What’s a Carson Top, Grandpa?

We’ve all seen the souped-up 1930’s Ford convertibles with the huge Weiland blowers and Cragar wheels.  The tops that you sometimes see are Carson Tops.  Nowadays, many tops are retractable tops that can be stored in the trunk with the push of a button.  The old school tops are Carson tops.  A Carson Top is a removable, but non-folding padded soft top that is most often chopped a few inches, and is used on many old school heavily customized convertibles and roadsters (my favorites!).  The original Carson Top was developed by Glen Houser of the Carson Top Shop in Los Angeles.  The original Carson top was produced by Carson Top Shop from 1935-1965.  Nowadays, the only way to get one is to buy one via eBay.  The color of the top usually corresponded to the color of the car that it was mounted on.  According to a 1953 issue of Motor Trend, buyers could get the top in:  Blue, green, maroon, tan, black, and white fabric.

 

The shop is long gone, and the tops a great reminder of another era.