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Convertible top up or down??

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
I have noticed that the convertible top on my 64 is in very bad shape after only a couple of years. During the summer I leave the top down and rarely put it up. It goes in the garage and I only put the top up if I get caught in bad weather. During the winter, when I am lucky to take it out 1 or 2 times a month, I may also leave it down unless it will be a long down time when I put it up and cover the car. Since I am about to get a new top and want to keep it nice for as long as I can I was wondering if it may be best to keep it up rather than down when garaged? Would it be best if kept up and not latched?? I was just wondering about everyones thoughts on this subject.
 
B

born2saw

Guest
Don't know if I am right, but, I have been told that the top should always be strored up. Something about keeping the material stretched & preventing permanent creases. It also is suppose to keep the rear window nicer longer. I find the interior stays cleaner when I keep the top up in garage.

However, I try to only drive the car when it is nice enough to put the top down. A dealer once told me that all Corvette convertibles are leaky & I replied -- you only drive them with the top down.

I'm curious what every one else thinks.
 

WayneC

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 5, 2002
Messages
472
Location
Santa Barbara CA
Corvette
63 roadster project
I agree... top up is best. But, if you have an auxiliary hardtop, that's hard to do unless you have a lot of space and don't mind putting the hardtop on & off frequently.
 

WhalePirot

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Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
2,942
Location
SoCA
Corvette
1984 White Z-51/ZF6-40/Shinoda body
Top up makes sense to me, too, but I'd ask the folks who do your top about proper care and feeding.

:w
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
The jobber that installed my top specifically told me to ALWAYS leave it up, and only drop it when I am driving it. That keeps it stretched, tight, and it keeps it from forming wrinkles and creases in the folds.
 

richscorvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Messages
400
Location
Connecticut
Corvette
1963 & 2007 Z06 Coupes
Kerry,

Everyone has already covered the reasons for storing with the top up. I've had the same problem with creases in the vinyl from storing it down for too long a period.

One other thought, if you still want to keep it down for extended periods and aren't concerned with originality, is to replace the vinyl with the newer material like that used on the C5. I had one made by Al Knoch and it's less prone to the crease problem but I can't comment yet on what it will do to it's life span. With either material I'm sure storing it up will still be best in the long run.

Rich Lagasse
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,299
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
Back in my younger days we always put our hardtops on in the late fall and took them off in May. Probably wasn't the best thing to do. Today I would use the hardtop in late fall when it's fairly cold out then remove it and put the car away for winter top up.

Tom
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2002
Messages
7,246
Location
Washington, Michigan
Corvette
'67 Marina Blue Convertible
I put my 67's top down in the Spring (after cleaning it thoroughly) with a towel in the window fold, and it stays that way all through the driving season unless I get caught in the rain or when I wash it; I put it up when I put the car to sleep for the winter, unless I need it down to work on the car.
 

richscorvettes

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 6, 2002
Messages
400
Location
Connecticut
Corvette
1963 & 2007 Z06 Coupes
When John mentioned the towel to protect the rear window it reminded me of another thing I've found helpful in keeping the rear window from getting scratched and in shape. It's a "window pillow" which is a round foam filled deal that keeps the folded areas apart and also helps to avoid creases. I suppose a folded towel may work just as well but these are only about $12 or so and they work well.

While on the subject of convertible tops, I've also found the deck lid protector that goes between the top and rear deck lid to help in avoiding the mark you often get from the weatherstrip seal rubbing against the paint.

Rich Lagasse
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,299
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
richscorvettes said:


While on the subject of convertible tops, I've also found the deck lid protector that goes between the top and rear deck lid to help in avoiding the mark you often get from the weatherstrip seal rubbing against the paint.

Rich Lagasse

I've been thinking about geting one of those for the '59. I need to get paint first though. :eyerole

Tom
 

Subfixer

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Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
634
Location
Groton, CT. USA
Corvette
1964 White Roadster
I keep the top up unless I'm driving around. When I put the hard top on, I remove the soft top and store it unfolded.
 

Tom Bryant

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Administrator
Joined
Nov 9, 2000
Messages
7,299
Location
Edgerton, Ohio, United States
Corvette
1959 black 270hp (9/2/69) 1981 Beige L81(10/20/80)
That seems like a lot of work Paul. I suppose you have all of the brackets marked so you don't have to spend a lot of time adjusting. How long does it take?

Tom
 

Subfixer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 28, 2002
Messages
634
Location
Groton, CT. USA
Corvette
1964 White Roadster
Side brackets are scribed, so rmoval and installation only takes about 15 minutes. I remove the fiberglas side panels (2 screws and one bolt at the bottom), then remove the 2 bolts on each side that hold the frame in place. Install is the reverse. I've done this twice so far without any problems.
 

sidepipe

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 20, 2002
Messages
52
Location
Potsdam NY
Corvette
1965 Convertible/2004 MSG Convertible
I've had a '65 convertible for 10 years with the same top, and it still looks great. I drive it with the top down, but when parked in the garage, the top is up and unlatched. It has no tears or cracks and tends to keep it's shape. Also no tension on the windshield frame and rear deck, (probably over cautious on that, but I love her!). I found by putting a heavy bath towel in the fold of the plastic window, when it's down, will prevent the window from rubbing on itself and stay clear.. IMHO...Frank
 

Lucy64

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2002
Messages
369
Location
South Riding, VA, USA
Corvette
1964 Red Convertible and 2005 DSOM Z51 Coupe
sidepipe....sounds good to me. This is sort of what I figured after mine got trashed in such a short time. Thanks for the input everyone.......Kerry
 

Radar

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 23, 2001
Messages
200
Location
Oconomowoc, WI
Corvette
1989 Medium Blue Metalic Convertible
I have the original factory white top on my 89 and it is still in pretty good shape. It has a few very small cracks at the folding points but is still very servicable. I always store the car with the top up and streched in place. I also have that tube style pillow for the window. The window is in good shape too. So far so good and it is hard to argue with success.

Radar :beer
 

youwish2bme

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2003
Messages
471
Location
Clayton,NC.
Corvette
White 66 vert
Well I do as others have said. I most of the time put the top up when I get home but don't latch it at either the front or back the rear deck lid up. When it's down, it's got a towel in the window to cut down on scratching against itself.
As for what Paul mentioned, it's what I have to help my pop do every year. In November we pull the convertable top out and sit it covered in his basement and put the hardtop on. Then in May it's the exact opposite. It's a little bit of a pain but it only takes about an hour with two people. Just make sure as said before to scribe the plates. Don't be surprised if one of the captive nuts is no longer captive. Just be prepared for it when you remove it the first time.
 

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