I suppose I should introduce myself and give you guys some info but first I'd like to give a big thanks to doppelganger for letting me use his photo and giving me feedback on the project.
I started kicking this idea back in may 2007 when emilio from 949 started talking about doing a fastback on miata.net. I was incredibly disappointed when he said he was just too busy to make it happen, so I started a 3d model and made some photoshops and looking in to what it would take to make it happen and get something going "on the side". When the AK top first came out I had mixed feelings. I wanted one, but was also a bit disappointed that they beat me to it and with the design. Its cool, but not how I'd do it, and it was different enough from what I was working on that I decided to keep at it. If you think this is a copy of the AK top you are dead wrong and it baffles me how anyone could look at this and think that. No disrespect to AK... I hope to get one of their NB widebody kits and their "adore" NA is beautifully clean.
Anyway My daily grind is being office manager, right hand man, jack-of-all-trades for a Shelby mustang/cobra parts and resto business that has been around for 32 years.
I decided to talk to the guys that make our fiberglass about getting help to do this top, and we decided together that it made the most sense to have them build the buck, molds and handle all of the production fglass work. These are the ONLY guys who's fiberglass we will use or sell for the last 25 years. All the other brands dont even come close. The guy who started the fiberglass company 37 years ago was a tool and die maker before he went off on his own and although he still works there (he built the hatchback buck, mold and is finishing up the prototype) his son is taking over the company after working there his whole life.
Here is some of the stuff they produce for us:
They also took a concept that was brought to them and did this car. Regardless of the proportions they were given to work with or how appropriate a 2007 mustang made to look like a 69 shelby is, they got the job done. They are also doing a much much better looking 05+ mustang that looks like a 69 mach 1 for the same customers.
They also did the 5ft tall fiberglass cobra for us standing next to carroll shelbys personal convertible we resorted a few years ago. Its a 13 pc mold. That takes experience.
Yes, this project is a departure for them, but they are more then capable of producing a quality part.
Anyway, back to the main topic here, the top.
To address some concerns. The mold and prototype outer shell are done, but yes, we should be able to change the window and make the b-pillar more narrow, or also possibly extend and bond the lexan to the b-pillar to make it an invisible b-pillar design. I will try to get a better image of the current window shape. What you are not seeing is the slope of the top as it tapers back. The top is much wider at its base then the AK in back... about the middle of the orange lens in the tail lights. But it is also much more contoured and sloped then say a 240z.... the sides and windows are not very straight up and down, they tip in twards the center of the car quite a bit. We also incorporated the NB's slight bump/lip on the trunk into the design, so the top tapers down into that shape at the rear and that puts a slight curve on the rear window so its not totally flat.
Here is an old pic of the wooden buck before it was glassed and tail was finished off to give you an idea of what I am talking about. Once again, ignore the window.
The hatch will open with the trunk release. We are putting an aggressive bevel on the edge that meets the back of the window on the oem top... the part that is perpendicular to the airflow and sticks out about an inch at the base of the top and makes wind-noise and drag. Lexan will be sealed and weatherproof, not just riveted on. The top and side windows will seal as well as OEM. Gas filler issue has been solved.... secondary door that doesnt interfere with original door.
The ducktail spoiler is not molded into the top, it is removable and we plan on offering one smaller more subtle spoiler and one bigger more aggressive spoiler. The deck is also being designed for mounting an APR wing and transmitting the load down through the tops mounting hardware into the trunk seal u-channel. There will be no hump to get in the way of rollbars like the oem top. It will weigh less then the OEM top, but we are not sure how much yet. Factor in the removal of the decklid and it should be a nice net loss of weight, although I'm pretty sure the AK top will likely hold an advantage in that department.
I am also working on attaching hardware that will be very stout and have about 1/4 inch of adjustment in it via a turnbuckle mechanism. Once you get it where you want it, it gets cross-bolted into a single structural piece. That specific hardware may not be available until mid to late summer... we'll see. I may not even do this because people can just use oem hardware or spec brackets. I may make my own laser cut powder coated spec brackets with a simplified adjusting system to come standard with the top, or be deleted as an option. Hinges will also be laser cut powder coated pieces.
Timeline TAKE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT... I should have pictures of the first outer shell on a car in a week or two. Then is on to some "beta-testing". My glass guys think by april they should be able to make bare glass tops at a rate of 4/week, send them to me and I will finish them (install seals, windows, hinges etc) and ship them. I dont know how fast I can complete them yet because I would like to ship them in various states of trim, from just fglass with window templates and a set of hinges for DIY guys and racers, to complete minus paint.
We plan on doing NA and NC versions if there is interest. We could realistically have them ready to ship by late fall. The main difference in versions will be side window shape.
We have a few other ideas for parts we are working on as well, but one thing at a time.
Pricing is still being figured out but I'd like to stay under $2600 with ALL attaching hardware, seals, installed windows and spoiler ready to paint and bolt on.... down to 2k or less for top, hatch hinges and lexan templates. AGAIN this is just a ballpark and subject to change. I will also consider having them painted to match OEM colors by special order.
I will have pictures of a black gel coat top on a black car very soon (without ducktail) to give you a better idea of how this thing is actually going to look and work. I think you will be pleased.
Of course, constructive feedback is appreciated.