Sunday, December 15, 2019

Replacement Convertible Tops - Material Options & Fabric Types

With so many options and styles to choose from, making your selection on a replacement convertible top can quite daunting. We are here to break down the details on each, allowing you to make a more informed purchasing decision. At Auto Tops Direct, we supply only the best and most durable products. The Haartz Corporation is known for being the best in the business when it comes to creating fabric for OEM soft-top convertibles.

As shown in the image to the right, the superior Haartz cloth-topping materials are thoughtfully constructed using a multilayer "three-ply" method. Each top is composed of:

  • Facing material - acrylic or polyester, found on the outside of the vehicle
  • Backing material - cloth fabric, found on the interior lining within the vehicle
  • Elastomeric core – an insulating elastic-type of material that provides water resistance, insulation and stretch; increasing the thickness of the rubber film will reduce the amount of noise in the vehicle interior.


Facing Material
The exterior facing side of your top is woven with square or twill weave and comes coupled with either polyester, polyester/cotton or cotton.

Backing Material
The backing material is typically only available in black. When combined with the twill facing material, it will come with a dobby crosshatch pattern, just as shown in the image above. The Stayfast material comes with a plain black cotton or polyester blend backing fabric.

With certain older Mercedes models, you will find the German canvas tops come with a tan-colored interior backing fabric.


Twillfast II fabric comes with an acrylic facing material on the exterior and a blend of polyester and cotton for the interior backing. The interior backing is black with a dobby crosshatch pattern. With select facing material colors, you will also be given the option of a tan interior backing.

Twillfast RPC is ideal for when you are looking for a bit of built-in soundproofing. This option is considered to be an acoustic topping, created to reduce noise. It comes complete with an acrylic face and polyester backing that is black with a dobby crosshatch pattern.

Sonnenland German Classic fabric is composed of a polyester and acrylic facing material with polyester and cotton backing that is black with a dobby crosshatch pattern. Select colors have the option of tan interior backing.

German A5 is considered an acoustic topping and reduces noise. It has an acrylic face and polyester backing. The backing is black and has a dobby (crosshatch) pattern.

German A5 Acoustic provides the most superior option in exterior noise reduction. It is a superior-quality and expertly crafted acoustic material composed of an acrylic face on the exterior and polyester interior backing that is black with a dobby crosshatch pattern.

Stayfast is composed of an acrylic exterior facing material and a smooth, soft cotton interior backing fabric that is black with the option of tan when coupled with select exterior face colors. This fabric will have a square exterior facing weave instead of a twill weave.

In order to provide the best, most expertly crafted replacement tops, many things must come together properly for superior fit. We pride ourselves on accuracy and consistency with our production methods, quality and fabrics, and we have a team of experts who are happy to help guide you through making your selection.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Highlighting Design Changes for 1990-1994 Mercedes SL Convertible Tops

Since its first appearance in 1954 as the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, nicknamed the Gullwing, the Mercedes SL Class has proven to be one of the company's most popular series of automobiles. Still in production to this day, the SL Class has been produced through six generations and marketed under an array of monikers:
300 SL Gullwing – 1954-1957
300 SL Roadster – 1957-1953
190 SL – 1955-1963
230 SL – 1963-1967
250 SL – 1966-1968
280 SL – 1967-1971
350 SL – 1971-1972
450 SL – 1973-1980
280 SL – 1974-1985
380 SL – 1980-1988
500 SL – 1980-1986

The list continues on, with Mercedes-Benz using numerous other designations for its wide variety of SL models. Some SL designations, such as the 280 SL, are reused for new models. Others, such as the SL 55 AMG, SL 60 AMG and SL 70 AMG, were limited production models, of which few were produced. Only a total of about 300 SL Class models were customized by AMG before 2002.

Mercedes SL Convertible Tops

Many Mercedes-Benz SL models came with a choice of hard top, convertible top or both. Convertible tops that were installed during manufacture on 1990-1994 300 SL, 500 SL and 600 SL models had a design flaw that eventually required repair or replacement of the top. A buckle that's part of the window section and uses elastic and a screw to attach to the frame causes damage to the top. In 1995, the company changed its design, getting rid of the buckle and replacing it with a canvas/elastic attachment system.

The SL convertible tops we sell, including those for the 1990-1994 model years, utilize this improved design feature. These tops fit SL model years 1990-2002 and, in addition to use on 300 SL, 500 SL and 600 SL models, are also appropriate for SL 280, SL 320, SL 500 and SL 600 models utilizing the 129 chassis.

Our convertible tops are made from high-quality canvas and vinyl, using OEM materials. They feature plastic windows that are expertly sewn in, hand-rolled bindings and strong polyester color-matched stitching. Made in the U.S., these tops look and feel just as good as the top originally installed on your vehicle at the factory. They provide a perfect fit, guaranteed.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

A Guide to Choosing the Right Top for Your Miata

When shopping for a replacement top for your Mazda Miata, there are many things to consider. But don’t let the process overwhelm you, as we’re here to help. We have provided a breakdown of the options for each model. And yes, you have options, as many makes allow options. You can choose to replace your top with glass or plastic window options; each has its own benefit. Some options are desirable for the easy install process and larger window; others may be appealing for the longevity that glass provides through scratch-resistance. Below, we will guide you through the process so you can narrow your choices down to the products that work with your Miata, your budget and your personal taste.

