Our company has supplied restoration quality materials and kits to the automotive aftermarket since 1975. The success we've enjoyed these many years is due to my experience as a Trimmer (1969-1988) & manufacturer (1975-present). We understand our products because we build them, we've installed them & we know the expectations our customers have for ease of installation & proper finished appearance.

Aro Mfg.Co was a convertible top manufacturer, a family business started in 1919. From 1958–1995 many ARO products were “ORIGINAL EQUIPMENT” on Ford, GM, Chrysler and other models. These tops & rear curtains were manufactured using the automakers patterns, built to their specifications for installation on their production lines.

To expand our product lines for our customers, we purchased ARO Mfg.Co. in 1998.

Please read these FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS and feel free to contact us should you have any other questions about our products.

Thank you for your interest. We look forward to providing you with our quality products.

email - onlinesales@frontier.com

845-778-1314   /   800-638-6380

What to look for when ordering our products:

WE MANUFACTURE OUR PRODUCTS TO DUPLICATE THE FACTORY ITEMS AS ORIGINALLY INSTALLED ON YOUR CAR

  • AMERICAN CARS - Almost all American cars from the 1920's through 2005 are the standard or "CLASSIC" TWO piece design - a separate rear window assembly, and the outer convertible top cover. As designed and installed on the assembly line when your car was produced, both items are installed separately and can be replaced independent of each other. THE CLEAR VINYL WINDOW or HARD GLASS IS NOT PART OF THE OUTER TOP COVER.

The standard or "Classic" convertible top design has:

  • Separate convertible top cover

  • Separate rear window assembly

Convertible tops as designed by the original auto manufacturer with separate top and window assembly are designed to allow the replacement of either part as necessary. The rear window assembly is not "attached" or "sewn" into the convertible top.

Examples:

  • If your clear vinyl window is cloudy or cracked, if your rear glass is broken or the material trim is pulling away from the glass - you can replace the rear window assembly by itself. You must remove the staples where the top was fastened over the window assembly to be able to remove the old curtain assembly and install the new curtain. The old top is then stapled back over the new window.

  • If your old top is torn or damaged, but your clear vinyl or glass window is in good shape - you can remove the staples holding the top over the rear curtain and install the new top - as originally designed.  However, if the material trim at the bottom edge of the window is damaged or pulling away - you must order a complete new rear window curtain assembly.

  • The bottom trim on the window is NOT part of the top and is not included with the top. If the glass has pulled away from the material holding it in position, you cannot "install" the old, loose glass into the new top. The glass is not part of the top, it was never designed to be "installed" into the new top.

  • If you are changing top colors or materials, you must order the matching rear window assembly - the matching material trim is NOT included with the new top as per the original factory design

To verify this - unlatch your convertible top frame at the windshield and raise the top frame halfway. Go to the rear window area and you can reach in between the outer top cover and the rear window, almost to the interior of your car.

THE WINDOW CURTAIN ASSEMBLY IS NOT PART OF THE OUTER TOP COVER. You may replace either the top cover or the rear  window assembly as needed.

 

 

When in doubt call us and we will tell you exactly what you can expect to receive. You may order:

  • TOP ONLY - You will receive the outer top cover only - NO REAR WINDOW ASSEMBLY - COMPLETE AND READY FOR FACTORY STYLE INSTALLATION OVER YOUR EXISTING REAR WINDOW ASSEMBLY

  • REAR WINDOW ONLY - YOU WILL RECEIVE THE REAR WINDOW ASSEMBLY ONLY - COMPLETE AND READY FOR FACTORY STYLE INSTALLATION WITH YOUR EXISTING TOP

  • TOP AND REAR WINDOW -  YOU WILL RECEIVE THE OUTER TOP COVER AND SEPARATE REAR WINDOW ASSEMBLY -  CLEAR VINYL OR GLASS AS DESCRIBED IN THE LISTING

  • CORVETTE and BUICK REATTA are one piece units, with the rear window incorporated

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  • EUROPEAN MODELS - Most European models are a ONE piece unit - the rear window is integrated into the top, with or without zipper. For 1980 or later models - to determine if you have a two piece top, unlatch your convertible top frame at the windshield and raise the top frame halfway. Go to the rear window area - if you can reach in between the outer top cover and the rear window almost to the interior of your car you have a two piece top. When in doubt call us and we will tell you exactly what to look for and what you can expect to receive.

