Convertible topsPublished on 12 September 2020
The tops of the more expensive convertibles have for a long time been trimmed with horsehair. In cold or wet weather, these luxurious hoods provided warmth and comfort. The restoration of these tops is one of the most difficult jobs for the automobile trimmer. The process starts with the revision of the hood frame. This needs to be flexible, but without play and with proper alignment to open and close smoothly. If the frame is complete, the woolen lining is made and mounted under the frame. Subsequently, on the upper side of the hood frame a ‘cover’ is mounted, on which the horsehair is sewn. Finally on top of the horsehair the cabriolet top is made.
In the pictures above you can see how in the wood department, and in the upholstery department of Bart Holland a large hood is made for a 1929 Praga Piccolo. The frame has many solid wood connections – typical for that time – all of which are renewed.
The whole process can also be seen in the pictures of a 1952 Jaguar XK 120 DHC.
There are also pictures of a Mercedes 220 Cabriolet from 1952. This car was restored in 1995 and the owner recently came to tell us that it is a pleasure in summer and winter to ride in the car: warm in winter with the roof closed and wonderful touring in the summer with the hood open.