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1965 Riviera vinyl top


Don McClair

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My 65 Riv will be heading into the paint booth soon and I am looking for some information regarding the vinyl top. I know it is to be black and I believe the Levant grain but since there is not one on the car presently I am looking for some guidance. Has anyone ever gotten a pre-made top for their Riviera and if so from whom? Also, any advice on who offers the better one, Kee Auto Top or SMS? Kee Auto Top and SMS do not list one but can make it up but they need to know the dimension between the two seams that run the length of the roof. If someone could provide the dimensions I would greatly appreciate it.

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I bought my top from SMS for about $350. NOS material, feels great, looks great and a perfect fit. DO NOT RISK BUYING ANYTHING ELSE. When my top was being installed there was another mid-60s GM car having an owner-supplier top installed. The upholstery shop owner said that the car's owner looked at my top and immediately hated his.

Also, if you're adding a top, make sure you have (or can find) them trim: two corners, the long piece across the back, and you will need to cut the side spears to fit.

Edited by Patrick91914 (see edit history)
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Good ad for SMS, Patrick, are you repping for them?

Don't discount ACME, they made a factory approved kit for the boat tails. It consisted of vinyl AND made-to-fit moldings so you could continue the fatory vinyl top below the rear window and cover the top part of the trunk. I dont' think they sold many, but it matched the factory vinyl and moldings perfectly. The problem here is that ACME does not sell to the general public but wholesales to others. SMS could be one of their customers.

When I redid the top on my '70 Skylark, ACME provided it (back then they were selling to the public.) It too fit like a glove.

Ed

Edited by RivNut (see edit history)
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Good ad for SMS, Patrick, are you repping for them?

Don't discount ACME, they made a factory approved kit for the boat tails. It consisted of vinyl AND made-to-fit moldings so you could continue the fatory vinyl top below the rear window and cover the top part of the trunk. I dont' think they sold many, but it matched the factory vinyl and moldings perfectly. The problem here is that ACME does not sell to the general public but wholesales to others. SMS could be one of their customers.

When I redid the top on my '70 Skylark, ACME provided it (back then they were selling to the public.) It too fit like a glove.

Ed

I don't doubt that ACME makes a top that fits; however, fit is only one part of the equation. Equally important is the top's texture and appearance. In my book, nothing beats NOS. It always fits and is always correct. I'm just saying that SMS makes a good product that is just like what a customer would've received from the factory. It's twice the price of other tops for a good reason. It's what is on my car and I looked at fabric samples from many other suppliers. This is not a choice that you want to go cheap on...everybody will notice if there is a problem.

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In my book, nothing beats NOS. It always fits and is always correct. I'm just saying that SMS makes a good product that is just like what a customer would've received from the factory.

Patrick,

If it's NOS, then SMS is not making it. It was made 48 years ago. It can't be both NOS and made by SMS.

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What I said is that SMS makes a good product. I never said that they make the fabric. They supply the fabric and sew the vinyl top. The material that SMS uses to produce their vinyl top is identical to what's in the '65 Buick Trim Book. I recommend that folks who want to replace or add a vinyl top to their car and want to do a proper restoration use authentic material. I also believe that the top that I selected has seams that are heat-sealed by the supplier.

Edited by Patrick91914 (see edit history)
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