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Old 06-01-2015, 12:42 PM   #1
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Hardtop storage rack review

I was really just looking for a cover to store the hardtop in for the summer, but when I found a cover that included a storage rack on casters for $117, I decided I would give it a try.

Here it is for sale on ebay: Hard Top Carrier Rack w Cover Storage Cart for Porsche Boxster for Mercedes SL | eBay

What I found was a predictable item for the price. It's quite obviously Chinese made. The rack ships flat and assembly is required. The packing is sufficient so as to include all the pieces and prevent damage in transit.

The instructions that are included are relatively clear, although it's obvious that a Chinese-to-English dictionary was probably used in the process. Illustrations are provided, as is a 14mm wrench used to turn most of the bolts.

Unfortunately, the instructions reference the bolts as being 13mm, and according to the "required tools" list, that's all that is needed. But I'm here to tell you if you try a 13mm socket instead of the included stubby thing, it's not going to work. In addition, the casters utilize a larger, 17mm nut, and you either need an open-end wrench or a deep-wall socket to make that work. I had neither and my box-end ratchet wrench set is too wide to get around the nut where it is near the support bracket on the base. I wound up using the closest-sized SAE and that did a fine job. If you don't own tools, and this thing just shows up and you try to assemble it, you'll be disappointed. That said, how many of us don't own tools?

It all goes together and feels sturdy enough. The Boxster top is fairly light-weight, so nothing frightens me about the rig. I loaded the top on, and it rolls around easily enough on the casters. The wheels are very small, but sufficient for pushing around a garage or shop floor.

The dust cover is of the material that cheap car covers are made of. It's not exactly the softest material in the world, but it also should not cause any paint damage. It's soft "enough" but will not be mistaken for luxurious. It's by no means a fitted cover. The rack is advertised as fitting a number of different models, and I think they make the bag large enough to fit whatever you throw at it. So there's a bit of extra material that bunches up, but I have it tucked in around the bottom and it looks fine.

A couple pics (excuse the clutter... I'm doing the annual Spring Shuffle-O-Stuff):





All in all, I'd say it's a decent way to inexpensively store your hardtop. The rack is light-weight, sturdy enough to do the job, and costs barely more than a good quality cover. If you want to get the hardtop off the ground, or it's time to upgrade from propping it against the wall and tossing a blanket over it, this is a good way to go. I'd buy it again.

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Old 06-01-2015, 01:10 PM   #2
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Nice review. Sounds like a decent option for the money especially when you look at what Porsche wants for the cover and a wall rack - about $400 plus shipping. I was fortunate and got both the factory cover, which is of high quality, and a storage rack from the previous owner of my hardtop.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:23 PM   #3
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There's a hart top in these photos? My eyes must be stuck on the Pontiacs. I like the Z28 wheels on the Firehawk, did it come that way? Can't see enough of the Trans Am.

You'll have to post some pics of the ZR1 and GTO some time.

Nice hardtop storage rack review too.
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:43 PM   #4
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Yeah, I was just feeling fortunate to get the hard top with the car! So the $117 was not a deal-killer for the rack. It's probably not near the quality of an authentic Porche product. Then again, you put the top on it, cover it, and shove it over in a corner for the summer. What do you really need?

Oh... OK, yeah, there are some Pontiacs in the picture. Sorry about that. To answer KRAM36, yes, the red car appears exactly as delivered. We've turned about 6200 miles on the clock since taking delivery. To say it's "garage kept" would be, uh, understatingly accurate. The wheels are actually Firehawk-specific Ronals. They're extremely hard to find if you want originals, but there are repros out there for those who are into that sort of thing.

I'll see what I can do on the ZR-1 & GTO pics. Never figured anyone would be very interested. Is there an appropriate place in the forum for that? (I imagine it's OT to 986 stuff!) Here's one of the ZR-1 and Firehawk at my favorite shop down in New Braunfels....
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Old 06-01-2015, 01:58 PM   #5
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I suppose the Show and Tell section. Sure we would like to see them, show off your collection.
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtoger View Post
The Boxster top is fairly light-weight,
Do you know the actual weight? I'm surmising it's aluminum or fiberglass, not steel.

Anybody have the specs on this?

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Old 06-01-2015, 09:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gtoger View Post
Yeah, I was just feeling fortunate to get the hard top with the car! So the $117 was not a deal-killer for the rack. It's probably not near the quality of an authentic Porche product. Then again, you put the top on it, cover it, and shove it over in a corner for the summer. What do you really need?

Oh... OK, yeah, there are some Pontiacs in the picture. Sorry about that. To answer KRAM36, yes, the red car appears exactly as delivered. We've turned about 6200 miles on the clock since taking delivery. To say it's "garage kept" would be, uh, understatingly accurate. The wheels are actually Firehawk-specific Ronals. They're extremely hard to find if you want originals, but there are repros out there for those who are into that sort of thing.

I'll see what I can do on the ZR-1 & GTO pics. Never figured anyone would be very interested. Is there an appropriate place in the forum for that? (I imagine it's OT to 986 stuff!) Here's one of the ZR-1 and Firehawk at my favorite shop down in New Braunfels....
If you've got a Chevy Monza tucked in the back corner, we'd love to see pics on that, too!

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Old 06-02-2015, 07:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by dbear61 View Post
If you've got a Chevy Monza tucked in the back corner, we'd love to see pics on that, too!

DBear
Seriously? Go back to cutting hair if you're just going to make sarcastic comments. Any red blooded American male knows significance of these cars and the impact they made for others to chase. While growing up maybe you should have pulled your nose out of GQ and Cosmopolitan, and stuck in Motor Trend and Car & Driver.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:26 PM   #9
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Seriously? Go back to cutting hair if you're just going to make sarcastic comments. Any red blooded American male knows significance of these cars and the impact they made for others to chase. While growing up maybe you should have pulled your nose out of GQ and Cosmopolitan, and stuck in Motor Trend and Car & Driver.
Kram - I was just kidding, okay? It's a juxtaposition of awesome cars with one that was ... not so awesome. Like if the Louvre displayed the Mona Lisa and The Birth of Venus, and somebody suggested putting Dogs Playing Poker in between them. Or if you went to 801 Chop in KC and told the waiter you could really go for a Whopper, Jr.

Sorry if the joking didn't come across to you. Have a on me and live life happy.

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