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Old 02-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Solstice hardtop ???

So, I would love to have a hardtop for my sol ... and as far as I know there are 5 options :

norm's coupe top (development is still TBD I think ...)
EDAG
smoothline club racer
smooth lemans
ZOK factory top (comes without seals from what I remember)

My top pick would be norm's coupe top, but last I talked to him in December it was still TBD. This is the street version not the racer version. Norm, any update on the street coupe top?

I don't care for the look of the EDAG or the lemans.

I have never seen the smoothline clubracer in person, but it looks to be more "bulky" than the stock soft top. I also worry about smoothline as a company for their quality and the customer service. Thoughts? Anyone out there have the smoothline club racer? How was you experience with them?

The ZOK top ... where do you find them at and can they be modified for a DD top?

Last edited by andclyki; 02-24-2013 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andclyki View Post
So, I would love to have a hardtop for my sol ... and as far as I know there are 4 options :

norm's coupe top (development is still TBD I think ...)
EDAG
smoothline club racer
smooth lemans

My top pick would be norm's coupe top, but last I talked to him in December it was still TBD. This is the street version not the racer version. Norm, any update on the street coupe top?

I don't care for the look of the EDAG or the lemans.

I have never seen the smoothline clubracer in person, but it looks to be more "bulky" than the stock soft top. I also worry about smoothline as a company for their quality and the customer service. Thoughts? Anyone out there have the smoothline club racer? How was you experience with them?
Depending on your time period for getting one I should be able to help you. I have ordered the Smoothline Club Racer Hardtop covered in Haartz Black Vinyl with the tempered glass back window and premium liner. I will be driving down to their factory ( near Pittsburg ) depending on weather .... Hopefully around March 20. They are going to install / align it. I will take plenty of pics and review it on this Forum. So far, my dealings with them have been excellent. Do a search on them on this Forum. You will find some threads and pics on them. Anyone who has one seems to love it!
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Last edited by Northern Sol; 02-24-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by andclyki View Post
I have never seen the smoothline clubracer in person, but it looks to be more "bulky" than the stock soft top. I also worry about smoothline as a company for their quality and the customer service. Thoughts? Anyone out there have the smoothline club racer? How was you experience with them?

The ZOK top ... where do you find them at and can they be modified for a DD top?
Smoothline has been around for a long time, and there is no reason to think they won't be around for a long time to come.

The Z0K top is carbon fiber, and is nothing but a shell. There is no mounting hardware, no seals, nowhere to mount any seals. In order to mount the top you have to design the mountings, which are typically attached to the roll cage.

I suppose it could be converted to a DD, but the cost would be prohibitive I would think.

.
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Old 02-24-2013, 11:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The Solstice and especially the Sky have limited options. I love 99% of Norm's work, but it takes longer for him to develop pieces for the Sky than the Solstice. I'm not sure if it's because he likes the Solstice more or because it seems to me that the Solstice group has a better fan base/ owners willing to mod their cars. The Solstice just has more options from Norm. I can't wait to see his final version of a hardtop and have been very impressed thus far. I like the club racer top from Smoothline, but since it doesn't allow access to the trunk, it's a no go.
As for us Sky owners, I am "in talks" with someone to develop a hardtop and will be financing the project with my own money. I'm not sure if the deal will work out, but I'm hoping so.
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I talked with Norm a couple of weeks ago, he was still working on the street version of the coupe top. The biggest remaining challenge appears to be a source for the rear window. I believe he has a version that fits the convertible's side windows. The factory rear window assembly is over $800

I believe if you were ok with a fixed plexi rear window the top could be had for a very good price.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Heliosky77 View Post
The Solstice and especially the Sky have limited options. I love 99% of Norm's work, but it takes longer for him to develop pieces for the Sky than the Solstice. I'm not sure if it's because he likes the Solstice more or because it seems to me that the Solstice group has a better fan base/ owners willing to mod their cars. The Solstice just has more options from Norm. I can't wait to see his final version of a hardtop and have been very impressed thus far. I like the club racer top from Smoothline, but since it doesn't allow access to the trunk, it's a no go.
I would guess that the reason Norm does more for the Solstice has to do with the numbers for production, 65,000 Solstices versus 35,000 Skys. Therefore, there is twice the market for the Solstice parts.
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:21 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah that was the issue last I talked to Norm (a rear glass window). I would love to have a coupe top with a back glass lift, but I might be able to live with a fixed plexi...it wouldn't be worse than a smoothline top ... no trunk either way!

