RaggTopping a 1994 Alfa Romeo Spider

A while back a good friend and customer asked me to detail his 1994 Alfa Romeo Spider.

I had seen the car in the garage at his house where it looked like the trunk was also used as a "garage table". Yes... it was filled with lots of swirls and scratches. It looked like it had been scoured with a Brillo Pad.

After he dropped off the car, I sized up what needed to be done and then decided upon the order to tackle the various aspects of the detail job. First up after a normal Prep Wash to get the top clean as well as the rest of the car. Followed by polishing the flexible, plastic back window, followed by protecting the fabric top, followed by the paint correction.

Clear Plastic Window

The back window was about as scratched-up as the rear deck lid. It was pretty bad. The type of flexible plastic used for convertible tops is soft and therefore easily marred and scratched. Undoing the damage can be challenging.

I think this was the first time I tried Pinnacle Advanced COMPOUND on clear, flexible plastic but my normal go-to products, Pinnacle Finishing Polish and Meguiar's PlastX - neither made a dent in removing the defects. So I TESTED the compound with a finishing pad to see if the compound left any of it's own marks. Nothing. That was a good sign. Next I tried the compound with a foam polishing pad. Nothing. No marks from the compound and "some" of the swirls and scratches were coming out. Then I dove in head first and grabbed a maroon Buff & Shine Uro-Tec pad with a Griot's Garage G9 and just went for it. BOOM! That did it. I was able to remove about 97% of the swirls, scratches and overall marring in the plastic. Next I used the Pinnacle Finishing Polish with the Buff & Shine white foam finishing pad, (same tool), and re-polished to maximize clarity.

I took a few pictures to show you the before and after.


I taped off the worst section and then buffed out the rest of the back window to show the before and after difference...

Now lets take a look at the before and after difference...



Canvas Cloth Convertible Top

Being a 1994 model, this means the top is now 27 years old as I type in the year 2021. This is a garage kept car and mostly driven with the top down, so it's still in amazing shape but a thorough application of RaggTopp Fabric Protectant would not only restore the waterproofing but it also tends to give a top a fresh, crisp look.

The first step was to wash the top using the RaggTopp Vinyl/Fabric Cleaner using the RaggTopp Premium Convertible Brush. Sorry no pictures of this step as I was moving fast. You can see how to do by reading this article. Before leaving for the night I always set the Shop-Vac Air Mover to blow on the top all night as this ensures it's completely dry by the next morning.

Applying the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant

A few years back while working on a different convertible, I had read the directions for how to use the RaggTopp Protectant and the directs stated to spray the product onto the top and allow it to dry. Sounds about right. But when I looked at the layer of RaggTopp Protectant as it laid on top of the top I thought,

I don't want the protectant ON the cloth top - I want it IN the cloth top where it will or at least should make a better bond to the fibers and thus do a better job of lasting long and protecting longer. So I dawned some nitrile gloves and massaged the product over and into the fabric and then let it dry before applying a second coat. Seemed to make sense to me. I shared this technique with the owner of the RaggTopp company, Rick Goldstein and he approved.

Here's a few pictures of the RaggTopp application and final results...

Tip: Always spray from the outside of the top towards the inside of the top as any overspray will tend to fall ON the top, not wasted on glass, paint or the ground.

After a wet application - put on some nitrile gloves and massage the product INTO the fabric. Once it's fully dried you can apply a second and even third coat.

Be sure to protect all of the canvas especially any stitching.

I left this one little spot for dramatic effect -

Done and done right.

Here's the car after completing the paint correction and dressing the tires...

Here's the top outside in full overhead sun...

It's going to be nice for the owner to be able to clearly see through the back window - also a lot safer...

Ready for another 27 years of top-down fun in the sun!

If you need to clean and protect your car's canvas cloth top, here's the way to do it right the first time.

On Autogeek.com

Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush

RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit

If you have a vinyl convertible top - RaggTopp has you covered too...

RaggTopp Premium Vinyl Convertible Top Kit

All RaggTopp products...

All RaggTopp products