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Got a feeling creating my convertible D soft top mechanism will be pricy. I guess if it’s too pricy maybe I can just go with my original thought of hard top and soft top delete. I know when IM was making cars they made at least as many Conv Ds as they did speedsters. Does anyone think there would be popular interest in a Conv D option?  Taller windshield and role up windows. I’ve been in a speedster with its top up. And I owned an IM Conv D. There’s no comparison in comfort, visibility and claustrophobia.

Last edited by 550 Phil

Carey can you elaborate why you would not build the Cabriolet again?  Isn’t it identical to the super coupe from the windows down. Is the top prohibitively expensive or difficult to build?  Most folks do want a convertible as their “fun” car. I don’t think it’s as pretty as a speedster but obviously your 3 year wait for the SC certainly confirms that a bunch of folks like the look. Just curious but I just don’t understand why more people don’t want role up windows and head room.

Last edited by 550 Phil

@550 Phil they were made to fit a VW Brazilia pan, which you just can't get anymore, and I have no interest in making a belly pan car anyway so there'd be no point in modifying for that.  I made it fit the Speedster old style tube chassis, and while it was OK it really needed a little lower sitting floor and some other chassis changes.  Don't get me wrong, I made the old one work and work well, but it could have been better, so it would really need a purpose built chassis specific to it.  It is shorter and slightly more narrow than the SC, so that isn't an option.  I could make the front suspension work but would have a complete redesign from behind the rear seats back, and with now almost 4 years worth of backlog for street cars and over 5 years backlog on racecars I don't need any more development projects (I already have another project in the works on top of everything else).

We get very few requests for roll up windows in the speedster or a Roadster/D.  Maybe 1 person a year asks and I always just say no... OK, almost always ;-)

The coupe/GTS and the old cabs were also really a labor of love.  I can make some money on the GTS because they are a 125-150K car.  I need to streamline the coupe to make it profitable, and I think i can get there without any sacrifice to quality, but it has proven to be a lot more work/time than anyone ever anticipated.  The cab was the same way.  I lost money on every one I built.  

Thank you for the explanation Carey. My bad. I was thinking that the SC and Cabriolet had identical proportions. Yes. The people on the waiting list definitely do not want you to start any new projects. But for the few persistent people like me who want role up windows I really do appreciate your effort. But usually if you build it they will come. And if you can figure out an economical solution to the Conv D top…they will come.
Hmm. If you can really figure out role up windows or power up windows in a speedster I’d definitely consider that. A 356A is definitely better looking in the speedster than it is in a type D. And the top should be easier. Just a thought. Ok. Now go back and build cars 😉


The entire idea of a Speedster was not Ferry's ideal to start with. Porsche was already making Cabriolets, and another drop-top was not in the original plans. They were already making race-cars (550s) when Max Hoffmann asked for a stripped down sportscar, presumably to better compete with the British on price. Max got his car and Porsche got a toehold in the USA. A happy happenstance of the result was a car that came to be a winning fixture in the less rarified air of sportscar racing in North America.

It always required a lot of sacrifice to live with, which is why, with the celebrity set, bad-boy hardcases like James Dean and Steve McQueen gravitated toward them. It wasn't really Cary Grant's jam.

The Speedster, D, and Roadster were different from the Cabriolets, not just in the windshield, but behind the seats. A 356 Cabriolet looks like a coupe with the top chopped off, very much like the 911 Cabriolet. The "removable windshield" cars have a flatter area behind the top, for a sleeker profile. The bodies are quite different from the front fenders back.

Max Hoffmann wanted a stripped down quasi-racer, but what Porsche believed buyers really wanted was the appearance of one, so the '59 Convertible D and the B-bodied roadsters worked to split the difference. "Removable" windshields that were never actually removed, windup windows (like civilized people in cold climates have), and nicer seats were the compromise.

We're not that much different than people 65 years ago, and I've certainly been guilty of larding up the lightweight. I'm trying to resist the urge. There are some features I want to have, and some that just add complexity. I'm never sure where that line is, I only know when I go over it (and I have).

For me (at least) a cabriolet is a couple of bridges too far.

Last edited by Stan Galat

Carey wrote, "We get very few requests for roll up windows in the speedster or a Roadster/D.  Maybe 1 person a year asks and I always just say no... OK, almost always ;-)"

That surprises me.  I would have thought more buyers would want roll up/electric windows.  I couldn't go back to side curtains (mind you, I have had British sports cars...) now that I am used to the convenience of glass roll up windows.

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