1973 Dodge Polara Spring Special Vinyl Top

chry73luv

Active Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2013
Messages
242
Reaction score
176
Have a question concerning the correct bore grain on this Spring Special . I have a 2dr and sent away to SMS for a sample of the vinyl top. Once I got it in the mail I compared it to my car and it doesn't match. The grain is much smaller on the Spring Special. The sample they sent me WAS a perfect match for my 1973 Chrysler Newport.So I am thinking that the Spring Special had a different bore grain. I don't doubt the sample they sent is correct for the 73 Chrysler Corp cars. I have had several tops cut by them for my 73 Chryslers. All good. So does anybody know if a different grain was used for this Special? I know this too is original and never replaced before.
 
What they probably sent you was a Levant grain, like GM used rather than the Boar Grain that Chrysler used? Seems like the Formals were Levant grain, though.

Many aftermarket vinyl tops were in Levant grain unless they ordered a Chrysler-specific vinyl top fabric. Might find some accurate color swatches and grains in the Color and Trim Selectors in www.hamtramck-historical.com.

I kind of doubt that Spring Special vehicles had any unique vinyl top fabric, other than the Boar Grain tops. Usually Spring Special cars might have some different paint colors and interior trim items, but I don't recall vinyl top fabric being in that mix.

Just some thoughts,
CBODY67
 
@chry73luv -- in the photo from @weebull here, does the grain look like your car? The car posted by Weebull has been repainted, but if the top is original then it may help you out.

@tbm3fan may be able to chime in as he owns DM43K3D289566 and has replaced the top. I have tagged you in his restoration thread (which dates back 10 years, but is nicely illustrated)
 
Since we are on the subject of vinyl tops, might anyone know if the paisley pattern 70/71 Gran Fury vinyl top material is available? Frankly, what 70s Chrysler product isn't improved with a vinyl top??
 
Cleaner lines. Less rust. Less dirt collected .
Absolutely. However if you need to tell yourself otherwise because you're stuck with one, that's ok too.
 
E bodies are much better looking without a vinyl top, and I think the same is true with the Chargers and most of the other Mopar muscle cars. I think the vinyl tops seem to work on the larger luxury yachts.
 
Back when they were around, they were an upscale option to have.

When I started waxing our '66 Newport Town Sedan, it was a stretch for me to stand on the door sill plates and reach 1/2 way across that top and even a bit more to get to the center of the roof. After several years of that, I told myself that ANY future car I bought would have a vinyl roof, which my '70 Monaco Brougham 4dr ht did. That was in '75. Then my '67 Newport Fastop in 1981. Both were the factory-installed tops, which I then soaked in protectant with a car wash sponge to keep them soft. Bad thing about that was that excess Armorall would wash off end it rained, which meant that I had to clean all of the exterior glass. STP Son of a Gun worked well on the Newport, with a satiny finish and such.

As time progressed, even with the protectants (some people even advocated just washing the tops with NO protectant on them, back then) the vinyl trended toward non-soft and other existing issues progressed. BTAIM

I was surprised at how much quieter a vinyl top car is than one without it. Later, I would discover just how much sound insulation is NOT above those cloth headliners.

When those two cars get repainted, a full layer of enamel will be put where the vinyl tops were. In the colors of the tops. THEN I might put the vinyl back on of not. I'm now thinking that a bit of satin additive to those paints might help maintain the overall "look" of the vinyl sheen, so it does not look like a two-tone paint like two-tone paint used to look.

As to the ModTop fabric, I suspect that as soon as Chrysler installed their last one, that lot of vinyl top material was "obsoleted" big time. Considering it was a very low-production option, even back then. Of course, with a good donor survivor vehicle to work off of, probably nothing to repop it in a vehicle wrap material rather than vinyl?

There are some vehicles, no matter their size, that look good with a factory vinyl top as others not so much. BUT I still remember waxing that top of the Chrysler in Texas July temperatures. I'd be using an orbital buffer now rather than specifically upper body muscles.

Enjoy!
CBODY67
 
From my 73 Dodge and Chrysler color and trim books. The Imperial is a smaller grain For what it’s worth Topsonline sent me the smaller grain as a sample for my 73 Monaco
IMG_1625.jpeg
IMG_1624.jpeg
 
From my 73 Dodge and Chrysler color and trim books. The Imperial is a smaller grain For what it’s worth Topsonline sent me the smaller grain as a sample for my 73 Monaco View attachment 628586View attachment 628587
That's so interesting. .The Imperial top is exactly the grain on my vinyl roof and not the Chrysler grain. Wow. And I know my top is original. I will have to research this further. I have literature on this Spring Special. I need to read thru it and see if they make any mention of it . Thanks to all who responded to my post. I always know where to go for good info. Will be interesting to see where this leads.
 
That's so interesting. .The Imperial top is exactly the grain on my vinyl roof and not the Chrysler grain. Wow. And I know my top is original. I will have to research this further. I have literature on this Spring Special. I need to read thru it and see if they make any mention of it . Thanks to all who responded to my post. I always know where to go for good info. Will be interesting to see where this leads.
I just checked tbm3fan posts about his vinyl top. That is the correct grain that I have on my car as well. It's smaller and grainer than the Chrysler sample they sent me.
 
I hear what you say Dave but even your avatar car at least looks like it has one. Good choice!

I prefer cars that have both style and a touch of elegance/class added to them. Some folks like Polara's best while I am one who prefers the Monacos. There is no right or wrong answer in terms of appearance, however, I agree with you that vinyl tops do lead to more rust and maintenance over time.
 
Cleaner lines. Less rust. Less dirt collected .
Absolutely. However if you need to tell yourself otherwise because you're stuck with one, that's ok too.
To each his own. I understand the clean lines and less rust risk for slick top cars However, for the 60's and 70's MOPAR C body, there is no question the vinyl tops made a huge improvement for looks and richness of the car.
 
I just checked tbm3fan posts about his vinyl top. That is the correct grain that I have on my car as well. It's smaller and grainer than the Chrysler sample they sent me.

I can't help you as to the supplier of my vinyl material. I know it wasn't SMS because the fellow I use can't stand SMS. When I brought the sample over to him, he works out of his garage and has done this for at least since 1975, he pulled out his catalogs and started looking. Did the same for my headliner as that was done at the same time. It is now 10 years later and SMS had bought out a lot of other suppliers.
 
Back
Top