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@DannyP posted:

Yes, it's a Beck thing.

My old Vintage top had zip-in curtains, but they were a real PIA. They had two snaps on the inside of each door.

My plan is to make plexi side curtains and use some custom aluminum ferrules directly in the door tops.

like this old fella?
550-05_7


or, Kind of like how theses fellas did with their speedsters?

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Last edited by AmericanWorkMule

Exactly like the second one, except fitting into the top tightly. Those are cruzin' windows from Troy Sloan. I have a set, but will need to cut the hardware down lengthwise as Spyder doors are much shorter. And of course cut my own plastic. And drill holes right into the door tops!

That first picture is one of the first eight Spyders, which were all prototypes and test mules for various engines, bodywork and stuff. The flat headlights and upright tail are well, not very attractive. I'm so glad they rounded and slanted things.

Last edited by DannyP

When I made up my side curtains I didn’t like the CMC window hardware much and found a nicely elegant version from Ola Miltorp over in Sweden.  They are really easy to make from a bent bolt (I used stainless), some fender washers and an acorn nut, look very nice and have been trouble free since 2006.

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Ya know, the more I look at those original side curtain mounts, more I see potential. They would be strong, they don't require holes in the exterior of the door, they don't require that third hold-down strap in the center. One could make the bracket to accept a flat strap or a round rod. Both could be secured with a flat or domed set-screw-knob. This would lessen punctures in your body on impact than that wing-nut. They blend in easily with the door hardware, ie, door handles, pull handles and door latches.  Gotta rethink this a little...............Bruce

P.P.       Gordon,  your hardware application is really nice. Simple and minimum too !

Like Danny, I was going to put the ferrules in the tops of the doors. Couldn't do it.

Yes, they'd be a little ugly. But also: the shape of the door is all wrong to make them work.

I set my side screen project aside about 2 years ago...

The way forward is to make a Speedster style door top trim piece. Best to shape it like a long wedge, like the original Spyders had—but make it about twice as thick. About 7/8 inch should do it.

A 3/4-inch slice of hardwood, carved to conform with the door shape (this will take many hours), then fixed with three or four 1/4-20 studs for mounting, drilled for the ferrules and covered with vinyl that matches the car's interior.

Either that or make a mold off the door tops and then make the part out of Fibral or something like that. Probably quicker than using ash or oak.

Kind of like how theses fellas did with their speedsters?

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The CruZin window in AmericanWorkMules post is one of my first generation versions.

The current, third generation, version has adjustable mounting pins that slide in a track.  Here's a photo.

20210418_201209

More photos are available on my website,   www.cruzinwindows.com

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Last edited by Troy Sloan

I'm eventually going to get to mine, after I finally fit the top. I'm still going to move forward with aluminum ferrules epoxied right into the door top. They are very low-profile. Once installed they won't be obtrusive or very noticeable. How much do you notice the snaps for the tonneau? The ferrules don't stick up much at all.

Since the door top is angled TOWARD the window it isn't a big deal to bend the window's pins to the right angle. The pins will end up almost perfectly straight. The windows are angled top-in a little. It'll look fine and work fine.

Troy designed the pin system so that they can be fine-tuned to your particular car.

I'd bet that's a no. There are far more Speedsters out there, and 95% of Spyders don't have tops or never use them. It's an emergency top, and more than a little claustrophobic in there with windows in. It's not too bad solo, but with a passenger it's tight.

I've driven 280 miles, at night, in the rain to the old Pumpkin run in Chambersburg PA. Thankfully I had heat, it was in the high 40s.

@DannyP posted:

I'd bet that's a no. There are far more Speedsters out there, and 95% of Spyders don't have tops or never use them. It's an emergency top, and more than a little claustrophobic in there with windows in. It's not too bad solo, but with a passenger it's tight.

I've driven 280 miles, at night, in the rain to the old Pumpkin run in Chambersburg PA. Thankfully I had heat, it was in the high 40s.

True, I understand the logic and the reasoning...

..but if we were 100% logical and reasonable we wouldn't be driving around in a replica of a 1950's race car. ;-)

Dr. P wrote: "..but if we were 100% logical and reasonable we wouldn't be driving around in a replica of a 1950's race car. ;-)"

I probably wouldn't have ended up at my last place of employment, either....



Mater Quote

And THEN, Dr. P wrote: "It's an emergency top, and more than a little claustrophobic in there with windows in. It's not too bad solo, but with a passenger it's tight."

