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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-06-2019, 05:18 PM
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Default Tried out the top and side curtains for the first time...

The top is actually pretty slick and tight, but those side curtains? Like something out of the dark ages, doors donít work, have to remember to open the sliding window before getting in to reach out and pull the wing back and tuck the thing into the top etc etc.

I could see using the top for shade but as far as being weatherproof, well you wonít get rained directly on, but there are leaks everywhere...about what I expected. Driving this thing in the rain seems somewhat suicidal anyway...

At least I can say Iíve done it now, iíd Take the top on a road trip but not the curtains.

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Steve H
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:29 PM
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Steve,

Yes, it is a pain, but the size curtains do help in the rain and if it is cold out they help retain the heat better than nothing. Given that, yes you will still get wet, but they are better than nothing. Hopefully the weather turns and we get some good weather going forward.

Jim
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Old 03-07-2019, 12:53 AM
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Last summer I attended a car show about an hour's drive through back country roads. I checked 3 different weather predictions, all said rain would hold off until 6 PM. Since the show was giving out the trophies at 3PM, I figured I was OK. NOT!! It started pouring at 2 PM and the temp. dropped. I had a friend with that is an avid cyclist (he was caught in the rain a few times) along so we waited for the awards to be given out because I knew I would win my class. Why not, right?
Driving home in the cold pouring rain was an "experience!" Fortunately, I had put on a new set of Cooper Cobra tires in the spring. Oh, and I have no top.
Well, the windshield wipers worked fine but the sun shade caught a lot of water and it ran down the inside of the windshield. All I had was a cloth I used to wipe off the detail spray and it smeared the inside of the glass. Of course the windshield was just low enough that the rain drops kept hitting me in the eyes! The water ran up the fender and poured on my knee (as it did for my friend). Needless to say, a car that light with that much power on twisty back roads in the pouring rain is a handful, to say the least! I never got out of 3rd. gear. It was a long 1.5+ hr. ride home. The people in the cars we passed had that look on their faces like we were nuts, but we made it home safe and soaked. It took 2 full days to clean up my Cobra.
Now, I knew sooner or later I would get caught in the rain with it, but I didn't expect to get caught so far away and in such a downpour. One thing I was glad of was I had a friend to keep the passenger seat dry! He didn't mind and we often laugh about it, he doesn't turn down the chance to ride in it.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:11 AM
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I ask customers if they know the difference in definition between "waterproof" and "water resistant?"
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:52 AM
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It’s part of the charm and character of owning a British car!
Larry
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:44 AM
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Default Yep

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Itís part of the charm and character of owning a British car!
Larry
As the cold drops were running down my arms and legs, i turned to the wife and said "See? THIS is why the British Empire is no more..."

By the mid 60s American Convertibles ALL had roll up windows, sealing tops etc;
I can see why they had a hard time selling these things back in the day, Not to say i dont love mine, its just not an all weather vehicle, even IF the top sealed tight...If you had to make a decision about one of these or a 65 corvette...

Steve H
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:09 AM
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A bit off subject, but experience should be shared....drill at least a couple 3/8" holes in the foot box floors for drainage. Driving in pouring rain is bad enough but having your feet in an inch or more of COLD water sure adds to the misery or joy of driving a SPORTS CAR.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:43 AM
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First and last time.
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Old 03-07-2019, 08:53 AM
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First and last time.
I have both a top and side curtains, and the car looks very cool with them on; very cool indeed. I think I've used them all together less than five times ever. It takes me about 15 minutes to get the top up and cinched in on those little bars on the top of the windshield, and then press down all the Lift-A-Dots -- and that's working in the comfort of my garage, and my thumbs go numb doing that even in 72 degree weather. If I had to do it in a downpour I would probably just give up. So, with that in mind, I carry a nice canvassy-like tarp in my trunk. If I get caught unexpectedly in a downpour, I'll just pull over, put the tarp over me and my cockpit, and just wait it out. So far, that's never happened.
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:59 AM
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When I owned CSX2047 back in the late 60s I found the stock top and side
curtains to be pretty useless and used them only a few times. Top on speed
was limited to about 60mph before it tried to destroy itself. The whole rig was
no better than a cheap Boy Scout pup tent. I did find the tonneau cover very
useful. The original Cobra paint job was not very good so I didn't care about
the minor scratching it caused. The paint on my ERA is far better so I don't
use a tonneau on that car.
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
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It’s part of the charm and character of owning a British car!
Larry
....so its not an American car?
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Old 03-07-2019, 10:25 AM
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Hi Steve,

You just had a Baptism. Last spring & summer in South Jersey was as rainy and wet as I can remember. Really cut down on the cruise time. Some days the humidity was unbearable. I got caught a couple times in some showers fortunately close to home. Hitting puddles reminded me of boating when you got caught with water running over the bow, up the windshield and into the cockpit. Nick
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
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....so its not an American car?
Nope. There aren't many American cars that require a rollaway full of Whitworth tools!
Larry
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Old 03-07-2019, 01:24 PM
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In over 20 years I have used the top 3 times and that was in the first couple years I had it. I have never even assembled the side curtains and I don't even have the clips on the windshield for the top any more. Been caught a couple times with no top in the rain, but it isn't bad. I am more worried about grip than the top at that point.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:06 PM
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First winter or two I put the top and curtains on my ERA. I found trying to drive the car without the side curtains caused so much noise and buffeting I'm not sure the top would survive up to even 50 mph - pretty much didn't want to go over about 40 like that. With the side curtains on it was pretty cozy but pretty claustrophobic.

Also found that it adds considerably to the gymnastics of getting into and out of the car. Getting out I usually end up with my hands on the ground and sort of walking out on all four. Getting in I have to crawl over the tunnel to the other side to swivel and pull my legs in. Haven't bothered with it the last several years.
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Old 03-07-2019, 03:27 PM
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Hey Dan,

Sounds like a video of you getting in and out of your car as you described would be quite entertaining

I got about half way through putting my top kit together. You guys sure aren't giving me incentive to finish it...not a fun project.

Kevin
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:22 PM
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3 Hot Rod Power Tours with my last ERA. That's 5 days of long drives. The top and curtains are wonderful. They keep you warm and mostly dry.

My wife actually enjoyed the trips.

The next ERA will certainly have a soft top, side curtains, heated seats and heater.

We tried on long road trip w/o a top and it was miserable. Wet and cold when we got caught in some early Summer down pours. We were forced to stop for some long meals to try and warm up and dry out.

John
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Old 03-07-2019, 04:29 PM
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Or you could take the Wade Chamberlain approach: with Dave Smith as a passenger...
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Old 03-11-2019, 08:15 PM
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Default Side Curtains

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Originally Posted by DanEC View Post
First winter or two I put the top and curtains on my ERA. I found trying to drive the car without the side curtains caused so much noise and buffeting I'm not sure the top would survive up to even 50 mph - pretty much didn't want to go over about 40 like that. With the side curtains on it was pretty cozy but pretty claustrophobic.

Also found that it adds considerably to the gymnastics of getting into and out of the car. Getting out I usually end up with my hands on the ground and sort of walking out on all four. Getting in I have to crawl over the tunnel to the other side to swivel and pull my legs in. Haven't bothered with it the last several years.
One thing I didnít mention is how weird it is to try to steer with your left arm limitted to the inner door. I have the original style 3 independent spoke 16Ē wheel which I reall like, but it does encourage an elbow over the side...
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Old 03-12-2019, 01:36 PM
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Typically British, the way it was before roll up windows and easy up tops like the MGB, my first new car.


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