 

Certain models - VW, Jaguar, SAAB and others - have a hard glass assembly which installed into a metal frame and secured in place by a rubber seal or metal clips. Our tops are made identical to these factory tops - the rear window area is to be trimmed out at time of installation and the rear glass is to be installed into the frame as designed by the factory. WE DO NOT SUPPLY THE GLASS OR MOUNTING SYSTEMS WITH THESE TOPS - YOU MUST RE-USE THE ORIGINAL GLASS AND METAL MOUNTING SYSTEMS -  as designed by the factory.

Unless you have excellent mechanical ability -

PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION OF THESE ITEMS IS RECOMMENDED DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY OF THE INSTALLATION REQUIRED

 

What materials are available?

We offer a wide variety of materials:

Single texture 36oz Vinyl, Double texture 36oz Vinyl, Eurotex vinyl, Stayfast cloth, Twillfast cloth, and imported German canvas - Classic Sonnenland.

Aren't all convertible tops the same?

Vinyl convertible tops can be made in several different grades of material.  We supply distributors and  installation outlets with 38 ounce Single Texture for our popular standard line. Many specialty outlets advertise products manufactured with 32 ounce vinyl, which we do not offer.

Single texture 36oz Vinyl - A two ply composite made of a PVC outer layer and a cotton lining fabric. This durable, well constructed vinyl has been the aftermarket standard for well over 50 years. The economical alternative to the factory original material - providing Factory appearance at a fraction of the cost. Wide color assortment.  5 year warranty

A two ply composite made of a PVC sailcloth grain outer layer and a polyester/cotton lining fabric.

Double texture 36oz Vinyl - A four ply composite made of a PVC pinpoint or sailcloth grain outer layer, cotton backing fabric, a rubber inner layer and a cotton lining fabric. This specially constructed vinyl was designed to meet automakers stringent performance specifications and has been the Factory original equipment material (OEM) standard for over 40 years. The choice of professional restorers, this costly material is the only choice when restoring or maintaining the originality of your late '50's thru '90's car. Very limited color range.  5 year warranty

Eurotex 38oz Vinyl - A two ply composite made of a PVC sailcloth, pinpoint, or cabrio grain outer layer and a polyester/cotton lining fabric. Due to the high cost of the Doubletex, this specially constructed vinyl was designed in the mid '90's to meet automakers stringent performance specifications at a lower cost. Eurotex has been the Factory original equipment material (OEM) standard for over 10 years. (Eurotex is occasionally offered elsewhere as the "original material" for the older cars. Eurotex didn't exist that long ago!)   5 year warranty

ORIGINAL QUALITY Cloth tops are manufactured using materials which were developed to meet the automakers stringent durability and performance requirements. Stayfast®  is used on a wide variety of domestic and import models as well. Stayfast is acrylic outer face, butyl rubber and sateen - highly fade and shrink resistant. Twillfast® was developed to meet much more stringent performance specifications - even higher fade and shrink resistance. Aftermarket convertible tops can be manufactured using a wide range of less expensive topping materials than the ORIGINAL QUALITY materials available. Tops made using Stayfast® can be substituted for Twillfast® OE tops for economy reasons, though the physical specifications are quite different.     5 year warranty

Our products can be manufactured using a wide range of materials, resulting in a wide range of prices. We stand behind our products. Check all the facts to determine your best choice.

Can I install the top myself?

