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Old 04-26-2004, 01:21 PM   #1
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Hardtop - to buy or not to buy?

Just ordered a 04 Boxster.. didn't get the hardtop, but now I'm thinking I should.. I live in Chicago, so the winters are somewhat harsh.. any current of former hardtop owners have any opinions that they could share? Would it be worth it to have for the winter?

Thanks!

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Old 04-26-2004, 01:54 PM   #2
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The main reason people buy hardtops is because of the rear defroster. SInce '03-'04 come with a rear defroster, I don't see the need for a hardtop except if you are going for the look, I think the Boxster looks more sporty with the hardtop. I have a '97 and I live in central NY, I went through the winter ok with my plastic window. If you do want a hardtop, I suggest you look in ebay for brand new ones for almost half the price. Congrats on your new ride, you'll absolutely love it!
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Old 04-26-2004, 02:42 PM   #3
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I have had one for 5 years. It has been on the car for 2 weeks in 5 years just to see what it looked like. But I live in sunny California.

Now that the soft top has a liner and glass window you might survive the Chicago winters.
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:38 PM   #4
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In the old (pre-99?) tops that weren't insulated the hardtop was quieter.

The car is potentially 2-3 mph faster with a hardtop than a softop - but then how often will you drive over 160?

Some tracks will consider a hard top as an alternative to a roll bar for DE - but then you can buy harnesses, extinguisher, a full roll cage and still have money left over for seats or headers for the price of a hardtop.

I would never use a hardtop - I very much value the option of putting the top down any time I wish (including light snow).

Ad Sach
30,000 miles on a plastic windowed softtop - including one winter in New York.
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Old 04-27-2004, 11:00 AM   #5
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I love my hard top, I find that people can't figure out what kind of car it is because you see so few with them. I have debadged my car and added a 986 vinyl decal to the spoiler, I also think that the hard top adds character to the car. I can take my hard top off faster than you can lift the soft top
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Old 04-27-2004, 12:03 PM   #6
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Does anyone know what is involved with converting to the 2003-04 glass window top?
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Old 04-27-2004, 03:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by aesir
Does anyone know what is involved with converting to the 2003-04 glass window top?
Only been asked a 100 times. $6,500 for the frame with the 4th bow and $2,000 for the top with the glass window.

Do not know anyone who has done it for the obviou$ reason.
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Old 04-27-2004, 08:33 PM   #8
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re: Automon " I can take my hard top off faster than you can lift the soft top"

Even if you could remove the hardtop while driving, do you just throw it alongside the road until you want to come back for it?

On a rainy drive, my top may go up and down 2-3 times in an hour. Can't do that with a hard top.


For me buying a hardtop would be like buying a tux. It's a very nice look, but I'd only wear it once or twice a year at the most.
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Old 04-28-2004, 05:40 AM   #9
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Why are you driving in the rain? is that your only car?
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Old 04-28-2004, 06:42 PM   #10
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re: Why are you driving in the rain?

Cuz I have a daily driver(think wife/best friend) not a fairweather date car. We do different things together: Cross-country driving, high speed, track days, bringing furniture home from the store, daily commute, even the rain, sleet and dark of night.

to quote/misquote saint-exupery: It is the time we spend with our rose which makes it important. I love my rose.
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Old 04-29-2004, 01:09 AM   #11
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To own a Boxster an not drive it every day is VERY sad....(unless you also own a 911).
I have driven mine in rain, sleet, snow (very safe!) and in any other weather condition imaginable. No regrets so far!

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Old 04-29-2004, 05:38 PM   #12
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"The main reason people buy hardtops is because of the rear defroster. "

1. For those of you who use your 97-02 Boxsters as daily drivers in winter regions: Is the fogging of the rear plastic window a serious problem in cold weather?

2. Are all Boxsters "pre-wired" for the hardtop? In other words, will a Boxster that orginally did not come with a hardtop have all the holes/hook-ups? I imagine the defroster has to be plugged in somewhere.

As background, I live in the NE and plan to purchase a Boxster in the fall (2000+) as a daily driver. I really appreciate everyone's comments. This forum has been invaluable to me as I research my future purchase.
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:20 AM   #13
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1. Is the fogging of the rear plastic window a serious problem in cold weather?

-- no --

2. Are all Boxsters "pre-wired" for the hardtop?
-- Probably, my Boxster came with the side window defrosters, which share the dash switch with the hardtop pre-wire. Not all Boxsters have heater mirrors, so they may not all have the switch installed. A new hardtop comes with spin-locks.


The plastic window softtop should NOT be operated under 40 degree, so I use an electric blanket wrapped around the plastic window to keep it warm when the top is down at low temperatures. When the top is up, warming the interior warms the rear window to operating temperatures (and also keeps it fog free). If I can find the right fitting, I may plug the electric blanket into the hardtop prewired slot next year - the switch that warms the mirrors and hardtop window is already installed in the dash.


Wherever you live, BUY THE SEAT HEATERS!

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Old 04-30-2004, 05:28 AM   #14
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Couldn't agree more with the heated seats comment! i did not have them in my previous car (TT Convertible) and now would not want to give them up.

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Old 04-30-2004, 02:47 PM   #15
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Tool Pants,

You seem very knowledgeable about the Boxster. Can you tell me if the new softtops with glass will work for a 98 Boxster?

Thanks

Greg
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:15 PM   #16
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I live in NY and do not touch the car at all in the winter so I have no use for a hard top. I only drive it on nice days!
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:38 PM   #17
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I use the car daily and that is the joy of owning this car. I used it in the rain, dry and even in the snow, very carefully. This winter when it was very cold outside it was nice and toasty on the inside.
Naturally the Boxster S car is no Audi S-4, my previous car, on the snow or wet. I thought the Audi was a good driver until I drove the Boxster which is in another class by itself. I will concede the snow and inclement weather but then those days are not the majority.
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Old 04-30-2004, 05:41 PM   #18
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I bought it strictly as a "fun" summer car. I have other cars for winter so why bring it out in the NY snow we have and all the nasty salt everywhere.
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Old 07-12-2004, 06:02 AM   #19
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I've also been thinking about a hardtop now and think i can get a (used) one for around a grand or though, given i might have to end up painting it to match. One question though is with a hardtop installed, the soft top remains down and stored in, is that in any way bad for the soft top and vynil window, to remain folded down for an extended period of time???

Christian -
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Old 07-28-2004, 08:08 PM   #20
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re: Soft Vinyl window down for an extended period.

A towel or felt stuffed in the fold of the window helps reduce the flatness of the crease and prolongs the life of the window. Porsche ships a window felt with the car, but dealers usually remove it before delivery.

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