WikiProject Automobiles (Rated Start-class)
This article is within the scope of WikiProject Automobiles, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of automobiles on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.


Hi everybody,

great article, thanxalot. But it makes hungry for more.

Human beings are far from functioning according to rational criteria only. So, I am happy that my regular usage of public transport vehicles (anyone interested in a great, comfortable system should visit Vienna) matches my convictions regarding environment protection. But I must confess the more decisive reasons are (a) cars cost more and (b) watching people is more entertaining than rush hours' stop-and-go boredom while facing red traffic lights.

Otherwise, I'd sure own a car. Or several. Four-door, notchback. For I don't regard it the best purpose of backseats to serve merely as luggage or coats rag - and if there are passengers in the rear, they shold be able to get in and out comfortably, also not bothering those in front who in two-door-cars must get out of the way each time. And I like neither the unwelcome draft nor things happening closely behind me I can't even watch, like I may experience as passenger - especially on a back seat - in a hatchback vehicle. Wagons may be different, but a passenger car is a passenger car, not a luggage transporter with human load being tolerated. Besides, it may be somewhat conservative, but with few exceptions a notchback sedan's side silhouette is the most elegant.

Still, four doors wouldn't be my only wish. Another, not that very urgent - but less rational, and much harder to fulfill - is a hardtop design. I insist in being able to keep draft off, and other weather phenomena, too (rain may be nice from behind a protecting windshield and roof or, if it's not too heavy and there's little to no wind, from under an umbrella, sun's nice if there's cool shadow, too) - thus I don't estimate convertibles. And understand the habits of the woman who, driving with canvas roof closed but windows open, inspired the hardtop design. The result is (well, to some extent, the illusion of) stability combined with the chance to freely chose any variation between a solidly closed room (offering some panorama-view impression) and sort of a most comfortable rolling loggia.

Result: my top dreamcars are four-door hardtop sedans. Luckily, the design of the era when most of them were built is precisely that of the car design styles I like most. The hardtop article is the most informative I ever discovered, thanks to all who contributed - yet, it leaves a few special questions unanswered. Perhaps you can add the answers.

(1) Draft. Most car-door windows easily can keep draft off, thanks not only to rubberlips which just touch the glass edges, but to frames (with additional rubber) on both the inside and outside. But how about inevitably frameless windows in convertibles and hardtop cars - are those veicles not recommendable for anyone with a higher risk of rheumatic syndromes? How tight can a closed four-door hardtop really be?

(2) Rear doors of pillarless cars. Their hinges have to be fixed somewhere - but that something lacks the additionally stabilizing connection to the roof frame, it has to keep standing solidly and untwisted for decades, on something not much larger than the palm of a hand. Are there known distortion problems?

(3) Absolute pillarlessness - no semi-pillars left at all. This, of course, is possible only in cars with suicide rear doors. Not like the famous edgy, carlength-eaves-gutty-characterized 1961-1969 Lincoln Continental: its 4-door-convertible version has a semi-mid-pillar on each side, hidden by the doors' bodies, and the 4-door sedan has even a full mid-pillar, its upper half covered with chrome-plated, elegantly slim masks. But like the '57-'58 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham, or the Mazda RX-8. Are there (attempts of) techniques for proper weather strips and for pillarless doorlocks, so any combination of open(ing) and closed/closing doors is possible? Or do in this case always the rear doors have to be opened last and closed first?

(4) Suicide rear doors with frameless windows. Are there any (except for 1960s Lincoln convertibles)? If so, then only with frames fixed to the glass, thus being rolled down and making the car a suicide door hardtop model, like the '57 Eldorado Brougham? Or even with edge-to-edge pure glass windows, no protective material added - or would that mean a too big risk of glass-to-glass crashes?

