Is the Ragtop Dead ?
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  1. #1
    XTC
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    Default Is the Ragtop Dead ?

    As the topic suggest .. has the folding metal roof replaced the soft-top ?

    Peugeot 206cc, 307cc, Renault MeganeCC, VW, C-Open, Merc, Lexus all have gone for the folding metal roof, it makes sence in terms of security, strength, weather proofing and passenger comfort (doesn't get as hot or cold).

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    Will Mazda (MX5), Honda (S2000), Toyota (MR2) have to consider counter action in the future to maintain sales ?

    Or are these cars too small to ever consider for a folding roof ?

    Any other CC's in the making ? Who's next off the rank ? (Nissan do one for Japan only).

    Why have the french taken to the technology so quickly ? (even though they had teething problems).

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    why have the french taken to it ????

    as i recall it was they who started the metal/electric folding roof back with the 201 eclipse
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    nJm
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    It isn't dead yet. Mercedes did not fit one to the new CLK as they couldn't fit a folding metal roof and leave room for four adults in the car.

    BMW have fitted a soft-top on the new 6-Series as it was the only way to keep perfect weight distribution across the car.


    As for who else has a folding hard top on the way? Well Hyundai are working on one for their coupe, but it won't be ready until 2007
    Nick
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    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Are you joking!
    Unless I am very much mistaken a metal roof convertible just destroys boots and makes cars ugly. The first Benz (is it the SLK?) was gorgeous. But look what's followed!
    Ugly 206; ugly Lexus; ugly 307; semi-ugly big current benz (whatever it's called). That's enough eye-sores!

    Metal roof is a brilliant idea, with no sensible application in Australia. Completely un-necessary!!!!
    I have driven mostly 306's, 206 CC's, Alfa Spider and Z4 over the last 5 or so years.
    Rag-tops heat up quicker(when the heat is turned on) and cool down quicker(when it is really hot outside). They aren't the heat-sink that a metal roof is. They are quiet. I would much much rather have a rag top cos they allow a better shaped roof, and a bigger space also.
    Maybe in Europe they are useful with stax of snow, but here they are stupid.

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    1000+ Posts zykyra's Avatar
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    Aaaaaaah...how nice it would be to have a metal roof for our convertible 2CV! I could stop using a towel to sit on in winter...Mmmmmmmmm Good on them.....some things NEED to change in the motoring world...thumbs up from someone who owns 2 convertibles & hates getting a wet arse 1st thing in the morning! It would have to be considerably safer too, surely
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    Whenever I have friends from Europe stay, they're always amazed at how uncommon convertibles are here, compared to there, especially considering our weather.

    I tell them that having the sun out is nothing special here, we don't feel the need have a car where we can take the roof off, just in case the sun comes out while we're driving somewhere. If I want sun, I just step outside most days.
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    Convertibles are hopeless here, at least, in Perth. You get absolutely fried and dehydated. If you haven't used one, try it first... Looks cool, but in reality (but for short city trips) rubbish.

    We used to have a '59 Austin Healey Sprite.

    Stuey

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    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Convertibles are hopeless here, at least, in Perth. You get absolutely fried and dehydated. If you haven't used one, try it first... Looks cool, but in reality (but for short city trips) rubbish.
    Yep 100% agree Stuey ... those black roof tops don't help either, the only time they are OK is in late autumn, early spring, winter and during the night. The folding metal roof has gained new converts who would have dismissed the Ragtop as a practical option. But Oz is only a small part of the market.

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    '02 Peugeot 206 GTi / '07 VW Golf GTI
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    nJm
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    Warwick, I agree that all the current lot of folding hard tops look terrible. I have no idea why anyone would buy a 206cc, the 307cc is only slightly better. I don't mind the current Merc that has one though (the SL?). However the latest SLK will take some getting used to...

    I love the design of the rag top on the 6-Series. Nice to see them doing something new with the design, although I don't know how you'd see through the rear windscreen.

    What do we think of folding glass tops like in the new Renault Megane CC?
    Nick
    1983 Peugeot 505 GR


    "All of its cars from the 1.1 litre 205 through the ugly duckling 309 to the 2.2 litre 505 GTi had a rightness and a righteousness about them that turned every humdrum drive into a journey. Someone, I once wrote, in the bowels of Peugeot understands handling and how a chassis should feel." - Jeremy Clarkson

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    sorry my memory failed me the other day

    it was the 402 eclipse of 1938 that had the roof that has now inspired everyone else's designs

    talk about a flash back but still no one has told me how the french have taken to the technology so quickly given that the history is there for all to see

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    data

    identification peugeot 402 transformable mécanique or peugeot 402 transformable métallique or peugeot 402 éclipse mécanique
    country france
    appearances 1936 paris salon de l'automobile
    body 2-door 6-seat coupé/convertible / manual retractable hardtop
    designer georges paulin
    engine front-mounted inline 4 / 1991 cc / 55 hp / 8 valves
    transmission rear wheel drive / 3-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed electromechanical cotal gearbox
    suspension front : independent wheels + lower links + transverse leaf spring + hydraulic dampers / rear : solid axle + cantilever leaf springs + links
    brakes drums
    steering worm and roller
    wheels 150x40 or 165x400
    dimensions wheelbase 330 cm / length 525 cm
    performances top speed 110 kph
    production unknown
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    the eclipse as far as i know had the roof electrically operated so the technology is now 68yrs old given that the 402 came out in this version in 1936

    not bad eh ?
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x '98 306 GTi6

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

    1 x '99 406SV 5spd wagon, time to burn more fuel

    1 x 1994 605 SV3.0


    WTD long range fuel tank for 605

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    1000+ Posts zykyra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Convertibles are hopeless here, at least, in Perth. You get absolutely fried and dehydated. If you haven't used one, try it first... Looks cool, but in reality (but for short city trips) rubbish.



