Although a matter of debate, for us there is no better ride than one in a convertible. Whether cruising around town or flying up the interstate with the top down, it's easy to forget about the past workweek and enjoy the weekend-nothing but open road, blue skies, and sunshine. The down side is over the years, weather and improper care have left your convertible top with a less than stellar appearance. Many tops are in such bad shape the owners refuse to put them up, reducing drive time during the year. Let's face it-if there is even just a chance of rain and your top is in bad shape, are you going to go for a ride?

Such was the case of Dave and Amy Young's '68 B-Body. Recently purchased, the B-Body has been left to weather the elements, and a new top was the first of the repairs to be made.

We contacted Hydro-E-lectric, in Punta Gorda, Florida, to get our new top and back glass. Originally, the '68 came with a plastic rear window. It doesn't take much neglect for the plastic to form a yellowish tint, making it impossible to see through, so we opted for a glass rear window. Hydro-E-lectric supplies everything from top-lifting cylinders to hoses and latches. Convertible-top replacement is not a job for the faint of heart. It can be a trying task, but if you take your time and measure twice before you cut, it can be done. You'll need a friend's help (that way if something goes wrong, you have somebody to blame).

On the morning of the top install, Florida weather was true to form; the ride in the rain to Emo's Upholstery in Lakeland, Florida, confirmed our suspicions-man, did the roof leak. Even though it took Emo only the better part of a half day, he's been doing the job for quite some time. Plan on it taking a little more time if you do it yourself.

We asked Emo what he thought it would take to give our top the longest life possible in the Florida sun. His personal favorite is Formula 2001, by Turtle Wax. He has used it as a cleaner and protectant for quite some time. When your new top is finished, it's a good idea to leave it up for a week or so, and if it has small wrinkles, parking it in the sun can help remove them.

SOURCE
Steele Rubber Products
8-00/-544-8665
steelerubber.com
Emo's Upholstery
Lakeland
FL
8-63/-666-6995
Hydro-E-Lectric
9-41/-639-0437
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