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Old 03-10-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
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Default HT, Ragtop or both?

I know this is more of an M.net, old guy question, but I thought I'd throw it out to people whose opinions I actually value.

I have a nearly new canvas/glass top to go on the car, along with a whole set of seals, and the spring/cable things. Trouble is, I'm lazy, and I'm just not that into the whole sun on the bald spot thing. I also have A/C, so if it's really hot, I'll just use that and keep the top up anyway. I always feel like I'm on display when the top is down. I'd rather be more anonymous; I imagine everyone sees some older guy in the little sports car as Mr. midlife crisis, who never hits the speed limit and is just a poser.

I know I can get a HT, and ditch the whole softtop and frame. So, plus and minus points of each, off the top of my (bald) head:

Hard top:
Less wind noise? Doesn't really bother me anyway.
No ripped or cut tops, no drenched interior
Larger rear window
Dome light
More $$ spent

Soft top:
Drop it anytime
I have all the parts, so no more cost
???

Those of you not in the south, but in the more northern climes, where we have more cloudy/rainy days than not, how important to you is the convertable aspect of the car? Would you be just as happy having the HT permanently mounted? If the Miata came in HT and ST versions, would you even consider the HT version? Does the convertable have an intangible "cool" factor?

Keep the ragtop, and add the HT for spring/fall, or ditch it all and bolt the HT on?
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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HT all the way. I have lived everywhere from North New York to Phoenix. There are three things I dont like about Miatas and the fact that they did not make a fixed roof version is at the top by a wide margin.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:59 PM   #3
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Up here in MN, even with a very nice soft top (no wind leakage, no tears, no cracks, no stitches loose, nothing) I would rather have a hard top 3/4 months of the year. The only time I really enjoy the benifits of the softop are in June, July, August, and occasionally part of September.

In fact, I enjoy the soft top so little that I drive it with the top down when it's 20 degrees. Why? Because the Miata is so horrible to drive with the top up. When it's raining, unless I'm parked, the top is down. With the top up, it becomes loud, humid, doesn't seal, and ugly.

I say keep the soft top, but definitely get a hardtop.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:04 PM   #4
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Such a tough decision for me as well. I'd love to have a 100% permanent hardtop on the miata but a couple months out of the year I actually do enjoy being able to drive with the top down. Especially driving up the mountain roads around here on a nice warm day. Of course if any bit of your being likes to drive with the top down, you need a soft top or you will get wet.

That being said this is the first and last convertible i'll ever own. I hated them before and just barely enjoy it now. All winter long I dont look forward to the hot summer but when the nice weather comes, im kinda glad I can get some fresh air and sun.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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Hard top is much nicer to see out of (if you have a plastic window top), and the wider angle of view is nice. They don't have dome lights though, that is something you would have to add yourself. It cuts down on road noise a lot. However, driving a roadster with the top down has a lot of appeal as well. So my vote is for both.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:43 PM   #6
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Ht
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
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Depends on your usage. For me, there are days I love to let the top down, but like said multiple times, most of the time I would rather have a hard top. And since if you have the hard top on and get the urge to drop the top... you can't, so I would rather just have the hard top and remove the soft top for weight savings. I would miss the soft top on occasion, but since the HT would basically stay on, there would be almost no point. Besides, in Alabama there is so little good driving weather (for me anyway) because I hate the heat, and when it's not hot, it's cold as *****, or raining. People always say, "why don't you ride with the top down, it's summer!" Because it's ******* 102 out, the sun is burning hot, there are bugs and my ***** are sticking to my leg already with the top up and the a/c on full blast, no thanks. Even 75 to me is pretty hot and I sweat, I'm very sensitive to heat. Which is why I want to move north. Another fail point for my soft top is how much it rattles when it's up. Every bushing on the frame must be worn out and sloppy loose because it's all the time rattling and squeaking like hell, and it gets on my nerves so bad. Makes driving far less fun than it already isn't.