I did see a top (I think on a sky) that looked like the regular club racer top, but was flat on the back. With it being straight doen behin the driver seat, it did not block the trank. Essentially it was a club racer top without the little sail panels.
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Personally I love the Smoothline hard top Club Racer version. I really like Norm's hood, but the only problem I have is if you decide to replace and put back the factory deck lid on the trunk. They are a PITA to seat back perfectly. I recently tried to adjust the factory rear deck lid because I did not like the way one side sat lower than the other. I even used the GM "body/fitment" gap guide PDF file to do it correctly and let me tell you, it's not easy. So once you remove it, it's almost impossible to get it back to an even level, all the way around fitment if you remove it. I even marked all the spots with a grease pencil. I'm very picky about body gaps because I go to allot of car shows. It took me several days to get it to where I liked it. Finally I had to add some rubber bump stoppers underneath the edges because it just wasn't working. The factory bump stops don't allow for much adjustment at all. If you are thinking of Norm's Coupe style hard top that's fine, but you may want to keep all this in mind. I think Norm's coupe top is actually better for a more semi-perm fitment. So unless you don't mind struggling to with you OEM trunk lid once in a while when you want to put it back on, or just don't care about how it fits back on with bad gaps, un-even sides and trunk lids that won't close all the way properly after being tampered with, then have fun doing it.
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Last edited by RedDevil; 02-25-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:05 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Personally I love the Smoothline hard top Club Racer version. I really like Norm's hood, but the only problem I have it if you decide to replace and put back the factory deck lid on the trunk. They are a PITA to seat back perfectly. I recently tried to adjust the factory rear deck lid because I did not like the way one side sat lower than the other. I even used the GM "body/fitment" gap guide PDF file to do it correctly and let me tell you, it's not easy. So once you remove it, it's almost impossible to get it back to an even level, all the way around fitment if you remove it. I even marked all the spots with a grease pencil. I'm very picky about body gaps because I go to allot of car shows. It took me several days to get it to where I liked it. Finally I had to add some rubber bump stoppers underneath the edges because it just wasn't working. The factory bump stops don't allow for much adjustment at all. If you are thinking of Norm's Coupe style hard top that's fine, but you may want to keep all this in mind. I think Norm's coupe top is actually better for a more semi-perm fitment. So unless you don't mind struggling to with you OEM trunk lid once in a while when you want to put it back on, or just don't care about how it fits back on with bad gaps, un-even sides and trunk lids that won't close all the way properly after being tampered with, then have fun doing it.
Hello Red Devil,
I had a feeling you might of been thinking about the Club Racer Top. When I looked at your thread about your latest Sol and saw the pics of it I thought it would look amazing with the Club Racer Hard Top painted black to match your car. I agree with what you are saying above. Part of what sold me on Smoothline was the ease of installing and removing and no damage to my Sol in the process. When I review the installed product on my car ..... ease of removal and install will be a key factor in how I rate the top.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Let me guess . ..

It will be black.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Let me guess . ..

It will be black.
Actually I'm thinking I may go with black glossy finished carbon fiber.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Actually I'm thinking I may go with black glossy finished carbon fiber.
I think matching paint to your car would be wicked! I went with the Black Haartz Vinyl which I think is how it would of looked if GM had made it for a Mean Yellow Sol.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Both sound like very nice color combinations. Am looking forward to the pictures.
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Old 02-26-2013, 08:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My sol is red, and I liked the idea of doing the top silver to match the surround and give it a two tone look.
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Old 03-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I bought a Smoothline club racer hard top with the defroster package for the rear window and extra sound-deadening for the headliner that I'm looking to sell.

I never actually put it on my sol, and I didn't paint it yet - it's still brand new and in the packaging (I threw out the box because it's massive).

If you're interested, send me a PM and we can work something out.
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