Convertible tops are found in convertible cars. A convertible is a car that can be driven with or without a roof. The roof of the car can be retracted or stored depending on the models. The major selling point of convertible cars is that it allows the driver and passengers an open-air driving experience, with the option of deploying the roof when required. Materials used to construct the convertible tops are usually folding, textile-based fabric. Retractable and detachable hardtops are made from plastic or metal. Convertibles with detachable hardtops have the ability to manually remove the metal or plastic roof and stored in the trunk.
Most automobiles in the early days didn’t have any roofs or sides. At the end of the 19th century, car engine became more powerful and automakers started installing folding textile or leather roofs on cars which looked like Victorian-era horse carriages. Less expensive cars with the likes of roadsters or touring cars were left either open air or were fitted with simple folding tops and detachable side curtains.
Most convertibles have two-door while some convertibles are four-door models. Convertibles are also called open two-seater, Cabriolet, Cabrio, drop top, open top, soft top, spider, and spyder. In the United Kingdom, convertibles with two doors are referred to as drophead coupés, while four-door convertibles are called all-weather tourers.
Convertibles may seem fun to drive, have good ventilation, and easy to enter and get out of the car, but there are some potential drawbacks which include reduced structural rigidity. However, automakers rectify this by engineering and modification processes. Other cons include Poor break-in protection, diminished rear visibility, reduced cargo space, increased wind noise, the intrusion of moisture with the top up, diminished structural rigidity, degradation and shrinkage of the textile fabric due to extended sunlight exposure over time.
In most convertibles, the top is made from a flexible textile material. Other materials are also used in the convertible tops such as latex, vinyl, jute, and rayon and acrylic fibers like Orlon. In recent days, Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is used in convertible tops. The tops are using a combination of two materials; with the top layer made of PVC and a lower layer made of fabric usually cotton.
The detachable hardtop is rigid and removable and can be stored in a car’s trunk. They provide superior soundproofing, weatherproofing, and are much sturdier than fabric-based convertible tops. Some convertibles with detachable hardtop have integrated rear-window defrosters and windscreens. Examples include Mercedes SL (2nd-generation and 3rd-generation), Porsche Boxster, and Mazda MX-5. There is a downside to detachable hardtops as the mechanism is expensive.
However, detachable hardtops are becoming less common is recent convertibles partly because of improvements in canvas or fabric-based tops. Other reasons for convertibles with detachable hardtops are becoming less common are because the top cannot be stored inside the car when not in use and the top should be stored in a garage. Some automakers offer convertibles with detachable tops as an added option.
Another variation of convertible tops is a retractable hardtop. Also known as “coupé convertible” or “coupé cabriolet”, this top is automatically operated and self-storing hardtop. An example here is the Volvo C70. The benefits of retractable hardtop are improved security and climate control. However, there are a few tradeoffs which include increased mechanical complexity, reduced luggage capacity high cost and weight.
Conejo Auto Upholstery is your one-stop shop for convertible tops upholstery and replacements. We are a leading distributor of premium auto tops for all automakers including Mazda, Ford, Chrysler, Porsche, BMW, Audi, Mercedes and more. Our upholstery fabrics and other materials are of high quality and we offer them at competitive rates. Our replacement convertible tops are original, original quality materials and construction with factory direct prices. We provide fast shipping of all of our products and convertible tops accessories to make repairing or replacing your convertible top easy and affordable.
At Conejo Auto Upholstery, we have convertible tops upholstery and replacements of Honda, Porsche, Mazda, Audi, Chrysler, Jaguar, Ford, and other best-selling convertible models. You can find convertible car tops, convertible top parts, and headliners of each brand by the model as well as the year of the car.
Whether you are repairing or replacing your car’s convertible top, we recommend you hire professional convertible top installation experts for replacing your convertible tops and headliners. If you can’t locate a convertible top replacement professional or upholstery, contact us and we will provide one or help you find one in your locality. We also offer convertible top installation services for most car brands and models. Most of our convertible tops and accessories in our catalog are in stock and ready for immediate shipment within 24 hours.
We are your premier #1 auto upholsterer in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Moorpark, Camarillo, Ventura, Oxnard, Calabasas, Westlake Village, Agoura Hills, Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Oak Park, Newbury Park, Port Hueneme, and Chatsworth.