Shark-smile top

Jon March

Ok, so my (i know, old lookin) inner top-gasket looks like its lining up ok why isnt my vinyl top on the car i bought seating "sharp & clean"... like the white car i came across recently??

g inner.png

pass glass.png

driver glass.png

driver corner.png

pass corner.png

pass corner!.png
Frame is bent, front rail to side rails, common problem when top material is too tight or not fitted correctly to front rail. Later cars had triangle fillet in front corners. Peel back top from front rail and you should see the problem. Bend back to shape and weld in reinforcing triangles in corners to fix permanently.


Active Member
Here's a couple of photos of a bent top frame that will have the problem you speak of, and a correct top frame. The top two photos show the bent front frame member. Notice that on a correct front cross member the bottom of the front part is parallel to the side frame rail. The bottom photo shows a correct frame member that won't give you the "sharks mouth" problem.

Try installing the top slightly loose and then shrinking it down snug with a clothing steamer. I got this tip from a retired auto upholstery guy and it worked like magic.

John Friese
67 White
67 Red

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Jon March

Oh, John - these pics are super helpful ! -- it looks like the metalwork of the frame in the top 2 pics is quite different than the bottom (which looks much more unmolested/original) !

Jon March

I undid the latches and brought it back so i could get a pic.

damn - its trimmed so close - there no extra white vinyl to "release".
So, when you say i should try installing the top slightly loose - how would i do that in this situation?

PS - generally, applying heat or steam, will actually "relax" and soften/loosen up least while its warm/wet.

I wonder if i could unscrew/release the white vinyl by unscrewing the aluminum strip....reinforcing/shaping the front edge....then, before re-attaching, softening the fabric with a steamer to relax it?

IMG_1804.PNG IMG_1803.PNG
I have been reading this knowing my top was also installed WAY too tight. I have always struggled even closing it, having to unzip the back window to close the latches. I had a little slack and did what you are thinking about, but like you I did not have much to work with. Not really worth buying another top as mine is always down, but you are probably not the only one with this problem. I think they shrink over time, getting tighter and tighter.


Store with tops up!!!!!
Yes they shrink.
Upgrade to my top gun type cloth tops.There dubbed the price but so much easier to use.
Other options Is 0to take top off and get a couple of inches sewn on.
Std.white or black tops are 350.00
Gord in FL.

Jon March

David - would you or anyone have any pics of the triangular reinforcements you mention?

And here is another part that reportedly often needs reinforcing - to help prevent sagging in the middle along the glass area

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