Most curiously expecting even more thrilling informations ;-) Joe (joeditt 12:11, 1 July 2007, UTC)

(Responding to #1 'Draft') I have a MINI Cooper convertible (you can see a photo of it at the top of the MINI (BMW) page. It's only a two-door - but in this case, (as you'll see) it doesn't matter. Whilst it has a frameless door, there are rubber seals and a solid steel rail built into the roof mechanism for the window to seal against - so it's no different from a regular car door with a frame. In fact, even the hardtop MINI has a frameless door. The 'gotcha' is that when you pull on the door handle to open the door, the electric window winder has to very rapidly drop the window a quarter of an inch or so in order that it will clear the frame when you open the door - and move it up the last quarter inch to seal it when you shut the door. That works just fine most of the time - but (as a few people have found), if the winder motor or it's voltage regulator craps out, you can still open the door (the window kinda pushes past the rubber strip) - but when you slam the door shut again, you typically smash the glass! I've heard of mechanics doing this by mistake when they tried to close the door with the car's battery disconnected! But you don't have to worry about drafts. They seal identically well to framed doors on both the hardtop and the convertible. The MINI convertible has back-seat windows that go up and down too - these are also frameless and have a thin, fairly hard rubber weather seal attached to the outside of the front edge of the glass that ensures that the front edge of the back window seals up against the back edge of the front window. The back windows move slightly towards the rear and center of the car as they retract downwards so that they first unseal the rubber - then retract downwards. The rear windows have to retract in order for the electric roof mechanism to fold the roof down properly without hitting them. All of this window sealing and unsealing, opening and closing again happens at the touch of one button when opening or closing the roof. It's an elegant piece of engineering - a work of art - and it works very nicely! SteveBaker 17:25, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Steve, for your very detailed answer - sorry for my reply's delay.

Now, all you others (hello-o, anybody there???), how about questions 2, 3 and 4? I'll stay around for the next ... few decades, or so. ;-) -- joeditt (talk) 19:23, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Here's a few more you haven't got:
  • one pillarless hardtop saloon, the Facel Vega Excellence which had suicide doors and frameless windows - I don't know about the details. It had structural problems - the structure tended to bend, so that over time the door latches got worn and the doors occasionally came open in sharp corners!
  • a few saloons built like the RX-8 - Lancia designs from the 1930s to the 1950s. The Aprilia, Ardea, Appia and Aurelia, and also (by the look of the picture on its page) the Astura. These had separate door-handles for the rear doors, visible from the outside - so I guess you could probably open the rear doors without the front.
  • one series of saloons that seem to have glass going onto glass - the Sunbeam-Talbot 2-litre, then the Sunbeam-Talbot 90, then the Sunbeam MkIII. These have the glass in the rear door overlapping with the window behind. Again, I don't know whether there was some sort of seal between the panes - and of course, the window behind wouldn't open, so that's one less difficulty.
  • and a coupe rather like the RX-8 - the 1999-2002 Saturn SC. This had the suicide door arrangement on the right-hand side only.
Hope this is helpful towards (3) and (4)! AJHW (talk) 20:46, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanxalot! Now I know which pictures to search for to endlessly gaze at, until I get rectangle-shaped eyes with their white turning red and eventually ... wake up with the keyboard pattern imprinted into my forehead. Oooh. -- joeditt (talk) 19:05, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

4x4 Pickup HardtopsEdit

Truckman HardtopEdit

A fibreglass roof designed for a pickup truck or utility vehicle, for example, Ford Ranger. These are lockable canopies to protect the load in the bed of the vehicle. Clamped or bolted on to the bed of the vehicle. A hardtop is used to keep a load dry, safe and secure. The hardtop can colour coded to the paint code of the pickup. In the UK, the most notable brand of hardtop is the Truckman canopy. Hardtops have been manufactured in to UK since 1984 by Truckman. Today, Truckman is manufactured in the West Midlands factory of Auto Styling UK. Since 1984, many different specifications of hardtop have become available. A tradesperson carrying tools in their bed may opt for a high roof canopy with solid sides for security and greater storage space. A pet owner may favour a cab-high hardtop with windows for ventilation.

