Hooniverse Asks- What Car Best Rocked the T-Top?


There was a time, back in the seventies, when wild eyed and spittle spewing insurance actuarials deemed the automobile to be only slightly less dangerous than a thermonuclear device, or maybe giving Mike Tyson a wedgie. And a particular object of the insurance companies attention toward taking all of the fun danger out of cars was the convertible.

Because auto makers feared the insurance lobby would force the government to ban convertibles, many manufacturers dropped them from their line ups as new models were developed. Of course, American car buyers – being a flatulent bunch – still appreciated some semblance of open-air motoring, and as a way to serve that market the T-roof came into prominence.

Leaky and squeaky, the T-top still became the closest thing to a real convertible at the time, and without all the expensive and boring work required to reinforce the frame that a true ragtop seemed to demand. Plus, the industry’s despicable quality control during the era meant that the manual labor required to remove and install the tops negated the potentially faulty motors and crank mechanisms that moon roofs demanded.

Convertibles weren’t ever banned, and in fact remain to this day a popular choice across many a model, but due to that potentiality back in the day, the T-Top ruled for an era. And today, I want to know which classic T-Top most rocks your world. What car do you think best pulled off the T-Top?

Image: [dogomovies]

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57 responses to “Hooniverse Asks- What Car Best Rocked the T-Top?”

  1. P161911 Avatar

    It isn't widely known, but ALL C3 Corvette Coupes had t-tops.
    <img src="http://www.brightonmotorsports.com/sites/default/files/vehicles/cars/available/chevrolet-corvette-t-top-coupe-1969.jpg"iwdth=500&gt;
    Probably my favorite since my 77 corvette is the only vehicle I've ever owned with t-tops.

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Not counting the early prototypes. The car was dsigned as a targa, but Chevy engineers added the center bar at the last minute in order to help reduce chassis flex.

    2. mnm4ever Avatar

      I think that's pretty widely known… Who didn't know that?

  2. muthalovin Avatar


    1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
      Peter Tanshanomi


      1. BGW Avatar

        My cache of Juha Kankkunen and Tommi Makinen images is just WAITING for a "What car features the best fins?" post.
        (I'm dead inside)

    2. salguod Avatar

      Uh, I don't see the T-top — oh, wait. Nicely done.

    1. Irishzombieman Avatar

      Whoa. Didn't see that coming.

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Yeah. Ms. Predictable.

    2. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

      I never thought that through, I guess the tops of the doors would have to come off to make a convertible.
      So what is it if you leave the door tops on and take the roof off, an H-top?

      1. $kaycog Avatar

        Ha! H-top………..one of a kind. ;D

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      That's a T-side. T-tops go on the roof.
      Have you ever considered adding three blowers to one of your cars?

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        My KVs each have an engine-driven blower for pressurizing the fuel tank:
        <img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5088/5731724122_d1f23555a3.jpg&quot; width="300">
        but beyond that I'm not a big fan of forced induction.

        1. OA5599 Avatar

          It connects the same pressure source to both sides? Does that actually do anything besides add to the parts list to make the car seem more complicated?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Fuel rises from the base of the tank upwards along H, the sight glass [niveau visible] for gauging fuel level. The supercharger acts evenly upon both.
            Calling it a "sight glass" is a bit pretentious, by the way, as it's actually a length of fuel-resistant (I hope) transparent flexible tubing, probably some variety of Tygon.

          2. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            And lately, a pretentious fuel tank mod for moto-hipsters everywhere.
            <img src="http://www.flyritechoppers.com/Pix/sight_glass.jpg&quot; width="400">

          3. mdharrell Avatar

            Ooh, fancy. KV took a somewhat more utilitarian approach. The sight glass is the silver tube that runs along the front of the inside flank of the gas tank:
            <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8092/8381372936_e6af42df19_z.jpg&quot; width="500">
            It's silver these days because the previous owner didn't bother removing it when he repainted the tank. The supercharger line is the black hose that feeds into the length of translucent brown tubing that runs towards the top of the tank.
            The large [sic] silver rod is the hood prop, which is sitting over a pin that projects from the left tank strap.

        2. dculberson Avatar

          Wait… does it actually pump AIR into the fuel tank? As in, fuel+air+pressure mix that is oh so safe? Or am I missing something? Can I ask some more questions? Or just end sentences in question marks? Okay, I'm done?

          1. mdharrell Avatar

            Yes, air. Into the fuel tank. As an assist to the otherwise gravity-fed fuel system. Perfectly safe so far. No fragments yet.

          2. dculberson Avatar

            Yikes! Sounds like a wonderfully engineered machine. I would drive it, but with this caveat: while it's been safe so far, it only takes once to blow that statement out of the water. 😉

          3. mdharrell Avatar

            Not gonna happen. Air-cooled.

  3. mr. mzs zsm msz esq Avatar
    mr. mzs zsm msz esq

    <img src="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0KG-v_7t3Z8/UGyOgd9xRFI/AAAAAAAAIQg/xQFd3hI1INk/s1600/subaru_brat_gl_black_1982.jpg"&gt; Do these count? It was good enough for Reagan. There is a dad in the troop that has a Brat and I dig these cause of how they open.

    1. HTWHLS Avatar

      +1 on the Grand Prix!

  4. Alcology Avatar

    If I was going to give tyson a wedgie, I would definitely travel back in time to the 70's to do it. Definitely not now.

  5. POLAЯ Avatar

    Mk1 MR2s had what I call lower-case t-roofs, but a nice touch nevertheless.
    <img src="http://i.ytimg.com/vi/yg_HgK-wMZw/0.jpg"&gt;

    1. Devin Avatar

      Got there first!

