To reskin or not

My targa top has seen better days. It doesn’t look bad, but the wind noise it generates at speed is atrocious… Above 120Km/h it’s almost deafening, becoming a very effective speed limiter.

Reliable specialists in targa top restorations are few and far away, so I’ve been thinking about different options. So far, I identified the following ones:

  • Send it to a good shop for refurbishing. Best recommended is CarsInc in New Jersey. But I live in Europe, so on top of the 800USD they will probably charge, I would have to add a prohibitive cost in shipping the top to the US and back. Forget it…
  • Next option would be buying the materials (vinyl, burlap, padding, glue) either from CarsInc or Pelican and do the job myself. This would be a much cheaper alternative – 300USD tops – but doing it properly it’s not for the faint hearted, and you want to do it properly, otherwise you stay put. So, it’s a possibility but I’m sceptical.
  • Thinking out of the box (or out of the top), I could go for a rigid conversion. Folding the top creates creases, so in the long run you have another replacement coming. As the unfolded top still fits in the front trunk, it’s not really a problem. The idea is to use the existing folding frame, where a new rigid top would be bolted. First choice was Lexan (polycarbonate), already used by some (see here), but I also gave some thought to riveted aluminium (could be body coloured), stainless steel (it would match the targa bar, but isn’t easy to shape) and finally, PETG… What is PETG ? The full name is Polyethylene Terephtalate Glycol-modified and it is cheaper, lighter and easier to mold than Lexan, although with less resistance to impacts. As we’re not talking about a windsheld here, I don’t see it as a problem.

Applying the vinyl myself scares me a bit. You only get one change of doing it right before the glue sets in. So, a PETG rigid top will probably be. It’s easier to shape than Lexan, but still offering good rigidity. If all goes well I’ll have a top whose shape doesn’t deform or age significantly. For the finish, I’ll probably apply some coarse-grained vinyl similar to the original, as not to “disrupt” the original look.

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Filed under Classic, Mechanics, porsche

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