The Lotus Cars Community banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I sort of have my heart set on an Elise with a hardtop. Yet most of the ones I find for sale that I like have only the soft top. I dont want to get too hung up on this but it is something I'd like. My quick internet search shows that some hardtops might be available on the aftermarket but it does not appear to be all that common. Should I hold out for a car that has both tops or maybe add on the hardtop later

Thank you for your kind help!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
520 Posts
I wouldn’t let one with no hardtop hold you back. GRP is a good place to get aftermarket but the for sale section here you see OEM hardtops quite often being sold. There is currently one on sale as we speak. GLWS

Gabe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Acme Super Moderator ** The Enforcer **
Joined
·
7,594 Posts
I wouldn’t let one with no hardtop hold you back. GRP is a good place to get aftermarket but the for sale section here you see OEM hardtops quite often being sold. There is currently one on sale as we speak. GLWS

Gabe


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
He's right. If you already have found the car you like, the lack of a hardtop shouldn't prevent you from pursuing it. Hardtops come and go. Worst case scenario you have to have one repainted to match your car.

San
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,126 Posts
Before I bought my Elise I too was worried about the hardtop situation. I ended up buying a yellow car but before I picked it up I had nabbed TWO hardtops, one in red and one in yellow.

Wife: You have TWO roofs? I thought you only bought one car?
Me: You mean I need to sell one roof?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I was concerned about not getting a hardtop with my car, until I started driving the car. Now, I don't think I'd ever use a hardtop if I had one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
I was in the same boat as you, so when I found the car I wanted I made a wanted ad in this forum for a chrome orange hard top. Within a day I made a deal with someone on here. No big deal, don't let it hold you back!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
Yep, same thing if the situation is reversed and all it has is a hard top and you want a soft top, you can find one pretty easily. I bought my car with just a hard top, then after a month I bought a soft top on here so I wouldn't have to worry about leaving it open when I parked somewhere outside. I also now have an aftermarket carbon fiber hard top (2 roofs like David lol), but mostly still use my soft top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
I haven't had the hardtop on my Exige in 10 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,070 Posts
Yep, same thing if the situation is reversed and all it has is a hard top and you want a soft top, you can find one pretty easily. I bought my car with just a hard top, then after a month I bought a soft top on here so I wouldn't have to worry about leaving it open when I parked somewhere outside. I also now have an aftermarket carbon fiber hard top (2 roofs like David lol), but mostly still use my soft top.
Yup, agree with what CloudySkys says. I have 2 cars and 3 hardtops. They are a pain to store and I was always worried about damaging them so I built what is in the picture over the top of my garage door. If you live in cramped quarters, the top can be an issue.

I hardly use my hard tops but will admit the cars look better with a hardtop. In Florida, almost the entire year is soft top season.

If you buy a car with a soft top, try it for a while and see how you like it. You may decide you don't need the hard top. You can always get one later.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: chuparkoff

·
Registered
Joined
·
97 Posts
I felt the same way until I bought my Elise (w/o hardtop). Now, I try to drive it at dawn or dusk or on a cloudy day so I don't get burned in the Florida sun. The experience is much better with the top off.

On a side note, with the soft top on, there's quite an increase in resonance from the panels and exhaust. I catch myself thinking I'd like a Quarterstick with the top off but an exhaust even quieter than stock with the top on. I've never been in one with the top on but I can imagine the effect is as bad or worse with the solid panel reflecting noise. Can anyone who has both soft and hard tops comment on the cabin noise between them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
383 Posts
The hardtops are pretty easy to come by. I bought a yellow 2005 without one -- found one here for sale so I bought it.
Then... I decided to get one of these
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lotus-Elise-Exige-Transparent-Hardtop-Premium-New-/202176566856
...so I got that -- then sold my yellow hardtop.
..THEN I only had the new transparent top for a few weeks and it came flying off my car on the interstate and was destroyed by a semi-truck (could of been worse -- could of killed someone). I was heartbroken because I loved the top and spent a lot of money on it. I'm still upset about it every time I think about it :(
So then I bought yet another yellow hardtop from a member here.

