Convertible Top Fabrics
Convertible Top Cables
Boots and Headliners
Other Convertible Top Parts
Two Part Top Manual
Buying tops on line raises the same consumer issues as the purchase of any other commodity from a web site. You will note, as you proceed through our shopping process, that we have taken steps to reassure and serve our customers properly. These include the provision of contact information to any of several staff members who will handle any questions, special requests or difficulties.
- If you wish to place an order with us you can do it securely on this web site. Our website uses a secure server
for all our transactions, meaning that none of your personal information can be read by outside sources as it is transmitted
to us online.
- If you prefer to order by phone, you may call our toll free order line: 800-999-2892 between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm eastern
time Monday through Friday.
- You may also fax us at 401-789-5650. This is a 24 hour fax line which is located in the sales office and is not accessible
to any unauthorized personnel. It is secure.
- We accept VISA, MASTERCARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS cards. You may also enclose payment and remit to:
M & T Mfg. Co.
30 Hopkins Lane
South Kingstown, RI 02879
- General questions may be directed by email, or by phone to: 401-789-0472, or by fax to 401-789-5650. We are here from
Monday through Friday, 9 to 5:30 Eastern USA time.
- We ship worldwide. Shipping Information.
- All of our items come with a guarantee of quality and service. Warranty claims are processed quickly. Orders are processed by convertible top experts here, not by 'robots.' Questions are answered faithfully.
Almost all manufacturers use Haartz fabrics. They may specify "heaviest weight" or "original replacement" in ways that seem reassuring. But they do not really tell the whole story. Please bear in mind that two things dominate, by far, the quality issue: (a) the manufacturing quality control in the factory that makes the top and (b) the care and thoroughness of the installation. There is a trade-off in weight: heavier is better for resisting tear through, but lighter is better for flexibility and abrasion from within that may arise from movement. Almost all our tops are a flexible medium density (36 oz.) fabric. Heavier is not better in most cases. Where it is, because of the top design, we will say so and the top will be made of the heavier vinyl.
We will be happy to quote you on a "true double texture vinyl" top. This is a pinpoint with a butyl rubber core, like our stayfast. Generally these tops are about 30 percent higher in price than the regular pinpoint version.
- Haartz Pinpoint Vinyl (View) is the most popular fabric. This vinyl design is original to most American cars from the fifties to the nineties. Pinpoint refers to the little dots or pips that you see if you look closely at the vinyl surface. European cars, such as the old Beetles and others also used pinpoint vinyl as the topping fabric.
- Haartz Stayfast Canvas (View Regular) - (View Hot Rod) has a canvas outer layer and a preshrunk cotton inner layer. The two are bonded with and separated by a butyl rubber core. It is this core that makes the fabric last a very long time, with both better static and dynamic wear ratings than vinyl toppings. Haartz Stayfast is the American substitute for the German canvases used in Mercedes, Porsche, BMW, some models of Mustang and Lebaron and others. Canvas is widely regarded as "richer looking" than vinyl. It is a little harder to clean. The inside of the top is pre-shrunk cotton. The inner lining is usually black. If you do not see a canvas top listed for your car, please inquire and we will provide a quotation for it.
- Sonnendeck Canvas (also called 'Twillfast') (View) is an American made canvas, true double texture topping like the Haartz Stayfast. Many purists who own Mercedes and other German cars want to see the particular German weave (that is called "dobby weave") when they look up inside the car. Haartz Stayfast canvas has a plain (unwoven) inner lining. So for Porsche, Mercedes and BMW owners who will spend a little more in order to see that "dobby" weave we offer a fabric called Sonnendeck (in addition to the original German Sonnenland or Happich canvas. The wear rating of Sonnendeck is also greater than for Haartz, by perhaps 10%. This is due to the slightly heavier inner lining and subtle bonding specification differences.
- German Sonnenland Canvas (View) is the original German made canvas used in many Mercedes, Porsche, BMW and other convertibles. It's general construction is very similar to the other two canvases. It is hard to tell the surfaces apart among the three. But the manufacturing specifications make this the longest lasting top. There is an approximate twenty percent greater wear rating for Sonnenland than for Haartz Stayfast. Some of this is due to the abrasion resistance of the exterior canvas. This is a factor in certain tops where the framework design tends to produce friction between the top's surface and the car's hardware. (It is a well known 'trade secret' that the Haartz Division of Glen Raven Mills purchased the Sonnenland factory.)
- Chrysler Sailcloth (View) is featured on many late LeBarons, Sebrings, certain Mustangs and other cars. It is structurally (wear quality) equivalent to the Haartz Pinpoint but has a different surface grain. The grain was designed to imitate the look of canvas. As you can see from the scan of this fabric, it is an exceptionally rich looking material. It is sometimes chosen for replacing convertible tops that originally featured pinpoint vinyl.
