By on March 18, 2010

One of the few things TTAC has in common with the Weblogs Inc/AOL juggernaut Autoblog is a weird fascination with landau roofs, opera tops, and all manner of roof-paddery. But what was developing into a friendly rivalry to see who could come up with the ugliest aftermarket roof treatment has run out of control: there’s no way we will ever be able to top this padded-roofed Camaro for sheer unnecessary tastelessness. Congratulations, guys.

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36 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Autoblog Ups The Opera-Top Ante Edition...”


  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    What’s wrong is the font in front of the ugly roof-paddery.

    What does “Michigano Assics” mean anyway, and what are they REALLY trying to sell?

  • avatar
    mtymsi

    The top might not be to everyone’s taste but obviously it was to the taste of the Camaro’s owner which is the only vote that counts.

  • avatar

    All this time, I thought vinyl-roofed CTS sedans marked the very bottom of American automotive aesthetic choices.

    Wow.

    I guess items like this are helpful to other drivers, for readily identifying a moron behind the wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      A is A

      “I guess items like this are helpful to other drivers, for readily identifying a moron behind the wheel”

      I concur.

      Here in Europe is a yellow Opel Vectra or a purple Citroën Saxo what should put you on guard.

      Well, it is his/her life and money.

      Such showings of bad taste have also a positive side: They remind us we live in an affluent and (semi)free society.

  • avatar

    The owner is in Macy’s buying some Ed Hardy wear.

  • avatar
    educatordan

    The horror, the horror. The person who ordered this top installed should be forced to drive a 1982 Camaro with a 2.5 ltr Iron Duke, a three speed auto, and leaky t-tops for the rest of their lives.

    • 0 avatar

      educatordan, I’m surprised I haven’t seen a vinyl-topped Camaro in NM yet — seems Galles would be all over these if there was a market for ‘em. (I’m in ABQ.)

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      Here’s what I see in Gallup, NM. Bumblebee painted ones with big transformer decals. Just as hideous in my eyes, but then I’d rather have a Mustang just cause they don’t come with the mandatory “dealer price adjustment.”

    • 0 avatar

      Well, until next year anyway, when the new ‘Stang engines come online. Then I suspect we’ll see a few Ford stores charging $800+ for the valuable “Desert Protection Package” coat of wax. (At least I can appreciate a dealer’s honesty, when they come right out and called it added dealer profit.)

      I mentioned Galles Chevrolet in Albuquerque because I recall seeing laudau roof-bedecked Corsicas in their showroom in the early 90s. And, they sold.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      I’ll bet they did sell. Actually I’ve always admired base model cars. http://www.carlustblog.com/2010/03/praise-for-the-base-model.html

      I want a no options 5 speed base model, I wish they still made a cheaper version of the convertible with no AC and crank windows, knock a few thousand off the sticker, I’d buy it. I’ve always thought it took more creativity to find ways to goose a little more power out of the 6 than the 8. There are actually two dedicated V6 Mustang performance sites online.

      I feel like the landau tops have gotten uglier since framed windows cut higher up into the roof, so companies feel that you need to place parts of the top on the doors and part on the roof. It just looks stupid.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    Martin Landau’s estate called. They’re begging you to stop.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Let’s assume it’s a geezer-mobile. Once this generation gets too old to drive, we won’t see these anymore?

    Or are we Baby Boomers going to repeat the same mistake in our geezer-hood? I won’t, for one. The only time I liked the vinyl roof look was back in about 1963-64, when they first became reasonably popular (I was 11-12 years old then).

    • 0 avatar

      I vaguely recall reading, in one of the trade mags around 1990, a GM designer commenting how the new Caprice Classic was designed with the intent a padded roof would never be fitted to it.

      Of course, someone found a way (and will hopefully suffer in the afterlife for that.)

      Fabric-covered, faux-“Phaeton” tops are even worse…

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      @Finfrock, Ford threatened to stop shipments of LS Lincolns to any dealer that installed aftermarket top treatments. If you’ve ever cruised eBay Motors you’ll see how well that worked.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I suspect each generation will commit the sins of their youth upon this vehicles of their age, so no, no Landau for the Boomers.

      Sadly, by that yardstick, my geezermobile will have a wing and neon undercarriage lights. Oh, and spinners.

  • avatar
    Turbo60640

    This looks ridiculous on a Camaro. I think it effectively stifles the muscular and aggressive presence of the car. I’m pretty sure there were 1970s Camaros that came with vinl tops, so maybe that’s what the owner was trying to emulate?

