Simulated Carriage Top Style Options
Hundreds of colors & design options are available to meet your taste.
Vinyl or Cloth
A cloth skin is a more attractive and durable material. A vinyl skin is slightly easier to clean and is slightly more economical.
We always recommend cloth unless you are replacing a skin which was originally vinyl and you want to keep it original. Both are available in a wide array of colors.
Full Top or Half Top
Most models are designed to take full tops while some allow the option of a half top as well. Half tops have front molding/bands with or without integrated accent lighting. The cost for both is about the same.
If you have a moonroof and choose a full top, the shell is cut out around the moonroof. If you choose a half top, the shell ends just behind the moonroof.
Ribbed Top or Flush Top
Most shells are made with subtle ridges to simulate the look of a convertible.
Some later model designs also offer low profile, flush shells without the ridges for a sleeker look.
With or Without Moldings
Most designs incorporate wireon trim and rear chrome moldings. The chrome moldings may be smooth or with snap heads. Often with the later model flush designs the wireon and moldings are left off to further enhance the sleek look.
Vinyl tops have vinyl binding. Cloth tops have the option of vinyl or cloth binding, or again for that sleeker look, no binding at all, wherein the cloth is wrapped around the shell.
With or Without Logos
Skins can be made plain or with logos in the rear sail panel/quarter area. Logos can either be embroidered into the skin, or done as metal emblems which silicone on.
Installing a New Top on a New Car
This is one of the most popular restyling techniques for new cars. These roof treatments give a car a greater touch of class. Having Automotive Innovations do the job is generally more cost effective than having the dealer handle it for you.
The top consists of a fiberglass shell which is molded for the specific car, an outer skin, and in most cases, chrome moldings. The skin is laminated to the shell. The shell is then rivetted and siliconed to the metal roof, and then the moldings are screwed in place.
Installing a New Top on an Older Car
If you have purchased a previously owned car, or if you are simply ready to make a change to the look of the car you have owned for a number of years, installing a Simulated Top will give your car that fresh, new, stylish look you want.
All the same principles apply to installing a new top on an older car as they do a new car.
Replacing a Top which is Damaged or Worn
We can replace just the skin or the complete top.
Replacing the Wire-on Only
This is the trim above the rear, and sometimes the front, windshield which has the little chrome end caps at each end.
This is usually one of the first items to wear out. It can be replaced without having to remove or replace the rest of the top.
Replacing the Skin Only
Like the wireon, the binding on the edge of the top is also likely to be the first thing to wear out and become undone. However, because it is sewn to the skin, it cannot be replaced without replacing the entire skin.
Likewise, if the skin has become delaminated from the shell, or if the skin has torn or discolored, it will have to be completely replaced. Some models have door caps which would also require replacement.
To replace the skin, the moldings and shell must be removed form the car. The old skin is then strpped from the shell. Assuming the shell and moldings are still in good shape, the shell is cleaned and prepped and a new skin is laminated to it. The shell and moldings are then reinstalled onto the car.
Replacing the Complete Top
Occasionally, a car is in an accident and the shell gets cracked, or the shell becomes loosened from the metal roof and then blows back and cracks while driving down the highway.
If this occurs, the entire shell as well as the skin will have to be replaced.