Tops, vinyl or canvas?

Are the original tops vinyl or canvas??

Um…vinyl, with a cloth-y base?

Depends on the year. Early cars were all canvas. I’m not sure when they changed, either S1.5 or S2.

Depends. Early cars could have mohair tops, a discontinued option later on.

Edit. A simultaneous answer from Erica. By 1968, when mine was minted, no E-type was fitted with mohair, far as I am aware (though my ‘68 is. One of a few retrofits.)

Huh, could have or did have? So if you didn’t opt for it a 3.8 would have come with vinyl?

That, I do not know, Erica. I expect all earlier cars had mohair tops. I’m wondering if ‘mohair’ and ‘canvas’ are synonymous. The original top that came with my 120 is more like canvas.

It may not have been actual mohair from goats, but rather another bit of English translation

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Is that referred to as “Haartz cloth?”

I think that’s a German brand name?

It is, but just wondering if it’s like mohair.

Yup, basically the same. It’s slightly fuzzier feeling than Stayfast canvas I believe.

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From the JCNA Judges Guide, Thank You Bob for all of your work on it.


Canvas possible through the early 1967 model year - at this point in time there are no numbers available when the change to vinyl occurred. As a point of information, on 1E15336, still in possession of the original owner and with its original top, the material is vinyl - non-zip rear window - chrome strip at lower back retains 4- chrome clips for top cover - clips may not be present on earliest cars (H – Pg. 47) - slotted screws retaining chrome trim at bottom of top

Originality aside, I think a modern canvas (sail cloth?) or some such would be the best material, probably far superior to vinyl for a wear and usage POV.

Just my opinion—- which is often wrong.

Like Nick, when I get to the point of ordering a new top for my '68 I am going to go with canvas as I also believe that is a better option for wear as well as looks.

I do have a personal preference for it canvas. It looks great and if you take good care with it, it really does last. Mine is 12 years old now and looks pretty much brand new although the window is starting to show some swirls. Originality be damned though, I opted for a zip out, or rather down, rear window. It makes it bearable in hot weather.

I’m with you on that, Erica. My '78 Spitfire had a zip down rear window and it made a HUGE difference in hot weather driving comfort. Should I ever replace my vinyl top on the E, I would definitly go with a zip down. Where did you get yours?

It’s made by Robbins. They don’t stock them but will make one up for about 50 dollars more.

Money well-spent! Plus 20

Hello Nick,
The original material used was Double Duck. Compared to Double Duck, Mohair is a finer material, with a slight sheen and a different internal surface, neither were actual canvas. Later cars had Crushed Vinyl for the soft top material and would have been selected as a cost saving I suspect.



Forget about the tops, whether it should be on canvas or Vinyl, No matter what, I am fond of Vinyl only. Vinyl has its own brand in the name and works so well. In flooring also, when the construction, remodeling of my home, was going on, The experts from the zothex flooring, suggested installing vinyl plank flooring only, as they know what will suit to the house design theme.