I really wish I could afford another transparent top -- I with these guys would of actually delivered their product -- but they seem to of disappeared.
JAMMOTO - Transparent hardtops - JAMMOTO

I'd like to have one of those gull-wing tops -- in any color -- but I have never found anyone that has one for sale --- plus I probably couldn't afford it right now anyway.

They make carbon-fiber tops -- but I've heard horror stories of those breaking and flying off the car too.

My advice is to stay away from the after-market ones and just find a factory used one for sale...even if you end up having to buy one the wrong color and have it painted. Perhaps the aftermarket ones are actually ok -- but I'd just go with a factory one to be on the safe side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
894 Posts
Mine is from lotushardtops.com, made in carbon, very well done

On Facebook, you can reach eltech-italia, sound like doing nice stuff.

My experience with GRP is good service when the parts are in stock, but delivery for custom stuff can be a big pain. 4-8 weeks delivery can move to 4 months easily, without firm date.
 
  • Like
Reactions: chuparkoff

·
Registered
Joined
·
730 Posts
I dont use mine but it makes the car look MUCH better.
If you could store the hard top in the car it would be much more useful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
240 Posts
I felt the same way until I bought my Elise (w/o hardtop). Now, I try to drive it at dawn or dusk or on a cloudy day so I don't get burned in the Florida sun. The experience is much better with the top off.

On a side note, with the soft top on, there's quite an increase in resonance from the panels and exhaust. I catch myself thinking I'd like a Quarterstick with the top off but an exhaust even quieter than stock with the top on. I've never been in one with the top on but I can imagine the effect is as bad or worse with the solid panel reflecting noise. Can anyone who has both soft and hard tops comment on the cabin noise between them?
I have a Quarterstick on my car so I can provide some info here for you. We'll say top off is the baseline volume for all the comparisons below.

- With the soft top (touring version) on at low speeds you hear slightly less exhaust noise, at high speeds you hear slightly more exhaust noise, but much less wind noise resulting in less noise overall.
- With the factory hard top on at both low and high speeds you get quite a bit more exhaust noise and resonance, obviously less wind noise at high speed. I haven't actually measured, but subjectively it feels almost as loud overall (exhaust + wind + resonance) at high speeds as having the top off, just a different balance of where the noise is coming from.
- With the aftermarket carbon fiber top (unsure who made it, I bought it from another forum member) I get a lot less resonance than with the factory hard top. Hard to say whether the CF hard top or the soft top is quieter overall, they're similar, but have slightly different sound qualities. If I had to choose one I'd say the soft top is probably quieter.

Not sure where in Florida you are, but I'm in Orlando if you want to go for a ride some time and compare for yourself.

I did do some sound deadening in my car though to get rid of a lot of resonance and other unpleasant noises so on a stock car you might have slightly different results. For example with the soft top on I don't hear anywhere near as much resonance from the other panels vs before I added the sound deadening and I don't have all the squeaks from dash panels rubbing together that would be much more noticeable with the top on vs off if they were still there.
 

·
Supporting Vendor
Joined
·
4,290 Posts
CF hardtops can be nice but it is critical that you get proper attachment hardware. Make sure they are secure or they can go flying off - as stated above.

...I did do some sound deadening in my car though to get rid of a lot of resonance and other unpleasant noises so on a stock car you might have slightly different results...
I agree that the car is quieter with the soft top. Drone and wind noise can get tiring. We make mufflers that don't drone. :) That's a problem you can fix at the source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
When I bought my Elise I too immediately started the hunt for a hard top. I never bought one, and honestly I've never felt I needed it.

I did treat my soft top with some 3M stuff to restore its water repellent properties, that's been all I've had to do deal with rain.

Having the soft top has also enabled me to get out of some parking situations that would have been difficult ( or maybe impossible ) with the hard top.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
286 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Having the soft top has also enabled me to get out of some parking situations that would have been difficult ( or maybe impossible ) with the hard top.
What? You snuck out of a parking garage without paying by driving under the bar?? :smile2::smile2::smile2:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,415 Posts
What? You snuck out of a parking garage without paying by driving under the bar?? :smile2::smile2::smile2:
No, he's referring to the fact you can remove the soft top from inside the car - I've even done that at a stoplight before. With the soft top partially opened, you can crack your door and get out in a tight spot, then put the roof back down.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top