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mensanguy

1st Time Topless in 30 Years!!

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A (long)while ago I purchased a 89 16V from the original owner, a now elderly woman in her 90's. In immaculate shape, ( the car, not her) she stated that the hard top had never been off, except for the day she bought it because '"it's just too damn hard to take it on and off!". This was verified by her husband and her son, who both said they had never seen it with the hard top off and the convertible on.  And, I drove it with the hard top on for quite a while, all the while wondering what the top looked like, and the color.

 

So, today is the day that will finally see the light after over 30 years! 

The first pictures show where a rodent apparently called it home at some time, afterwards, how it unfolds.

In the end, this is how they  all looked new! 

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My car was originally bought in Texas, moved to Arizona and garage kept for 25+ years, hardtop never off.  Previous owner (a trucker) bought and transported to PA, never took the top off.  Had it about 2 months, when we got a snowstorm, 3+ ft of snow.  Came home from trucking run, his wife met him at the door, said sell your cars (he also had a very nice VW convertible), we are moving to Florida!

He had his daughter  list it on Craigslist.  I saw it, was interested, test drove it, bought it.  In June (snow finally gone) took top off for first time in 25+ years.  Soft top just like this, great condition.  Unfortunately, material had hardened, now has some minor cracks, splits on fold lines.  I failed to use top dresssing immediately and sun did its thing.  

Lesson, get and use some top dressing immediately to soften the outer layer before you have the same problems.

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Quote

it's just too damn hard to take it on and off!"

 

I was thinking of making something to lift off the hard top while in the garage(one person). I can't be the only one with this idea, Has anyone tried it/made it?

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I built my own hoist buying a hoist from Harbor Freight for around$100 and other misc. parts for $25.  The hoist is the cheaper model that lifts 440 pounds and the hard top weights 85 pounds.  I got a pipe and heavy duty metal straps, bent them and mounted one end thru the ceiling into the ceiling joist above.  See picture.  Any questions just ask.

1427847540_HardtopHoist7.thumb.JPG.70720afc056959896c2d4c32e4143975.JPG

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I hook a strap over each of the pegs on the back that go into the pull down and I loop a strap over each front corner and I open the "J" hock and put the strap under the handle to act as a safety so the strap does not slip off the front corner

Hardtop Hoist 8.JPG

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Very nice arrangement. I will have to see if I can make mine on a track so can park the roof ‘out-of-the-way.’   It is too close to my parts bins and I couldn’t even get my TC that far into the garage these days.   

 

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Edited by Hemi Dude
Rearrange wording (see edit history)

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Top looks beautiful! Mine, despite the cars low original mileage, looks much more worn then the rest of the car. Because for 10+ years it was a Florida vacation home car and the original owners left the hard top in Wisconsin when they shipped the car down there. So it's faded and has a ugly rip in it, not to mention the broken top pull down. Hoping to source a nice used tan soft top. The guy I bought from included a "Top Hoist" which consists of a crank cable pulley system, a special top holding bar and straps. Works well. I wish I had a bigger garage so I can safely store the hard top out of the way. 

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Matthew,  

I like the way the hard top is connected to the straps on the hoist as it keeps the hard top square with the car.  As you can see in my picture the 4 point connection causes the top to rotate slightly and is a pain when I have to walk around the car.  I think I will be changing mine.  Thanks for posting your picture.

Bob

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3 minutes ago, Garnet & Gold said:

Matthew,  

I like the way the hard top is connected to the straps on the hoist as it keeps the hard top square with the car.  As you can see in my picture the 4 point connection causes the top to rotate slightly and is a pain when I have to walk around the car.  I think I will be changing mine.  Thanks for posting your picture.

Bob


It was a kit made specifically for the TC, not sure of the company still exists but I have the paperwork for it. I'll check tonight. It does rotate but it's pretty easy to control and use. 

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You can also search bicycle ceiling storage and all sorts of options come up that would work for the top--lift systems. 

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