How to install a tonneau cover on an Austin-Healey Sprite

Our Sprite might have gone for its maiden voyage, but we still had some work to do–like install some kind of tonneau cover. While it might be practical in San Diego to have absolutely no top, here in rainy Florida, that’s not our reality.

The stock tonneau cover goes halfway across the rear deck, all the way to the rear mounts for the convertible top.

We went with a shorter one that mounts right behind the rear seats. It cost us more than $700.

To mount the tonneau, we used a combination of hardware–some came with the cover, while some came directly from Moss Motors.

The job is not difficult, but having experience makes it easier. The big trick here: Getting the cover on straight and also tight enough so that it doesn’t flap while driving. A warm day makes this much easier.

To eliminate the need for extra holes up front, we machined our rearview mirror mounting bracket to accept a mount for the tonneau cover as well. It looks cool and puts the cover exactly where it needs to be. For the front outer mounts, we used the space vacated by the no longer used defroster vents.

For the rear mounts, we placed one in the center and then worked our way fore and aft until we had the top fully in place.

The procedure involves measuring where you want a fastener in the body, drilling and installing that fastener and then stretching and then marking the top over that fastener.

You then have to take the top off every time, drag it over to your bench and then punch through where you marked it. Then, install the fastener, mount the top and go onto the next fastener.

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Comments
JohnShirley108
JohnShirley108 New Reader
6/8/24 3:10 p.m.

Can I have her?  I promise to take good care of her and never drive in the rain!

 

John

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher Emeritus
6/11/24 12:36 p.m.

In reply to JohnShirley108 :

With only a tonneau cover in place, it would be best to keep her out of the rain.

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