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1986 560SL
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323 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We've had this car more than two years, and have just now checked out the fabric top. The seller of the car said that she hadn't seen the top in 20 years, and had no idea of it's condition. So I was pleasantly surprised to find it looking like new, even the clear panels. There was a kind of protective cloth wrapped around the Vinyl window section, evidently to keep the rougher canvas from scuffing it. It was stiff and a little tough to fit all three latch points, so I'm letting it relax before cranking down the rear attachment.
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1974 450SL; 1961 Besasie X-3 (being restored)
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1,800 Posts
Looks great for 20 years of being folded. I'm not sure of how to get that lower edge wrinkle out. If it doesn't stretch flat when you lock the rear latch.
 

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'79 450SL, '04 CLK200 convertible; former A124, W210, A209.
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3,312 Posts
It does look great given it was stashed away for 20 years - if you did the same to a car here in Ireland it would be color "green moss" rather than black :D

Before you latch it in place, I recommend sprinkling the top with warm water over the next few days to help the canvas stretch and relax - that's just based on my own experience, I do that every 9-12 months as the car is only driven in dry weather and it makes latching it much easier.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , Bob's Your Uncle!
83 280 SL- 5 speed-The PIG
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Looks great for 20 years of being folded. I'm not sure of how to get that lower edge wrinkle out. If it doesn't stretch flat when you lock the rear latch.
We call it the "duck bill".

Time...moisture maybe some soft side weight.......bag of sugar or something. And next time you fold it away....make sure that part is tucked below the latch.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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8,678 Posts
Nice. You got the infamous "Duck Tail" ... but I've found that they usually go away after a day or so.
 
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1988 560SL Currently, 1972 350SL (RIP)
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I had some success, although only temporarily, getting rid of the duck bill by folding it under itself (it’s hard to do, just keep trying until you eventually get it) and then clamp it down and leave it overnight or a few hours and then undo it before driving. It will at least look way better for that day and maybe more.
 

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1983 380SL, ivory/dk brown, 46k miles, dual roller timing chain. 1986 560SL, red/white, 190K mile.
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8,678 Posts
If you are adventurous, you can pull off the Rubber Seal, un-glue the Canvas on the rear bow, pull Canvas out a half inch or so, re-glue the Canvas, and then re-install the Rubber Seal.
That is what I did after I replace the Soft Top on my 380SL and got the duck tail, or duck bill.

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