1957 thunderbird aftermarket soft tops

Have a hard top only 1957 Bird and am very curious what other members have experienced using any of the various aftermarket soft tops. Our car is a good solid #3 driver and feel confident I would be very happy with an aftermarket top.
thanks in advance
Roger
 
Have a hard top only 1957 Bird and am very curious what other members have experienced using any of the various aftermarket soft tops. Our car is a good solid #3 driver and feel confident I would be very happy with an aftermarket top.
thanks in advance
Roger
Depending on where you live I might have different advice. The best top is probably from Jewell. If authenticity is not a big issue the best of the lesser tops is probably from Prestige Thunderbird. Other Thunderbird patrts sellers als use Prestige's top and when you order it from another source it is then drop shipped tp you from Prestige. I have had a Prestige top for about 20 years. I have not needed to replace it as of yet but the "canvas" is showing some age. Aside from buying a top you will most likely want to purchase a swing bar set-up. Without the swing bar you can fold the top up and stow it behind the seat. It is difficult to use the top in this configuration, ie. you have to lift it up onto the deck behind the seat and then open it up to latch the top in place. The spring loaded swing bar installs onto the studs in the floor that every 55-57 Thunderbird originally had from the factory.The to is attached to it and allows relatively easy stowing and then an assit to bring the top up to latch it down. I suggest you join a local club as well as Classic Thunderbird Club International (CTCI). Look at other owner's tops and make a decision after that. good luck, J.
 
Thanks J
Car is New England based.
have indeed looked at other folks tops just looking for as much feedback as I can gather and feel this is as good a place to look as any.
glad to hear you have been happy with your Prestigue top as that is kinda what I am considering.
I like Frank, I think he’s a pretty straight shooter.
Tks again
Roger
 
My 2 cents... I have a 55 Hardtop only TBird and I too was wanting an aftermarket soft top. However since I couldn't decide nor did I want to fork over the big $$ I got a tonneau cover in the meantime. I'm really happy with the tonneau and I don't think I'll need a soft top now as this is a fair weather only car. However I live in Southern California so I certainly have the luck of having fair weather most of the time.
 
1957Bird - I too had a hard top only 1956 and wanted a soft top. I got my aftermarket soft top through Hills Thunderbird in Ohio (I'm not affiliated). I wanted some color as the car and hard top are white. They have vinyl and canvas and also offer the swing arms. They will even send swatches so you can see the material/color before you order. Installation took only a couple of hours and everything was included to complete the install. - Kip

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1957Bird - I too had a hard top only 1956 and wanted a soft top. I got my aftermarket soft top through Hills Thunderbird in Ohio (I'm not affiliated). I wanted some color as the car and hard top are white. They have vinyl and canvas and also offer the swing arms. They will even send swatches so you can see the material/color before you order. Installation took only a couple of hours and everything was included to complete the install. - Kip

View attachment 10469 View attachment 10470
Love that red top!
Did you install it yourself?
 
1957Bird - I too had a hard top only 1956 and wanted a soft top. I got my aftermarket soft top through Hills Thunderbird in Ohio (I'm not affiliated). I wanted some color as the car and hard top are white. They have vinyl and canvas and also offer the swing arms. They will even send swatches so you can see the material/color before you order. Installation took only a couple of hours and everything was included to complete the install. - Kip

View attachment 10469 View attachment 10470
Good information
 
Good day to all ,
Appreciate the response I received to my question yesterday :)
Thought I'd look for some more knowledge.
My car only has the Softop - I noticed there is a manufacturer of
HardTops - https://www.smoothline.com/thunderbird-hardtop

Has anyone purchased one of these, or seen them - perhaps knows of another
manufacturer?

The only OEM one(s) I've found on the web have been with Amos Minter in Texas.

Appreciate the help in advance,
Thanks, Ferenc
 
To begin with; top coverings come in various colors. Originally only black and white were factory offered. OEM was also only in vinyl. Vinyl is still available for purists. The other than black or white are available in what I believe to be Hartz cloth. I have observed that white tops do not stay white for a long period and look dingy in a short period compared to other colors.
There are a number of Thunderbird suppliers. There is also some give and take between them in reproduction parts. ie. One shop will make/commission a part and the others will also sell it. No one shop is the overall supplier. I will probably omit some sources but that is only incidental and implies no like or dislike for them.
CASCO has been around a long time
Concours Parts also handles parts for other fords also. Owner of Concours originally started Larrys. He took some time off and could not resit jumping back in.
Larry's Thunderbird and Mustang parts. also a long time supplier.
Prestige Thunderbird parts also a long time supplier.
Thunderbird Headquarters also long time supplier.
Hill's previously bought out another supplier as they expanded.
National Parts Depot markets parts for a variety of makes.
Mac's has Thunderbird parts and is part of Eckler's which is a longtime Corvette supplier.
I suggest comparing prices and shipping to determine the total cost on your doorstep. Again there are probably more but these are the ones that come to mind.

Some other places to my knowledge, like Jewell, only supply one type of specific Thunderbird part. Jewell is a source for soft tops that are OEM quality and have some interchangeable parts with OEM. There is at least one other top supplier that I know of, but I forget their name. I have seen their hardtops and they are okay but not OEM quality nor exact style.
 
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