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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I know its been beat to death... but still does anyone else make a hardtop similar to zok / club racer besides smoothlines?


I guess before i toss out the cash...
looking for anyone who has bought a club racer top from smoothlines thats either base raw / primer or one of the bonded tops. i need to see pictures of how bad the prep work is and/or rather its worth buying the upgraded versions (vinyl wrap / bonded?) matte black and carbon upgrade. top that might or might last in the elements and might or might start to peel / lift. whats you guys long term experience with water leaks drying / deteriorating seals, if you have a bonded top and it has damage is the underside smooth enough to vinyl wrap it? has any one had fiberglass damage from door slams vibration etc...?
 

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I do not own a Smoothline Solstice top but a couple of others on the Forum do.

I have a couple of Smoothline mg tops. Both were purchased in primer, ready for paint. No prep needed other than sanding prior to paint. Years ago, I had one with black vinyl and loved the look. I would say a new top is clean/smooth enough for a vinyl wrap.

Probably will have some squeaking noises from top when driving depending on weather conditions...hot vrs cold. Helps to keep seals coated with silicon, etc.

Once mounted, may have to tweak windows or seals for proper sealing.

Headliner not only looks good and adds to value.

Biggest problem is no access to trunk unless you remove top.

I have had no water leaks with my tops.

New/replacement seals, if needed, will probably have to be purchased from Smoothline...not cheap.

No cracks or chips on my tops after many years of use. Any damage incurred would probably be more likely from storage off the car.

Any questions you have will be answered by the owner of Smoothline. I have talked to him by phone several times.

I would definitely recommend the Smoothline Solstice top.


B
 

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I suggest using a vinyl 'rub strip' between the weatherstripping and the deck lid paint like we do on corvettes. I don't know if they are available readymade for a solstice, but they are easy enough to make from convertible top rear window vinyl. saves the paint...

Bill
 

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I had a Smoothline Club Racer Top that was fully loaded. Haartz Vinyl covering, acoustic liner etc. I loved it and had no issues. I ended up selling it to a Forum Member when I bought my Coupe. If I had not bought the Coupe I would have kept it. :thumbs::thumbs: The money from the sale went towards a soft top for the Coupe.
 

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I had a Smoothline Club Racer Top that was fully loaded. Haartz Vinyl covering, acoustic liner etc. I loved it and had no issues. I ended up selling it to a Forum Member when I bought my Coupe. If I had not bought the Coupe I would have kept it. :thumbs::thumbs: The money from the sale went towards a soft top for the Coupe.
I'm the guy that bought Northern's top and I can tell you they are really nice. I drive my car year around and I use the top in the winter. Now granted, East Tennessee winters aren't that bad but I didn't want ice on my fabric top. The Club Racer has performed flawlessly. It doesn't leak, doesn't leave any marks when I remove it, is quiet, and is easy to care for. I really don't have a bad thing to say about it. It even preserves the look of the original top. They are a little expensive but if you plan on keeping the car for a while like I do, you'll probably end up thinking it's money well spent.

Oh yea, hey, thanks again Northern! :thumbs:
 

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I'm the guy that bought Northern's top and I can tell you they are really nice. I drive my car year around and I use the top in the winter. Now granted, East Tennessee winters aren't that bad but I didn't want ice on my fabric top. The Club Racer has performed flawlessly. It doesn't leak, doesn't leave any marks when I remove it, is quiet, and is easy to care for. I really don't have a bad thing to say about it. It even preserves the look of the original top. They are a little expensive but if you plan on keeping the car for a while like I do, you'll probably end up thinking it's money well spent.

Oh yea, hey, thanks again Northern! :thumbs:
You are very welcome! Will you be at the Nationals? I am bringing the Coupe.
 

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You are very welcome! Will you be at the Nationals? I am bringing the Coupe.
No, unfortunately other commitments are keeping from Nationals. Pretty much in my backyard and I can't make it. That's a bummer. I might be able to come up Saturday to hang out for a few hours. Are there usually many people still around the last day?
 

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I purchased a Club Racer from Smoothline around three years ago. I choose the unpainted option and do not remember a $300 primer option being offered at the time. I also choose the premium headliner & rear window safety glass and defroster option. It took several weeks to receive and when it was delivered I'm glad that the trucker told me to check it out before he left. I look at it and thought wow that is small, I mean really small. So I refused delivery and contacted Smoothline. Come to find out two tops had been sent out that day and the with wrong addresses. Several days later I received the correct top.

