Piston Slap: Booting a Torino in a snap … without snaps?


Linda writes:

Where can I buy a convertible top boot for my ’69 Ford Torino that has no snaps? All the ones I see have four snaps, but my Torino never had snaps!

Sajeev answers:

I’ve spent a fair amount of time trying to find a snap-free replacement boot for your car and came up with nothing. (I even checked my 1970 Ford shop manual, but it wasn’t conclusive on this matter.) Before I recommend you get a local upholstery shop to reproduce your current boot, I asked my counterparts at Ask Hagerty for a second opinion, which is shared here:

The information I found is that your Torino does have four snaps that snap inside on the armrest/top well and then plastic material clips to/under the molding trim. Several of the vendors show a stock photo with multiple snaps but the actual product has four snaps and a plastic slider that slides underneath the trim. Here are the places we found for you.

Then again, if your 1969 Torino has the original boot as fitted by the factory, perhaps Ask Hagerty and I all got it wrong. Maybe the best bet is to do an “upholstery shop near me” Google search and see about getting what’s currently on your car reproduced by an expert. It will likely be more expensive than any the kits listed above, but a custom upholstery job will ensure you get exactly what you want.

But it won’t be much more painful on the pocketbook, right? A convertible top boot is a pretty simple design to replicate for any upholstery shop experienced with vintage boats, antique furniture, or older cars.

What say you, Hagerty Community?

Have a question you’d like answered on Piston Slap? Send your queries to pistonslap@hagerty.comgive us as much detail as possible so we can help! Keep in mind this is a weekly column, so if you need an expedited answer, please tell me in your email.


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    This is of no help, but I can’t help myself from blurting out (in type): “Oh, snap!”
    And I hope your upholstery guy says it out loud and then gives you great advice on the proper fix.
    Okay, I’m over it now. Carry on.

    It is often said that you can get any part for any car on the internet. This is always said by people who have never actually tried it. It amazes me how many parts I cannot get for my 65 Impala (which they made 800,000 of)

    It looks like they only made about 2000 of your Torino convertibles so good luck

    One possibility is that your Torino is not a factory convertible. My sister had a Buick Regal T-top where one of the T-tops decided to self-eject while she was going down the highway. I assisted in the search for the replacement and discovered that there were at least three different companies ‘dealer installing’ these T-tops back in the day. We did finally find one by physically matching it up

    Some tonneaus have brackety inside the rear corners that slip into a notch in the trim and then you pull it forward and snap it to the rear panels.

    My 72 Skylark convert has the plastic brackets inboard that slip under the chrome lip of the trim too. Two snaps per side in the front of the cover that fit around the back seat area.

    Well here is the trouble. There is just not many Torino’s around. That is great for collectability and rareness but you pay a price on parts and availability. I have two collector cars one is mostly E bay and junk yards for parts the other is a Corvette and I could nearly rebuild it with repo parts.

    The best thing here is just go to that local shop and show them what you have and what you want.

    I am sure your car is 100% factory convertible as no one back then converted them. But that is not to say that the covers may have changed during production or could have even been different at different plants. Odd things went on back then at all the automakers.

    My 68 Chevelle had side marker lights that said SS 396 but they were only on the early production cars and changed about a month in on production. For years no one really knew why mine were different.

    If you want to keep it the same get it made and odds are the local shop will do a great job and even give you a choice in quality of materials. Better to pay a little more and get what you want than settle.

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