Requested moveEdit

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page not moved. Arbitrarily0 (talk) 12:33, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

HardtopHardtop (automotive) — Hardtop will be turn into a disambiguation page. (talk) 22:18, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose create a dab page at Hardtop (disambiguation) or hard top (disambiguation) instead. The other values hardly merit mention. Though I prefer always having a dab page as primary, it's not how Wikipedia is currently set up. (talk) 22:38, 15 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose The type of car is clearly the primary topic. Skinsmoke (talk) 09:49, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The term "hardtop" is associated with a specific automobile design from its inception. The other uses are not significant. CZmarlin (talk) 12:45, 16 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Nothing to disambiguate. Andrewa (talk) 11:08, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank you (talk). However, the guidelines for "Deciding to disambiguate" (see: Wikipedia:Disambiguation) state that when there is a page about one usage - called the primary topic - and there are other uses of that term, then it is sufficient to have a hatnote on the primary topic page that will guide readers of the to Primary topic (disambiguation) page to find the other uses. You have shown that in the case of "hardtop", the other two uses are not even signifiant. There are many thousands of hardtop models spanning many decades in the automotive sector, compared to just two types of toys. Please look at the fastback article as another example. The primary use of that term is automotive, and that is what the article is about. If a reader is looking for other "fastback" articles, then they are guided by the hatnote to "For other uses, see Fastback (disambiguation)." The use of hardtop in the title names of two articles you have shown about toys, does not meet the criteria to justify moving the primary usage of this term to a "hardtop (automotive)" page. CZmarlin (talk) 01:58, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
I do stand corrected! In several similar recent proposals, there really was nothing to disambiguate. In this case there is, but the primary usage is clear. No change of vote. Andrewa (talk) 13:19, 19 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The automotive usage is far more significant. --Sable232 (talk) 00:43, 18 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose no evidence that any other meaning is significant enough to move this from primarytopic. DMacks (talk) 06:01, 22 July 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move (August 2010)Edit

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Reason: re-opening of recent failed RM request. Close per WP:SNOW. Muraho (talk) 16:56, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

HardtopHardtop (automotive) — Well, well, well, if isn't Hardtop so you'll turn into a disambiguation page, ok? (talk) 16:18, 18 August 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Make a disambiguation pageEdit

Hello, are you wanna create Hardtop (disambiguation). (talk) 04:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

This idea has failed twice and there is no need to resurrect it once again! CZmarlin (talk) 17:53, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

What is a hardtop?Edit

There is a lot of great information in this article. But its gotten jumbled among removable hardtop (an optional or accessory item), retractable hardtop (a feature of some hardtop bodies), and hardtop body style. The concept of the hardtop body style is marginalized by the phrase "so called pillarless hardtop" and completely misdefined by the photo caption saying hardtops usually don't have B pillars.

Fact is, not having a center pillar is the requirement. Cars with removable or retractable roofs don't have center pillars and that's what makes them (some of the time) hardtops, not the fact they have a hard retractable or removable roof rather than a foldable fabric roof or a fixed metal roof.

But sometimes such a car still isn't a hardtop body. An MGB with an accessory hardtop isn't a hardtop body. A Chrysler TC by Maserati with a factory standard removable hardtop isn't a hardtop body. Both still have fabric roofs and they're convertibles although some still like to call the MGB a roadster.

Really, there's room for two articles here. One on hardtop bodies and another on removable hardtops for convertibles. I'm inclined to suggest putting the retractable hardtop discussion in with the removable hardtop article. After all, such cars don't have structural roofs.

