Caravelle soft top conversion
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Thread: Caravelle soft top conversion

  1. #1
    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Default Caravelle soft top conversion

    Renophiles,

    A chap has made contact enquiring about how it would be possible to convert his 63 Caravelle with bolted roof to accommodate a soft top mechanism. Naturally this isn't a simple or straight forward swap because it is a 4 seat version and doesn't have a well to take the retracted mechanism. He and I would appreciate any advice from those in the know regarding procurement of parts including soft top mechanism and stowage well etc.

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    How is it done and is it worth the effort..?


    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Caravelle soft top conversion-.jpg   Caravelle soft top conversion-b.jpg   Caravelle soft top conversion-c.jpg   Caravelle soft top conversion-d.jpg   Caravelle soft top conversion-e.jpg   Caravelle soft top conversion-f.jpg  


  2. #2
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    I'd contact an automotive engineer to check out the likely structural implications before picking up a spanner.

    If the vehicle is in Australia, obviously it will require an engineering certificate before being legally driven on the roads.
    Last edited by robmac; 21st April 2018 at 12:15 PM.
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    This has been throughly discussed some where on here before. Including diagrams etc. It has been done by some one on this site but the hood is meant to be permantly bolted down to provide strength. I have never liked the idea, but each to his own.

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    Quite right Sunroof and Robmac, the chassis rails will need to be strengthened as a minimum.

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    I thought that the hardtop is removable so wouldn't have thought that structural issues exist.

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    Bonjour Peter, I believe there is one strengthening laminate that is missing from the chassis rails on the bolt-down cars.

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    Basically the rear rear wheel arch is a double skin on the cabrio version (see the attached parts catalogue pic) see the extra arch included in the well panel, which the full-time hardtop version panel does not have. This was discussed when Phil wanted to pull the roof of his silver car. It's one of those things, the car won't fall in half with the roof pulled off, but there is potential for movement over time without appropriate reinforcement.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    I thought that the hardtop is removable so wouldn't have thought that structural issues exist.
    It is not really removable without getting under the upolstery. This does not give normal access but is glued in place.

    Actually thinking about it why convert a rather rare 4 seat fixed top. When there a quite a few soft tops around. For example I only know of two 4 seaters in Qld both not road worthy. While there may be a couple more 4 seaters there are perhap as many as 20 soft top versions. Just buy an original soft top car.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunroof View Post
    It is not really removable without getting under the upolstery. This does not give normal access but is glued in place.

    Actually thinking about it why convert a rather rare 4 seat fixed top. When there a quite a few soft tops around. For example I only know of two 4 seaters in Qld both not road worthy. While there may be a couple more 4 seaters there are perhap as many as 20 soft top versions. Just buy an original soft top car.
    Bloke in question lives in Tasmania & already owns the hardtop. And no, it's not me. (I did once own an 1100 converted Floride in Queensland but it was unregistered & undriveable - cooling system direction change not sorted - & the result of me being lied to by its previous lawyer owner. I bought it remotely on his word as to what had been done to it & had a friend sell it for me (too hard basket) when I finally managed to escape from Queensland to Tasmania in 1986. I have occasionally wondered what happened to it.)

    cheers! Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    Bloke in question lives in Tasmania & already owns the hardtop. And no, it's not me. (I did once own an 1100 converted Floride in Queensland but it was unregistered & undriveable - cooling system direction change not sorted - & the result of me being lied to by its previous lawyer owner. I bought it remotely on his word as to what had been done to it & had a friend sell it for me (too hard basket) when I finally managed to escape from Queensland to Tasmania in 1986. I have occasionally wondered what happened to it.)

    cheers! Peter
    What colour was it Peter?

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    It has been shown on autotitre numerous times.
    Cut out the rear parcel shelf and weld in one from a floride.
    I have a floride parcel shelf for you already cut out.
    I also have floride rear seat and side skirts as thee Caravelle 4x4 seats wont fit properly now.
    All you now need is a Caravelle soft top, you cant use a floride one unless you change door glass and possibly quarter windows.

    Is it worth the effort ? In my opinion in Australia, no. Values in europe make it worth while there but at our lower values here no.

    I just asked my teen aged daughter and in her opinion, don't ruin an original Caravelle coupe thats in good condition, different story if it was a shitty run down unoriginal car.
    Last edited by 63-1092; 21st April 2018 at 09:59 PM.
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    Ah, here we go.... Whatever happened to that dodgy one that was fobbed off to Peter??? Interesting question though.

    I'm with Sunroof actually. I wouldn't mess with a good fixed hardtop car. It's marketable. Find a convertible instead and get the factory stiffening built in. Not that they are particularly strong.....