That reminds me of one of our trips from Massachusetts to South Carolina, trailering the Speedster.  We arrived OK but in a light rain and running on 7 cylinders in the truck.  Rather than drive it farther, we off-loaded the Speedster, piled in and headed to the grocery store for groceries.  30 minutes later, we piled back into the Speedster at the Grocery store, along with 12 bags of groceries (after two days on the road, we really weren't thinking about Speedster storage capacity whilst wandering the aisles of the Piggly-Wiggly).  With a very fast assessment of available space, we found that could fit 6 bags in the so-called "back seat", two under the driver's knees (and still allow safe pedal operation, as long as we didn't stop quickly) and four surrounding the passenger.  After all that, we said "screw it!" and stopped on the way home at "Big Joe's BBQ" to pick up dinner, which ended up on the passenger's lap.  At least the smoked turkey, BBQ Beans and cheesy-fries made her smile, just a little.

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Last edited by Gordon Nichols

There is absolutely no way to get that many bags of groceries in a Spyder, even top down. A Spyder is quite a bit smaller in the interior than a Speedster. Imagine with the top UP! Honestly, you can't get into a Spyder with the top up gracefully. Even if you're tiny and a gymnast. Which is why the Beck boys put a folding frame on their top. You need to release the windshield header and fold the top back just to get in or out.

Carey and I did drive to a beer store in my Spyder at Carlisle one year, top down of course. We returned with three cases of beer. A 12 pack can fit in front of the cockpit bulkhead on each side. One case fit between Carey's legs, and the other one in his lap. That was one hell of a feat!

Last edited by DannyP

Not trying to be a smart-a$$, but I'm curious as to why a Spyder owner wouldn't want to duplicate the door-top bumper that everyone uses on a Speedster in which to mount the sockets for the side window pegs, rather than drill into the door?

The door-top bumpers give almost 2" of depth so that the socket tube can't move about at the bottom end, making them pretty strong for the window pegs.  I don't know how strong they would be if put into the door unless they're backed up with something inside of the door.

The bumpers could even be removable, I suppose, if you're only going out in nice WX.

Because they'd be REALLY ugly on a Spyder. A Spyder cockpit is quite narrow compared to a Speedster. But they use the same windshield.

The door tops you seem intent on Spyders using would be about 2" wide on top of the door and extend outward: UGLY.

A Spyder is supposed to be a spartan race car, not a Speedster or a Roadster D. The few creature comforts mine has are hidden from view: heat, defrost, heated seats, and Bluetooth amp/speakers. If I ever get around to finishing the top, it will follow the same ethos: unobtrusive and only noticeable when installed/in use.

The side curtains/windows must sit a couple inches from the inside edge of the door. I still think a couple ferrules will look just fine and not be very noticeable.

About 5 years ago one of my native Hawaiian friends asked me to help him rebuild a 70ft long 150 year old koa canoe. He was a master canoe builder and was very exacting. The koa boards that we were using cost around $1M for a 1/4 tractor trailer load. We even saved the sawdust.

There were hardly any flat surfaces and absolutely no rectangular boards, but we could handle most of the curves with japanese saw work and a lot of sanding.

The bow was different. Mac showed me how to bend the koa planks using a steam pipe. It was basically a pipe angled at 45 degrees with a metal boiler at the bottom end. You take a big propane burner and point it at the boiler. You stick your lumber into the pipe and drape a towel over the open end and then let it steam for a few hours. Then you bend it into place and clamp it for a day or so depending on the thickness.

Trust me, there are a lot of koa canoe building details that I'm leaving out and yes, I wasted some wood. Mac is an ex-Marine so I learned some phrases that I'm pretty sure are anatomically impossible.

Long story short, if you are feeling frisky, try steaming the wood.

Mac telling me that I'm more trouble than I'm worth:

IMG_20160729_150323

That's the plank that I'm supposed to fit into the gap (several days later, it worked):

IMG_20160729_150243

The stern view and you can see the kind of bending needed at the ends:IMG_20170610_084053Good luck, Ed. Let me know if you want to do it in koa!

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Last edited by Michael Pickett

Another way to "steam" wood for bending is to put it in an appropriate PVC/ABS pipe and fill with water and Downey Fabric Softener. (1/2 gal per 5 gallons of water) Let it sit for a few days, take it out, bend it over your form. and let it dry in tension. About a week in the sun. Last time I used this method was for 8 chair backs. the material was Red Oak, 3/4" X 6" X 16".

Here's a photo of a ships helm wheel I built from scratch. The outside rings are laminated 1/8" thick X 1 1/4 inch Red Oak strips formed INSIDE a plywood ring form. The nice part about this procedure is that very little clamping is necessary, the butt-joints are perfectly tight and it's done in a continuous "spiral" that gets smaller and tighter with each layer. A router centered on trammel bars will bring the inside and outside circumference back to round plus provide perfect tapers to the end strips both inside and outside final strip.  No steaming or fabric softener is needed for this job.

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  • IMG_0454: Akibisan Maru   Rear/stern helm

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