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Hello all,

I've received instantaneous replies from ARO tops.

1- The fabric

It seems that "Sonnendecke" doesn't exist anymore. It was manufactured by Haartz before they purchased Rode, the manufacturer of "Sonnenland".

"Sonnendecke" was replaced by "Twillfast". There's a "Twillfast" with the "dobby" backing, ie the pattern on the inner liner that was OEM on a R107.

There's a German co. with an excellent reputation called "Aresma" (I think) that makes a copy of "Sonnenland" that is, according to a French soft-top supplier I contacted, as good as "Sonnenland".

According to Putt Georgi, the principal at ARO, one must be extra careful about specifying EXACTLY the fabric that you require. "German", "OEM", "original" is not enough. Must be "Sonnenland", "Twillfast", "Aresma", etc. BTW, Mr. Georgi said that "Twillfast" is of very good quality, as good as "Sonnenland" and better in some ways, but not as nice or luxurious looking. It seems that quite a few top makers pass "Twillfast" as "Sonnenland". But they don't pass on the savings.

2- Aro manufacturing and windows.

Aro uses computer cutting and has a working relationship with "Aresma" re patterns, etc.

Windows: they use O'Sullivan Ultralite and Kal-Glas from Renolit or Solvay-Draka, both very large and well-respected Euro cos., one German the other Dutch. Couldn't figure out why both use the same product name, though. Ultralite has not as good a rep as Kal-Glas, but at least it's a real, branded product from a real co. with a real reputation.

Finally, the French soft-top supplier I contacted said that there are now asian copies of "Sonnenland", "Aresma", etc. He gave me the name of one US soft-top maker (not one who charges the least, by far!) that uses these fabrics but I could not confirm the info.

Conclusion:

Whatever the price asked, if your soft-top maker cannot confirm exactly the materials used and the manufacturing process, do not do business with him.

Laverda
 
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