We'll Break Down Each of These Options:
  • Windows (Glass/Plastic)
  • Materials (Vinyl/Cloth)
  • Colors
  • Rain Rails
  • Zippered or Non-Zippered Rear Window

1989-2005 Replacement Top With Plastic Window

The 1990-1997 Miata was originally released with a plastic rear window and had a two-piece convertible top, with the top section and rear window section being two separate pieces. This is called factory style. All of our two-piece factory plastic window tops include the zippered window. To make the install easier, we ship the two pieces already put together.

From 1998-2005 , the Miata originally came with a glass window. However, if you are looking to save, replacing it with a one-piece plastic window is a good choice. This also increases the size of the rear window since the glass version is smaller to fit inside of the boot. The one-piece designs do not include a zippered rear window option.

1990-2005 Replacement Top With Glass Window

The factory-designed Miata convertible through 2005 originally offered a two-piece top design. If you have chosen to go with the two-piece model for replacing your top, this includes a glass window and the option of either a zippered or non-zippered rear window that can easily fold down when the top is still up. The non-zippered option offers a lower price tag for those looking to save.

The 2006 Miata soft-top design was switched over to a factory-designed one-piece style, and you have the option of choosing which design you prefer.

Choose From Two Designs:
  • Factory-style original two-piece design
  • Newer one-piece easy-to-install design
Choose Material Type:
  • Vinyl
  • Cloth
Lastly, pick a color.

1990-1997 Replacement Tops With Glass Window

When selecting a top with a glass window for your 1990- through 1997-model Miata, it is important to know that installation will require two additional bow straps to allow it to fold down into the boot correctly. The bow straps and additional install instructions are included with your order. Please also note that 1990 models are not equipped with a defroster wire and connecting the defroster glass for this model is not recommended. For models 1991-1997, you must purchase the Mazda 3-Wire Connector [Part Number N007-67-060A] in order to connect the defroster to the glass. Connecting the defroster is optional.

2006-2014 Mazda MX5 Tops

Shopping for and replacing the convertible top on your 2006 and newer Mazda Miata MX5 is worlds easier but with fewer options: They’re all one-piece designs with no zippers, rain rails or other options. Simply decide on your material type and color.

Rain Rail

Now, lastly, you should make the decision as to whether you would like the optional rain rail add-on. Simply put, this is added protection from the elements to prevent moisture from entering the vehicle as you open your doors and trunk. It is a U-shaped ABS plastic piece that will be pre-attached to the rear bottom of the convertible top. It has been designed to direct water through drainage holes to prevent it from entering your interior cabin and trunk. Please add one day to your expected delivery time when selecting this option.

Glass Windows Warranty

At AutoTopsDirect, all of our glass window convertible tops come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Download the two attachments if you need more information about glass tops.
At, most of our products are in stock and ship fast. All of our Miata convertible tops are superior quality and 100% guaranteed to fit perfectly. If it doesn’t, we will either replace the item or refund your purchase price. Nearly all of the products we offer are in stock and can ship today! Don’t hesitate to reach out to our expert team with any questions.

Friday, November 15, 2019

What Is the Best Glue for Repairing a Convertible Top?

When you’re making convertible top repairs, you need maximum bonding strength and extreme heat resistance. We recommend the aerosol contact adhesive that has been designed specifically for bonding vinyl and canvas topping material: 3M Yellow Super Trim Adhesive. It’s a tough adhesive, made for the job.

Your vehicle must withstand weather and strong winds, which means that you should take extra care and consideration when choosing your adhesive for making upgrades and repairs. This 3M trim adhesive is resistant to heat, moisture and plasticizing oils and creates a secure weatherproof bond between a wide variety of materials, including metal, padding, rubber, vinyl, insulation, foam and much more.


  • Headliners
  • Car Hood Silencer & Installation Pads
  • Vinyl Convertible Tops
  • Heavyweight Liners


  • Metal
  • Padding
  • Rubber
  • Vinyl
  • Insulation
  • Foam

Features & Benefits:

  • Fast-acting, high-strength aerosol contact adhesive
  • Resistant to heat and plasticizing oils
  • Excellent for attaching vinyl, insulation, foam, padding and rubber parts to metal and other surfaces

Directions (read fully before beginning):

  • Clean and dry the surfaces you are joining.
  • Apply three coats of adhesive to each surface, spraying the third coat in the opposite direction of the first two applications.
  • Wait for the adhesive to begin to dry and become tacky, which generally takes about five minutes.
  • Join the two surfaces with firm and uniform pressure.

At, we know convertible tops. The 3M convertible top adhesive is our choice for your adhesive needs for many reasons. Known for being fast-acting and providing a strong bond, this high-strength aerosol contact adhesive is ideal for all of your automotive repair and restoration project needs.

We stock superior parts and kits for replacing and upgrading your convertible and are happy to answer any questions that you have – contact us with any questions or feedback.

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