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1968 Riviera Rare Vinyl Top Option?


Guest YukonNate867
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Guest YukonNate867

Recently purchased a 68 Riv Been sitting in storage for 30 years, body very decent, minimal rust, is red with a white top, but the top only goes from rear to half way on the roof yet it has nice factory looking chrome trim, did I stumble upon a rare option car with a half vinyl roof? Or is this something someone would have had to done themselves, in which case they did an outstanding job because it looks very good very stock, the vinyl needs replacing so I am wondering whether to replace with a full top or will I be devaluing the car if I Dont redo this half top. any and all help/comments muchly appreciated thanks.

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Take a look at the valance piece under the rear window.  Is the metal embossed to look like vinyl?  If so, then you'll need to find a valance off of a car that didn't have a vinyl top on it if you remove the vinyl that's on there now.  If the valance is already smooth, then chances are that the "landau" top was added later unless the valance has been covered in vinyl as well..

 

Ed

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Guest YukonNate867

So smooth valance = no factory vinyl

embossed valance or valance covered = factory vinyl

Am I picking that up correctly?

Was a "landau" top an option?

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No factory half top in 68. Check the Fisher data plate paint code on the firewall. If no vinyl top from factory the paint code will be two letters. If vinyl top there will be one letter and one number. Since it has the smooth rear cowl most likely no top from factory. Please post a pic of your vinyl top if you can. 

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Guest YukonNate867

Thanks for the quick knowledgable responces guys, I have not yet stated whether it has smooth or embossed valance yet as I forgot to check this afternoon before I left the house for the evening although looking at the photos it appears smooth. Here are photos of the top.

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post-153556-0-68214100-1433127040_thumb.

post-153556-0-49078400-1433127064_thumb.

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. . . I'm always here Ed !

 

Definitely an 'after market' custom vinyl top addition - most likely added by a previous owner.

That 'factory looking' chrome trim ( . . . plastic? ) is also added, and does not match the 'factory' stainless trim that would have been found with an original '68 Riviera full vinyl top option.  An original vinyl top car would also have die-cast pot-metal chrome 'R' emblems mounted on the rear roof sail panels.

In any case YukonNate867, that 'custom' Landau vinyl top in your pictures will need replacing, or removal.

Edited by 68RIVGS (see edit history)
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As Randy states.  The trim on the back of a factory installed top would have extended to the top of the trunk lid.  Who ever put this top on didn't do that, they sectioned it off at the base of the window.  

 

Google '1968 Riviera vinyl top' and then click on the images link.  You'll see a number of cars with factory installed tops.  Easy to spot the differences once you've seen a factory installed top and the moldings that go with it.

 

Ed

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Guest YukonNate867

Good to know it is not factory will have to look the car over again make sure I am not missing anything else, the trim around the vinyl is definitely stainless steel, now what I am concerned about is how would they have attached this trim to the car, hopefully not an ugly mess I have here eek.. I suppose I would have to find factory trim and install new vinyl to fix it up properly besides redoing the bodywork/paint.. was hoping to clean the car up a bit and enjoy it in its current condition.

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Guest YukonNate867

I do realize how beautiful these cars are without a top, but once the top is removed the paint is comming with it unfortunately, and if anything is getting some paint its the whole exterior... seems like alot of work is going to build up on me perhaps will purchase a new top and cut to fit in the current rear vallance and go all the way to the front window like stock vinyl would have, unless the vinyl will not work with my front window trim?

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If you replace the existing partial top with a full vinyl top you will need the proper rear window insert, along with the stainless trim for the insert, and the rear quarter sail panels. The front window trim and glass should be removed, and resealed if it's original, and you should also re:&re: the rear glass too make sure the window channels are not rusted out or leaking, as we all know what water can do to metal. The front 'A' pillars are also covered in matching vinyl.

If your considering a total exterior repaint, simply remove the partial top, and add a full vinyl top later on, or you might also consider a painted top that will simulate a full vinyl top without the hassel that goes along with installing and maintaining vinyl, or just repaint the top after you remove the existing top ?

Whatever you decide, it will not be a simple easy fix !

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Guest YukonNate867

Really eh, so this car has definitely been redone in its past life... they must have done a good job im guessing cuz its red everywhere underside of hood, factory looking overspray and everything.. hmmm.. what are your opinions on a silvermist riviera? Is that one of those riviera exclusive colors?

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Paint Code WW, and NO vinyl top !

Silver Beige Mist (Code W) is a '68 Riviera exclusive color, as were Midnight Teal Blue Metalic - Code B, Olive Gold Metalic (S), Buckskin (X), and Inca Silver Mist (Z). There is a Scarlet Red, Code R, which was a '68 Buick color, and is a pretty close match for your existing car color. A different choice of color for a repaint can get very expensive, as the entire exposed painted areas should be redone too match, as your Riviera was.   

Edited by 68RIVGS (see edit history)
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Guest YukonNate867

So talking value/rarity, I would be better off to have it repainted factory silver beige mist with no vinyl, would probably look much nicer that way in my opinion.

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  • 1 year later...

Here are a couple of pictures that I took in Williamsburg that show a smooth valance on a non vinyl topped red car and a stamped metal valance on a black vinyl topped car.  The black valance is solid metal, it has no vinyl on it it's stamped to look like vinyl.  Can you imagine trying to wrap and glue vinyl around those  Astro vents?

20160630_100445.jpg

20160630_100532.jpg

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On 6/1/2015 at 5:12 PM, YukonNate867 said:

I do realize how beautiful these cars are without a top, but once the top is removed the paint is comming with it unfortunately, and if anything is getting some paint its the whole exterior... seems like alot of work is going to build up on me perhaps will purchase a new top and cut to fit in the current rear vallance and go all the way to the front window like stock vinyl would have, unless the vinyl will not work with my front window trim?

 

Welcome to the slippery slope. One thing leads to another. 

 

Remove the vinyl top. It will look better IMO.

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Best of show at this year's ROA meet was a 1966 with a black vinyl top.  I think the color is called Shawdow Turquoise Poly but I'm not positive. All I know for a fact is that is absolutely gorgeous.

 

In my own humble opinion through,  cars with a vinyl top look more formal whereas the ones with solid color look a little more sporty. Either way the 66 and 67 Rivieras are great looking cars. Owners choice.  I had solid blue 1966 and a gold w/ black vinyl 1967.  Can't say that I liked one better than the other.

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I read this topic this morning and then took my wife out for a late breakfast in the '60 Electra. I told her someone on the forum had a Riviera with an added vinyl top. She said "Oh, no, it will be like Sandusky was for you." We took my '64 Riviera to the BCA Nationals in Sandusky in 1981. The car was only 16 years old at the time. She still remembers how many people stopped to point out that my top was incorrect. Better remove that top, it really gets annoying. Once a little old lady bent over and told her dog it was wrong. The imparting of that detail has been pretty consistent over the years. I kind of laugh at  the interlopers at the car shows. The vinyl top does attract their attention enough to distract them from other flaws. I usually point out the 1/4" wide strip of Sahara tan and ask them if they noticed I forgot that when i did the color change. They usually haven't.

 

Bernie

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