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Why does everyone call it a "surrey top"?

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balloonfoot Avatar
balloonfoot Gold Member Lloyd Faust
Southlake, TX, USA   USA
I was just cruising this forum and have to ask.....why does everyone call the hardtop a surrey top? The proper name for the car with a fixed rear window and removable center section in either alloy or steel is a HARDTOP car.

The fold up fabric and hood sticks that fit in the trunk was an option since the center section had to be left at home. This was referred to as the surrey top. Nowhere in the factory literature is the hardtop car referred to as a "surrey top".

Just being cool? What gives?

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surrey top cover.jpg    15.4 KB
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TuRtle5 Avatar
TuRtle5 Kevin Kelly
Absecon, NJ, USA   USA
1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster "Coral Mistress"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Drandulet"
1962 Triumph Vitesse "Ohtoseethelightofday"
1968 Triumph TR250    & more
Quite right Lloyd, it's the vernacular of the Triumph world!

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Uh, wouldn't a "hard" top be, well, hard?





Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

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TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
Not sure this will come out, but here is the "hard top". Item 20 is steel, not cloth on sticks





Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L Once and future daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

ArtL Avatar
ArtL Art Liefke
Kings Park, NY, USA   USA
Fringes were an option. grinning smiley



Art


Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. - Benjamin Franklin

tapkaJohnD Avatar
tapkaJohnD John Davies
Lancaster, Lancashire, UK   GBR
From the Moss online catalogue: https://www.moss-europe.co.uk/surrey-top-fittings-tr5-tr250.html
"SURREY TOP CONVERSION KIT, black
Notes: When originally sold by Triumph the Surrey top was only supplied as a hard top. The name Surrey was originally applied to the fabric conversion that was available as an option, although it has been adopted as the name for this style of roof and back light assembly. Detailed below are the parts required to allow installation and use of the ‘Surrey’ soft top. These components are required if you have an existing back light assembly or you purchase one of our backlight assemblies. The conversion kits contain all necessary components, items 51-69."
My underline.

And, while the original four-wheeled horse drawn carriage was named a Surrey, allegedly for the English county of its invention, the name attained popular usage in America!
John

ima68tr Tom Fremont
MILFORD, OH, USA   USA
1968 Triumph TR250 "Jaqueline The Ripper"
" Removable Hard Top " is the apt term, but a mouthful. " Surrey " is the preferred term and is quite well understood by its fans / owners. To pick at this choice risks looking like sour grapes, as they are exceedingly rare and hands down the consummate touch in a restoration of a Michelotti TR.

Tom


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Chequered roof.JPG

gozto11 Avatar
gozto11 Todd Bermudez
Cincinnati, OH, USA   USA
Same reason people call a hood cover a boot cover. We all know the “trunk” as the boot, but people call the convertible top cover(when stowed) a boot cover. The proper English term for the top is a hood...hence hood cover

RobTAR Robert I
Seattle, WA, USA   USA
In the automotive industry these days a removable hardtop without a T-bar is called a Targa top. Even though Triumph did it first Porsche gets the credit.

TuRtle5 Avatar
TuRtle5 Kevin Kelly
Absecon, NJ, USA   USA
1949 Triumph 2000 Roadster "Coral Mistress"
1959 Triumph TR3A "Drandulet"
1962 Triumph Vitesse "Ohtoseethelightofday"
1968 Triumph TR250    & more
However...
The factory always called the hard top a hard top. factory literature only refers to the soft top as a surrey.
,.. but like most TR guys, I incorrectly call the whole thing a surrey top (and I like em on TR6s too)

POW Peter Wirth
HEBRON, NH - New Hampshire, USA   USA
In reply to # 1583384 by gozto11 Same reason people call a hood cover a boot cover. We all know the “trunk” as the boot, but people call the convertible top cover(when stowed) a boot cover. The proper English term for the top is a hood...hence hood cover

I think this term is totally unrelated to 'trunks' being 'boots', 'tops' or 'roofs' being 'hoods', or 'hoods' being 'bonnets'. My folks always had big American convertibles, four or five in my growing up years and the cover for the folded top was always called "the boot". I'm sure the term was a holdover from another day but British car terminology was not part of their knowledge at the time. - Pete

Geko Avatar
Geko Stef SG
Kuala Lumpur, WP, Malaysia   MYS
agree, also why camshaft is often called "bumpstick" and in Badminton the shuttlecock is called "birdie" which is more likely to be a US neologism

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