Melrose T-Top Int. has been in the Corvette business for over 30 years. In that time we have taken lead position as the most reputable GM licensed aftermarket supplier of Corvette Roof Panels, Targa Tops, and T-Tops in the industry.
That being said, I feel comfortable explaining to you what seems to be a gray area in the Corvette world regarding replacement Targa top roof installation and adjustment. Most C4 Corvette owners don’t lend much thought to their tops as being an integral part of the vehicle’s structural integrity. The C4 however was initially designed as T-bar vehicle like the C3’s, and it wasn’t until a GM exec ordered the car be converted to a targa model, the engineers realized they had a problem. With the T-bar removed handling characteristics suffered greatly due to torsional flexibility. Unfortunately for us the only viable solution to this was an inconvenient bolt in bulky style targa top roof.
The first thing you want to do when purchasing a new roof is verify the year of the roof on your car. Even though your car may be a 1988 it could have been converted at one point. Sound unlikely? GM sold a kit for many years to convert 84-88 Corvettes to the third design 89-96 roof styles. This was due in part to the fact that only one roof design was available and it generated more income selling and installing the kits. So, how do I determine my roof year design? You can compare your front mounting hardware with chart below or measure between your front mounting bolts.
Measured from bolt to bolt O.C. across top of windshield frame.
- 1st design 84 - Early 86 28.5”
- 2nd design Late 86-88 31.5”
- 3rd design 89-96 32.5”
We have established the structural importance of the C4 targa style roof and it’s different designs.
Now we can discuss how to properly install it, or better yet, how not to. Start by parking your vehicle on flat ground, and inflating all tires to factory specs then follow the instructions below per your specific vehicle year.