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the Duetto soft top
How to install a soft top on a Duetto and the Hardtop
The following photos and instruction will assure an accurate and excellent installation. The Highwoodalfa tops offer best resistance to fading and atmospheric influence. The top looks like the original cotton canvas but lasts longer and holds the colour excellent. Even after several years it looks like new and will give you and your Alfa Romeo Spider so much joy. Easy to fit with our step by step Duetto instruction further down on this site.
First, the complete frame.
. . . and the complete soft top an a Duetto.
The original Duetto’s soft-top itself was made of impermeable mohair and came in only one colour – black. There was some criticism about rear three-quarter visibility, for the soft-top canvas began immediately aft of the winding windows and there was effectively no wraparound in the flexible vinylite rear window. The soft-top folded in one arm movement. First the over-centre catches securing the front bow to the top of the windscreen frame had to be unclasped and gripping the strap there, the soft top could be arched backward, simultaneously lifting and folding the aluminum alloy arms surrounding the side windows and moving them rearward.
Then the Velcro strips along the R&L cockpit edge could be unfastened to allow the soft-top to fold behind the seats, nearly flush with the bodywork. An additional padded vinyl hood cover was provided to further streamline the appearance. Thanks to 663519 for the contribution.
Highwoodalfa stock the soft top cover as on the photos including metal frame for your Duetto and later Spiders too. Please see model price lists for exterior parts for prices.
One of the most attractive aspects of the Duetto and 1750 Spider Veloce, the Round-tails, was its folding soft top, which looked great whether up or down. Its ease of operation and effective weatherproofing earned it praise from many quarters as the best convertible top yet made. The later Spiders used the same material and design, but a slightly different frame. The tops are not interchangeable between the Round-tail 1966-1970 and the Kamm-tail Spiders 1970 and on.
Re-conditioning of old top bows
If your frame has the front seal glued, this is how to fit the new seal. The idea is that the flap should be under the L-shaped plastic profile. I use contact glue.
And the rear drape behind the seats
Finally, attach the handle and the chrome pieces attachment guides using the
original screws. The attachment guides should be free to "float"
slightly. If you are lucky, the front of the top and frame will sit perfect to
the windscreen frame.
Any craftsman should be able to sew a “pocket” where you put your original latches. The latch is red on the picture above. No need to glue here. I use Velcro, www.velcro.com which is an adjustable fabric hook-and-loop fastener used for connecting various parts and material. Not for Duetto purists though, as Alfa Romeo and Pininfarina used contact glue in 1960’s. Many use double-sided adhesive tapes as this product may be adjusted and removed etc. The www.alfabb.com has good articles in this matter. That is before a more permanent fix, of course. www.3m.com
Remove the rear upholstery piece by removing the bolts that hold it on underneath near the top. Ensure that all the holes have good threads and are sound. Fit the rear top pocket under the upholstery piece, and refit the upholstery piece. Beginning at the sides of the car, reattach the bolts one by one.
adjust the top if it is too tight
This can be done after the top is glued in place. Then, each year remember to lubricate the support bars behind the B-pillar. The base of the frame at the B-pillar is held by three bolt. If you loose them you may adjust this base up and down, or back and forward to get the proper alignment.