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Discussion Starter #1
Would I be crazy to try design and make my own soft-top for my coupe? I know I’m not crazy to want to save the $1000-plus for the GM one.
I think I have the know-how, working in design engineering for 25 years. Seeing the GM snap together frame and stretch over vinyl top I can’t help but think… Hmm? I could make that! In fact I think I could make a nicer one then the factory unit. I don’t like the squarish detent where the factory unit seems to suck in near the middle. I think it looks bad, looks cheap. I know I could do it for a heck of a lot less than $1100.00. Plus I know I can have some fun in the process.
So I’m thinking of basically duplicating the plastic frame in light weight but strong wood. Designing slot and tab assembly method with a few fabricated brass or aluminum parts and thumb screws to tighten things up. Then have my custom upholstery buddy in Minneapolis make a black canvas top to stretch over the edges and pin… strap or velcro in place.
The frame once complete may need some center spares or even a semi-ridgid center panel that domes slightly to match the contour of the roof and prevent the suck in… I’m going to start to draw it up and see where it leads. Thoughts?
 

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Sounds good, keep us posted.
 

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I'd like to see someone do what the factory should have done - arrange a fixed rib down the centre of the car and then either solid or fabric T tops that you could take off andf actually stow in the back instead of leaving them at home.
 

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I'd like to see someone do what the factory should have done - arrange a fixed rib down the centre of the car and then either solid or fabric T tops that you could take off andf actually stow in the back instead of leaving them at home.
Would love to see something along the way of T-tops! That would be great! And done in Fabric in the same color as the car like JPM did.
Tinted glass would be real nice also. :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like a small, but special!.. market ;) ... for a T-top design! Or maybe something else... Keep the ideas coming and I'll follow up with you all when I have a design.

Ever seen a beautiful cedar canoe? or handcrafted kayak in wood and fiberglass? Some use no nails or metal at all but only wood dowels, mortise & tenon and age-old woodworking methods to craft something not only a work of art, but functional and light weight as well. That's my intent I guess.

In spruce or redwood I could craft a frame with some center supports, like ribs of a whale... boat? You get the idea. Collapsible. Maybe a t-top type with halves? Anything is possible. Solid panels? Clear or smoky tinted black? Plastic vac-forming is a snap! Carbon-fiber even? or fiberglass? Paint-able?

For my needs I'm going to pursue a one-piece canvas top with the smallest lightest frame I can engineer. Then? Who knows.. :)

In any case I mentioned my Buddy in Mpls. He would be the profession in this! lol ... Built his business for over 30 years now starting in his garage and working for auto auctions repairing cigarette burns etc... He now works almost exclusively on Show-cars, classics and custom cars because he can! He is an artist in Leather, vinyl and canvas!

premieruph.com I'm not sure of the rules here posting links but this is not an ad, but a close friend of mine that restores convertible tops and can make any car a show car. If you want a bit of fun check out his gallery! Or google him Brian at premier upholstery in Rogers MN. Twin Cities Area.

To the moderators here if you need to remove the link please do I get it...
Thanks folks!
SteveO
 

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Sounds like a small, but special!.. market ;) ... for a T-top design! Or maybe something else... Keep the ideas coming and I'll follow up with you all when I have a design.

Ever seen a beautiful cedar canoe? or handcrafted kayak in wood and fiberglass? Some use no nails or metal at all but only wood dowels, mortise & tenon and age-old woodworking methods to craft something not only a work of art, but functional and light weight as well. That's my intent I guess.

In spruce or redwood I could craft a frame with some center supports, like ribs of a whale... boat? You get the idea. Collapsible. Maybe a t-top type with halves? Anything is possible. Solid panels? Clear or smoky tinted black? Plastic vac-forming is a snap! Carbon-fiber even? or fiberglass? Paint-able?

