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Well, I kinda laughed/groaned at Wolfy's post, but then Lane has a point: If you want to once in a while (or even as Dave Stroud or Jack Crosby might do: live in your Speedster for weeks and thousands of miles at a time vs just sport around town when the weather is dry ) the deal would be to have a top you can put up or take down at a moment's notice.  I believe the original builders deemed their solution as an "emergency covering".  And I think all Speedsters real or otherwise come that way, albeit made of canvas.  Would it be nice to push a button and have a nice weather-tight top appear as if from nowhere and snug down over your head without even getting out of the car?  Perhaps.  What do they call it:  zen? zeitgeist? The Madness?  Whatever you might think it to be, a lot of whatever it is would be lost by such a move.

The heart wants what the heart wants.   Well said.   Personally, because I drive my clown car year round- specially like getting out in January/February when we get the clear cold cold cold days in the PNW, I like having something roomy to keep the heat in when it's cold outside, or a chance of precipitation in the fall/winter., and visibility is much much better than with the soft top.   

It does perform better than the soft top when it rains, and it's super easy to to put on/take off.

I have all the parts and been toying with the idea for 3 yrs now of making the modifications to make the plasticom/VS style top  look like the Glasspar ( like the car on BAT w/small windows that open), but fear the cutting/shaping process, mostly because it works so well as is.

Definately extends my driving season and differentiates the car at local events;-)



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Last edited by Lfepardo

@Lfepardo sums it up for me as well.  Do I prefer the speedster top down?  Definitely.  I'm looking to extend the season with my car in the Bay Area to year round fun.  I want to drive it in December, January and February.  I've done it in the past.  It's cold, but doable.  The heater is really there to just amuse us.  

But I also want my son to join me.  That's the driving force behind my hard top desire.  

Last year was not fun having 2" of water in the car, being soaked during our rally event.  It was 45 degrees outside, and I was miserable.  We since moved back the rally to late April or early May for now on, hoping to avoid the rains.  But I want the option available.

@Kevin - Bay Area wrote: " The heater is really there to just amuse us. "

Ain't THAT the truth.  But if you want a heater that can drive you out and offers "modern car" versatility and control, look at a Webasto or Espar gasoline fueled heater.  I'm running an antique Eberspacher (Espar) with a Haartz fabric top and on a 20* - 30* day, my cockpit is shirt-sleeve comfy.  You do have to chase down all of the fresh air leaks into the cockpit that try to defeat the heater, but it can be done.

In all honesty, though, installing a modern gas heater and ducting will probably cost about the same as a custom hard top - Just so you know.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

When I lived in NJ, I had a factory hardtop on my '69 MGC.  I used the car as a daily driver (mistake!) so used the hard top in the dead of winter.  The issue was that it was heavy (even though it was fiberglass) and took 2 to safely remove.  I didn't have a garage or I would have used a rope lifting device.  With no garage I had to store it out back in a shed.  There was no removing it for a quick run on a nice day.  A speedster top is lighter and smaller so suspect an able body owner could remove it on their own but still not quick and easy to remove - and where do you store it?

This was why I thought the Mazda Miata PRHT had some merit on a modernized Speedster creation.  Maybe on a 359 replica - as it has a longer wheelbase and the original 959 was a hardtop (albeit fastback).  Ah, to have just a little of MangoSmoothie's talent and energy!

Txs.  very impressive.  Seems a tad noisy, but maybe that can be dealt with or even out done by the baseline Speedster air cooled symphony.  As a thermodynamicist, I'd be particularly interested in using this in recirculation mode, and I assume, though did not hear if, it is thermostatically controlled so does not just run full tilt all the time.  Speedster applications, if anyone with one is listening, would be really useful.

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