Introduction to the Restorer's Guide

For Identification, Research and Replication of Automobile Top Materials 

An understanding of trade and technical terms is often the beginning of knowledge about an aspect of vintage-car restoration. The same holds true for top materials. Although the auto industry is more than a century old, the very little bits of documentation about top materials offer limited help to the car hobbyist and restorer. I hope that this guide solves some of the problem of inadequate information.

For many readers, this guide to vintage car top materials might seem like too much information. I tried to present this in a way that allows you to glean as much or as little information as you want. For that reason, the guide offers several chapters and a Glossary that defines italicized and other relevant terms.

See Terms & Types to learn about the basic kinds of top materials and how they are constructed.

Details of Components explains the kinds of coatings and textiles used for top materials, then and now.

Documentation and Authentication offers practical keys to identifying historically correct top material for a vintage car.

Having identified historically correct material, how does the restorer best replicate that? See Current Options for guidance.

If you would like to republish this restorer's guide in whole or in part, please contact me via our company contact page. I also welcome corrections of additional information. Thank you for your interest in this feature!

Eric R. Haartz

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