Details of an Original Top.
I purchased a mostly complete original top for a 68C at Hershey in 2003. This
top has been recovered and has had some repairs, but a lot of important information
about how the original wood was made and assembled can be found in these pictures.
Many of the details of the original top are missing in different versions of
the repro wood that are out there. I believe some of the details are important
from an operational aspect and are not obvious unless you have original wood.
Please be patient as I have many pictures here.
Here is how the header bow was held to the top irons. They used this funny tapered nuts that jambed into the hole in the wood.
I understand they used them on roadster's also. Obviously it does not matter what you use to actually hold yours in since they will never be seen.
Notice the there are two slots in the wood highlighted with green and red dots.
I do not see the purpose for the large green slot. The red lined slot is the
important one as it allows the top of the bow cover to lay flat where the arrow
is pointing. This slot is not found on any repro wood that I have seen and I
did not know about it until I bought this top. Also there is a relief cut at
the bottom edge of the bow for the bow cover that is missing from all the repro
wood. I have documented this and sent it to Steve Cannon so we will see if it
is added in future revision. Obviously,
these are important for the fit of the bow cover to the wood. The blue area may not be level on the repro wood. It needs to be level for the bow cover to lay flat and is level on the original wood.
This shows the metal re-enforcement used in the #2 bow. I somehow think that
this is important as it does not look
easy to make. I am guessing there is a lot of force on the bow when installed. None of the repros allow for the metal.
Here is and important fit that could be easily missed. The upper bracket and the wood need to be closely shaped to fit
each other and the outside edge of the bracket needs to be at the edge of the wood. You set the the landaus by moving this
bracket up and down. The original Ford design wood allowed for some adjustment of the top of the bow so have the wood joint
made like original is very helpful.
In the above three pictures you will see what I believe to be original top material. It has the color, look and feel that make me
think it may be original.
Here is an important fit point. Every #1 bow bracket I have seen has been mounted like this. Note that the one edge is about 1/8" or so and parallel
to the edge of the bracket. The big screw sets the placement of the the lower edge of the wood and is frequently not correctly placed on
Note the relative position of the bracket on the wood.
Note that the left side of the curved area is level with the lower part of the #1 bow and the right side is not.
None of the repro wood has this done to date. This will not allow the the bow cover to lay correctly on the wood.
First the top edge (outside edge) of the bottom of the #1 bow has a slight relief cut so the chrome plate will lay flat and not
be pushed out by the bow cover. There was some black spacer material behind the rubber post seal that appears to be original.
Carefull planing. Note the 2 screws that hold the upright wood to the cross wood. See how the bracket screw
misses the the 2 screws.
Landaus were originally chromed together. I have several that are like this. Note the chrome on the rivet that holds
the landau together.
Upper bracket post trim. Left is the repro and right is the NOS one I got at Hershey 2003.