Ford Thunderbird, 1955-57
Convertible Top and Convertible Top Parts
- Quality: Made to original specs, 100% fit guarantee.
- Original Configuration: Two piece top, top section and window section integrate upon installation. Molding over rear window and chrome tips supplied. Extra fabric for header bow seal included. Also included is 2" webbing used for pad attachment..
- 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.
- Original Fabrics: Haartz Pinpoint Vinyl in black, Ford white and Ford blue (a pale blue now discontinued); Haartz Stayfast Canvas in black.
- Windows: We offer tops with original plastic window. The windows are zippered, either with a wrap around ("horesshoe") zipper or a straight zipper. Both were original.
- Installation: Professional installation is suggested. A handy and meticulous person may consider DIY installation. This comprises use of a stapling gun and contact cement (as outlined in the manual summary in the link below.) There is no sewing involved. To locate a professional installer please enter "automobile upholstery shops near me" in your browser search bar.
- Shop with confidence: 6 year manufacturer warranty.
- Hydraulic Components: Hydraulic cylinders, motor pumps and hose sets all available and in stock.
- Preview our Convertible Top Installation Guide
Important InformationOriginal Factory Color(s): Black and White
Orginal Configuration: The original topping in these cars was Haartz stayfast canvas. We also offer the Haartz pinpoint vinyl.
Original Window:The top is available with a plastic rear window, all have exposed trim at the base of the window. The 1955 Ford Thunderbird had a horse-shoe zipper. The 1956-57 Thunderbird had a "regular" zipper, please specify if you want this in the checkout message box.
This is a classic "two part top." the main top and the rear window section are joined at the rear top cross bow. Our tops include molding to hide the attachment staples.
The plastic rear window is zippered. The zipper is a horseshoe zipper that allows complete opening of the window. This is the new industry standard and allows easier opening of the back window than the old fashioned straight zipper.
Padding sets and top bow tacking strips should last through two tops. These are offered as accessories. In this top there are three tacking strips: at the front bow. The rear top bow and at the rear baseline. Top pads include the long pads and the quarter pads.
Can i install this top myself?
this top is one of the “classic american two part tops.”
excellent instructions on installing these two part tops are contained
in the well written and illustrated chapter on top installation in the book:
“automotive upholstery handbook” by taylor.
you may purchase this book by going to our home page and selecting
“book on auto upholstery” from the product list.
we do offer these instructions tailored specifically for the thunderbird
in a separate brochure if you purchase a new top.
no sewing, or minimal sewing, is required in the installation.
stapling and glueing (contact) cement work is required
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 (Ford Thunderbird) fit cars for years: 1955, 1956 and 1957.