Etype Hardtop history

I did not realize the e-type originally came with a hard top. It looks nice. Does anyone know the history of the e-type hardtop? was it offered from the beginning as an option?

It was an option from pretty early on, perhaps from the very start of production. I think it was a pretty uncommon option though. I seem to recall production numbers in the middle hundreds not thousands. This is the reason spares and reproduction chrome parts are so rare and expensive. There really isn’t much of a market for them. It makes restoring one a very expensive prospect.

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I was talking to a friend on Saturday about the (very nice) E-Type that he bought new. His one regret was that he balked at the $400 they wanted for the hard-top. Buying the E-Type was a bit of a stretch at the time and that additional cost for the hard-top was a budget buster.

It is (my opinion) one of the few open cars that also looks good with the hardtop. Possibly because it is hard to do anything to an E-Type that makes it look less than beautiful.

There are a few I can think of that look very nice, Mercedes SLs, C2 Corvettes. But yes many to my eye look pretty middling to awful, early Alfa Spiders, MGs, Austin Healeys. They just look like they were afterthoughts. The E-Type OTS with original hard top looks like it was born with it, not like they just stuck a hat on it. But geez, $400 back then for a piece of fiberglass was pretty spendy indeed.

I am always surprised at how reasonably priced original ones are. Granted, usually in bad shape but I would have thought this to be a very desirable addition to a collection.

I bought a reasonably priced one 10 years ago, I think around 1.5k. I finally got around to the restoration a few months back and have already added around 6k to that. It’s my good fortune the interior trim wasn’t blown or it would have been considerably more money. They’re a real pain in the butt, but so cool looking.

Love to see progress pics of that job!

Good thing you bought 10 years ago- this is just stoopid (IMHO)


Eechh, yeah that’s stupid. It’s even missing the clamps. It’s worth maybe 4-5k. If it was black or white it could fetch more because it could be used as is. But the likelihood of that red matching a person’s red car approaches zero.

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Some progress,

After stripping, and gel coat repair

Painted and starting assembly:

The illusive rear chrome installed over polished original rear window:


VERY impressive Erica! Nicely done.

Very nice…too bad you just can’t press a button and make it disappear like modern cars. One of the cars that looks great with and without and looks natural with the hard top on as previously mentioned is the MB SL…specially the Pagodas.


Yup especially since I have no good storage room in my garage. Currently sitting in my living room floor till it’s complete.

I love the 60s/70s SLs. I honestly think they look better with the HT than either bare or with the ST up. It’s a great design

As for storage, many people make shelves or a pulley storage rack to hang hard tops over their cars. My dad did this for his miata.


I’d love a pulley but I can only pull forward into my garage due to steep/curved driveway and wood ramps that have to be hit. So the pulley would be where the garage door opens up. Shelves or a rack is a possibility. It just hasn’t happened yet. Also not sure how I’d get it up and down.

Attached is a photo of my 73 TR6 with the factory hardtop. I restored this TR three years ago and installed Dynamat to the inside of the hardtop prior to installing the headliner. I left the hardtop on all last summer and was amazed at much cooler it kept the interior versus the black soft top.


That looks great, Spits look good with a color matched top also. I’m really really hoping my red top will be a little cooler than the black soft top.

I must have been EXTREMELY lucky, for I bought a hardtop from a gentleman in El Segundo who happened to have two of them. $1,800 and freshly painted in Old English White complete with all latches, all the chrome except for unobtainable chrome strip around the rear window. Totally complete otherwise…I feel so lucky…

Top cost…2011…$800
Cost completed…$6500
never been on the car but sure is cool

My '68 E had the hardtop included when I bought it in 1982. Don’t know if it came originally with the car though the second owner said it did. It was black when I got it. Matching BRG now. Storage headache they are I immediately tried to sell it for $800, got no takers so kept it. I like it on the car early spring and late fall, just after I take the E out of storage and just before I put it away. It seems an ideal cocoon for an OTS in winter hibernation and you get coupe-like comfort when you’ll appreciate it most. I haven’t had the soft top up more than twice over the past few years. The car is otherwise open.

If you do find an original the most important component is the headliner. Absolutely nla. Everything else is available, even the previously unobtanium rear screen trim, though at an eye watering price.