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Discussion Starter #1
My '74 is in need of a replacement top - any recommended vendors? I've heard that Caribou makes the best top, and also that their customer service is outstanding ;)

Seriously, though, I know a few years back a lot of you were talking about tops from Duetto Motors. What are those tops looking like after a some real-world use? is that my best value right now in a canvas top? TIA.
 

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Hey Dean:

I have a couple of those Duetto Motors tops and they still look like new. Fit is excellent. Price is excellent.

Shortcomings in comparison to an original top as supplied via Alfa:

The DM top lacks prepunch holes across the back. AR supplied has them prepunched for easier install.

Earlier versions of the DM top had a heat glued rear window as opposed to the AR supplied having stitched in rear window. Later DM tops do have the stitched in rear window like the AR supplied top. I have one of each and both are holding up perfectly.

The DM top uses a padded cloth sealing surface around the side windows. The AR supplied top uses a vinyl padded sealing surface.

The early DM top lacked eyelets for the side cable...although the pathway was there. The later DM top has the cable eyelets like the AR supplied top.

Advantages of the DM top vs the AR supplied top:

The DM top is available in premium materials if so desired for little additional cost.

DM will listen and make mods to their top as requested....i.e. stitched rear windows, eyelets, etc. Just specify.

Cost is significantly less.

Options like zippered rear windows, tinted rear windows, different material colors and textures.


Now the AR supplied top is very nice and they seem to last for a very long time. And if money was no object, I would have bought the AR supplied top just because it would be original in all aspects. However, I have been very pleased with my two padded DM tops. Both have retained their color, and neither have shown signs of wear or seam splitting, etc. They look extremely nice. Mine are made from black sonnedeck material. I went with padded quarters. DM utilizes Hartz stayfast as their standard material. If I were ordering a top again today from DM, I would request that they stitch in the rear window (as they did on my last one), make sure the cable eyelets are there (as before), and also have them utilize vinyl for the material were the top touches the side glass for seal. I believe I paid around $300 for the last one I bought back in 2003 or 2004. So roughly half that of the AR supplied top. Back when I ordered from them, service was excellent and the top was in my hands in around 2 weeks or so.

Best Regards,
John M
 

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Good advice from John, as usual. Got mine 2 yrs ago from A1 Tops. About $325, cloth. Just a little too tight, though, to put in. It helps a lot to place the car/top in sun to soften it up for final stretching....a trick given to me by a local pro.

Those guys that ask high $500-near $600 will never get my order. Way overpriced.....Do not ignore to re do the steel frame, while its off!!!!
 

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I had a very good experience with Topsonline. I think that they are more customer oriented than Duetto Motors.
Ed Prytherch
74 GTV
79 Spider
88 Verde
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys. I'll make some inquiries to Duetto Motors and Topsonline this week. That fabulous Caribou top on my '74 has shrunk to ~3/4 original size (it was only 7/8 to begin with), and it's wrinkled like a raisin. In all the years I've been driving open top cars (>30), I've never seen a top made of poorer quality materials than this one.
 

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I second Topsonline. Their tops do come with prepunched holes, which is a nice plus. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, even with a meat-fisted amateur (ahem) doing his first (and possibly last) convertible top installation.

-Jason
 

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I did not get the Robbins, but the EZfit or something like that from Topsonline, good price, good fit, I think the instructions were missing a page or two, but i have the car disk, so no real issue there. Turned out good, but it stays down most of the time...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again guys. All good info, and I'm going to ask a lot of questions from each of the vendors before buying a top. Wish I knew what was on my '92, as it's perfect in every way, but I suspect it may be an original AR top, and I'd like to keep this job <$400.
 
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