The Roof Options of the Corvette C3: T-Top, Convertible, Hardtop...

The Corvette C3 generation was available in two distinct body styles: coupe and convertible. However, there can be confusion surrounding these designations, particularly in sales advertisements for C3 Corvettes. This confusion likely arises from the coupe's unique feature of having removable roof panels, as well as the fact that the convertible variant was not solely equipped with a soft top, but also offered a removable hardtop.


Soft top

From the beginning of its production in 1968 until 1975, the Corvette C3 was produced as a convertible, featuring a soft top that could be raised or lowered to provide an open-air driving experience. This classic configuration allowed drivers to enjoy the wind in their hair and the thrill of the road. The soft top was made from vinyl material, offering a combination of durability, weather resistance, and ease of maintenance.

With the soft top up, the convertible transforms into a comfortable and weather-resistant coupe, protecting occupants from rain, wind, and other elements. The soft top also offers a level of insulation, reducing noise and providing a quieter driving experience compared to a fully open-top design.

Corvette C3 soft top
Corvette C3 soft top, General Motors commercial.


The hardtop roof was made of fiberglass and was designed to be easily removed and stored, allowing drivers to switch between the closed and open roof configurations in a matter of minutes. There are different opinions about whether this operation is easy to perform and how to store the hardtop.

The hardtop was a popular option among drivers who lived in areas with inclement weather, as it provided better insulation and protection from the elements than the soft top convertible. The hardtop roof was available to match the car's exterior paint or was black vinyl covered.

Corvette C3 hardtop
Corvette C3 hardtop, General Motors commercial.


In addition to the convertible option, the C3 generation also offered a coupe variant throughout its entire production run. The coupe had a fixed roof that provided a more enclosed driving experience, but it was distinct from the traditional coupe in that it featured removable roof panels. These panels, commonly known as T-Tops, allowed drivers to enjoy a semi-open-air driving experience by simply removing and storing the roof panels when desired.

Corvette C3 T-Top
Corvette C3 T-Top, General Motors commercial.

The T-Top roof also provided better insulation and protection from the elements than a soft top, making it a popular choice for drivers who wanted to use their Corvette year-round.

In some contexts, T-Top is also referred to as targa, but that was not the term used by GM.

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