Every industry has their own set of lingo -- and the convertible top industry is definitely one of them. Sometimes we use terms that those who don’t need a technical knowledge of convertible tops may not be familiar with. One of those terms is “blank curtain”.
Perhaps you’ve been shopping for a new convertible top and see that for your make and model of convertible, a convertible top with a “blank curtain” is offered. Don’t stress over the lingo because we are about to simplify and explain what that means for you.
First, a blank curtain is a convertible top that does not have a window pre-installed in it. Instead, the convertible top is one solid piece of double-thick material and where you would normally find a rear window, you’ll just find material. The window area will have two layers of material put together to hold the weight of the window (called “double thick”). Normally the rear window area of a convertible top is called the window curtain, so in this case, since there is no window, it’s called a “blank curtain”. (We’ll stop using quotes now.)
Of course, a blank curtain is not meant to stay that way. These tops are made this way on purpose, so that you can use the original window that came with your vehicle. To reuse your existing window with a blank curtain, you will need to have a glass window that has an inner and outer frame. This is also known as a “Gangster window” and was commonly used on 30’s and 40’s Ford & GM Models. This frame system will grip onto the curtain material and hold your glass window in place. Your professional installer will cut out the material to fit the old window in the proper spot and fix the window into place with the frames.
Do I Have to Reuse My Existing Window?
If your existing window is in bad shape (scratches, dings, etc.) and you don’t want to reuse it, the good news is that, for most modern vehicles, you can buy a top with a new window. Depending on the model, your options for a new top with a pre-installed new window will be different. Some models will offer new glass windows, but others may only offer plastic on replacement convertible tops. Tops that come with a new plastic or glass window will have it pre-installed on the window curtain so it is ready to install. This will also speed up your installation timeline and reduce project risk and labor cost.
You can shop the replacement top options available for your convertible to see what is available. One of the benefits of shopping with TopsOnline is that we offer popular convertible top brands -- and our own private label tops -- so you can easily see all of your options for a complete picture of your choices.
Plastic windows are DOT safety rated heavy 40 gauge vinyl that made to be safe, long lasting and look great. Vinyl convertible tops will have windows heat sealed in place and fabric convertible tops will have plastic windows sewn and heat sealed. They are so secure and reliable that TopsOnline offers a warranty on the window bond, so you can trust it to stand up to the elements -- especially water -- for years to come.
Getting a replacement convertible top with a new window is a great option for anyone whose 1) glass window is not in great shape, 2) who wants a quicker (and maybe cheaper) installation or 3) someone that wants a new window bond warranty.
Which Models Have Blank Curtains
You’ll find blank curtains in several European cars, like Jaguar and Volkswagen. It was also pretty popular in 1940’s and 1950’s American cars like Hudsons, DeSotos, Plymouth Belvedere and Mercury 76/M76, not to mention some Pontiacs, Lincolns, Dodges and Fords.
You’ll find that particularly with American models, blank curtains will be found on tops that come in two pieces. The blank curtain area may have a horseshoe shaped zipper area to let down the back window once installed. Some models, like the Chrysler Windsor, had side zippers for this window section, not horseshoe shapes.
European models mostly had one piece convertible tops with solid curtains that did not have zippers.
Now when you read or hear about a blank curtain, you won’t have a blank stare. You can start shopping now to see what new top options are available for your convertible. And if you have any other questions about convertible tops, our team of experts is happy to help.