Can anybody recommend a good conditioner to use to revitalize an old top (not original, but very old replacement) that has shrunk a bit? A Google search turns up Rejuvenate; has anybody used this product?
The car in question has an overall patina that would lose some of its charm if the top were replaced with a spiffy new top. But, it would be nice if the existing top covering could be softened up enough to have the front bow rest in the proper position in relation to the windshield.
I have seen a top on a touring car stretched back into length by 2 home made adjustable stretchers. They pushed on the front bow but I don't remember where they sat at the back, possibly the rear seat, possibly the rear bow. The fellow said it took a couple of months of slowly adjusting the tension up on them to get the top back to length. He said that after that he always kept the top up when the car was not in use w/the top down.
I leave my tops down in the summer but in the winter they are up. My thought was this would prevent them from shrinking (cold weather shrinks everything).
Not sure how successful I am but our oldest top still fits nicely.
I read this somewhere a long time ago, but it kinda' made sense and for some reason, became one of those few things that seemed to "stick" in my ever-aging mind:
The gist of the article was that the most wear on an antique automobile top occurs when driving continuously for months at a time (and probably even longer in some southern climates) with the top down. The main thought here is that eventually, the folded down top collects abrasive dirt & dust between the folds, and the continual rubbing together of the folds, due to wind, vibration, etc. with the abrasive dirt & dust causes much more wear to the fabric that any wear that would occur with the top up. Anyway, seemed to make sense to me,.....FWIW,......harold