View Full Version : TR2/3/3A Soft Side Curtains

Geo Hahn
12-30-2013, 10:40 PM
On another thread I described the soft side curtains I use on my TR3A. These:


I offered to send details to anyone interested -- well, that has kept me busy so I decided it would be simpler to just post some info & links here for any and all.

To recap what I said in the prior post -- I did not make these myself, they are the handiwork of a friend (who also owns a TR3A) and based on the set he originally made for his own car. There is no pattern per se -- he measured, cut and stitched, adjusting as he went until he got what he wanted. Still other changes were made as he stitched mine and finally changes as we fit them to the car.

The great thing about these curtains is how small they pack down:


That's an 11" Harbor Freight tool bag -- much more convenient than packing the original side curtains when it is a trip where you doubt you will really need them.

Additional photos (alas, there appears to be considerable reduction even here as Photobucket must limit picture size, but hopefully enough detail to guide a skilled and craft seamsperson).

Here's a look at them, both the inside and outside:


How a hole in the lower rear corner engages the LTD peg to get clamped in place once the top is secured:



I later added a grommet to those holes (you can see them in some other photos) but then had to use a longer than standard LTD peg to be able to fit everything on it.

The rear edge doesn't look right in this version, we later re-worked it to match the curve of the wing & beading (as seen in the first photo in this post):


Here it is with the grommet -- the LTD fasteners must, of course, be fitted after the curtain is first installed as there location will vary by car (like installing a tonneau):


I also embedded some small rare-earth magnets in that rear edge to help it lie nicely against the body.

In that photo you can also see a little loop of stout cord on the upper right corner -- this hooks over the outermost Tenax fastener on the windscreen and the top then snaps on over it.

Finally, here's a look at the inside which gives you some idea of how it straps up. Velcro is used for those straps. The window is flexible (like a convertible top window) and has zippers on both sides. The top edge of the window is held in place with Velcro but is also inside a long pocket which makes it pretty secure.


To get in you leave the lower half unattached and the window open, get in, button up the lower half, then zip up the window. Not something you'd want to do every hour on a week long trip but effective for the sudden shower.

I hope this helps those who are clever enough to make their own -- I know I couldn't have done this. The fellow who imagined and created these has an industrial sewing machine and the requisite skill to use it -- hopefully those who attempt this have something similar.

12-31-2013, 10:44 AM

Great writeup! I was one of early recipients of your tips on how to make them - I'm still in the 'thinking about it' stage though Jerry has offered to make me a set and my wife and I recently bought a heavy duty sewing machine. So at some point I'm getting a set. Seems to me to be a fantastic solution for long haul trips where you might encounter a little rain on the way.


12-31-2013, 01:05 PM
Geo, after studying the pictures you sent me; correct me if I'm wrong. To open the door, you have to unhook or unfasten everything above the door including the cord attached to the windscreen? I'm looking at other options to attach the upper part.

Geo Hahn
12-31-2013, 01:24 PM
Geo, after studying the pictures you sent me; correct me if I'm wrong. To open the door, you have to unhook or unfasten everything above the door including the cord attached to the windscreen?

I find it easiest to undo the lower part and leave the curtain hanging by the front loop and upper rear strap.

Yes, buttoning up from the inside and undoing to get out again are a bother -- the price of the convenience of saving boot space.

Rather like discovering you have an urgent need once you are fully bundled in a snowsuit.

01-02-2014, 03:39 PM
I am another recipient of these lessons. My need was more immediate, as I was about to embark on a 3,000 mile trek in my barely finished TR3. I knew I did not have time to restore a set of side curtains, but we would have not made the trip without some "all weather gear". As it turned out, we reached our destination (the half-way point) at 28 degrees (Fahrenheit). The information from Geo and Randy was successfully used to build a set of "temporary" side screens. They were installed in Houston, and did not come off until we returned. They kept out all the rain (and snow), much of the wind and a little of the cold. The only real problem is getting in and out. As the temperatures dropped, so did the dexterity of my fingers. It wasn't long before I was unable to do both sides, and the passenger side is much easier from outside the car, than inside. My wive is such a trooper, she opted to climb in and out through the drivers door for the majority of the trip.

I plan to make another set for myself, and a set for Randy. I'm still looking for a way to install them and be able to get in and out easier. The loop at the top post is brilliant -pure rocket science. I think the next set will fit inside the wind wings to help minimize window outward movement and wind noise at speed. Our old Singer 301A with a sharp leather needle and upholstery thread has had little trouble sewing a couple layers of marine grade vinyl.

The set I made had a larger side window matching the top of the door -purely for aesthetics, but the forward viewing area near the w/s stanchion cannot be compromised. My top/rear attachments are also different. One side used snaps on the top/back and the other used velcrow. The snaps do not allow for much flexibility, as might be needed when the weather changes. I did not install zippers, and you might be surprised how hot the car gets when not moving (like at a traffic light) -even with the fan off. (I also installed a quarter-turn heater valve under the dash, but that's another story.) I do not consider this project 'finished', but as-is, my curtains can easily be stowed and be used in case of inclement weather.

Thanks Geo