    Stuey
    I have too admit that I would have the roof down probably twice in Summer if @ all! Its just to bloody hot. WA summers are for hibernating. Always have the roof down in winter though...come rain or hail! I think thats why I get funny looks in the 2CV
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    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by zykyra
    I think thats why I get funny looks in the 2CV
    That's what you think

    If you go fast enough the wind pressure makes the rain go over the top .. right Deka/Pug307 ?

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    Fellow Frogger! GavinS's Avatar
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    The targa roof seems more practical if that’s a factor when convertibles are being considered has less of a weight penalty and the boot is not effected as much. A high tech two layer fabric needs to be developed to provide an air gap for insulation and to keep it light, the regular heavier extra reinforced body/subframe with poor performance, fuel consumption and handling as an undesirable extra only seems to suit the inner city posing set. Security and upolsterey suffer as a result of the open top an UV. I'm banging on as I remember a road trip on a hot day as a passenger in a big yank tank and arrived battered and burnt, not fun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GavinS
    The targa roof seems more practical if that’s a factor when convertibles are being considered has less of a weight penalty and the boot is not effected as much. A high tech two layer fabric needs to be developed to provide an air gap for insulation and to keep it light, the regular heavier extra reinforced body/subframe with poor performance, fuel consumption and handling as an undesirable extra only seems to suit the inner city posing set. Security and upolsterey suffer as a result of the open top an UV. I'm banging on as I remember a road trip on a hot day as a passenger in a big yank tank and arrived battered and burnt, not fun.
    I think part of the problem is companies making CC's clinging on to those 2 rear seats ... it's doesn't work as well ... get rid the rear seats, make the roof line nicer and possibly give some boot space back. Who can sit in the back of a 206cc for any length of time anyway ? A 6YO maybe.

    VW's CC has maintined the 4 seats... and made it look pretty good. But 2 would would make the designers job easier.

    http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publi...icle_690.shtml
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    Cal
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC206
    the only time they are OK is in late autumn, early spring, winter and during the night. - XTC206 -
    So pretty much all the time except the middle of the day in summer. Yeah I'd agree with that. I would get sick of it if I drove one everyday though. Nothing beats an early morning or late afternoon blast across the twisties with the top down.

    Cal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Convertibles are hopeless here, at least, in Perth. You get absolutely fried and dehydated. If you haven't used one, try it first... Looks cool, but in reality (but for short city trips) rubbish.
    Weak! I used to have a '69 MGB with the assemble-it-yourself roof as my daily car in Brisbane. It was red with a black vinyl interiour and black roof. Keep a bottle of sunscreen in the car and drink lots of water.

    I miss my convertible

    We used to have a '59 Austin Healey Sprite.
    Cool!
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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC206
    If you go fast enough the wind pressure makes the rain go over the top .. right Deka/Pug307 ?
    Sure does, and you don't need to be driving at insane speeds - legal highway speeds are fine.

    It's quite comfortable having the heater on full blast, chilly air outside, even with the rain. The rain doesn't really enter the cabin - very refreshing.

    I think soft tops will still be around - the SAAB 9-3 Convertible also has a soft top and it sells quite well. I do understand the appeal of a hardtop convertible though, seems more substantial than a softtop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by XTC206
    Why have the french taken to the technology so quickly ? (even though they had teething problems).
    According to Mathew it is because Peugeot sees itself as an innovator that can bring technology which is the domain of more expensive marques, down to an affordable level. That's what he said at the PCCV meet last year.

    Certainly with the 206CC, I think they have achieved that.

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    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pug307
    Certainly with the 206CC, I think they have achieved that.
    And everyone is rushing to copy it .. even Hyundai ...

    - XTC206 -
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas
    Weak! I used to have a '69 MGB with the assemble-it-yourself roof as my daily car in Brisbane. It was red with a black vinyl interiour and black roof. Keep a bottle of sunscreen in the car and drink lots of water.
    Yeah, yeah. Call yourself 'Vegas' and drove a red MGB? Who are you calling 'weak'?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    Yeah, yeah. Call yourself 'Vegas' and drove a red MGB? Who are you calling 'weak'?
    a) 'twas said in jest. Hence:
    b) If I could change it I would. In any case: BrisbaneBen -> BrisvegasBen -> ... -> Vegas.
    c) One rarely gets to chose the colour of 30 year old cars; I was 19 at the time; they're all red; red ones go faster.

    Anyway, perhaps I should have said that when I had a convertible, I was willing to put up with a little heat to enjoy the experience, much as Cal alluded to. I would love a 504 'vert and the Mrs would probably enjoy a 306 'vert, though both of those might have to wait a long while yet.

    The weight of the folding steel mechanism is what would concern me the most about the new/old (402!) folding hardtops. That and all the hydraulics, gears, etc to make it work.
    '94 405 Mi16

  24. #24
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    No worries, Vegas. I was entirely joking too. I should maybe use the old smilies more, but I don't really like 'em!

    Stu

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    Fellow Frogger! Saru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuey
    No worries, Vegas. I was entirely joking too. I should maybe use the old smilies more, but I don't really like 'em!
    Cool. I was 50% sure that you were kidding. Feel the love!
    '94 405 Mi16

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