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Were hardtops painted to match car color or 2 tone

Norton47

Jedi Warrior
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Hi
What was Triumphs practice for painting factory hardtops?
Matching to the car color, 2 tone or what ever was wanted?
Thanks for your time
 

CinneaghTR

Jedi Warrior
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My answer concerns the multi-piece 4/4A/250 hardtop, better known as the Surrey top:

If you ordered the car with a hardtop, the backlight and hard center section would be body color and you had a choice of black or white fabric center section. Someone else can confirm this, but I think you could order a black or white hardtop when you ordered the car as well.

If you ordered the hardtop after the fact, you had a choice of black or white backlight and hard center section and a black or white fabric center section that you could mix and/or match.

The Surrey top that I am adding to my 4A (hehe!) will be a white backlight and hard center section with a black fabric center section.
 

Alan_Myers

Luke Skywalker
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Hi,

Jeremy is right (although the only TR4 I've ever seen that was confirmed to have been factory equipped with a hard top was entirely black, which made it a moot point on that particular car).

Basically, a car bought new with OEM two-piece hard top fitted by the factory offered three choice: painted to match, black or white.

An OEM two-piece hard top added later came in two choices: black or white. But, I bet a lot were painted to match, after the fact. Certainly, in terms of originality, you could get away with black, white or matching the rest of the car.

Surrey panel (vinyl) inserts were offered in black or white. The folding framework for the Surrey panel was only black, I think.

The headliner/trim of two-piece hard top was always white, in a vinyl that matches the material used to cover the original sunvisors.

First 500 OEM hard tops had an aluminum roof section. After that, they were steel. (Backlight frame was always cast aluminum.)

There are also special door gaskets used with the OEM hard top, 100" long instead of 77". That's so the seal goes all the way to the top of the window, at it's rear edge.

The "fuzzy" (aka, "draught excluder") was also changed when a hard top was fitted, to a single very long piece that goes all the way from the top of the windshield frame on one side, down around the door, up and over the leading edge of the backlight, around the other door and up to the top of the other side of the windshield frame. There is another, usually black (I think) "fuzzy" 3/4 of the way around the periphery of the hard top roof panel. The other fuzzies were various colors to match the interior trim, but are not now available to match one of the reds (I forget which, there are a bright red and a dark red "Matador" interior color), and the blue fuzzy matches the later, Shadow Blue interiors well, but not the earlier Midnight Blue. Oddly, my TR4 which had a Midnight Blue interior did not have fuzzies. Instead, it had a vinyl trim like many other cars. Perhaps this was done because the factory couldn't get fuzzies to match Midnight Blue, either.

The hard top I've got for my TR4 still has its original paint, which is Spa White. It's an earlier top, with the aluminum roof, so this color makes sense. I'm not certain, but would assume OEM hard tops painted white after TR4 Ct21xxx in March, 1963 would have been painted New White (Paint code #19) to match that color, which replaced Spa White on the rest of the car.

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Russ Austin

Jedi Warrior
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I don't believe that I have ever seen a TR6 hardtop any any other color than the body color. When I was getting idea of what color the do my TR3 hard top I had some choices, if I remember correctly some of the works cars were white body and red tops. As well as Apple Green top and body. As you can see I chose Red and Red.
 

Paul Johnson

Jedi Warrior
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Might be able to help, as I worked at a BL port of entry for a decade. Never saw a hardtop TR6 in anything but body color.
 

Alan_Myers

Luke Skywalker
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Hi again Jeremy,

If you are in the process of installing a two-piece hard top, you might find a little more info helpful.

Depending upon their condition on the top you got, you may need to gather up a number of rubber sealing pieces that were used in varous places on the hard top. These aren't hard to find, but can be pricey when all added up. TRF had all the ones I needed. TRF, Moss and others have pretty good illustrations of all the various rubber seals, in their catalogs. Or refer to the factory Spare Parts catalog.

Also needed is a bunch of fasteners. The hardest one to find seems to be the stud that fits on top of the B-post, to attach the backlight frame. None of the vendors sell it or include it in any kit. But, it's a pretty simple item to make, or something very close from a local hardware store may just need a little trimming to work. It's got to be just the right length, or there won't be room to put a nut on it.

The rest of fasteners are standard stuff. Triumph used standard nuts with spring washers on top of plain washers on all the small studs (7 if I recall) that are across the base of the backlight. Instead I used Nylocks w/plain washers, to help keep things from shaking loose. THey're all hidden behind interior trim anyway. These nuts and washers are also not included in hard top kits, tyically, but are usually quite easily found locally.

TRF offers a hard top fastener kit that includes four large black oxide dome-head bolts to hold the roof panel in place, pretty similar to originals I think, although some (all?) of those might have been chromed instead. I found stainless steel bolts locally to use on mine, instead, because at some point the trapped nuts in the top I've got seem to have all been re-tapped to a coarse thread. I think these originally these should have been fine threaded. I did consider replacing the trapped nuts, which are accessible if the riveted-on steel brackets are temporarily removed from the aluminum roof panel (might be welded on an all steel top). But, at least for now, I'm just using the NC stainless steel bolts and coarse threaded trapped nuts. Allen head bolts could also be used in there.

Probably the most important thing found in TRF's hard top hardware kit is a pair of special distance pieces that keep the top of the windshield frame from collapsing when the bolts are tightened. I think Moss sells these distance pieces individually. It's possible to install the roof panel without these two pieces, but I wouldn't recommend it. There's just too much danger of damaging the windshield frame when the bolts are tightened, if the spacers aren't used.

Once it's set up with the top, I hope you'll post some pictures of your car!


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Norton47

Jedi Warrior
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Re: Were hardtops painted to match car color or 2

Hi
Thanks for all the great info. The window seals are pretty good, with one quarter window having soome cracking on the outside radius. The top to body/windshield seals and door window seal are shot.
It has both B post bolts, I think, they have a eye on one end to bolt to the B post.
Thanks for the spacer info, those did not come with the top, but 2 dome headed bolts did.
I have a question, will a 6' fella fit inside once top is on ?
I will post some pic's
 

swift6

Yoda
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Re: Were hardtops painted to match car color or 2

[ QUOTE ]

I have a question, will a 6' fella fit inside once top is on ?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, I'm 6'1". It actually seems to have a wee bit more headroom than the soft top.

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Simon TR4a

Jedi Knight
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Re: Were hardtops painted to match car color or 2

Norton, I agree that on the TR6 body colour is correct, but...
I used to own a Mimosa Yellow TR6 with a black hardtop, and liked that combination, and I plan to paint the hardtop for my wifes Pageant Blue Spitfire white, which I feel suits red or green cars as well as any of the several shades of blue used on Spits. That way I can save the top and use it on another car of a different colour if we sell this one to get a car with overdrive, or sell the top separately.

(By the way, I saw a nice article on the Model 18 Norton in a recent issue of Classic Bike Guide.)
Simon.
 

Alan_Myers

Luke Skywalker
Offline
Re: Were hardtops painted to match car color or 2

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
I have a question, will a 6' fella fit inside once top is on ?

[/ QUOTE ]

Yes, I'm 6'1". It actually seems to have a wee bit more headroom than the soft top.

[/ QUOTE ]

Agreed. There seems a bit more headroom with TR4/4A/250 two-piece top, too. Partly because the hoodstick frame is removed.

A little more headroom could be gained by removing the tops headliner... "racer" style.

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