Chevrolet Corvette, 1953-55
Convertible Top and Convertible Top Parts
Chevrolet Corvette Convertible Top Key Features:
- Quality: Made to original specs, 100% fit guarantee.
- Original Configuration: One-piece top, plastic window sewn in. Dealer warning tags are sewn under binding and below rear window. Tops have replacement pads and straps. Molding for over rear window with its chrome tips supplied.
- Our Top Package: Includes the top with w/plastic window sewn in, with pads & straps, and the above rear window molding with chrome tips.
- Original Factory Material: Haartz Stayfast Canvas in black, tan (with black or tan underside) and light neurtal
- Original Window: Plastic Window. Rear Window Date Stamp Available.
- Tacking Strips: The header and rear top bow channels are lined with tacking strips. As the cross-section dimensions in these cars vary we suggest measuring for your requirements. In most cases the plastic strips work.
- Alternate Materials: Chrysler sailcloth vinyl.
- All seams are doubly electronically welded and sewn for added reinforcement. Convertible top fabrics are mildew & mold resistant, and UV treated for color fastness. Plastic windows are DOT rated heavy 40-gauge thick vinyl.
- Shop with confidence: 6 year manufacturer warranty.
Important InformationOriginal Factory Color(s): Black, Tan and Light Neutral
Haartz Stayfast Canvas 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.
Chrysler Sailcloth Vinyl is a two ply composite made of a PVC sailcloth grain outer layer and a polyester/cotton lining fabric. It is the fabric developed for Sebrings and late model Mustangs several years ago. It is a vinyl whose surface grain emulates canvas. It is a less expensive, though beautiful, fabric than our canvas toppings. We therefore offer many of our originally canvas tops in this vinyl fabric.
Haartz Pinpoint Vinyl’s 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.
Original Windows:The original rear windows were plastic. The plastic windows we employ are always of the heaviest gauge plastic available.
Hold down cables:Cables are threaded through the top's inner side hems (the cable pockets) in later cars. At this writing, we are not certain that they were used in the 53-55 tops. If you require cables, please let us know as our factory makes them for the industry and we will either reproduce them as original or provide functional equivalents. Where used cables hold the top to the frame at the front corners and near the upper rear cornet. Cables are recommended with each top.
Tack Strips: Staples (or tacks) are used to attach the top at the header bow and rear top bow. These are driven into embedded tacking strips which are attached to the bows. Tack strips should last through two tops.
Top pads:The top is "padded out" along its sides with special webbing. Pads should last through at least two tops.
Package Specials: Our top packages include items needed for a complete top restoration. The top packages include an installation manual for this car's top. We can also quote on packages for you in any fabric and configuration.
Do-It-Yourself Installation:A sizable percentage of our customers do their own installation. Our manual, with notes made during the removal of the old top should allow owner installation; we cannot provide consulting services to installers. The top is attached with staples (or tacks) and with contact cement. There is no sewing involved.
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 (Chevrolet Corvette) fit cars for years: 1953, 1954 and 1955.