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1926 Packard Coupe, original top needs attention


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Hello all.

 

My 1926 Packard coupe is all original including the top. The top material is very dry and fragile.

 

What is the surface coating? Is this roof fabric material covered with a paint, oil, or rubber to create a water tight roof?

 

Even if you lightly brush your hand across it the surface black coating crumbles and floats of in the air!

 

The material fabric portion of the top is intact though.

 

Is there some type of treatment to save the top?

 

Thanks

 

Tom Wallace, Dayton, OH

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What you have is a Pantasote material, which was cloth that was coated with a rubberized waterproof coating.  That coating is coming off.

 

Over the years, there have been top dressings made.  I believe there still are some available from early Ford suppliers.

 

You’re going to have to brush the loose coating off first.  I’d try a small spot first, and see how it looks.

 

Good luck....     https://www.macsautoparts.com/ford_model_a/vinyl-top-dressing-black-1-quart-can-430833.html

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I know photos can be tricky but it appears someone painted the top and the paint is now flaking off. It might be possible to gently brush or wipe off the loose paint flakes and repaint. I find Tremclad or Rustoleum stays soft and flexible and does not flake off after years on a vinyl seat or top. There are additives to put into auto paint to make it flexible for use on plastic bumpers and special paints for upholstery and leather. Many possible solutions, you will have to examine the top and use your best judgement as to whether it should be refinished top dressing applied or completely replaced.

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