Installing a convertible top & related items is not difficult, but does require mechanical skills & patience. Convertible top frames do develop certain problems with age & require adjustments the average person may not recognize the need to perform. Many models built after 1985 have well documented frame problems which are "design" related & are known within the trim installation community. Check our listings for some of the popular models with these design flaws. We add "Dealer Service Bulletins" as we are made aware of them. We always recommend the customer locate a Dealer Service manual for their particular model & study it. We strongly recommend that you locate an installer near you with a quality reputation. They have had years of experience & are familiar with the problems which are likely to be encountered, especially on older convertibles.

Do you supply installation instructions?

We offer several pages of generic installation instructions (via email upon request with paid purchase) that are in no way as detailed as you might need for the complete specifications for your car. We also have Factory or Dealer Service manuals, but with over 400 patterns it is not possible to have the complete reference manuals for all items we offer on the shelf. Many manuals are copyright material. Some models never had a reference manual printed. Our Factory OE patterns from 1958-1995 were supplied by the automakers for Aro Mfg.Co. to manufacture product for their assembly lines. These patterns had mounting marks to be transferred to the finished product for their assembly line installers to use. Other patterns had more specific mounting marks added years later to meet our customers needs based on daily installations.  We strongly recommend that you locate an installer near you with a quality reputation. They have had years of experience & are familiar with the problems which are likely to be encountered, especially on older convertibles.

Why are there are 2 cuts (or 2 exposed stitch lines) in my new top?

Depending on the model & the original design & installation requirements, these are normal darts which allow the material to contour properly over the rear bow. These darts are also centering marks and will ultimately be covered over by the wire-on trim which is supplied with our tops. See photo examples

Are special tools required?

Reasonable mechanical ability, screwdrivers, SAE or Metric sockets or wrenches, powered (air or electric) staple gun or socket wrench, drift pin or awl, fluorescent droplight, etc. Typical tools most weekend mechanics have handy.

I need only the top (or only the window). Do I have to buy both?

Most tops for American cars are two-piece units – convertible top, or rear window assembly. You can change either one by itself, but if you have a special color or material, the new part may not match the old part due to dirt or fading. All material oxidizes or fades over a period of time. Black is black, but not all auto manufacturers use the same “white” material. There are many shades of white & unless you are exactly sure which one you have or are willing to take a chance you may not get an exact match. Unless specified otherwise, we ship the style material (in Single texture) and color that would have been on your car when new.

 

I received the top I ordered but did not receive the material that goes around the glass.

See above. If you order a convertible top, that is what you are getting. The rear window assembly is not part of the top - the top is installed OVER the rear window assembly. You cannot re-use your old glass. It is bonded into the material holding the glass. If the material at the bottom of your glass is worn, torn or separating from the glass - you need to buy a new rear glass assembly, which includes new glass.

 

Will the new top work with my old window?

 

You can use your new top with your old window. Be sure the material on the window is in good physical condition & not separating, or you will be working on your car again in the not-too-distant future. For 100% satisfaction, buy both parts new since the car will need to be taken apart in order to install these parts correctly. We make every effort to supply the correct color for your car, but cannot guarantee exact color match due to dirt, the age or dye lot of the old material, or if you currently have the correct original style color as came on your car originally.  

   

Will the new window work with my old top?

 

You can use your new window with your old top. The main areas of concern are the stapled areas where water can pass through the staple holes. The top might appear in good condition, but when you disassemble the top to install the new window the stapled areas might crack or tear easily.  In this case your car will be tied up for a longer period of time while waiting for the new top to be shipped. We make every effort to supply the correct color for your car, but cannot guarantee exact color match due to dirt, the age or dye lot of the old material, or if you currently have the correct original style color as came on your car originally. For 100% satisfaction, buy both parts new since the car will need to be taken apart in order to install these parts correctly.

