Posted 20 hours ago

Black Level Women's Vinyl Top with Zip Black-Large

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Offering superb performance in a well-designed car at a price far below that of the main continental competitors. The really telling comparison is that the Sprint’s performance is virtually identical with that of the Alfa Romeo 2000 GTV and BMW Tii. It’s exceptional value by any standards.” Goodness, this first generation Toyota Celica has got it all going on. It’s one of a number of Japanese models to be graced with a vinyl roof, including the Datsun 240Z, Datsun 120Y and Mitsubishi Debonair. In most cases, a soft top needs to be replaced because of signs of aging, wear or tearing of the fabric. Deterioration can also be the result of deliberate action. While its condition may be secondary in summer when it's folded, it's a different story for autumn outings when it's unfolded and therefore clearly visible. The vinyl roof may have been born and raised in the US, but to the Brits it’s steeped in 1970s nostalgia. Think of a vinyl roof and the image in your head is likely to contain a Ford and a distinct tinge of sepia.

The Ford Thunderbird was the original ‘personal luxury car’ and one of the early champions of the vinyl roof’s second coming. The 1962 model was a real thing of beauty. In 1971, Rover launched the definitive version of the P6 – the 3500S. With a manual gearbox and a V8 engine, this was the P6 to beat all P6s, not to mention any rival you placed before it. Some say the Austin 1300 GT was a forerunner of the hot hatch. Ignoring the fact it didn’t actually have a rear hatch, of course. Either way, we love it, and are pleased to include it here thanks to the vinyl roof that marked it out from lesser 1100 and 1300 models.

Toyota Celica

If anyone was doubting the coolness factor of a vinyl roof, the Dodge Challenger should mount a very positive case for the defence. Perfection.

Things weren’t quite as successful on the second generation Mustang. This 1974 Mustang Ghia features far too much chrome, colour-coded bumpers and a rather bizarre half-vinyl roof. Not nice. Of all the cars featured here, we’d humbly suggest that the Dodge Charger is perhaps best suited to a vinyl roof. It just looks right. If ever a car was made for a vinyl roof, it was the Lincoln Town Car – an all-American luxury cruiser, dripping in excess. A number of different hues were available, while you could also choose between quarter, half and full tops.All three generations of the Ford Capri were available with a vinyl roof and were best served with a ‘his and hers’ sunstrip and a dixie horn. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) once estimated that vinyl roof sales hit 100,000 units a year when the accessory was in fashion, with Automotive News reporting in 1981 that ‘vinyl roofs went on over 40 percent of domestic cars’. Proof, if proof were needed, that the US was a booming market for vinyl. This Swedish-Italian affair – the 262C was built by Bertone in Italy – soldiered on until 1981, by which time Volvo had removed the vinyl. Indeed, the Lincoln Town Car was one of the last bastions of all that was good/bad about the vinyl roof (delete as applicable).

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