Opera windowed two doors aren't hardtops either. Unframed door glass isn't an issue. They have center pillars, so they're not hardtop bodies. Bradkay (talk) 04:14, 30 December 2010 (UTC)

I see there's been some editing. Cool.
The last three photos, the Toyota, Mazda and Nissan, I can't quite tell, but they look like they have unframed door glass but with center pillars. If so, they don't belong in a hardtop article.
This, "The Subaru Legacy remained a "B" pillar hardtop until the introduction of the 2010 model." likewise doesn't belong and is contrary to the recent edits. Bradkay (talk) 03:36, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

What is a Hardtop? 2.0Edit

So now after the edits we still have multiple, redundant photos of cars with hardtops, but the single photo that illustrated the difference between hardtop and sedan has been deleted? Why was that a good idea? How does having it gone help to educate anyone who wants to see the difference between a four door hardtop and a four door sedan? Please explain below, thanks. Wilke339 (talk) 02:22, 22 June 2015 (UTC)wilke339

Hardtop HatchbacksEdit

Are there any hardtop hatchbacks? (talk) 16:51, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, there are many! The new Mini is a hatchback car that is built with a steel (non-removable) top. Contrary to the marketing hype of the manufacturer, it is not a true hardtop (without a "B-pillar") design. Perhaps the "hardtop" term is to help differentiate the metal roofed models from the soft cloth covered roof found on the convertible (openable top) versions. Nevertheless, there have already been a countless number of vehicles that have incorporated a hatchback design with a "hard" top. CZmarlin (talk) 00:15, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Are there other hardtop hatchbacks available? (talk) 16:58, 17 March 2011 (UTC)
Once again, the "hardtop hatchback" misnomer is used by one automaker to market a version of their product line. Nevertheless, the hatchback article has numerous examples of this body style (hatchback with a non-removable "hard" roof). CZmarlin (talk) 21:44, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

External links modifiedEdit

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on Hardtop. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification using the archive tool instructions below. Editors have permission to delete these "External links modified" talk page sections if they want to de-clutter talk pages, but see the RfC before doing mass systematic removals. This message is updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 15 July 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 04:46, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

What is a hardtop?Edit

An all-steel sedan of 1920

To my certain knowledge it is an American car of the mid 1950s and 1960s styled like a convertible but its top is hard metal and cannot fold. They appeared first on two door cars and soon spread to four door cars when the problem of reduced structural rigidity was solved.

Under HISTORY this article currently seems to include much misinformation beginning "Once fully closed bodies became the norm, it was considered fashionable to remove the central roof support post to give them a more open touring look . . . "

Culminating in "Following the ascendancy of steel tops for closed bodies in the 1930s, detachable hardtops with metal roofs began to appear."

Hemmings employed a very creative writer.

There is more misleading "info" beginning "During the 1950s and 1960s, detachable hardtops . . ."

Maybe all due to poor sources? Eddaido (talk) 11:09, 11 March 2018 (UTC)

Article's confusing use of the terms Hardtop & pillarless hardtopEdit

The article is a little confusing in it's use of the term "hardtop", among some other other incorrect implications. Here are the main issues:

  • It starts out by referring to a hardtop as a "rigid form of automobile roof, which for modern cars is typically constructed from metal.". But under the "pillarless hardtop" section it makes the statement "The hardtop began to disappear along with convertibles in the mid-1970s...". If a hardtop is just hard rooftop of a car, either fixed, removable, or retractable, as stated in the lead, then it did not begin to disappear in the 70's and still exists on most modern cars. What seems to have happened was the term "hardtop" began to be used to refer to exclusively pillarless hardtops, and those are what disappeared in the seventies. Might I suggest that we fix the lead to make it clear how the term hardtop is currently (a abbreviation for pillarless hardtop) and that modern hard car roofs are generally not referred to as hardtops (accept in the case of hardtop convertibles).
  • As for the "pillarless hardtop" section, we can continue to use the abbreviation "hardtop" for "pillarless hardtop" provided we make in earlier in the article that modern usage of "hardtop" means the pillarless kind (not just any hard car roof). Another option is to add the word pillarless to every instance of the term hardtop so we are clear what kind of hardtop went away after 1978 though my first suggestion would be less work.
  • We also need to clear up the status of convertible car production in the U.S. in the 1970's and later. Since they made convertibles in the 80's and later then that would mean that convertible production either slowed 70's but never ceased and then picked up in the 80's and 90's somewhat, which we should make that clearer.

--Notcharliechaplin (talk) 14:27, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Hardtop" page.