      1. failboat Avatar

        the Z32 just looks sooo right with t-tops

  6. OA5599 Avatar

    Power controlled, or GTFO. Cadillac made a few of these '78 Eldorados, the "last" American car to rock a convertible top.
    <img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6015/5963197261_dfddfa6268.jpg"&gt;

    1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      Beat me to it!
      Power retractable T-tops…FTW!!!!

    2. stigshift Avatar

      These were originally designed for the Olds Toronado XSR, but teething problems derailed that. The remaining sets were then installed on I believe 7 Eldos. There were one or two Toros built for evaluation with these roofs. http://auto.howstuffworks.com/1977-oldsmobile-tor

  7. engineerd Avatar

    T-tops AND fine Corinthean leather.
    <img width=500 src="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lwyxjzzZdp1r4kmm5o1_500.jpg"&gt;

  8. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
    Peter Tanshanomi

    I would have to say Mirada, because there is just so much going on with those C-pillars, it would have been a shame to lose them.
    <img src="http://nozama.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ed05fc288330133f30442c5970b-400wi"&gt;

    1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
      C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

      I actually liked the look of those machines…and the Magnum.
      Then again, I was young when they were new, which likely helped.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        I really like the Mirada's shape (moreso without the vinyl landau). There's a guy in Texas who's almost finished putting a Mirada bodyshell on a new Charger SRT8 chassis.
        <img src="http://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash3/14462_384820838270349_1435127725_n.jpg&quot; width="512">
        <a href="http://www.facebook.com/pages/SRT-8-Dodge-Mirada/183925705026531” target=”_blank”>http://www.facebook.com/pages/SRT-8-Dodge-Mirada/183925705026531

        1. C³-Cool Cadillac Cat Avatar
          C³-Cool Cadillac Cat

          That is extra bitchin'/rad/cool.
          Though…I have to wonder about the fakey carriage top. Never understood the appeal, and with flat black paint…

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            I don't believe the primer is the finished color; it's still a work in progress. But yea, the vinyl is a downer.

        2. LTDScott Avatar

          That is awesome.

  9. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    This thread makes me miss my '85 300ZX.

  10. Fritzo2162 Avatar

    I had an '84 Mustang GT with T-Tops. Damn things leaked from the day I got the car to the day I dumped it.
    <img src="http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m97/91rangerturbo/1984%20GT/Picture019.jpg"&gt;

  11. skitter Avatar

    I probably wouldn't get away with the 911 Targa, Carrera GT, F50, F355, NSX, or TVR Tuscan, so I will nominate:
    The Bentley Continental SC
    <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/contisc3.jpg&quot; width="500">
    The Heuliez SM
    <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/CitroenSMRetractable.jpg"&gt;
    and the trimmed Enzo
    <img src="http://i615.photobucket.com/albums/tt237/jskitter/hooniverse/FerrariEnzoB.jpg&quot; width="500">

  12. Devin Avatar

    The Suzuki Cappuccino had T-tops that could turn into a full blown convertible! It had it all!
    <img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5012/5589262136_b0bbb42e67.jpg&quot; width="500" height="375" alt="231 Suzuki Cappuccino (1991-97)">

  13. rpdred6 Avatar

    I nominate my 2001 Chevrolet Camaro (or any fourth-gen F-Body for that matter)
    <img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8356/8380288891_7343315c6a.jpg&quot; width="500" height="200" alt="487516_2917561550227_481581259_n">

  14. LTDScott Avatar

    It was already mentioned, but I gotta go with the Olds Toronado XSR, mainly because I had a Tomica version of one as a kid.
    <img src="http://i173.photobucket.com/albums/w69/17703/Tomica/1977OldsmobileToronadoT-Top-whitef-.jpg"&gt;

  15. vroomsocko Avatar

    GM F-Bodies I lusted after in High School, before they got silly looking:
    <img src="http://farm1.static.flickr.com/93/246041680_83409bf68c.jpg&quot; width="600">
    Early 90's Firebird Formula (Banshee styling cues FTW!)
    <img src="http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4040/4676187225_a8720d2565.jpg&quot; width="600">

  16. P161911 Avatar

    How about the worst car with t-tops?
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/Suzuki_X-90_blue.jpg"width=500&gt;
    The Suzuki X-90

  17. wisc47 Avatar

    As a massive fan of the mk2 MR2, it would be difficult for me to let this be left out.
    <img src="http://www.mr2.com/canadam/Billstein.jpg"&gt;

  18. engineerd Avatar

    My roommate in college had a 280Z with the t-tops. I liked it. I don't care what your mom thinks.
    <img width=500 src="http://images04.olx.com/ui/13/60/71/1298256604_168875971_1-Pictures-of–1983-Datsun-280-ZX-t-tops-59000-miles.jpg"&gt;
    Wasn't there a pickup truck with t-tops in the 80s? I'm thinking it was a Datsun or Toyota, but I can't find it. Maybe I'm delusional.

  19. Tomsk Avatar

    The last of the big T-birds rocked them pretty well.
    <img src="http://automotivemileposts.com/tbird/images/tbird1979pastelchamoistroof.jpg&quot; width="500" />

    1. salguod Avatar

      Friend in HS had a '79 heritage Edition with T-tops. So cool.

  20. Ol'Shel' Avatar

    No pics of T-backs?

  21. salguod Avatar

    So. Much. Win.
    World's only T-top wagon (Probably not)?
    <img src="http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j138/motosteveo/DSC01176.jpg&quot; width=600>
    T-tops are better when they're Hurst Hatches:
    <img src="http://blog.hemmings.com/wp-content/uploads//2011/04/1975HurstOlds_01_700.jpg&quot; width=600>

  22. Florida Fishing Avatar

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