So in short, HT gets my vote.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:16 AM   #8
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Sometimes I wish my car looked like this:
HT, Ragtop or both?-nbcoupe.jpg
But then again, I'm glad I can just yank the hardtop whenever I please. I have no softtop anymore, so the only thing about running no HT is if I drive it to work and nobody F's with it or it doesn't rain, then I'm A-ok. Sell your car and buy an NC with a retractable HT and enjoy having a fully programmable ECU from the factory. The NC is starting to grow on me, especially since Mann laid down 285 to the wheels on 10psi with a disco potato. I still love my car though. I guess I'd say, go with a cloth soft top and if you're not happy, buy a different car.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:37 AM   #9
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hard top all the way if you drive the car agressively it helps a ton. where the hell are you getting this dome light ****?
i have yet to see a miata with one, or tilt steering wheel.
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:04 AM   #10
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Yeah, we get a tiny useless "light" next to the glove box, maybe some on the sides of the console if we are lucky for the floor. Gotta love a car that requires a flashlight to see anything in the interior.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete
... I'd rather be more anonymous; I imagine everyone sees some older guy in the little sports car as Mr. midlife crisis, who never hits the speed limit and is just a poser....
I swear, I have never found any group of people more collectively insecure than Miata owners. Jesus Christ, who the **** cares if somebody thinks you are (take your pick- gay, midlife crisis, whatever) because of the car you drive? Why is the only acceptable response "d00d take them for a ride and drive like an imbecile and scare the **** out of them?" Guess what- nobody gives a **** one way or the other. **** those people. **** what they think. Their opinions should hold no value- the only value they hold is that which is given to them by the insecurity around here. Christ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rleete
... how important to you is the convertable aspect of the car? Would you be just as happy having the HT permanently mounted? If the Miata came in HT and ST versions, would you even consider the HT version? Does the convertable have an intangible "cool" factor?

Keep the ragtop, and add the HT for spring/fall, or ditch it all and bolt the HT on?
**** convertibles. I hate convertibles. A permanently mounted hardtop will be (when I get it painted to match my car and mounted) the best thing I can get, since Mazda wouldn't sell hardtop NAs here, which blows more **** than me.
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:54 AM   #12
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I vote ST, but I know a lot of ppl that prefer just to leave the HT on.

You could also just get a miata coupe.



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Old 03-11-2010, 09:18 AM   #13
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When I bought my car the po didn't want the ht and threw it in for free, I'm glad I have it for when it's not as nice outside.

That said you were looking for northern opinions? I'm in Ontario and have the top down as much as possible, makes it more like driving a motorcycle or small boat. I appreciate having the option of ht or st and wouldn't give it up even if the car is a bit less stable without the ht.

As for name callers I get that all the time but who cares. I'll be driving with my long haired blonde wife beside me and be called a *** by 2 guys on a harley. Or be driving home from work in suit and tie and teenagers call out "loser".

Those same teenagers walk by the house and admire the car when they think I'm not there, they also think my wife's protege is "wicked" cause it has aftermarket 15" rims so.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:23 AM   #14
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I have a line on a HT, and I hope to get it within a week or so. At the very least, it gets the car back on the road, and I can decide to sell the top & seals or not as time goes on. Since I can't drop the top with a HT on, might as well hard mount it. I looked in the for sale section, but all the bolt-on brackets seemed to be sold. Any preferences as to brands or place to buy? Is it worth trying to make my own?

The cloth top I bought has more miles on it than I've put on the car. Made by Robbins (CA), and shipped to the distributor. Bought by leatherface, it was shipped to him in FL. He then changed his mind, and sold it to me. But, when he shipped it, he sent it to the last guy he sold parts to, in Ohio. That guy then sent it on to me in NY. All over the country, and only out of the box once.
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Old 03-11-2010, 09:27 AM   #15
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Get a hardtop and sell your soft top. That's what I have and on nice days take your hardtop off and leave it in the garage. It doesn't take more then a minute to take the HT off.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miataspeed2005 View Post
Get a hardtop and sell your soft top. That's what I have and on nice days take your hardtop off and leave it in the garage. It doesn't take more then a minute to take the HT off.
By yourself? I haven't quite figured out if I can take the hardtop off and back on by myself yet...every time I attempt it, I feel like I'm going to drop it on the car. The best attempt I've made was crouching inside the car, lifting straight up, and then trying to "walk" out of the car while holding the HT over my head.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:25 PM   #17
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Yeah, I do it all by myself. Wait people don't do that? it's pretty simple. I don't know if it helps that I work out but it really isn't difficult.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:34 PM   #18
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it is awkward but totally doable by most people.
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:48 PM   #19
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Standing at the side of the car?
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:50 PM   #20
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This thread makes me want a hardtop.

I missed out on one that went locally for $250.

I couldn't friggin' believe it...shoulda just said "**** it" and left work for two hours to be the first one there in person.
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