For my needs I'm going to pursue a one-piece canvas top with the smallest lightest frame I can engineer. Then? Who knows.. :)

In any case I mentioned my Buddy in Mpls. He would be the profession in this! lol ... Built his business for over 30 years now starting in his garage and working for auto auctions repairing cigarette burns etc... He now works almost exclusively on Show-cars, classics and custom cars because he can! He is an artist in Leather, vinyl and canvas!

premieruph.com I'm not sure of the rules here posting links but this is not an ad, but a close friend of mine that restores convertible tops and can make any car a show car. If you want a bit of fun check out his gallery! Or google him Brian at premier upholstery in Rogers MN. Twin Cities Area.

To the moderators here if you need to remove the link please do I get it...
Thanks folks!
SteveO
John and I have had this conversation before in another thread about the new lambo....that has a targa hard top that is 2 pieces, but is NOT a ttop design. They fit together as they are installed, no center rib. No more soft top to assemble like an erector set on the ground before install, no more leaving hard top at home. Basically taking a real targa from a wrecked coupe and experimenting? If someone made this work I'd sell the softop for whatever I could get, probably sell the hardtop, or better yet, how about a company that will take your hard top and make it into a stowable 2 piecer?????

Anyone have a hardtop from a wrecked coupe to part with for experimentation so a patent can be realized? If I had a hardtop I'd work on this.
 

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John and I have had this conversation before in another thread about the new lambo....that has a targa hard top that is 2 pieces, but is NOT a ttop design. They fit together as they are installed, no center rib.
That is also an interesting possibility!
 

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Anyone have a hardtop from a wrecked coupe to part with for experimentation so a patent can be realized? If I had a hardtop I'd work on this.
I met Chip Wright in Asheville and he has a spare top and is working on splitting it. :thumbs:
 

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i think the idea of splitting the hard 'top' in 2 pieces is a great idea... but that's about all i can bring to the table...
Bill
 

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I met Chip Wright in Asheville and he has a spare top and is working on splitting it. :thumbs:
OOOOhhhh, very very cool. I have no idea who Chip Wright is, but as long as he is in some way associated with fabbing stuff for cars, not just a guy who owns a bandsaw and lives in Asheville :willy:, this sounds very promising. At least someone is looking at this. I know this would make the wife happy as well, the whole soft targa build and install thing, not her thing.


google on Chip Wright:

A) Chuck Norris's stunt double???
B ) Chip Wright's page on "My Old House"?
not much else???
 

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Sounds like a small, but special!.. market ;) ... for a T-top design! Or maybe something else... Keep the ideas coming and I'll follow up with you all when I have a design.

Ever seen a beautiful cedar canoe? or handcrafted kayak in wood and fiberglass? Some use no nails or metal at all but only wood dowels, mortise & tenon and age-old woodworking methods to craft something not only a work of art, but functional and light weight as well. That's my intent I guess.

In spruce or redwood I could craft a frame with some center supports, like ribs of a whale... boat? You get the idea. Collapsible. Maybe a t-top type with halves? Anything is possible. Solid panels? Clear or smoky tinted black? Plastic vac-forming is a snap! Carbon-fiber even? or fiberglass? Paint-able?

For my needs I'm going to pursue a one-piece canvas top with the smallest lightest frame I can engineer. Then? Who knows.. :)

In any case I mentioned my Buddy in Mpls. He would be the profession in this! lol ... Built his business for over 30 years now starting in his garage and working for auto auctions repairing cigarette burns etc... He now works almost exclusively on Show-cars, classics and custom cars because he can! He is an artist in Leather, vinyl and canvas!

premieruph.com I'm not sure of the rules here posting links but this is not an ad, but a close friend of mine that restores convertible tops and can make any car a show car. If you want a bit of fun check out his gallery! Or google him Brian at premier upholstery in Rogers MN. Twin Cities Area.

To the moderators here if you need to remove the link please do I get it...
Thanks folks!
SteveO
You can count me in on buying one if it can ever make it to production! That is exactly what I would love to have. I thought about doing the fab work myself, but the job is consuming WAY too much of my time these days.
 
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