I was impressed w/it's build quality and finish. Had it painted black to match the car and had a matching red vinyl stripe added to match the one already on the car. The way it attaches to the car is definitely aftermarket, J hook to attach to the front w/large plastic turn knob, and a couple longer J hooks that go through the tulip panels flap doors w/turn knobs. Now there is a little bit more headroom and the top does have a subtle bubble top molded into it. Probably a carry over from the SCCA design to allow for driver and passenger helmets.

The side windows do have to be adjusted if you want better window sealing. I didn't do it on mine because I figured when I used the convertible top it was more important for the windows to be adjusted to them than the hardtop. So I do hear wind noise at highway speeds, and do have squeaks and rattles on bad pavement. I have around $2700 invested in mine. Not cheap but I think it gives the car a more aggressive appearance. Which is why I've never removed it since it was installed so maybe I should adjust the windows. I also think it's a lot quieter than the vert top, but the dark headliner also make the interior darker and a maybe a little claustrophobic feeling. Plus no winter driving here, so I didn't need the defroster, but didn't want the standard plexiglass rear window.
 

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As an EDAG hardtop owner with full access to the "trunk", how much of a pain in the rear is it for owners of the Smoothline tops to get into the trunk if needed. Can one person lift top to gain access in an emergency? Just curious...
 

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I bought my Club Racer four years ago. I went with the headliner (a wise move) and the glass rear window. I am not mechanical, so I had my body shop assemble and paint it mean yellow to match my GXP. I LOVE the look. And use the hardtop from late October to early May. Denver can have cold periods in winter, and the hard top is great. Also, it draws an amazing amount of attention and comment. I have never regretted the purchase.
 

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As an EDAG hardtop owner with full access to the "trunk", how much of a pain in the rear is it for owners of the Smoothline tops to get into the trunk if needed. Can one person lift top to gain access in an emergency? Just curious...
The top weights approximately 40 to 45lbs. But it's not the weight that's the problem, it's the size that makes it difficult to handle alone. To install and remove you have three J-hooks that have to be untighten and retighten. The front J hook goes where the regular attachment point is for the front of the vert latch. The front J hook has a rotary knob. The rear J hooks go through the tulip panels doors, and you have to fish around to find an attachment point and then keep tension on the J hook as you tighten the T knobs down. Figure around 20 minutes to remove and replace. First thing I do is just get the J hooks installed and tightened them a little. Then jump out of the car and give the top a visual inspection to make sure it looks all right, and then begin tighten all three J hooks to try and get equal amounts of tension at all three points.

If you don't have anyone to help R&R, it may be worth buying a hardtop winch, and hardtop storage cart. The only reason I plan on removing mine this years is because it's been on the car for the last three years, and it's time to check to see if any vermin have been in the trunk, along w/inspecting the convertible top.
 

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The side windows do have to be adjusted if you want better window sealing. I didn't do it on mine because I figured when I used the convertible top it was more important for the windows to be adjusted to them than the hardtop. So I do hear wind noise at highway speeds, and do have squeaks and rattles on bad pavement. I have around $2700 invested in mine. Not cheap but I think it gives the car a more aggressive appearance. Which is why I've never removed it since it was installed so maybe I should adjust the windows. I also think it's a lot quieter than the vert top, but the dark headliner also make the interior darker and a maybe a little claustrophobic feeling. Plus no winter driving here, so I didn't need the defroster, but didn't want the standard plexiglass rear window.
I don't really have any of the fitment or window issues Chop has. In fact the day I picked it up from Northern we took a ride in my car over some very rough pavement and then out on the highway. I swear the payment was almost rough enough to knock a filling out and Northern and I both commented about how I had no squeaks. Then out on the highway with the windows up no whistling or wind noise. I ran a dollar along the weather strips on both side and was surprised how consistent the pressure was. Maybe I just got lucky or Chop was a little unlucky, I'm really not sure.

Chop is right about the fasteners though. The front knob is a little large and looks a little "Busch league" and the two in the rear can be a little finicky. Overall though, like I said in my other post these tops are really nice.
 

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Thanks for the LeMans top CRiggleman. Got it painted and weather stripped properly. Loving it so far!
That's really cool. I'm glad you got it straighten out and that it works for you. Did you paint it body color? Post some pics if you have some I'm curious to see how it looks.
 

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Very nice looking Sol :thumbs:.

FWIW, I just wanted to add that it's been my observation that when it comes to selling a used hardtop that it looks like a tuff sell, and may take several months, along w/losing money. So I would suggest that if you (or anyone) that is interested in a hardtop that you should only buy one if you need it, or like the look of them a lot, and hope or plan on keeping the car for a long time.

yeah i painted it to match the car
 

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If I found a used Le Mans hardtop for the right money and if I had a place to store it, I would consider buying...even tho' I already have a specialty hardtop.
 
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