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Customs Vinyl top on a tri five chevy?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by low budget, Dec 18, 2015.

  1. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    Ive seen a few pics with this and heard about a 55 with one that use to be around here locally.
    JC whitney or someone sell these after market or what was the deal?
    I personally cant see why someone would want to do that today but back then was a different place and time I guess.
    If anyone has any info about this, I would like to hear about it.
    Johnnee D. likes this.
  2. Clik
    Joined: Jul 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,900


    If you were a vinyl top installer it would make a good conversation starter and sales builder.
  3. ididntdoit1960
    Joined: Dec 13, 2011
    Posts: 1,011

    from Western MA

    when I got my 55 it had a "paint on" version, complete with fake "seams" glued on down either side......another guy I knew had a real padded vinyl was a 70s show car type of build....there was a time when this was cool....
  4. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,265


    There was one around here, late 60s I'd guess. Cool & different in those times. I do remember it was a Cali car transplanted to the Buckeye state, it was the only one around. It was a period thing, like he said above ^^^^.

  5. I can recall when these were popular on everything. Local shops installed them and you could buy glue on or spray on tops. I think the 63 Impala and 63 Galaxie factory tops started the craze. I never cared for them on anything other than an early 60s sport roof car myself.
  6. slowmotion
    Joined: Nov 21, 2011
    Posts: 3,265


    I think you're right on the era Don. The old man's '64 T-bird was padded vinyl.
  7. Used to do them (spray on ) back in the day. Usually 4/5 a week for the local dealers on new cars for $75, they'd mark em up to $119.95 as a factory option was $200. Sold like hot cakes in So Cal
  8. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    I always wondered if they were to soften the blow if you rolled it.
    Never a fan.
  9. Found this '56 on the web, it says it's a fake vinyl top.
    Johnnee D. and low budget like this.
  10. 54fierro
    Joined: Jul 6, 2006
    Posts: 493

    from san diego

    I have never seen the spray on type.

    My uncle had an upholstery shop in the "hood" and would do several of these weekly from the early 70's through the 90's when he retired. I guess they were considered a "luxury" option(?). On anything and everything.

    On of the last ones he did was on a hyundai excel, they even wanted it with gold buttons. He said it ended up looking like a tank. lol

    This was in San Diego area.
    Also, having a car with a vinyl top I freakin hate them
  11. Dan Timberlake
    Joined: Apr 28, 2010
    Posts: 1,307

    Dan Timberlake

    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  12. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,243

    from wash state

    That time aint no more
    Special Ed likes this.
  13. 56sedandelivery
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 6,695


    I remember the spray on, fake vinyl tops; that and the "fur/fuzzy" paint jobs. Make it and they will come! Did't care for either one however. I am Butch/56sedandelivery.
  14. aerocolor
    Joined: Oct 7, 2009
    Posts: 1,187

    from dayton

    019.jpg 023.jpg Doesn`t work for me. I couldn`t imagine one on my `55.
    I don`t really like vinyl tops fake or otherwise but I did reinstall one on my `68 RS Camaro.
    I liked it better after I painted the stripes on.
    40fordtudor likes this.
  15. desotot
    Joined: Jan 29, 2008
    Posts: 1,833


    We did a 57 4drhdtp for my oldest son about 20 years ago with cruiser skirts, and a sort of a rear facing scoop on the back of the roof. It had 2 moulding strips about 14" apart through the center of the roof with a white vinyl top. It was 3" of the ground and ran 56 olds caps with spinners and wide whites.
  16. Back in the late 60's,early 70's both the spray on tops and vinyl tops were popular,anything offered by the big three was a styling cue to all the back yard builders.

    A fad that has fortunately died,the vinyl tops held moisture and actually sped up the rusting process. HRP
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
    40fordtudor likes this.
  17. traffic61
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,506

    from Owasso, OK

    Back in the early 70's, my neighbor, Charlie had a wicked '55 Chevy 210 sedan that was painted gold and had a spray on black "vinyl" top. It was pretty well done and made the car stand out. His buddy in the neighboring town had a '56 210 painted similar, but with a blue metalflake top as I remember. Damned if I can find any pictures of them. Both cars were sharp and had an influence on my young mind. I had a chance to buy the '55 after Charlie died, but having just bought a house, I couldn't swing the money. Still kicking myself over that one. If I ever get flush with money, I would love to build a replica.
  18. 40fordtudor
    Joined: Jan 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,503


    I've had all the tri-fives over the years, but never had an inkling to do this............
  19. There was a 55 Chevy running around town with a paisley top back in the early 70's.

    I saw it in a junk yard about 29 years ago after the car was wrecked,the top was rotten but back in the day I thought it was cool. HRP
  20. 32v
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 952

    from v.i.

    had candy green 56 4 dr htp blk spray on vinyl top 58 buick grill. looked good back in the day
  21. It was a popular conv
    It was a popular conversion in the later '60s and '70s. you could source kits from various places JC Whittney was one of them or about any upholstery shop could do it for you without a kit.

    There was also a paint on kit that was used by some dealers of cars that did not come with a vinyl top and was available to the public, all it amounted to was bumpy flat paint but from a distance you could not tell the difference up close was a different story though. ;)
    Dave Downs likes this.
  22. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,416

    Jalopy Joker

    if you want one (?) look at Landau Vinyl Roof Covers - - with all of the different types of vinyl car wraps available now could likely have one done giving the look and remove easily. whoever started this fad back in the day sure helped to ruin the roofs of many classic cars.
  23. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,763

    from oregon

    I have only seen one tri-five Chevy over the years with (any) version of vinyl top.
    In 1970 I bought my second car at 16, a 57 BelAir 2dr ht, I remember seeing a really nice blue 56 BelAir 2 dr ht around the Portland area (may have been in the Portland Roadster Show), it had a black spray on vinyl top.
  24. LOL we were both the same age and in the area at the same time. I was in Forest Grove.

    In '70 or '71 there was a couple of cars with spray on vinyl tops at the show, one certainly could have been a tri five.
  25. I once read that Richard Petty had one put on his race car because some testing they did showed that the vinyl top aided the airflow over the roof by breaking it up.
  26. 34toddster
    Joined: Mar 28, 2006
    Posts: 1,482

    from Missouri

    We had a 55 Chevy with a 348 in 67 the top had a lot of hail damage so we had some local guy spray a fake Vinyl top on with the fake seams and it looked pretty good, much better than the shinny bright yellow with a hundred hail dings.
    Also bought a 67 Camaro orange in color with a Paisley top, tore that POS off to find, you guessed it..Hail damage. BTW the hail damage looked better than the Paisley top in this case
    Had to have a black vinyl, real one installed on the car.
    Those were the good ol days...HAHA.
  27. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,763

    from oregon

    Not far from me in Tigard.
    Did you ever see Ed McCulloch on a tractor?
  28. Don't know the name. I did know some fellas from Tigard, but they were not car types and probably not well accepted by the local community. LOL

    You can go from Forest Grove to Tigard these days and never leave the city. Nothing like when we were kids.
  29. low budget
    Joined: Nov 15, 2006
    Posts: 5,564

    low budget
    from Central Ky

    Cant say I would want one on a tri five but if I saw one at a show etc. it would certainly catch my eye and I would probably be impressed at how far someone went to capture that era, or if it was original from that era, especially if it looked as good as the 56 above.

    I like some oem style vinyl tops on mid 60s to early 70s muscle better than no vinyl on the same car.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  30. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,763

    from oregon

    You would have to have been living under a rock (still) to not know who Ed McCulloch is.

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