David White

need a new convertible top

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Hello I replaced the top on my 1990 about 4 years ago. The last time I put it back up there was a tear in it, and no idea what caused it. I am thinking of a cloth one this time. I think I bought the last one from EZ TOP but it was vinyl.  Any recommendations???

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David,

 

We sell Reatta convertible tops, and they're not the ill-fitting junk you find most places. These tops fit like a well tailored suit when installed. They fit longer over the door gaskets and over the rear 5th bow so you're not relying on the gaskets as much. 

 

All of our Reatta tops come with the glass back window already installed. We also ship internationally as well, which many places will not do.

 

I just had a customer send some pictures this morning of their newly installed top from us. Pictured below. You can see how well the top fits. 

 

Feel free to call any time with questions. (919) 233 1973

IMG_0509.JPG

Edited by NCReatta (see edit history)

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17 hours ago, 89RedSlate said:

The EZ On brand of convertible top is by far the most popular replacement top for the Reatta convertible.  

 

There are two EZ On distributors who are now selling these tops on the internet.  They are www.cabrioworld.com and www.topsonline.com.  Cabrio World is a Bill Hirsch operation and is well known in automotive circles.  Tops On Line is perhaps not as well known but I have worked with them on one occasion - EZ On did not offer a headliner at that time.  The service I received was most acceptable and I am aware of other folks who have used them with similar results.

 

I do not know whether these companies sell any brand other than the EZ On but always specify the EZ On replacement top if ordering. EZ On's warranty  - www.ezonauto.com - is outstanding and they offer a wide variety of fabrics and colors.

Kingsley

www.reattaspecialtyparts.com

 

 

 

Edited by Kingsley
Clarification (see edit history)

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I did some research a few years back and there are a few things to watch for..........

(1) some tops come with a plastic back window.

(2) some come without a window and your installer is supposed to move your original to the new top

(3) glass is preferred and offered, ask if it has the defroster built in.

 

Here is a link to Electron Top.....an old, established top maker (not the cheapest), they have a huge selection of colors.   Offer both cloth and vinyl with pattern choices on the vinyl.

http://electrontops.com/

I also  Robbins is a big supplier in California but when I did the research they did not sell just the tops, they had to install them, I understand they now sell mail order.

Added..

here is link to Robbins top https://www.topsonline.com/department/Convertible_Tops_And_Accessories

They have an error in their description of the Reatta top.......they call the Reatta convertibles a ASC conversion........ASC did not do Reatta conversions, ASC engineered the top and top mechanism and supplied it to Buick at Lancing, Reatta convertibles were not conversions, like the 83-85 Riviera.

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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To add a bit -

 

Several years ago one entity (said to be a South American company) purchased Robbins Tops.  Robbins in turn purchased EZ On and following that a California company by the name of GAHH.  Now one big family.

 

It will be interesting to see the overall impact as they start minimizing the overlap of model offerings  among the three current manufacturers.

 

Kingsley

http://www.reattaspecialtyparts.com

 

 

Edited by Kingsley
Additional Info (see edit history)

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Imperial......I think you can put any color/material on the car you want.    Certain combination might affect BCA judging but a top is not quite like a paint job,  it can be changed back to a original/stock type top if you or a new owner chooses.

Within the BCA judging Reatta tops follows the information available in Buick New Product Information books.

Those books show blue and red (burgundy) cloth tops were available in 1990 (it appear that only one of each was made and maybe both scrapped)  In 1990 black tops were available in both cloth and vinyl.  I have never seen a white cloth top on anything.

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15 hours ago, 89RedSlate said:

I would say- just from an engineering standpoint- that "vinyl" and the products that are offered to maintain it- are ages beyond what was available 26 years ago. Maybe someone with more experience in the compositions of the "cloth" vs. "vinyl" can weigh in with the pros and cons of each?

 

Sounds like a good question to bounce off of the folks at company Haartz who make/use both of these materials - and I will do that.

 

17 Minutes later and an email has been addressed to Haartz corporate in Massachusetts questioning physical properties of their Pinpoint Vinyl as made in 1990/1991 and currently as well as same properties of their Stayfast Cloth v. their Pinpoint Vinvl.  Their reply should be interesting.

 

Kingsley

http://www.reattaspecialtyparts.com

Edited by Kingsley
Add additional text. (see edit history)

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I have been selling Covercraft car covers for 34 years and have some experience with gained by just being involved.    I agree with 89 & Kingsley on the vinyl....engineered plastics has change the plastics game and they are not the same product used in the '60's-'70's.

