Auto upholstery shops have recently been buzzing about their inability to find Cambria, the material most commonly used to trim “simcon” tops. Curious why the topping has been hard to come by, we contacted The Haartz Corporation, maker of Cambria, to find out.
Gordon Goodwin, sales manager at Haartz, told us the material has been discontinued and explained why. He also told us about Stayfast, a great alternative.
Check out our conversation:
1. Trimmers say it’s difficult to find Cambria. Does Haartz still manufacture it?
Cambria is officially discontinued, but we still service many of the same colors using Stayfast, which can be used in a similar fashion by trimmers.
2. Why did Haartz decide to discontinue Cambria?
The Cambria product was intended to make a hard top vehicle look like a convertible, hence the term “simcon” for simulated convertible. When the OEMs moved away from traditional square roof lines to the current rounded shapes, the vehicles no longer looked like a convertible when the Cambria (or simcon fabric) was applied. As a result, this aftermarket design appearance fell out of favor with consumers.
The other factor leading to the decline of the simcon look is that this appearance appealed particularly to an older demographic. With this older demographic literally dying off, the simcon demand declined even further.
The decision by Haartz to discontinue offering Cambria was simply a business decision based entirely on demand or in this case, the lack of demand. The amount of Cambria sold has declined each year for the past 10 years, finally getting to the point where the cost of keeping inventory and committing to continuous raw material supplies was simply not justified.
3. Do you think simcon tops will ever make a comeback?
No, I really don’t see the Cambria design making a comeback.
4. What are the technical differences between Cambria and Stayfast?
The only difference between Cambria and Stayfast is that Cambria has a slightly lighter weight rubber inner layer and a bleached or natural cotton backing, as opposed to the black dyed cotton backing on Stayfast. Both should work fine for simcon applications.
Most trimmers can use Stayfast in place of Cambria without any issues.
5. Do you know of any suppliers that still carry Cambria in inventory?
Sure, you can try Kee Auto Top in North Carolina, Veteran Company in California and Top Creations in Oklahoma.
There you have it folks. Cambria has been officially discontinued. However, Haartz says Stayfast will work just as well and is available in many of the same colors.
The Haartz Corporation is a world leader in highly engineered and uniquely designed convertible toppings and interior surface materials. To read more about Haartz, including why you should only trust convertible tops manufactured with their topping, visit Haartz.com or follow them on Twitter @Haartz.