Convertible tops

Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks

Convertible tops are associated with convertible cars. A convertible or commonly referred to as only “convertibles”, is a car that is driven with or without a roof. The vehicle’s roof can be detached fully or retracted. The selling point of these convertible cars is that it facilitates the driver and passengers an open-air driving experience. Almost all convertibles have the option of retracting the roof when needed.Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks

There are basically two types of roof tops for convertibles. The materials used in the folding roof tops of convertibles are usually textile-based fabric, whilst retractable and detachable hardtops are made from plastic or metal.  Convertibles with detachable hardtops come with the option to manually remove the plastic or metal roof and stored in the trunk.

The concept of convertible vehicles isn’t new. Most classic or vintage cars didn’t have any roofs or sides.  At the end of the 19th century, as automobile engines became more capable and powerful, car makers began putting folding textile or leather roofs on cars. Automakers charged a premium for these models which resembled like Victorian-era horse carriages.  On the other hand, less expensive cars such as touring cars or roadsters were left either open air or fitted with simple folding tops and detachable side curtains.

Modern convertibles have two-door while some convertibles come in four-door configurations. Convertibles are also known as two-seaters, Cabriolet, Cabrio, drop top, open top, soft top, spider, and spyder. In the UK, two-door convertibles are referred to as drophead coupés, whilst four-door convertibles are named all-weather tourers.

Convertibles: Should Buy Or Not To Buy?

Convertibles are fun to drive, have good ventilation, and it is easier to enter and exit the car. But there are some drawbacks. The biggest one is reduced structural rigidity. However, this isn’t the problem anymore in modern convertibles because of development in the engineering process. Other cons include diminished rear visibility, less cargo space, increased wind noise, poor break-in protection, accumulation of dust and moisture inside the car, shrinkage, and degradation of upholstery or materials used in the roof top due to exposure to sunlight.

Convertible Top Types

There are three types of convertible tops used in modern convertible cars.

  1. Textile/Fabric Tops – Most convertibles have a top that is made of flexible textiles. In addition to fabrics, other kinds of materials such as latex, vinyl, jute, and rayon and acrylic fibers like Orlon are also combined in the manufacturing of convertible tops. More recently, the automobile industry is using polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in convertible tops. Nowadays, most convertible tops have a combination of two materials; the top layer being PVC, while the lower layer is a cotton-based fabric.
  2. Detachable Hardtop – Detachable hardtops are sturdy and can be removed and stored in the car’s trunk. Detachable hardtops have enhanced soundproofing, weatherproofing, and have better structural rigidity than fabric-based convertible tops. With detachable hardtops, automakers have the option of putting windscreens and rear-window defrosters on their convertibles. A great example of this design is the Mercedes SL (2nd-generation and 3rd-generation), Porsche Boxster, and Mazda MX-5. The major disadvantage of detachable hardtops is that the mechanism is expensive.

However, carmakers are cutting back on detachable hardtops due to the improvements in canvas or fabric-based convertible tops. Furthermore, car buyers also don’t seem to like the fact that the detachable hardtop needs to removed manually and needs to be stored in the garage rather than the trunk. Nonetheless, carmakers are willing to offer it as an option.

  1. Retractable Hardtop – Retractable hardtop is another variation of a retractable hardtop. This convertible top can be automatically operated and self-stored.  The Volvo C70 is a good example of this design feature.  The major benefits of retractable hardtops are better security features and improved climate control.  There are a few drawbacks too with this design as well such as mechanical complexity, high cost and weight, and reduced luggage capacity.

If you thinking about repairing or replacing your car’s convertible top, we recommend you hire experienced convertible tops technicians and auto upholsterers.  If you can’t find a professional convertible top technician or upholsterers, contact Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks for all of your for convertible tops upholstery and replacements. Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks is your one-stop shop for all of your vinyl upholstery repairs and replacements.

Whether you are repairing or upgrading the upholstery of your car, truck, RV, convertible motorhome, motorcycle, boat, yacht, or airplane, Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks is your one-stop solution.  We also provide the best quality craftsmanship at the best rates. If you thinking about your next upholstery project for your car, truck, RV, convertible motorhome, boat, or yacht, make Convertible Tops Thousand Oaks, your number one choice

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.

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