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1958 small softtop



I just purchased my dream 1958 corvette in nov. 2001 . I also have a 78. My 58 has a 20 yr. old restoration on it and hasn't been driven much more than a couple of thousand miles since then. The softtop looks just like brand new. The only problem is that it shrank. If I try and put it up it puts so much strain on the windshield pillars that I am afraid of damage. I was wondering if anyone knows it there is a way to strech these tops. Please let me know if you have any advice. or email me b.reid@vettepics.com.
Welcome To The Corvette Action Center 58Bill!

Hey Bill, I may be out of my league here in the solid axle group, but are you sure the previous owner just never put the top up, and it is not shrunken, but rather just never stretched into place to begin with? ;)

_ken :w
This is a common issue with restored C1's, as installers fit the new tops nice and tight, in a warm trim shop, with no wrinkles (factory-installed tops were fairly loose, and had their share of wrinkles). Best approach is to put the top up, clamped at the windshield header only, with the rear bow clamps just engaged in the retainer loops (not clamped down to the top compartment lid), and park it in the warm sun (which may take a while seeing where you live :) ). After a couple of hours in the sun, see if you can clamp it down at the rear. If it still is excessively tight, take it to a trim shop and see if they can relieve some material at the front header to loosen it up a little.

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