Austin Healey Sprite, 1958-60
Convertible Top and Convertible Top Parts
There are two slightly different Sprite tops, which differ in how they attach:
The Sprites made during 1958 and 1959 have 9 studs on the windshield
to which the top fastens with snaps.
The Mark I Sprites, from 1958 to 1961, also called "Bugeyes"
have two studs plus a metal bar on the windshield.
- Quality: Made to Austin Healey specs, 100% fit guarantee.
- Original Configuration: One piece top with 3 plastic rear windows
- Original Factory Material: British Everflex Vinyl
- Original Colors: Black
- Alternate Materials:Haartz Stayfast Canvas, British Bison (Haartz Leather Grain) Vinyl
- Warranty: These tops are made by Robbins and carry their 6 year factory warranty with 18 month labor allowance.
- Installation: The top fastens with tenax fasteners and shaps which are engaged to the body studs. Fasteners and snaps are supplied. The top fastens to the front bow with contact cement. The process is described in our install manual and is within the capabilities of a methodical, handy person. To llocate an installer near you type "auto upholstery shops near me" in your browser search bar.
- About Fabrics: The original British Everflex Vinyl is a three layer topping as is Stayfast Canvas. The canvas has a rich canvas outer layer. British Bison is a two layer version of Everflex.
Important InformationOriginal Factory Color(s): Black
There are two slightly different Sprites on this page. The C-508 tops cover the
Sprites made during 1958 and 1959 which have 9 studs on the windshield to which the top fastens.
The Mark I Sprites, from 1958 to 1961, also called "Bugeyes," have two studs plus a metal strip on the windshield.
(These models have "AN5" as part of the VIN number.)
Please distinguish between the Mark I and the earlier Sprites in selecting your top.
Also note that some 1961 models are Mark II's. The Mark II cars are on a separate page.
The Mark II cars had the headlights moved out to the fender fronts and were a more rectangular car.
The original top fabric for both tops on this page was a crush grain British vinyl. Our tops are
made precisely to original patterns and use the American made counterpart crush grain vinyl.
Crush grain vinyl tops are available in black or white.
We also offer the top in Haartz Stayfast canvas and in Haartz pinpoint vinyl.
These fabrics offer a wider color selection. All are made with the plastic rear windows sewn in as original.
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.
- Sonnenland® is a German-made 3-ply topping made up of an acrylic twill-weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a polyester "dobby backing." The dobby backing is a knit-like weave original to many high-end foreign cars. Customers who value originality over cost often pay top dollar for Sonnenland, just to have that authentic "dobby backing," seen only when you look up at the roof of your convertible top from inside your car. Sonnenland canvas is a top-of-the-line material original to various Audi, BMW, and Jaguar convertibles, among others. Sonnenland Canvas can vary in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance, but all Sonnenland Canvas promises elegance and long-lasting durability.
- Twillfast®, also called Sonnendeck Canvas, is an American-made canvas - a cost-effective substitute for Sonnenland. Twillfast is usually a 3-ply topping (though some versions are 5-ply) with Polyester and/or Polyester/cotton backings. This material, original to certain Camaro, BMW, Mustang, and VW Beetle convertibles, among others, varies in terms of surface weave and/or weight for acoustic performance. Twillfast Canvas is identical to Sonnenland Canvas - elegant and durable - only it's less expensive. This is a top-notch convertible top material, one we often recommend to savvy customers who like a good buy and a quality product.
- Stayfast Canvas is an elegant, durable canvas original to cars like the Mazda Miata and the Nissan 370Z. Stayfast is commonly used in replacement convertible tops. Stayfast canvas has an acrylic square weave facing, a rubber inner-layer, and a cotton backing. As with other canvases, the rubber core gives the fabric long-lasting durability. Stayfast canvas is a sleek, beautiful canvas, usually less expensive than Twillfast, but it does not have the dobby backing offered in Sonnenland and Twillfast (Sonnendeck). Stayfast is a popular upgrade to vinyl convertible tops, and as with any canvas, is richer looking and has a higher wear rating than convertible tops made of vinyl.
- Haartz Pinpoint Vinyl 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.
- Chrysler Sailcloth 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 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.
- A5S German Canvas (Robbins) The 100% Acrylic Twill Weave Surface Cloth receives a special flame singing treatment to remove the fabric knap; and is laminated to Black 100% Polyester Dobby backing.
This is the original topping for Porsche Boxster and Cabrio convertible tops. 59 inches (150 cm) wide, made in Germany.
- British Bison Vinyl is the most popular British roadster convertible top material. It is American made Haartz leather grain vinyl and is an imitation of the British Everflex vinyl top fabric. The British Bison Vinyl convertible top fabric is often referred to as 'crush grain.'
- British Everflex Vinyl 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) is heavy duty sport material composed of a distinctive twill grain PVC outer layer and a polyester/cotton blend inside lining fabric.
- Trilogy Acoustic Vinyl A heavyweight vinyl that is often used on SUVs like Jeep, because the two-ply composite has the capacity to reduce noise by about 20 percent compared to standard vinyls like Sailcloth. The vinyl material is durable, promises long-lasting wear-and-tear, and resembles the sleek twill cloth commonly found on luxury convertible cars.
- Haartz Twillfast RPC This American-made canvas has a twill weave pattern and resembles German-made Sonnenland canvas. It is a great all-purpose canvas and, according to Haartz, is used on 99 percent of convertibles. It is stronger and more durable than Stayfast Canvas and offers more sound protection. Haartz rates Twillfast RPC as a mid-level acoustic product, compared to the low-level sound reduction offered on other top materials like Stayfast
Parts in this category (Austin Healey Sprite) fit cars for years: 1958, 1959 and 1960.