Re: 1955 Caribbean top material

Posted by Leeedy on 2021/7/14 10:23:07

Fish Eggs wrote:
Thank you for the info. Don' want actual Hypalon, this was bad stuff and rusted out the Caribbean hardtop's roofs. Just want something that looks like it with a color that's close. Don't care how it "feels"

You are most welcome.

I rarely like to get into such detail since internet postings tend to take on lives of their own and go off in directions not intended– at least not by me. And trying to provide information on the internet almost always has unintended reactions or interpretations by somebody, somewhere. And everybody has an opinion. Thus I often say nothing.

First, Hypalon was not "bad stuff" at all. Quite the contrary. It was very good stuff. Packard chose it for a reason. It was not the cause of 1956 Caribbean hardtops rusting out. Who says that?

The actual cause of Caribbean hardtops rusting was not the outer covering fabric. It was the felt padding underneath the Hypalon that caused the rust-outs. The padding held water like a sponge and since it was covered with the Hypalon, the wet felt tended to remain wet for lonnnnng, long periods of time. It was wet, in the dark and had no way to dry out. The covering even cooked and preserved the moisture. Cooking and temp changes resulted in what? Sweating...condensation... which brings us back to moisture against metal again. This was even when the top appeared perfectly dry on the outside. This would have happened whether the outer covering was Hypalon or vinyl or a Wal-Mart blue tarp!

Our shop pulled a couple of Caribbean tops decades after they were made... and the underside of the felt was still wet– some with black mold. Even though these Caribbeans had not been wet for very, very long times.

1956 Caribbean hardtops were not merely covered tops (like typical vinyl tops), they were padded tops. Padded tops look wonderful and have a premium feel. But ALL padded tops eventually fall prey to moisture retention. Therefore, the metal under them only has one direction to go: rust.

Second, regarding the "feel" of Hypalon... I mention this for one reason and one reason only. Not because anyone does or does not care how it "feels"... but rather because it is an easy way for even a novice to quickly distinguish real Hypalon (as used for 1956 Caribbeans) from vinyl. That's all. Just information to assist.

You have no idea of how many people have triumphantly told me over the years that they "found" or have some Hypalon for a Caribbean. Almost every time... they don't.

Finally I did exactly point out that I have used Everflex as a passable replica for the Hypalon used on 1956 Caribbeans. This is exactly, precisely what I said. My exact words were: "I recommend using a special fabric called 'Everflex'..." You can re-read my recommendation in the posting. It would seem that the wish has been fulfilled, so I don't understand the response.

One thing is for sure. Although nobody posted it everybody knows Everflex... or it will seem that way.

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