    Good to have the discussion.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 59 Floride View Post
    What colour was it Peter?
    white & sold in Brisbane (Supposed to have a sorted R16TS conversion - ha!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    It has been shown on autotitre numerous times.
    Cut out the rear parcel shelf and weld in one from a floride.
    I have a floride parcel shelf for you already cut out.
    I also have floride rear seat and side skirts as thee Caravelle 4x4 seats wont fit properly now.
    All you now need is a Caravelle soft top, you cant use a floride one unless you change door glass and possibly quarter windows.

    Is it worth the effort ? In my opinion in Australia, no. Values in europe make it worth while there but at our lower values here no.

    I just asked my teen aged daughter and in her opinion, don't ruin an original Caravelle coupe thats in good condition, different story if it was a shitty run down unoriginal car.
    Ta; I'll pass it on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4cvg View Post
    white & sold in Brisbane
    Could it be my Mt Isa floride? I have black and white photo's that look like it could of been white at some stage.
    Its still sitting in my garage waiting for its respray which my wife wants me to sell if you want a cheap floride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    It has been shown on autotitre numerous times.
    Cut out the rear parcel shelf and weld in one from a floride.
    I have a floride parcel shelf for you already cut out.
    I also have floride rear seat and side skirts as thee Caravelle 4x4 seats wont fit properly now.
    All you now need is a Caravelle soft top, you cant use a floride one unless you change door glass and possibly quarter windows.

    Is it worth the effort ? In my opinion in Australia, no. Values in europe make it worth while there but at our lower values here no.

    I just asked my teen aged daughter and in her opinion, don't ruin an original Caravelle coupe thats in good condition, different story if it was a shitty run down unoriginal car.
    John I was waiting for you to reply to this because you seem to have your head around this type if conversion more than most. I have been on Autotitre looking for it but alas, I canny find anything, do you know where to find the info on Autotitre?

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    Good luck, I used to scan over every page from page one to find info I needed.
    Or, just ask Cyperpappy on that forum and I'm sure he'll now where to find it.

    Alas, it looks like my floride days have come to a stand still with only three of them, but I have a bigger problem now. I just bought two more Clio Sport 182 Cup's bringing my total to four.
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    VIP Sponsor 59 Floride's Avatar
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    Good plan, I’ll ask Alain he will know. Sorry about your affliction for Clio sports��






    ..sent from my sick bed

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    Quote Originally Posted by 63-1092 View Post
    Could it be my Mt Isa floride? I have black and white photo's that look like it could of been white at some stage.
    Its still sitting in my garage waiting for its respray which my wife wants me to sell if you want a cheap floride.
    Dunno. I just hope that it's still someone's. But no, I don't want a Floravelle; since that time two toys have been added & 4 is enough. Were I to add another one, it'd be a Triking.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 59 Floride View Post
    Good plan, I’ll ask Alain he will know.

    I received a reply from our good friend from the other continent.

    It seems to me that this type of conversion is an awful lot of work and expense and would add nothing to the overall dollar value of the car.

    ##############################


    Best regards from Paris Graham
    Lead a 4 seats with hard top to a correct 2 seats with soft top is a very difficult operation.

    On Autotitre There is no summary of what has to be done
    and what is explained is in French..

    I can take some time to write the summary.
    Just to hlep you immediately, I would like to emphasis le need to modify the soft top room.


    this has to become like that
    . for that you change the steel plate behind the back seat

    then you have to change the 42 liter fuel tank to a 37 liters one


    obviously you have to find the soft top frame



    you have also to make new seat on the back
    And many many other things

    I am sure this is not clear enough
    In some days I shall do better


    Best regards

    Alain
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 23rd April 2018 at 05:30 PM.

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts J-man's Avatar
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    It looks like a nice little car as is. I wouldn't mess with it personally, especially after reading all the comments and what's involved
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    cheers,

    John

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    Some time ago in 2014 there was a lady from Helsinki who came to AF looking to do a similar conversion with her Caravelle 4 seat. She was instructed by someone from Finland and had formed the opinion that it was a simple conversion. As tactfully as we could we went through the same process with her but she didn't want NO for an answer, she persisted for a while but eventually sold the car because it was all too hard.

    http://www.aussiefrogs.com/forum/sea...archid=2656949


  23. #23
    1000+ Posts robmac's Avatar
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    You need to fix the link:

    Caravelle soft top conversion-no-match.jpg

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    Link is still no good.
    I remember her, but how'd you find out that she gave up and sold it?
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