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Old 07-19-2012, 09:47 AM   #1
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Default I'm changing the rules

literally

In SCCA's SSM class, only OEM hard tops are currently legal. This is stupid. You can replace practically every other body panel on the car with carbon if you so desire. The class has a weight limit, so that's not an issue, and to top it off OEM hard tops are getting harder to come by... it just makes sense to allow aftermarket tops. So I wrote a letter and apparently they actually read it.

Quote:
The following rule change proposal has been recommended by the SMAC and is published here for member review and
comment (#7510):

- Replace 16.1.N with the following..
N. Removable OE hardtops, T-Tops, targa tops, sunroofs, moon roofs, and similar roof-mounted panels may be
removed/replaced with alternate panels provided that the area of interface is limited to the original perimeter of the
t-top, sunroof, etc. or utilizes the OE panel mount points, and that the contour of any replacement panel surface
does not vary from the contour of the part being replaced by more than 1 inch in any direction. The material used
to construct the alternate panel and the method used to attach it to the interface is unrestricted. Any actuation
mechanism and the associated wiring, if any, may be removed. Vehicles utilizing alternate (non-OE) hardtops will
be considered as open cars in regard to Section 3.3.1.
If it goes through, aftermarket hardtops will be legal but they will be treated as open cars with regard to driver restraints... WIN!
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:00 AM   #2
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----...better sell my spare hardtop now before the market goes away!
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Props!
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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Not that I own a car which runs in SSM anymore, but thank you. Hopefully this will help to preserve the dwindling supply of OEM tops.
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Old 07-19-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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Any book that thick is going to have some BS that doesn't make any sense. Jmann has a fiberglass top on his track rat that looks just like OEM from 20'. It was cheap and weighs half of even an early OEM top - perfect for track and race cars. Props for helping get one more ounce of common sense into the rules.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:12 PM   #6
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Hmmm, this opens up fast backs and leaving the rear window out of a hard top...
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Old 07-19-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leafy View Post
Hmmm, this opens up fast backs
"provided that (...) the contour of any replacement panel surface does not vary from the contour of the part being replaced by more than 1 inch in any direction."
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Old 07-19-2012, 11:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moliver View Post
----...better sell my spare hardtop now before the market goes away!
Unlikely. Spec Miata still needs to run an OEM top.
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Old 07-20-2012, 12:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
"provided that (...) the contour of any replacement panel surface does not vary from the contour of the part being replaced by more than 1 inch in any direction."
1" is pretty significant. you can build a kick up lip
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Old 07-20-2012, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
1" is pretty significant. you can build a kick up lip
1 inch lower at the top of rear window and 1 inch further back at the trunk will make it that much fastbackish, but anything is significant in the SM* camp.

1 inch ridges and 1 inch lower roof makes a 2 inch roof channel (if the cage allows)

Change that to .5inch and it becomes much less fun, but it must be "techable" and all true OEM tops should fall within the fixed measurement (what measurement/profile is the norm?).
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:17 AM   #11
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It's still dumb to consider an aftermarket hardtop equipped car essentially an open top car. The manufacturer of the top shouldn't be an issue as long as it's dimensionally similar to OE and it's bolted on. There could be an exemption clause for specific manufacturers such as Autokonexion that make a very specific product which could be deemed legal for specific classes.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:06 PM   #12
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If approved I bet it will have to be identical to the factory top in dimension. Any deviation
from the factory specs could change aero and give an advantage to the replacement top. Otherwise, it wont happen.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wannafbody View Post
It's still dumb to consider an aftermarket hardtop equipped car essentially an open top car.
To be honest, I'm amazed that they don't consider a Miata with an OEM top to be an open-topped car.
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Old 07-20-2012, 01:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
To be honest, I'm amazed that they don't consider a Miata with an OEM top to be an open-topped car.
Same here. We've probably all seen video's of the tops coming off in wrecks.
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:04 PM   #15
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Or worse yet consider an OE hardtop a coupe when not equipped with a rollbar or cage as SCCA does in some Time Trial classes.

Last edited by wannafbody; 07-20-2012 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midtenn View Post
Same here. We've probably all seen video's of the tops coming off in wrecks.
no joke, i saw a SM hit a berm, then tire wall and the top flew off, it was held on by the metal brackets too.. the damage to the car was not bad either...

the top was destroyed.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:06 PM   #17
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how are the rules for restraints different between a oem hard top and an aftermarket hardtop and or a no hard top miata?
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:18 PM   #18
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I don't think arm restraints are required with the OEM hardtop but are required with an aftermarket copy of the OE hardtop.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:10 PM   #19
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I wonder what a hardtop would cost if spec miata never required them...
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Old 07-29-2012, 10:40 PM   #20
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IIRC Spec Miata doesn't require them... you just won't be competitive without one.
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