T-Tops and Hard Top Structural Differences

Casenator

New Member
Jun 12, 2013
10
Utah
Even being after-market, the uniqueness of having T-tops in an early 2nd-gen is kind of special. As the article stated, it isn't common to see them, so they really do catch a person's eye. Personally, I think they look great with the glass out (I rarely put mine on), but that comes down to personal taste. I've not really had any problems with mine over the past 30 years.

It's the doors that are my PITA. By choice, I'd rather put my little bit of money on other areas of my car instead. One day I'll fix them right. What can I say, I like to drive it often (and sometimes harder than what is considered safe). I've even driven it in rainstorms without the tops on (not on purpose though). All I could do was smile as everyone stared and laughed as water dripped off my hair and face while sitting at stoplights. I learned quick to carry the tops in the trunk at all times. They actually fit quite nicely back there and they don't move around.
 

third_edition

Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 7, 2004
88
Braeside, Ontario, Canada
Hi,
If you don't care about the back window, I would find a nice T-Top car and then convert to a 70 - 73. My reasons for doing this are: You get the integrity of a factory chassis T-Top (that will take away a lot of your worries); A 70 - 73 car will have a small rear window which, although I personally like better, was never intended to have T-Tops; You can buy virtually all of the front and rear end sheet metal "re-popped" for a 70 - 73 (this makes your conversion essentially, except for the rear light panel, a bolt-on); Yo won't be fighting with a warped roof panel after cutting and welding on a 70 - 73 for the T-Tops; The interior of the car will not have to be modified at all; and finally, the big reason, you will pay a lot more for an early small window car and have more trouble finding one in good shape (there are some out there but a lot of them need major surgery which would be extra cost for your project).

This is just my opinion and based on what "I" would do not necessarily what would be the best thing for "You" to do.

Good Luck,
George
 

Bentley

Veteran Member
Aug 14, 2020
178
I was in the glass business when these were pretty popular... The shop I worked at received " memo's that the roofs of these cars had more structural support added to them when being converted by the manufacturers at the shops they had do the install...
A local " national chain " glass shop was cutting out the entire roof section ( like a targa porsche) and installing a new section with T-Tops in them.. We saw those cars later as they "sagged" in the middle and were breaking windshields due to the stress put on them.....
Stopped one time to watch, as the " technician" was sawing the top out with his skil saw.... Scared the be jesus out of My boss and I....
NO POP TOPS ( the ugliest thing ever) and NO after market T tops... that is what I recommend after living the "nightmare" when these were the " rage ".......
 

Z-28 Roadracer

New Member
Aug 23, 2014
12
Winneconne, WI
Wife's '78 Z-28 has the C&C tops, my'78 T/A has every option but T-tops. I do not like them and someday, when I have time, I'm going to swap the roof on the Z for a solid one. I might feel differently if:
1) The roof didn't twist when going in and out of driveways (yes, it has subframe connectors welded in and a 4-point roll bar, maybe door bars would help).
2) They didn't rattle.
3) They didn't leak (no seals available for C&C tops, Fisher parts are available).
4) There was a way to restrain them when removed (3rd gen's have mounting points under the hatch to lock them in place, 2nd gen's got a lightly padded bag).

If you really, really want them, find a Fisher T-top car and convert it to look old. But if you find an old car that you want to mod, there is a guy on Milwaukee Craigslist parting Camaros. He's had T-Top roof assemblies listed.

As I recall, Hurst started selling them around 1975 or '76 and they were getting popular. After Smokey and the Bandit came out, they couldn't make them fast enough. That's when GM developed them (Fisher). There were a few convertibles built but they are really rare.

Convertible Z-28.JPG
 

Ihada70Z28B4

Veteran Member
Oct 4, 2002
207
Buffalo,NY,USA
If you can afford to do all that with one car, then all the time involved, which is usually 5x longer than you think it will take. I think you're better off with either 2 separate cars that have the features you both want, or decide on one car or the other.
 




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