Before you buy a convertible top
When you buy a top online …
When you purchase a top online with the intention of bringing it to an upholsterer to install, it is similar to bringing your own food to a restaurant and asking them to cook it. Upholsterers are usually owners and operators of their own business. They need to make money to stay in business which includes a mark up on the products they carry but this does not mean they are taking advantage of you. The mark up they make on the products they trust insures you will receive a warrantee for the product they supply, they will be willing to handle any problems you may have in the future and they will do their best to make sure you are happy with the job they do. Reputable Upholsterers are fair and interested in maintaining their reputation; it is best to let them get the product for you. In addition, Upholsterers establish relationships with their manufacturers/suppliers. If something goes awry with the product they have recommended they have the responsibility of getting it taken care of with the manufacturer/supplier. What chance would you have?
Anatomy of a convertible top
Few people consider the process of replacing a convertible top on their vehicle until it becomes a necessity; even fewer people concern themselves with the construction of one. Convertible tops, like clothing, rely on the quality of materials used and how good the patterns were made to fit the different body types/cars and the manner in which they were constructed; reinforcements are a must for areas of a convertible top that receive the most wear and tear. In addition, convertibles tops face a myriad of natural elements: snow, UV light, wind, high speeds, rain and cold temperatures, it is imperative that the construction of the materials used in producing a convertible top are adequate and able to hold up.
Who will install it ?
If you would not attempt to re-upholster the seat in your car we do not recommend you attempt to install a convertible top. Upholstery shops are Craftsman that have spent their career learning to install convertible tops and do upholstery. They have built their reputation on the quality of their work and the quality of the products they supply. You can be sure they will use a convertible top that fits right and will hold up through their warrantee; tops that fail cost upholstery shops both time and money.
No Name Tops in Brown Boxes
It costs a premium to have our name printed on our boxes and sew our “Classic Top” tag into all of our products, but we feel it is worth it. We have spent a lifetime building our reputation as a quality manufacturer and are proud to promote our name. What is a manufacturer revealing to you if they don’t think enough of themselves or their products to advertise their name and hide their identity?
“A customer is born every minute?”
When a company’s main concern is their bottom line and not their reputation they can sell cheap products without a concern for their quality and compete solely on price. We disagree with this mentality and aim everything we do towards repetitive business. “What does this mean?”; it is a necessity that we live up to the expectations of our customers in the consistency of our product’s quality and longevity.
What should a car owner do when they need their top replaced?
Find upholstery shops in your area, visit with them, ask questions and educate yourself. Question them as to how long they have been doing this kind of work, what is their warrantee, whose convertible tops do they use and why? (Electron Tops are available to all upholstery shops but it is sometimes valuable to use the company they recommend as they are familiar with them, but of course we would like them to try us too).