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Technical Model A Top Question

Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by edcj7, Aug 28, 2017.

  1. edcj7
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 52

    edcj7

    I am wanting to put the wood back in the top of my Model A but I am also wanting to put a vinyl top on. I don't have any of the wood to be able to check for myself and before I spend $500.00 I was wondering if the vinyl will fit right on top of the wood or is there a gap there? I really like the look of the wood in the top but I also want to have the ability to cover it and get out of the sun. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. If you google it you'll find a tutorial I am sure but the gist of it is that you fill the void with chicken wire and batting between the wood and the rubber/vinyl top. The actual top material if you are going for the stock look is rubber with an embossed grain.
     
  3. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,084

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    Coupe ? This is "stock" padding and vinyl over that. All nailed or stapled into the wood. [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  4. On a sedan like my '29 the top glues over the sides all the way to the drip rails and has a t strip that goes across the back of the roof that holds it down. Like this one:

    sedan[1].jpg
     
    dana barlow likes this.

  5. As I read the op post, he is wanting the wood and a retractable vinyl top. I know that I have seen ads for sliding tops but not sure if he can use both the wood and the sliding top.
     
  6. edcj7
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 52

    edcj7

    I should have specified it is a coupe. I am hoping to be able to use the wood with just the vinyl on top. That way when you look inside the car you see the wood with a vinyl top and I have the option of taking the vinyl top off. Looking at the picture it looks like I could do that unless I'm looking at it totally wrong. I was afraid there would be too much of a gap and the top would sag. Thanks for the pics and the help.
     
  7. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,084

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    IMG_0075.JPG Thanks IMG_1150.JPG IMG_0804.JPG
    Here's how Hilton solved that,
     
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  8. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    Member
    from Central Ca

    My cousin had a 5 window coupe in the mid 60's that had Tauna Cover over the opening and snaps to hold it in place. Not an ideal application looking back....... but hey it was an AV8 hot rod built by a 15 year old kid.
    Just like the pic's Dino posted
     
    Dino 64 likes this.
  9. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,822

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

    Just welded the steel skin onto my '30 coupe's roof with stock bows... fits tight against the top bows...
    .
    I have an extra pair of new door / q window headers, new rear roof to insert wood, wooden w/s header, and a new left roof to insert wood, [would make the fabbing of the right side easy with tracing pencil and a bandsaw]... the top bows are also easy with a bandsaw...
    .
    Also have most all of the brackets for the interior tack wood... DSCN0693.JPG
    .
    DSCN0862.JPG
    .
     
  10. edcj7
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 52

    edcj7

    Dino 64 likes this.
  11. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,084

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

     
  12. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 2,084

    Dino 64
    Member
    from Virginia

    I could use the door headers if the op doesn't want them...?
     
  13. The top in my Avatar Model A truck is attached across the front and rolls forward like a big sunroof. I used white canvas convertible top material.
    -It buffets in the wind and requires a doubler strip above the wood bows to keep it from tearing the roof fabric.
    -It leaks, you won't stay dry in a rainstorm. Scotchguard helps but it still leaks on the sides and through the roof itself.
    -I find it really annoying with the top open, the wind scoops into the back of the cab and beats the back of my head so it stays closed all the time.
    -Mine is fixed at the front and snaps down the sides and across the back.

    I can't wait to put a normal top in it, I just need to find some white material and time.
     
  14. edcj7
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 52

    edcj7

    I'm definitely interested. It looks like you have just about everything I need.
     
  15. sloppy jalopies
    Joined: Jun 29, 2015
    Posts: 4,822

    sloppy jalopies
    Member

  16. Camsore
    Joined: Aug 28, 2011
    Posts: 44

    Camsore
    Member
    from Las Vegas

    This is what I did
     

    Attached Files:

    30tudor, mohead1 and Blues4U like this.
  17. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,787

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    That looks nice!
     
  18. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,787

    Blues4U
    Member
    from So Cal

    Here's what I did with my closed cab pickup, which is similar to your coupe that not quite the same thing. I wanted a removable top for those times when I wanted to cruise with it open, so this was my answer. (note, my pickup had the original wood bowes, which I retained). I can remove the top in about 2 minutes, and reinstall it in about the same amount of time, piece of cake. But to be honest, I've only removed it a few times, most times it is far more comfortable to drive it with the top in place. Best time with it open is at night, with warm clear weather, and a full moon. Daytime I'd rather have it in place, and it makes a huge difference in improving the comfort on a hot day. There are a couple of things I'd do different, if I was to do it again, but overall I'm very happy with it.

    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/30-closed-cab-pickup-removable-roof-insert.1027294/

    IMG_7689.JPG
     
  19. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 439

    Craig Owens
    Member

    Like you, I wanted to keep the top opening on my coupe somewhat stock looking, and wanted to make it easily removable instead of semi-permanent. My original top wood was OK for 85-year old wood, but I don't think it would hold the nails required to tack down a stock-type fabric top.

    Here's what I did: I sanded and varnished the top bows, and they came out looking pretty nice. I sprayed the rest of the wood with Zoloztone since it was aged and paint-oversprayed. The top insert is a piece of aluminum rolled out on an English wheel so it has a compound contour that matches the rest of the top. There are 4 aluminum "bungs" and 2 angle pieces welded to the underside of the aluminum top for attachment. I used a speed bore bit to make the holes in the original top wood for the "bungs" to fit in, and the aluminum top skin can then be bolted on. I took the top skin to an upholstery shop where I had it covered with fabric. The top can now be bolted in place and it can be quickly and easily removed if desired. Note that the top insert is larger than the original top opening, so it is no longer really an "insert". This was done because it's much easier to go over the original opening than to try to fit it dead nuts. It still looks close to a stock fabric top, and I think it fills the bill nicely. Hopefully the pictures will show what you need to see. 9-14-09 004.jpg 9-14-09 009.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

    millelacsrick and Blues4U like this.
  20. edcj7
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 52

    edcj7

    That is really nice! I like that a lot. I like the way it fits, very clean looking. Thanks for sharing.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  21. mohead1
    Joined: Jan 18, 2013
    Posts: 592

    mohead1
    Member

    Wow.....that is outstanding. I wish i had the talent to do such nice work. I would love to have something similar on my '30 Coupe
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
  22. Craig Owens
    Joined: Jun 28, 2006
    Posts: 439

    Craig Owens
    Member

    I've gotta confess, I don't have the talent to roll a piece out on an English wheel myself, so I had my son and his partner at New Metal Coachworks do it for me. But wait...how dumb would it be to go hit the local wrecking yard and cut a section out of the roof of a car? I've heard that Ford Mavericks, Mercury Comets or older Mustangs are a great fit for a Model A coupe, but of course, those cars are at a premium themselves and don't show up often in wrecking yards. There's gotta be something that would lend itself, and if you're like me, I can TIG or MIG weld the hell out of steel, but I'm not so good on aluminum. That would make it easier to do yourself. The top on my Model A has been there for 7 years now, and has held up great other than the fabric fading from dark olive/tan to almost white. It's not water tight, as in, if you got caught in the rain, you'd get some water in the car, but there's absolutely no wind noise, and it fits tight for a nice appearance. While I could take the top off in 5 minutes, I haven't done so since I put it on.
     
  23. Stan Back
    Joined: Mar 9, 2007
    Posts: 1,118

    Stan Back
    Member
    from California

    That's a gorgeous solution.

    25+ years ago I used boat upholstery to cover my top. Although certainly not in daily use, it's held up well. I believe it is also is available in a wide range of colors. Sedan Pix .jpg
     

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