 

How do I know if your zipper will fit to the zipper on my car? Why can’t I use just the new zipper on your window with my old zipper?

 

We manufacture our window curtains as the OE specifications called for years ago. Most windows used a BRASS SEPARATING zipper up through 1976. The introduction of PLASTIC COIL or MOLDED PLASTIC zippers in the early ‘80’s was due to the inherent problems with Brass zippers. Many people overstress zippers (like squeezing into tight pants) by not releasing the front of the top frame at the windshield before attempting to zip up/down the rear curtain. Brass zippers also required a wax or lubricant to help keep the metal teeth easy to operate. This wax or lubricant attracted dirt & debris. The material on the upper part of the zipper is also subject to stress due to the tension of the curtain assembly. Depending on the age & condition of the old zipper, by attempting to use the new zipper with the old upper half of the zipper, it is possible that the entire zipper will fail in a short period of time. Install this item properly & take apart the top above the rear window to staple the new upper zipper half to the rear bow.

 

Your zipper doesn’t match the zipper on my car

 

We manufacture our window curtains as the OE specifications called for when your car was built. Most windows used a BRASS SEPARATING zipper up through 1976. The introduction of PLASTIC COIL or MOLDED PLASTIC zippers in the early ‘80’s was due to the inherent problems with brass zippers. To meet price considerations for certain markets, some manufacturers cut costs by using a different brand or construction than was used originally by substituting plastic zippers for the more expensive brass zippers. We do not assume that the current zipper on your car is correct, but we do use the correct zippers as specified when the car was new. To install this item properly, unfasten the top above the rear window to staple the new upper zipper half to the rear bow.

 

How long do your tops last?

 

It depends on many variables – correct installation, atmospheric conditions in your locale, care & maintenance to name a few. (We recently supplied a top for a local 1970 Mercury Monterey which still had the OE vinyl top & glass on it after 34 years!)

 

What is your warranty & how is it different from another supplier’s warranty?

 

As with prices, our warrantees are competitive. Each item has different warranty period, depending on the material used. See our warranty form. Length of time is first & foremost on everyone’s minds, but shouldn’t effect your purchasing decision. Virtually 90% of all warranty claims are filed within the first 90 days of installation & are installation or top frame related. Wear & tear of improperly maintained convertible top frames is the main reason for top failure. Cuts, abrasions or tears caused by poor installation or an improperly adjusted convertible top frame is the responsibility of the installer. Top frames in worn or generally poor condition might also cut the top material or even break the rear glass window when being lowered into the rear well. Carefully read ALL warranty forms, regardless of where you ultimately purchase your parts. All warranties are pro-rated – divide the purchase price of the product by the length of time the warranty is offered. This will give you a per month cost of the item.

 

( Convertible top frames do develop certain problems with age & require adjustments the average person may not recognize the need to perform. Many models built after 1985 have well documented frame problems which are "design" related, & are well known within the trim installation community. Check our listings for some of the popular models with these design flaws. We add these "Dealer Service Bulletins" as we are notified. We always recommend the customer locate a Dealer Service manual for their particular model & study it. We strongly recommend that you locate an installer near you with a quality reputation. They have had years of experience & are familiar with the problems which are likely to be encountered. ARO 2000 CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR PREMATURE FAILURE OF OUR PRODUCTS OR DAMAGE TO OUR PRODUCTS CAUSED BY THESE WELL DOCUMENTED DESIGN PROBLEMS)

Do you recommend replacing a vinyl top with a cloth top?

 

We do not recommend one material over another. We will inform you of any possible concerns & will leave it up to you.

 

Does a cloth top last longer than a vinyl top?

 

No. It depends on many variables – correct installation, atmospheric conditions in your locale, care & maintenance. Warranty periods for cloth or vinyl are virtually the same. (We recently supplied a top for a local 1970 Mercury Monterey which still had the OE vinyl top & glass on it after 34 years!)