Cloth top material.....has been called Haartz cloth probably incorrectly,  like many items that get tagged with the originators name.  There is a Haartz company but there are others making the cloth like material.  In the beginning the cloth top was a canvas like material bonded to a inner liner that made it waterproof.   Today the good quality cloth tops are actually woven acrylic plastic.   The acrylic thread is "fluffed" when extruded so that it does not have a shiny appearance and this makes it resemble the old canvas.   The big advantage is acrylic is UV stable and that give them two advantages.

(1) they last longer because they are not affected by the sun as much as canvas. (2) the color is not a dye added after the product is made, it is molded in the thread so there is little fading over the life of the product.  This also allows the cloth to be offered in a wide range of colors.  This finished acrylic cloth is still bonded to a waterproof backing and that also gives the product added strength.

Today good quality lawn furniture and awning all use acrylic cloth, the major supplier in the US is Sunbrella.

Here is a link to the Haartz web site for those that want to see the history.. http://www.haartz.com/

Edited by Barney Eaton (see edit history)

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On 10/21/2016 at 4:53 PM, 89RedSlate said:

I would say- just from an engineering standpoint- that "vinyl" and the products that are offered to maintain it- are ages beyond what was available 26 years ago. Maybe someone with more experience in the compositions of the "cloth" vs. "vinyl" can weigh in with the pros and cons of each?

 

The Haartz folks addressed only the difference in vinyl material.  Initially the material was 4ply;  however it has now been changed to just 2 ply for ease of manufacture.   They do not measure the thickness but measure by weight with the 2 ply being just slightly lighter.  They state no significant variations between the two with respect to tearing of splitting.

 

Kingsley

Reatta Specialty Parts

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I can't speak to the technical aspects of material characteristics, but will say this for the consideration of anyone wanting or needing a new top. In my opinion, the vinyl top, while factory stock, looks cheap even when well fitted. In short, it is not truly befitting of a luxury car like the Reatta.

 

That's because it is cheaper, and likely why GM used it to begin with. The Reatta was an obscenely expensive car as a convertible is 1990 and 91 (considering the market and the state of GM's general reputation and public perception at the time) and a cloth top would've added a couple of hundred dollars more to the cost most likely for a model that was already struggling to sell. So, the vinyl top got the nod to prevent bleeding even more money per unit.

 

I changed the original vinyl top on my 91 roadster to a cloth (in tan) and the difference is striking, even accounting for the fade and shrink of a 25 year old vinyl top. Now the car looks like it should have, instead of with a top more fitting of an economy car like the a Chevy Cavalier of Pontiac Sunfire convertible, which both had vinyl tops.

 

I know this is subjective, and maybe I'll tweak some here by denigrating the vinyl top, but I can't see how it makes sense to do vinyl unless cost is the primary or only consideration in choosing a replacement, or one is bound and determined to stay original for judging purposes. I can understand the reasoning behind those ideas, but if you want to really make the car what it should have been, and improve the appearance and your pride of ownership, go with the cloth top. 

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so far the only firm that I have been able to find that has a top is Tops on line   EZ on will not sell to the public they referred me to TOPS ON LINE.  In 2011 I paid $585 for a vinyl top from EZ on and I was never happy with the way it fit. Tops on Line wants $1750 Canadian for a cloth  I am a little reluctant to pay that much and then pay to have it installed. If I order it from Tops on Line is it the exact same top as I will get from East Coast Reatta as they are both made by EZ on I think?

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14 hours ago, David White said:

so far the only firm that I have been able to find that has a top is Tops on line   EZ on will not sell to the public they referred me to TOPS ON LINE.  In 2011 I paid $585 for a vinyl top from EZ on and I was never happy with the way it fit. Tops on Line wants $1750 Canadian for a cloth  I am a little reluctant to pay that much and then pay to have it installed. If I order it from Tops on Line is it the exact same top as I will get from East Coast Reatta as they are both made by EZ on I think?

 

David - I can speak only for the Tops On Line offering and I am sure that it is a bona fide EZ On replacement top - it is advertised as such on their website.  The $1750 Canadian figure, if it includes only the cost of the top and freight seems inordinately high.  Per their website, base cost of the Stayfast cloth top with heated rear glass window is $790.00 US.  While not specifically addressed in their ad, I am sure that does not include any freight cost.  If my recall is correct, EZ On ships by UPS next day to US destinations at a cost of around $35.00 bucks or so and certainly your freight is going to be higher.  Suggest you get the specific freight charges from TOL and receive a time frame when the top will be shipped after placement of order.  I am not aware of any vendor who maintains an inventory of EZ On tops so each order must be manufactured after the order is placed and, I believe, is treated as a "Special Order". TOL probably will not be aware of any Customs or other fees that you may have to pay when the order arrives.

 

Hopes this helps in making your decision.

 

Kingsley

Reatta Specialty Parts - headlight motor repair kits and sun visor clips for the '90/'91 convertibles.

Edited by Kingsley
Correct Typo (see edit history)

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