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    It looks like it’s parked at Eastland Mall. That would explain everything, but still not justify its exisitence…

  • avatar
    ReGZ_93

    At least that top looks sorta normal. There’s an old lady that lives near me that had her first generation Legacy top Landaued like a seventies Eldorado.

    That is truly hideous.

  • avatar
    Ion

    Couldn’t you get a vinyl roof on a Z-28 back in the day? Maybe this is someone trying to recreate a lost love or something.

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      My mother owned a ’67 Camaro RS blue with black vinyl top when I was a kid. She was never the type to customize her cars so I’m certain it had to be a factory option.

      edit: verified it as factory option here: http://www.camaros.org/options.shtml#RPOSpreadsheet

  • avatar
    cirats

    In all seriousness, is this really that “ugly”? If it is ugly, doesn’t that automatically make every Camaro convertible ugly when it has the top up? Does it mean that all convertibles are automatically ugly when they have their tops up? If anything, this is probably better looking than the convertible with its top up will be because it probably has a larger rear window and smoother lines. Would I buy this, or do I think it’s a good idea?? Not at all, but it seems exaggerated to say it’s that hideous when lots of people will be driving around in cars that look a lot like it as soon as the convertible actually comes out.

    The really really really terrible looking ones are the Landau tops (not sure I’m using the term correctly, but I’m referring to when just the back part is all vinyled up) and the four-door cars (for which their is no convertible equivalent). My personal most hideous, most foolish, and silliest is the Ford Escort on the Autoblog site.

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    They were vinyl, but they were not padded. Also, this is not the typical grained vinyl of yore.

    This is some tasteless ghetto-fabulous wanna-be that will, when the next welfare checks roll in, have 22″ spinners put on it next.

    This kind of “customization” is like a plauge around Detroit.

  • avatar
    Loser

    Whats wrong with this picture? What a silly question.

    This Camaro obviously needs chrome fender skirts and a Continental kit.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Technically, this is a fake convertible top, and not a vinyl or landau roof. The driver could be trying to pass their Camaro off as a yet to be produced convertible model, although the sharkfin antenna pretty much ruins that illusion.

    In any case, I’ve never gotten the point of the fake convertible top. Most convertibles only look good with their top down (that is the point), and are rather clunky with the tops up (with the ribs, snaps, seams, and whatnot). Why anyone would want to reproduce that look is beyond me.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    The only plus is, if I squinch my eyes up, I can imagine what a Camaro convertible might look like if you Sawzalled that abomination right off.

  • avatar
    hitman1970

    Damn that’s wrong. Take that fool’s Metamucil away!

  • avatar
    sfdennis1

    Bonus points for the antenna/module stuck ON TOP OF the faux folding convertible top…just gives that fake roof extra “realness”… ugh.

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Re:”Opera Top”. I don’t believe they were ever called that, even in the hey day of the look. Vinyl top,Carson top, Landau, Carriage top, but never opera top.No car rag of the era ever used the phrase, nor any brochures from the period. But it’s a perfect description of that whole collection of contrived styles.

    There were opera windows and opera lighting, formal roofs and wire wheel hubcaps.

    That’s what this thing needs.Wire wheel hub caps. And whitewalls. Even the 84 Caravan the owners of the company where I work owned featured those. Real deluxe, y’know….

    Still looks better like than than a current Mazda 3……

  • avatar
    Autojunkie

    @Dr. Nguyen Van Falk

    Yes.. Welfare… Trust me…

    I used to live in a crappy neighborhood near 8 Mile (yes.. THE 8 Mile). There was a place at the end of my street called “Rent-a-wheel”. The name says it all. They rent/lease 20 and 22 inch chrome spinners… Trust me… The a$$holes on welfare all drove much nicer cars than me… That’s not to say that they were doing some other nefarious forms of creating (illegal) income for themselves (breaking into my daughter’s window at night).

    Ughh… It makes me sick to my stomach everytime I have to think about what it was like to live around there… This Camaro is just a VERY sad reminder…

  • avatar
    chainyanker

    Ugly hat or not, the Camaro still looks like a crudely drawn cartoon.

  • avatar
    rpol35

    What, no landau irons or opera windows? What a cheap a$$ job!

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    Whatever dealership did this to the Camaro, Chevy should close them. Death to E&G Classics!


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