 

I’m tired of the problems with the plastic window. Can I replace it with a glass window?

Yes & no. If your model was never made originally with a glass window, you will need a “universal” style glass window. We make many universal style glass curtains, as do other manufacturers. The main consideration is the amount of space in your well area where the top frame folds down. You might need to have a custom well liner made to accommodate the new glass. It is quite possible that the top frame could break the glass when folding down if the necessary precautions & accommodations are not taken into consideration. A universal glass is a “custom, non original item” and is not covered by any form of warranty other than material performance.

The glass window costs too much. Can I replace it with a clear vinyl window? 

No problem. For reasons of economy, many customers choose clear vinyl when replacing the rear curtain. We use the same pattern for the plastic curtain as we use to produce the glass curtain. Dimensionally both are identical. Replacing a glass curtain with a plastic curtain will not affect the top frame operation in any way.  We use only 40 gauge AS6 DOT automotive grade clear vinyl.

The top appears too small side to side when I lay it over the old top.

When checking a top prior to installing, lay the new top over the top frame - not over the top which is on the car. It will appear to be too small side to side. An experienced installer will know that to properly check the new top for fit that the side cables should be inserted into the new top & lock the frame down. This will properly stretch the top side to side. The top should fit snug so it doesn't "balloon" at highway speeds. Be sure to check that you have received the correct part for your car prior to installation by looking at the white number marks on the front edge of the new top & the numbers on the box it was shipped in. Be sure that the correct part was ordered for your model.

The top appears too large side to side.

An experienced installer will know that to properly check the new top for fit that the side cables should be inserted into the new top & lock the frame down. This will properly stretch the top side to side. The top should fit snug so it doesn't "balloon" at highway speeds. If the top hangs too low over the sides & allows the door window to contact the bound edges, install properly built new pads, check that the top frame is properly adjusted, or check to make sure the windows are properly adjusted. Pivot points of the top frame could be worn & the frame could be out of alignment. Be sure to check that you have received the correct part for your car prior to installation by looking at the white number marks on the front edge of the new top & the numbers on the box it was shipped in. Be sure that the correct part was ordered for your model.

How do I know if i need to replace the pads?

Pads are required to properly support the material in between the bows and to prevent the material from catching in frame when folding the top down. If the top you are replacing is older than 5 years, replace the pads.  Replacing the pads anytime the top is replaced is recommended for best results and insure a long top life. Be sure to replace the rear quarter pads at the same time!

What if my car doesn't have the rear pads?

Most American cars had rear quarter side pads. These pads flank the rear window curtain and support the top in the rear corners as originally designed. During a hasty installation, sometimes these pads get discarded. The top will fit, though not as good as when it was new. If the old top shows too much open space in the rear corners between the top and the belt molding - it is because the pads aren't there to keep the top material tight up against the body.  REPLACE THEM NOW!

What type of pads do I need?

Most American cars had pads which had a layer or two of padding inside. This padding made it possible to adjust the fit of the top as needed and to keep the top frame from wearing through the top. Later models utilized a heavy webbing which was more durable - no fade or shrink - than the old style vinyl pads. Foreign cars used narrow webbing, similar to seat belt material. We offer many styles and widths appropriate for your car.

How do I know if i need to replace the side cables?

Side cables are required to keep the top from "ballooning" or pulling away from the top frame at highway speeds. They also stretch the top properly from side to side to keep the weather and wind from entering the car. If the top you are replacing is older than 10 years, replace the cables.  Examine the cables anytime the top is replaced. If rusted, kinked or stretched - replace the cables. Some later models have lower rear side cables. Be sure to examine and replace the rear side cables at the same time for long term satisfaction!

What if my car doesn't have cables?

Most cars built after 1965 had side cables. Check to see if the top frame has provisions for side cables. If yes, REPLACE THEM NOW!

What about snaps or other fasteners?

For certain models we offer pre-installed fasteners and are included in the price. Older American models require a variety of fastener styles and are not included. Inquire for your model.

