Who makes a Touring top that fits? I'm talking the 17-22 style. I have not installed one lately but the last one I did install was a very poor fit. A guy in our club just installed a 26-27 top and it flares out on the sides. He said he could not stretch the thing to fit with two people pulling.
I just completed (October)a top for my 22 touring.
I purchased the top kit from Snyder's, and other than the instructions which covered every top from 08-27, the top fit well. Granted the installation was time consuming, tack, pull, align, remove tack, retack, pull, align, etc. I used a 2x12 between two ladders which sufficed as a scaffold so I could work back and forth without going up and down a ladder which gets old quick. Also make sure the top is installed in a warm climate. Trying to tension the fabric while its cold is a losing battle. Take your time, and don't rush. I wanted to get the top done so I could show off the car. But the quicker I worked, the more screw-ups I made. Pull tacks, realign, retack, etc. Remember, once you cut the material, you cannot put it back. Good luck.
From listening to discussions among guys who've put tops on from various vendors, it appears to me that the fit may vary due to the patterns used by many of these outfits. Several individuals have mentioned getting comments back from vendors over the phone when complaining about various aspects. Usually something to the effect that, "guess it's time to make new patterns". From such comments I can only guess that the makers are using power shears of some sort and sometimes trim off a bit of the pattern while cutting the top material. After several passes, the pattern no longer is dimentionally correct and the tops end up too small?
Just thinking out loud here.
Brendan, Classtique is just up the pike from me. They do pretty good work. Been a while since I've seen your brother Bernie. You guys still doing your Doughty 500?
Aren't the blueprints for the tops and top material available in the archives at the Benson Ford center??? How come none of the top suppliers seem to know what the correct original dimensions are?
I solved the problem. I made my own top and upholstery. I went to school and learned how to do it. I only wish I was 30 years younger! I think it would be a good job to have. A note for those who haven't heard. The new turf grain material is very close to the original Ford grain. I purchased mine from Langs. They sell it by the foot. Also Langs has the original binding used for doors and tops. Another thing, make sure the buttons they use for the upholstery are not fabric covered. Ford used shiny black steel buttons.
I know that Mark & Sheri Cameron have obtained prints for some tops at one time or the other. What I was alluding to is that top manufacturers do the same thing as my mom and grandmothers did. These women used the same tissue paper patterns over and over again until a dress made from same no longer fit (which, let's admit, can happen more than one way).
I think the top makers typically take a tracing of the Ford print, and use that pattern over and over again until someone calls and says "Hey, my top doesn't fit!" Another possibility is that they cut a half dozen parts at one time. If the shear isn't held perpendicular while cutting multiple layers one part or another is not going to be per print. Then there's the tendency for some layers to creep as one advances a shear.
For the more popular tops, I doubt anyone bothers to do a "one off".
Thanks for the info. I will look them up.
Yes, we still do the Doughty 500 every year.
You should join us some time.