A vinyl top can be a polarizing thing on a car. Typically, you either you love it or you hate it. Some think they bring a touch of class while others think you take some of the muscle out of the muscle car. We even heard a guy call it the toupee of the car. No matter if you're for or against them, GM did them at the factory, so we put one back on our AMD Chevelle. The team at C. Hopkins Rod & Custom in Commerce, Georgia--Craig Hopkins, Aaron Hopkins, Caesar Brecino, and Chris Dyer--has been elbows-deep restoring this '67 SS 396 Chevelle.
The previous five stories were focused on replacing all the sheetmetal with new AMD parts, and coating it with DuPont's Emerald Turquoise Metallic paint. Now we are going to cover up the roof. Yes we are putting a vinyl top over a brand new roof skin. Like we have been stating since the day we started, it's being built with an as-close-to-stock as possible theme, and that includes a vinyl top.
The height of the vinyl top era was the late-'60s to early-'70s. GM offered these tops on just about everything. Some got halo-style tops that didn't actually cover the entire roof, like the '69 Camaro or '70 Monte Carlo. The Chevelle on the other hand got a full top and this author thinks the '66-67 styles takes a vinyl top very well. The awesome rear roof pillars get even more accentuation with the molding and the black top makes the roof appear to be chopped just a bit. Also, the tops are not as easy to damage as paint. So a very large chunk of the vehicle will never need color sanding, polishing or wax.
Even though Craig runs a full service shop, he enlisted the help of Danny Reese, Chuck Wehemt, and Bo Anderson, who have a little more knowledge working with vinyl. These new guys (along with Craig's normal crew) went at the top install full-speed ahead and had it all done in a few hours.