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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My El Camino originally came equipped with a green vinyl top. I could never figure out why people like vinyl tops. Is it because it makes the car look like a convertible, or what? I sort of like them because I think that they help when you want to put stuff on the roof temporarily because then at least you don't have to worry about scratching the paint.

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1970 Chevy Custom El Camino aka Kaileigh
Left the Baltimore factory on November 25, 1969
Green Mist #45 w/Green Vinyl Top
350ci/300HP 4bbl Small Block
Factory Dual Exhaust and Rally Wheels
My Elky Home Page - http://www.dreamelectric.com
 

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I just like having 2 colors on a car makes it look better but they do make it look like a convertable i for the longest time thought this cuda @ work was a convertable but was just a vinyl top.
 

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Another reason for the V-tops, was that the factory didn't have to spend as much time smoothing body seams...The V-tops hide imperfections much better than shiny paint does...My '69 Meano (my first car) had a fake "paint-on" V-top; white V-Top on a red body with lower edge of the body panels silver -- mmmmm 70s. Was the factory leading the consumers or consumers leading the factory?

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68 El Camino...Slow, Much Work Required
98 Z28...Fast, No Work Required
Goodfellow AFB, San Angelo, TX -- Where? That's what I said..
 

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I bought my 74 Laguna new and it had a vinyl top on it. As Rich says above, they were the "in" thing then. My car just would not look right to me without a vinyl top. So when I had the body restored recently, I had the vinyl top put back on, even though I know the underside of the vinyl holds moisture and aggravates the rust problem that all these older Chevys have in the area where the top meets the main part of the body.

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Larry
Gold Member #245
Seattle WA

[This message has been edited by larrym (edited 11-25-99).]
 

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Vinyl tops are like bell bottoms and platform shoes. You take one look at them now and ask yourself, "What the hell were we thinking?"
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's some interesting stuff about those tops. I guess that explains why we never see any cars today with them. My Elky (when it was new) was mist green with a green vinyl top with silver on the lower body panels and rally wheels. That's a pretty nice looking non-SS if I ever saw one. I don't think you find too many non-SS's with rally wheels.
Also, about the rust under the vinyl tops- would POR-15 work good here? Just a thought.


[This message has been edited by Shawn (edited 11-26-99).]
 

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i've always been told that the factory put vinyl tops on vehicles that had damaged roofs because it was cheaper to hide the damage than it was to repair it. i know that was true of the two cars i've had that i removed the vinyl tops from.
 

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I've had several cars that had vinyl tops and I REALLY hate them. Great place for rust to grow!

DJRisberg is correct in the reasoning why the factorys liked to push them.

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Wes. Vann
Technical Reference section
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When my wife and I bought our 70 Chevelles in 1970, we both opted for the vinyl top. It gave the car a "richer" look than just the naked roof. Of, course if they were SS models, I probably woudn't have got them that way. As Malibu's, one white, the other Forrest Green, the black vinyl top accented the body, especially with the stainless trim pieces. New cars don't have any style anyway, so it really doesn't matter anymore. It's like driving around in an insect or jelly bean!
 

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My 1972 still has the original white vinyl top. It's still in great condition. As for the sloppy body work were the quarter meets the roof. Mine is bad. You can really feel the line and you can't tell becuase of the vinyl top. Accually, I like the way vinyl tops look on some cars. It just depends.

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Bryan Shook
Burgettstown, Pa.
1972 El Camino
www.geocities.com/motorcity/speedway/6673
Favorite Quote: Some people have shrinks. Some people have their garage.
 

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Some Chevelles look cool with vinyl tops.
I've always liked the look of a red '72 SS
with a black vinyl top. As a side note in a
book I've read entitled Camaro A to Z/28, in the 1969 SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) Trans Am Racing season the Penske team had a 69 Camaro with a vinyl roof. It was the familiar Sunoco Blue with a black top. The team was on a tear that season and some of the teams noted that they were running with a vinyl roof.(some actually complained that the vinyl roof made them go "quicker" but there were no rules stating you could'nt run with a vinyl roof). Needless to say other teams started ordering their Trans Am racers Mustangs, Cudas, Cougars etc. with the vinyl tops just to see if they could run as fast.
Penske's Chevrolet backed team won the SCCA championship that year,actually dominated the series both years 1968 and 1969.At the end of the series Donahue who drove the 69 Camaro
Z/28 was asked about the vinyl roof and responded "we ordered the Z/28 and it just
happened to be one with a vinyl roof, there was no time to rip it off for the first race
so they just went with it". Later they admitted that it wasn't any faster with the vinyl but played it up and stuck with it just
because it caused such a controversy!


