Restoration projects can be amazingly fun when you find all the parts you’re looking for and adding them along goes smoothly. Unfortunately, resto projects can also be maddeningly frustrating when you can’t find what you need, leaving you backed against the wall and stuck. Now imagine when this happens to your daily driver and you’re left without transportation; it makes things even worse. The best thing to do is to plan your upgrades like we did in this restoration tech. We knew that we wanted to do this project over a weekend, so we needed to get everything in hand before tackling the project.
We called Hubbard’s Impala Parts, a company that has been family owned and operated since 1993 for a little assistance with this project. Their experienced staff knows the answers to any questions you might have and they’re eager to point you in the right direction to fulfill your needs. If you’re wondering why we have so much confidence in this company, the answer is simple; helping to build Impalas is what they do. All Impalas, all the time, that’s the company mantra. In knowing this, you can be rest assured their knowledgeable staff’s commitment to the brand will make your project a pleasurable experience.
Hubbard’s Impala Parts specializes in parts for your 1958-1976 Impala, Biscayne, Bel Air, El Camino, Station Wagon and Caprice. Whether you are building a convertible, hardtop, two-door post, four-door sedan, or wagon, Hubbard’s Impalas Parts has the largest inventory of Impala restoration parts in the world, and they will get you the parts in a timely matter.
When it came to our project, they asked us a few questions and before we knew it, the parts were pulled. We ordered a Hubbard’s black vinyl top, glass rear window, and weather stripping. This month’s convertible top build was something that we took on as a weekend project as you will need some extra hands and about 8 to 10 hours of work to get the top on and off. Now follow along, as we install the Hubbard’s Impala convertible top, and prepare our project to be ready to drive to work the following day.
1. The project.
2. The Hubbard’s Impala kit came with all we needed to replace the factory top.
3. To speed up the build, the convertible rack was cleaned and prepared so we could begin the build.
4. These precut tack strips were used to assure a good bond.
5. The tack strips were glued together.
6. The strips need to be put on one at a time.
7. These cardboard tack strips allow the staples to hold the convertible top material.
8. To make sure that the cardboard doesn’t come loose, the tack strips were bolted down with screws.
9. The convertible top pad foundations were installed.
10. We used upholstery glue to add the padding to the pads.
11. The pad assembled with ease.
12. These top pads need to be smooth, as they allow the convertible top material to flow.
13. These set screws will keep the pads in place.
14. The pads clip in place to be stapled on.
15. The pads were trimmed.
16. The edges on the pad needed to be protected.
17. Using duct tape will allow the top to transition through.
18. The rear trim sticks are usually three separate tacking strips. In early cars, they were a fiber that was glued to a chrome molding or in our case, a metal housing that we needed to remove to allow us to attach the rear window and curtain.
19. The wheel well floors needed to be dressed.
20. A well liner was made.
21. The centers of the top and car were all marked.
22. The back window was marked up.
23. Once the centers are found, it will allow you to install the rear window.
24. The rear of the back window needed to be attached to the trim sticks.
25. The back curtain was stapled to the rear bow.
26. Once the rear window was in, the rear well curtain could be attached.
27. The pre cut top went on and was laid out, giving us a look at how easy it would go on.
28. The rear glass is looking good and will give you better visibility compared to the plastic windows. This option of glass was a Cadillac and Buick option, but became a popular upgrade in the Impala market.
29. The top was stapled to the header bow and attached to the rear window curtain and the trim sticks.
30. Hubbard’s convertible top weather stripping will keep the water and wind noise down.
31. Once the top was on, the convertible top weather strip pieces went on.
32. This Hubbard’s top was ready to drop as soon as the season permits!