Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
Subscribe to the Free

Step by Step Headliner Installation in a 1964 Corvette Coupe

Replacing the headliner in a 1964 Corvette coupe

Tommy Lee Byrd Mar 8, 2019
View Full Gallery

There are certain things that truly bother a car guy. Exhaust leaks, an unknown rattle, and a sagging headliner top the list of annoyances. Today, we’re working in our home garage to tackle the sagging headliner in 1964 Corvette coupe. For most cars, it’s probably better to leave a headliner installation to the pros, but for 1963-’67 Corvette coupes, it’s a pretty straightforward install.

We called up Zip Products for a new, reproduction headliner in black to match our upholstery. (Other colors are available.) We reused most of our original parts, but Zip also offers new sunvisors, rearview mirror, trim screws and necessary clips if you need them. If you’re working with any color other than black, matching the original vinyl-covered sunvisors is nearly impossible so it’s best to replace them with new units for the best color match.

The majority of the headliner swap involves Phillips head screws, which retain the various trim pieces that hold the headliner in place. No other tools are required, besides some form of cutting utensil in case you need to trim the headliner for a precise fit. Once the headliner is in place, it’s a matter of installing the original trim pieces.

We handled this install in a matter of approximately three hours. It greatly improved the appearance of our 1964 Corvette coupe and is an affordable option compared to sending the car to an upholstery shop. As long as you have a Phillips screwdriver and a little bit of patience, you can tackle this project in your home garage. Follow along with our install, and you’ll see some tips and tricks that will surely help with your project. Vette

002 C2 Corvette Headliner 2/22

The original headliner in our 1964 Corvette coupe no longer followed the contour of the roof. Instead, it sagged in two areas and had several areas of dimples that didn’t help with the ailing appearance.

003 C2 Corvette Headliner 3/22

Our first step was removing the sunvisors. Our visors were in great shape, so we decided to reuse them instead of ordering new ones. All the hardware involved in the swap features a Phillips head, so the tool list is rather short.

004 C2 Corvette Headliner 4/22

The rearview mirror is next in line for disassembly. It is held in place with two screws. Now would be a good time to replace the mirror and bracket if yours has typical pitting.

005 C2 Corvette Headliner 5/22

Then, we remove the six screws from the A-pillar molding. With the screws removed, the molding can be pulled outward to release it from the mounting tab.

006 C2 Corvette Headliner 6/22

The windshield molding fits beneath the A-pillar moldings, so it is next on our list. Two screws hold it in place.

007 C2 Corvette Headliner 7/22

The rear of the headliner slides between the roof and the halo trim panel. In order to remove the headliner, we need to release some of the tension off the halo panel. The leading screw on the halo panel also holds the “over door” molding.

008 C2 Corvette Headliner 8/22

Next, the over door molding can slide forward to free itself from the mounting tabs, which keep the channeled trim piece aligned.

009 C2 Corvette Headliner 9/22

After the over door trim slides out of the mounting tabs, you’ll need to carefully wiggle the trim piece away from the roof. This clip is the last thing holding the trim in place. Zip Products offers new clips (PN I-1174) for this trim if you break the originals or simply want to replace them.

010 C2 Corvette Headliner 10/22

Now, we remove the remaining screws in the halo panel to give us a little more room for the old headliner to slide out, and for the new headliner to slide in.

011 C2 Corvette Headliner 11/22

At this point, the headliner may require some wiggling to get it loose from the front edges, but after the front is loose, it should easily slide out from under the halo panel.

012 C2 Corvette Headliner 12/22

The new headliner came from Zip Products (PN I-820.20). It is manufactured by Corvette America and features vinyl material bonded to a rigid plastic backing. We opted for black to match our original interior.

013 C2 Corvette Headliner 13/22

We slid the back of the headliner between the halo panel and the roof for test fitment. Trimming may be necessary to get a precise fit. Tin snips makes easy work of fabric, foam and even the plastic backing if necessary. The idea is that the headliner fits just inside the lip around the birdcage.

014 C2 Corvette Headliner 14/22

When it came time for final fitment, it’s best to have a helping hand to keep everything in place and make sure both sides are even. Carlee was a great helper for this project.

015 C2 Corvette Headliner 15/22

The windshield molding can be loosely installed to hold the headliner in place while we work our way from back to front with the moldings.

016 C2 Corvette Headliner 16/22

The over door moldings can be tricky, as they must align on the front and rear mounting tabs. We also have to snap the clip into place to secure the molding.

017 C2 Corvette Headliner 17/22

When the over door molding is secure, we can button it up with the screw that passes through the halo panel.

018 C2 Corvette Headliner 18/22

The A-pillar moldings come next. These moldings must first slide onto the same mounting tab as the over door molding before the screws can be installed.

019 C2 Corvette Headliner 19/22

Continue the A-pillar molding installation on the passenger side. Now would be a good time to have an interior screw kit within reach.

020 C2 Corvette Headliner 20/22

The rearview mirror can be reattached with two new screws.

021 C2 Corvette Headliner 21/22

Finally, we reattach the original sunvisors using new screws. After they are attached to the roof, you can adjust the tension of the visor to your liking.

022 C2 Corvette Headliner 22/22

The refreshed look is a far cry from the sagging and dimply headliner that is now in the trash. We only spent a few hours in our home garage without any special tools and our 1964 Corvette headliner install is complete.

Photography by Tommy Lee Byrd


Zip Products
Mechanicsville, VA 23111



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print