- Cabrio Grain (View) is also structurally equivalent to the pinpoint. It has a pigskin outer grain vinyl as original to Volkswagen Cabriolets from 1984 onward and to Mazda Miatas and Mercury Capris.
- British Bison (also called Colonial Grain) (View) is the American made crush grain vinyl that imitates the much more expensive British Everflex vinyl original to many British convertibles. Color selection is limited. These are often referred to as 'crush grain' or 'leather grain' vinyls. They are structurally equivalent (wear rating) to the pinpoint, cabrio, and sailcloth vinyls.
- British Everflex Vinyl (View) We are now pleased to offer British Everflex Vinyl for classic English tops. This is the original material used on British convertibles including Jaguar, Rolls Royce and many others. Imported from England, British Everflex vinyl is a supple vinyl with a rich appearance and is more durable than other vinyls. A good, less expensive alternative is Colonial grain vinyl. Colonial has the same texture but is less durable.
- HV Denim (also called Twill Weave Vinyl) (View) is heavy duty sport material composed of a distinctive twill grain PVC outer layer and a polyester/cotton blend inside lining fabric.
We recommend replacing the hold down cables if the old ones are suspect. Cables are threaded through the side seams and their purpose is to provide tension to the sides of the top. Old cables can be stretched beyond their original effective length. And they may have snapped or be about to snap. However, old cables can be reused in almost half of all tops that are less than five years old that have had just one prior top.
Some cars, such as the Capri, or the Cavaliers and Sunbirds have two pair of side cables. There is a rear flap that is also held to the frame with cables. We find that these rear flap cables last longer than the main side cables, often through two or more tops. However the Capri rear cables, owing to their design, are usually replaced with each top.
Some cars, such as the Beetle, VW Cabriolet, some Jaguars, etc. use a different kind of tensioning cable that holds the top down tight to the body of the car along its rear belt line. Such cables should be replaced with a new top in most cases.BOOTS AND HEADLINERS
We can supply boots for many cars. We stock them for popular cars, such as the Beetle, VW Cabriolet and others where they were original equipment. But most boots are custom made and require two weeks to ship.
We recommend that "boot vinyl" be the fabric of choice for replacement boots. Top fabrics such as pinpoint do not have the flexibility inherent in modern boot vinyl. Please inquire on boots and headliners if not listed. We will quote you and provide fabric information if you inquire.OTHER CONVERTIBLE TOP PARTS
Top Pads can often be re-used in a second top. We sell fewer pads than cables. The term "pads" and "webbing" are sometimes used interchangeably in the industry. This is because some webbings are padded and because webbing is sometimes designed to "pad out" the convertible top.
Rear well liners are commonly attached to the back of tops until the sixties. Thereafter when present the well liners were usually independent of the top fabric. Well liners typically last a long time and are likely re-usable.
Tacking Strips are embedded into top frame bows in most cars from 1950 until the present. They replaced the wooden tacking forms used until about 1948 in American convertible top frames. Incidentally, Mercedes and Volkswagen used wood bows until much later. The old Beetles of 1979 had wood rear top bows. And the 2004 Rolls Royce has wood tacking forms too! Modern convertible tops are installed with staples and contact cement and the stapling is done into embedded "tacking strips" in the frame bows. Usually these are in the front (or 'header') bow and in the rear top bow (over the rear window.) We offer replacements for these tacking strips. We can also usually provide replacement tacking strips for the rear (base line) tacking strips to which the lower rear portion of the top is often stapled. Tacking strips, where used (usually in the front and rear top bows) usually last for two tops.INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS
We carry custom installation booklets for many of the tops that we carry based on our extensive experience. If you see an installation booklet listed (as an "accessory") then it is available specifically for that top. Package deals include custom manuals if available.
These comprehensive manuals are written from shop and dealer procedures. We cannot provide consulting services. Also, though we have checked carefully on accuracy and clarity, it is the installer's responsibility that the job be completed successfully.
Instruction booklets should be used in conjunction with careful notes you make during the removal of the old top.
Most American convertibles made after the forties are of a similar design. They consist of two parts: a "main top" which is the portion from the windshield to the bow above the rear window; and the "rear curtain" which is the rear window and its trim. They are joined during the installation process. Excellent instructions for this job are to be found in the "Guide To Installing Two Part Convertible Tops." This manual is $6 and is listed on most of the convertible top pages as an accessory. It is not listed where specific shop based guides are available, such as for the Miata (not a two part top).