets rained on alot . i keep a small tarp in the back to cover the cockpit and carbs when it starts raining . i'm gonna have the upholsterer make me a little bonnet out of the left over top material for the carbs . i'm actually making a hood top for it too but the carbs sit too high to clear them so i will need to cut the hood out around em , so i'll still need to cover em!!!
     
  24. King Karl
    Joined: Sep 27, 2007
    Posts: 384

    King Karl
    Member
    from N.C.

    Man thats a bitchin ride. I seen it up for trade a while back and wanted it for myself. Nice work on the top too.
     
  25. Flat-Foot
    Joined: Jul 1, 2010
    Posts: 1,709

    Flat-Foot
    Member
    from Locust NC

    Add my name to the list of guys waiting to see the top all done. Killer car by the way!
     
  26. hemi rodder
    Joined: Oct 10, 2011
    Posts: 510

    hemi rodder
    Member
    from NB Canada

    can't wait to see it finished
     
  27. ModelAPunk
    Joined: Aug 4, 2009
    Posts: 1,935

    ModelAPunk
    Member
    from Buffalo NY

    Lookin' Good Brotha! See You in Syracuse!
     
  28. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie
    Member

    Here's a few pics of my Carson top build on my deuce roadster. We used channel to give the upholsterer a place to locate his tacking strips. The wire is stainless steel mesh shaped to the top. I used 1/2" stainless steel tubing for the cross bows and will put the headliner above the rods so that you see them when sitting in the cockpit. The metal skirt at the bottom of the top follows the curvature of the body but stands about 1/2" away from the body.
     

    Attached Files:

  29. kingpins
    Joined: Apr 27, 2009
    Posts: 623

    kingpins
    Member

    35 woodie...that looks awesome!!!
     
  30. 35 Woodie
    Joined: Jan 20, 2006
    Posts: 194

    35 Woodie
    Member


    Thanks, kingpins. The skirt around the back was the hardest part to fabricate!! I followed the Ken Gross roadster Carson Top as best I could. The KG roadster top cost moocho dinero!!! Mine will be the "low cost" model.
     

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