Do It Yourself Convertible Top

By Jason Walker / Photography By Brian Brennan

Sid Chavers, Co., lift-off convertible top.

Many of us out there love to complete as much of our car's construction as possible, but when it comes to the challenges of upholstery, well, let's just say that stuff should most often be left to the professionals. That is unless you have the kind of time it takes to learn a trade like upholstery on top of building the car, taking care of a family, and holding down a decent job to fund the entire process. Besides, even though we all know a good upholsterer it isn't cheap, when you see the results, the money spend seems more than fair. So what about a happy medium?

Mark applies masking taop to protect body.

Lately we have seen more and more do-it-yourself upholstery kits on the market. Everything from seat frames to kick panels to fully stitched tuck 'n' roll seat covers are currently available for homebuilders, but what about roadster tops? Even seasoned rod builders will seek out the chosen few that have the knack for building custom convertible frames or simply modifying originals. It's complicated enough to try and put together a stock convertible roof let alone to take 2 or 3 inches out of it for the perfect custom chop look. But now there's another option thanks to Sid Chavers, owner of Sid Chavers, Co. out of Santa Clara, California. This talented bunch is responsible for stitching some of the country's finest street rod interiors. With that kind of background, and strong relationship with the street rodding world, it was only a matter of time until they cam up with what roadster fans all over the world really needed, a bold together chopped roadster top complete with Haartz Stayfast material and all necessary hardware.

Setting up convertible top framing.

Dubbed the BopTop, this classic "Speedster"-style roadster roof is available for '28-29 Model as, '33-34 Fords, and as you are about to see, '32 Fords. The BopTop is designed to work with stock windshield frames with 2- and 3-inch chops, as well as Duvall, SoCal, and Dan Find-style frames. The frames are made from steel and then fully powdercoated. The Haartz Stayfast material is about as durable as durable gets and is offered in 15 different colors. Once complete installed, the roof easily breaks down small enough to fit in the trunk or to tuck neatly away in the corner of a garage.

The frame bolts to the factory roof mounts.

If this roof sounds as revolutionary to you as it did to us here at STREET RODDER, check out the following photos in which Hot Rods & Custom Stuff shows us how easy the roof is to install, or log onto the Sid Chavers Web site to see the roof mounted on a variety of customer cars. SR

Installing BopTop frame.

Delrin bung slides into the cut frame then screws into header bow.

Snapping top down onto frame at rear bow. Close up of link that holds the frame open.

Rear window in convertible top.

Convertible top, front view.

Convertible top snap downs.

1932 Ford Roadster, Road Tour Car.

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Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, 2324 Auto Park Way, Escondido, CA., 1-800-HOT-ROD-5.

Hot Rods & Custom Stuff - builds, restores, paints, services and sells parts for classic autos, cars, trucks and street rods.