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Mar 19, 2008

Mustang Towne Tops (Hardtops)

Again, we want to thank our friend, John Murphy for providing the great information and pictures about this Hardtop that was available for the '65-66 Mustangs. It is truly a unique accessory, and John knows more about these tops than anyone. These pictures are of the top installed on his beautiful 1966 Mustang Convertible that we have featured here in our Blog. Also check out the article about this Mustang in the January 2008 edition of Mustang Monthly.

Here's John's story:

Here are more images and information than you will probably need or
want about the Towne Top. Included you will find photos of the mounting
brackets and hardware, an instruction sheet that came with all of the tops,
a short history of these tops and details showing how different areas of the
top mate to the car. This top was made by Dory Development Co. of New York,
the design beginning shortly after the introduction of the Mustang on April
17, 1964. Mr. Moss had already made removable tops for the Corvair
convertible, and as soon as he saw his first Mustang he knew they were going
to be a popular car and wanted to supply a top for this stylish personal
sized car being sold by Ford dealers across the nation. He employed one
salesman who contacted "Ford dealers, upscale garages and trend setting auto
parts suppliers" and urged them to market the Towne Top. I have most of the
sales records for the Towne Tops showing where each was sold. At a retail
price of $289.00 they failed to attract the attention of many buyers, and
at some time the remainder of the inventory was destroyed.

As an interesting note, the Dory Development Corporation was not the
only company who designed and sold "take off" tops for the early Mustangs.
Parrish Plastics manufactured tops as well. You can see a picture of a
Parrish Plastic Company top in "Mustang Does It", a very nice hardbound book
published in 1978 by the Evergreen Press (Ray Miller, author). In 1994,
Jerry Hensley wrote an article for Mustang Monthly showing both types of
tops. The Parrish top used the rear glass from a Mustang coupe while the
Towne Top used a flat glass rear window. Both mounted pretty much the same
way, and both tops are very rare. Parrish also made tops for mid year
Corvettes (1963 - 67). At this time, we know of three of each brand of top
that are in good enough condition to be mounted on a car and used. I have
information locating several other tops but they are at this time either in
storage or "undergoing restoration"

I have driven this car with top attached at speeds in excess of 85 MPH
and can assure you that with fresh weather striping it is as quiet as a
coupe. The car is very tight and solid with the top on and also very quiet.
It is a "two man" job to install or remove, the top weighing about 85 pounds
and also too large for an ordinary sized person to grasp. The Towne Tops
came in either black or tan, and options included a stainless bar making it
look a bit like a Crown Victoria of the mid fifties, and a dome light.

Should you know of one of these rare accessories we would ask two things -
share this information with the owner, and ask him or her to contact John
Murphy, 309 13th St., Pawnee Il 62558 and share the story of their top.
Thanks for your interest in this very rare accessory for an early Mustang.


Unknown said...

I have three of them and yes Mr. Murphy knows. Seems nobody wants them for some odd reason.

Anonymous said...

I have three of them and Mr. Murphy knows. I found 7 over the years but others were basket cases left outside to rot. Seems people do not want them.