• Nov 1st 2009 at 1:51PM
  • 78

Silly landau tops - Click above image for high-res image gallery

Landau tops. Frankly, some are fine. Show us, say, a mid-to-late '70s Olds Cutlass or Lincoln Town Coupe gussied up accordingly from the factory, and we're liable to nod in approval and make one of those, "Ehh, not bad at all!" facial expressions in appreciation of the old barge. That said, most modern landau roof applications are dealer-installed, and commensurately disastrous and stupid.

My friend Scott had been telling me about two particularly egregious examples he regularly sees in his Brooklyn neighborhood. "Show me," I told him. So he remembered to tote his camera with him this week and sent me these. The Buick LeSabre isn't all that surprising, gauche though it may be. But the Ford Escort? Yeah, that's a good one. Gotta love those opera lights and the fading "Ghia" lettering, too. Will anything ever stop these people?

Your turn: What's the most terrible landau top application you've personally witnessed? We know you have stories. Share.

UPDATE: TTAC fires a salvo of its own. Fun!

[Images courtesy of Scott Nyerges]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 10 Months Ago

      Hey, you know what?! That is MY car in the picture, ha. I recognize the plate and the yellow sticker. I'll have you know I got this car free and it came exactly as pictured. Apparently this model was most popular in Europe and I've never seen another one like it in the US -- it's a 1998 and I love it. Even the landau roof. Ridiculous or not, my Ford Escort is the only car like it I have ever seen with the Landau-roof. I love driving around my hometown because everyone knows its me by the top. Hate it or not, a free car is a free car and I love it. I've put thousands of miles on it and I couldn't love my baby more. It's an awesome vehicle-- thanks for taking the picture! It's a great shot of my fabulous car. Go ahead-- mock away! Won't bother me one bit.

      • 5 Years Ago
      If you wree to ask me whats the worst landau top it would have to be that escort in this post. Atleast around here they stick with Lincolns, Cadillac's and Buick's lol
      • 5 Years Ago
      As a Dodge expert, this car is a mild custom, and way far from stock!
      1.) The Wing is not the original, but a similiar style copy.
      2.) The front rear facing scoops are lifted from a Charer "500" (which this car isn't.
      3.) Rear window has been brought out to be flush with the "wings" of the side panel
      of the roof.
      Which brings us to the ? about the vinyl top. Obviously the owner used the vinyl
      top to cover the seam where the window & roof-sides (wings) meet, to not get too
      involved with Mr. Bondo. Note the looooooong one piece termination moulding that
      runs from one side clear around to the other. Factory doed NOT do that, as it's
      darn near impossible to get it perfectly straight.
      My call is that the car in neight a Daytona, not a "500" but a regular, high line
      I sold Dodges from 1968 to 1986. In our zone, I was the leading salesman for
      Charger and Challenger sales. Of the 18 years, i was #1 for 12 & # 2 for 6 years.
      Spin back to # 59 post.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The three worst ones I've seen are:

      Circa 1998 Mercury Sable

      Circa 2003 VW Jetta

      Circa 1995 Honda Civic Si Hatchback

      The Sable and Jetta were both east coast victims (Sable seen in Boston and Jetta seen here in San Diego but with Jersey plates). A friend of mine in Providence says that the Landau roofs are for some unknown reason still fairly popular in New England. The Civic, on the other hand, was completely different. Where some cars are said to have been "riced" out, this one was (yes I have to say it) "beaned" out. It was painted that teal green Honda had in the early/mid 90s, had the color-matched triple blade wipers with the little airfoils that were popular in 1989, the door handles and mirrors were gold plated, a Hispanic name was stickered across the back window, it had BC Norte (Baja California) Mexico plates on it, and it had a GTI-style roof antenna painted gold, frenched into the roof material. The roof was black, and only covered to the B-pillars (I've seen 2nd gen Escorts ('93 or so) with full cabrio roof treatments, even around the sunroof!). It was absolutely hideous, and a waste of a good Si. Just remembering it made me throw up a little in my mouth.
      • 5 Years Ago
      There is a 1990's Nissan Maxima black with a black landau top that just makes me shudder everytime I see it. It also has those plastic "chrome" spinner hubcaps you can get at Wal-Mart. GROSS
      • 5 Years Ago
      "rich Corinthian leather"
      "FINE Corinthian leather"

      According to this you're both wrong:


      • 5 Years Ago
      I love Landau tops, it's a shame that Lincoln stopped making them for the Town Car. The Cadillac DTS is still available with factory tops, though.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No, it isn't. None of the automakers offer a factory landau top any more. Thank god.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I drove a 68 VW Beetle back in the early 70's with a black vinyl roof. Car was red with the black top and huge Hella fog lamps with the checkered covers. Looked pretty sharp as I recall...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I've seen more than a few late-90s Taurus and Sable with this "prestige package", usually with an excess of gold trim labels. The aftermarket companies that perform these attrocities need to be banished to wherever Chris Bangle is now.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is the mullet of the car world.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just posted a mobile pic w/a Sable & not to mention the '89 Camry with one...

      my comment on my fb post - "PEOPLE STOP...cabriolet/landau tops=northerners w/ heavy snow & FL rich white retirees on golf courses w/Cadillacs, Lincolns, & Buicks! lol"
      • 5 Years Ago
      If your looking for a Landau kit and some more horrible examples: (NFI)

      you could also google images "Landau Roof" if your brave
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