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Novice Question on Tops


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Hi. Don't have one but I do like these cars. So here is a question - what are ballpark values on tops?

Hardtop w/porthole (all years??)

Hardtop no porthole

Soft top frame and vinyl vs. high end material

Curious how the lack of one or the other impacts the value of a vehicle.


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Here are some answers to your questions. There were no porthole hardtops for '55, they became an option for the 56-57 model run. Originally the car could be bought with either hardtop, softtop, or both. Cars that have both are worth the most. The soft tops are of two styles, the 1955 through mid 1956 and the late 56/57 style, which has an extra brace and is more desirable.

As for value, it all depends on condition. The hardtops are worth less than the soft tops and harder to store. There does not seem to be much difference in value between the porthole and non-porthole tops. A really good hard top might go for $2500 and up. The softtop, if it has all the correct hardware and is fully restored might go for as much as $5000, maybe more. That is for the late style. The early top is worth less.

There are replacement soft tops that are also available that cost less and offer a good alternative to keep the rain off of your head. One interesting note is that most of the cars delivered to southern California came with the hardtop only. I guess that most of the time they would drive their cars without the top on and only put it on for the winter months.

I hope this helps.

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One last thing that I missed regarding the top fabric and also color for the soft top. The '55 only had black canvas. The '56 had black canvas and white vinyl. The '57 had black, blue, or tan canvas and white vinyl. I would think that today the best approach is to use stafast instead of canvas. I believe it will last longer.

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