My car is just going into the repair shop but I want to order the all of the new parts now.

We will gladly fill your order now but recommend that you unpack the top & related parts upon receipt. Check to be sure your order is complete and correct. In the event you do not get to install these parts for 6 months, we cannot be held responsible for "missing" items after such an extended period of time. We recommend that all items be stored in a protected cool, dry area - partially unfolded & laid out flat to keep compression wrinkles from setting in the material or plastic fullvue. Be sure to ask the repair shop to set aside all soft trim parts that they remove in their entirety so that you or your installer will be able to refer back to the positioning or placement of each item.

I called several weeks ago to check stock. I want to order it now. Why can't it ship today?  

We keep many items in stock for immediate shipment. All orders are filled on a "first come-first served" basis. Unless a firm order was placed, we would not set an item aside to be held while awaiting additional information or confirmation. We do not like to keep items folded or boxed on the shelf for extended periods of time. We prefer to sell our customers fresh product. While these products are not perishable, folds & compression wrinkles will be harder to eliminate the longer an item has been boxed.

In the event that the inquiry involved an top with a plastic window - we do not keep any finished fullvues or items with plastic windows on the shelf. Plastic windows should be protected & free from wrinkles, folds, or other problems which might develop from being folded in a box too long. We make fullvues as needed. Our Import tops are partially assembled but without the plastic window(s) until a firm order is placed.

What is the shipping cost?

The rate depends on the carrier, your zip code & the size & weight of the order. Residential deliveries cost more due to handling charges added by all carriers. Depending on the commodity, certain items need to be shipped in oversized boxes & freight is charged based on the dimensions of the package. In the event we ship your order in an oversized box, we will combine all items into the one box to save you freight. While the weight of a large rear glass curtain might only be 14 lbs, it can only be shipped in a large box that will be charged by dimensions as a 30 lb shipment.  All of our boxes have been carefully designed over the years to minimize freight costs and maximize protection of the contents. International shipping will be more expensive. Small boxes may be sent by parcel post. Oversized boxes or glass may be sent by parcel post, within limits. All international shipments will be sent via UPS, FedEx, or USPS Airmail. Shipments do not include local taxes, duties or other handling charges that might be incurred when sent outside the continental United States. Due to the recent higher fuel costs, freight charges may vary from day to day.

I was expecting my order today. Where is it?  

We use 3 carriers – UPS, FedEx and USPS mail. We are located on the East coast in Walden, NY 12586. A shipment to the West coast by UPS ground is 5-7 working days depending on your zip code. Shipments via FedEx or USPS are delivered within the working days based opn the service you have chosen. None of the carriers count the day the package was shipped as Day 1.

Weekends or holidays are not “working days”.  We gladly email you the tracking number of your shipment.

Why do you need my phone number?  

In the event of delivery delay the carrier might call to verify that someone will be available to accept delivery. We do not allow any order to be delivered without a signature. This is for your protection as well as ours. If the customer makes the agreement to allow the carrier to deliver the package to the customers’ back door or without a signature, we will not be held liable for damage, loss or theft of said package. In the event of such an occurrence, the customer will need to address all claims with the carrier’s driver who agreed to such a delivery. In the event the package is returned to us for lack of signature, incomplete or incorrect address -  the customer will be responsible for any additional freight or handling charges incurred. The customer is also responsible for the value of the item in the event of damage caused by the additional handling.

Why do you charge "re-stocking" fees?

Cancellations or non-defective returns/exchanges are subject to re-stocking fee. Should an item be returned in saleable condition, we charge a restocking fee. This charge is to clean the product for resale and the cost of new packaging. The restocking fee is waived if we reship the item to the original customer, but new freight charges will be added to the customers’ credit card. Restocking fees also cover services charges or transaction fees paid for the initial sale, which are not recoverable when a sale is reversed.