[This message has been edited by Joe B (edited 11-29-99).]
 

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They were a fad that brought lots of money into the carmaker's coffers. The original intent I believe was to offer a simulated convertible top (check out a '62 - '64 Impala Sport Coupe). Some cars look really nice with them ('66 & '67 Chevelles, 1st generation Camaros, esp. Rally Sports); while some other cars looked awfull with them (Toronados, Torino Sportsroofs). They are problematic in that the promote rust (use baby oil on it, honest!). I personally find it more comfortable to hang my hand from the roof rail of a vinyl roofed car than one without.

P.S. I remember going through the African Lion Safari in Rocton, Ontario with monkeys riding on the roof as they litterally ripped the vinyl roof to shreds! Too funny! (A friend's car)
 

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I had a 66ss396 triple black, and the vinyl top really looked good. I know they are a place for rust to develop, but these cars dont get the abuse they did when new, and I think most are garaged so the rust thing shouldnt happen anymore. I am currently deciding whether to paint my 66ss hardtop black or red, but either way will get a black vinyl top..on the right car they kick
ass!

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70 chevelle ss396 conv
66 chevelle ss396 hdp/conv
55 chevy prostreet
 

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I myself dont like them,dont get me wrong some cars look good with them,I just dont like em.like someone said here,25-30 years age they were the hot item! 67RAT member #199
 

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I think it all depends on the car and what else it going on. Frankly I think a Chevelle that is solid, all one color with no stripes, nothing, it missing something. Personally, I think that the V-top really accentuates the great lines of the Chevelle.

I have had two '69 Chevelles. The first was a tripple black. My present car is red. The guy that I bought it from didn't like the V-top but painted that area black. As part of the "improvement process", I'll put back the top.

You can see both cars at:

www.bee.net/juncosa/chevelle

Bob
 

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Shawn, The Chrysler LHS has a vinyl top option listed for it. I passed one the other day on the road.It was a Light Mist Green color, and had a Medium Green Vinyl top.It looked kinda funny when we pulled up beside it, but we passed each other a few times, and the more I looked at it, the better it looked.
My '72 had a black vinyl on it, and I removed it about 3 mos. ago.There were several places where the factory had applied bondo on it, so the "Old Wives Tale " about the damaged roofs still exists in my mind.Not to the point of paint and body work just yet, so I have a while to decide whether to replace it, or leave it off.Due to the damage though, it will probably get put back on.

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1972 Malibu (1 st. car) Project waiting to happen / Team Chevelle # 427 / A.C.E.S. # 1282


[This message has been edited by Doug Garland (edited 11-29-99).]
 

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Joe B - some people say that the Penske Trans Am Z/28 had a vinyl top to hide a wavy roof. They say Penske acid dipped the body to make it lighter which was aganst the rules. Then not wanting to get caught he had to hide the wavey roof with the vinyl top. Not sure if its true but I read that somewhere.
 

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All I have to say is take a gander at my V-Top... with out it the car would scream "Dying Family car" but with it it quietly says "Dying Family Car with Class" I think the top looks real good on the 70-72 cars.

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Francis Taracido Gold# 201 :)
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Well, I'm the second owner of my '71 Malibu, which was a sandlewood color with a brown vinyl top. After about 25 years and 2 people telling me that there was rust underneath, I took it off only to find that the "cracking" sound you heard when pushing down on it at the rear quarters was just the vinyl top cracking. No rust at all. Its' now being taken' down to bare metal and the guy says its' one of the straightest bodies he has ever worked on.

Maybe its luck or maybe just good fortune that I managed to buy one that the factory didn't screw up the body lines and never got any rust underneath.

I love the look and when the paint and body are done, the vinyl roof will go back on also.

Just my two cents worth.
 
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