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Old 10-25-2019, 05:51 PM   #1
MKERWIN
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Default 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Hello all,

I'm looking for any information on installing the top on my 1931 Victoria leather back. I know there is a service bulletin from 1930 that has some information. Does anyone have any other sources? I want to find out as much as I can before we start this project.

Thanks,
Mike
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Old 10-25-2019, 07:29 PM   #2
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Very detailed in the Service bulletins. Although I'm an experienced auto trimmer this project is not for the faint of heart. Personally I have never done one of these.
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Old 10-26-2019, 09:16 PM   #3
Vern
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Mike, when I was president of the Victoria Association, I was asked about this a few times. I had a steelback but I was able to gather some information from members who had done it. I'm pretty sure I can find the file. Send me an email at Vern190A@cox.net
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Old 10-27-2019, 07:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

I found that the real key to getting the top wrinkle free is to concentrate on getting the top in the groove where horizontal changes to vertical. Tack the perimeter loosely all the way around first, then get serious about getting this groove tacked wrinkle free. After this stretch tack the perimeter. Do not tightly tack the rear bottom first as the directions seem to imply. Get that groove correct and wrinkle free!! Don't initially tack the perimeter too tight - you don't want to pay for too 2 tops as you can't "unmake" a hole in the fabric. Read the service bulletin until you fully understand the stretching relationship between the groove and the bottom of the back. Yep, I did screw up with this groove and as I said you can't unmake a hole in the fabric and I am sure you would rather not purchase 2 tops.

John
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:51 PM   #5
MKERWIN
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern View Post
Mike, when I was president of the Victoria Association, I was asked about this a few times. I had a steelback but I was able to gather some information from members who had done it. I'm pretty sure I can find the file. Send me an email at Vern190A@cox.net
Vern
Sent you a message
Mike
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:53 PM   #6
MKERWIN
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by aermotor View Post
I found that the real key to getting the top wrinkle free is to concentrate on getting the top in the groove where horizontal changes to vertical. Tack the perimeter loosely all the way around first, then get serious about getting this groove tacked wrinkle free. After this stretch tack the perimeter. Do not tightly tack the rear bottom first as the directions seem to imply. Get that groove correct and wrinkle free!! Don't initially tack the perimeter too tight - you don't want to pay for too 2 tops as you can't "unmake" a hole in the fabric. Read the service bulletin until you fully understand the stretching relationship between the groove and the bottom of the back. Yep, I did screw up with this groove and as I said you can't unmake a hole in the fabric and I am sure you would rather not purchase 2 tops.

John
That's great advice. Thanks for taking the time to respond!

Mike
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Old 10-27-2019, 05:54 PM   #7
MKERWIN
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

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Originally Posted by Tacoma Bob View Post
Very detailed in the Service bulletins. Although I'm an experienced auto trimmer this project is not for the faint of heart. Personally I have never done one of these.
I'm crazy enough to try it. We will see how it turns out.
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Old 10-27-2019, 06:29 PM   #8
Tacoma Bob
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

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Originally Posted by MKERWIN View Post
I'm crazy enough to try it. We will see how it turns out.
Go for it Buddy!
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

While the top i did was not a 31 vic' i imagine the process is not that different.
I used a plastic tarp' cover as a guide to make patterns. Turned out well enough.
It is true that you should only drive a few tacks in a short distance until you are happy with the top stretch and fitment. Then you can pull them out & move things, drive them in again.

Check this thread for anything you might find useful. There's some pictures of half done tops for inspiration.
https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=81713

And someone might even be able to email you .PDF of a service bulletin.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: 1931 Victoria leather Back Top Installation

Et. Al.
My adventure begins as I need to install a new top too.
My question is about top material and color selection.

In the Jan 2001 issue of the Victoria Club Newsletter Marco Tahtaras presents a MAFCA view point toward incorrect top material. While his dialog refers to judging standards, it is meaningful to restorers who will not have their car judged but seek a close to original top. I have seen several tan colored tops, while the Workman ship is nice the color is off, some way off!

I found an original piece inside of my car, The Victoria Leatherback had a unique top fabric color. It seemed like the LB kits were close but they are no more.
What material/color have you found to be a satisfactory choice to simulate the original?
I ordered a Cartouche sample kit to see what they are using.
P.S. the reproduction of the top installation instructions is in the October 1990 Newsletter.
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