What to do with the hardtop

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I understand that the car shouldn't be left with the top down for very long. Some say the life will be greatly reduced even for the fabric top.It is suggested that the top remain up during extended storage or when garage parked.
If the top must remain up when stored, and it is only taken out on nice days with the top down, when does the hard top fit in?
Further disccussions tell about weather sripping problems with the hard top, water leaks, wind noise. Why bothe with a top which costs thousands, to litter the garage.
02 blu / blu / blu on order, questioning buying the top.
98 GT Mustang Chrome Yellow
94 Continental
Ford fan

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Maybe I'm not representative, but I haven't had any water leaks, wind noise, or weather stripping problems. Besides, it has portholes.

VIN 106587 White, White, with chrome hood scoop bezel
I just took mine off and the cloth top looks just fine. It was dry, unwrinkled and clean, except for a dust line just above the rear window. I'm going to store the hardtop now until next winter, but I'm glad I've got it. As Botnew56 said -- "it's got portholes"

Living where you live, I would think the hardtop would be a must unless you only plan on driving a couple of weeks a year.

I am not sure if this is true (maybe someone with the softtop only can clarify) but I read on another post that the softtop only cars are not fitted with the hardware necessary for securing the top, if so, once you decide on a convert only, there is no going back.

As to leaks of any sort, I have had none and have never noticed any wind noise in either mode, softtop only or hardtop and it is minimal with the top dropped.

I first considered not getting the hardtop. Living in FL and having owned convertible Mustang GTs since '96, I figured that the top would just sit in the carage and cost $2500 to do just that. WRONG! I had never seen a TBird in person until mine was deliverd and of course it came with the top in place. I am extremely glad that I opted for the top, it really makes the car.

Since getting the car last September, I figure that the top has been on for maybe 1/3 of that time, not needed, there was plenty of top down weather during that time, it just looks soooooo good.

Ante up the $2500, in the long run you won't regret it.

Oh, by the way, it has portholes.
My wife and I have done a un-scietific poll checking peoples reactions to the car with the top on and with the top down. We seem to get ooh's & aah's and thumbs up from about 8 out of 10 people with the hardtop on and about 3 out of 10 in the convertible mode. The top & those porthole defenitely seem to demand more attention.

Yellow/Yellow Prem. 02 Bird w/full accent
1999 F150 Super Cab 4x4 Off Road
1998 Taurus SE Sport 24V
Just a note to let you know we Canadians get
to pay $5,000 (CAN$) for our hardtop option.
It must be higher to include the plastic
blanks in the bumper that replace the
auxiliary parking lamps.
leisha: The top is no problem. No leaks, no wind noise, no weather stripping problems, no storage problem. We just returned from a trip in our Bird to Key West, Florida. The car was the main attraction all the way up and down I-75 from Port Huron, Michigan (which is just across the river from Sarnia, Ontario). We left the hard top home and put it back on when we returned. We saw just three other TBirds on the whole the trip; two black, one yellow. Let me know when and where my wife and I can meet you in Sarnia, so you can touch and feel this white one if you want to -- but not this week; we Irish are celebrating a wonderful holiday.
Thanks for the discussion. We store our Mustang from December through April, and intend to use the T Bird for weekend cruises in the summer. We take in Car shows and cruise with several local clubs. Our Bird is on order since almost a year, our dealer had all his 2002 alotment sold when we made our order, which he took for a 2003. He told us three weeks ago he was awarded one more and it will be ours for a June delivery. Hopefully we will get it to enjoy on the planned Michigan cruise in August.
I had no intention of not getting the $5000 cdn. top. I just wondered if it will not end up collecting dust.
Check out www.geocities.com/thenewbird
this site talks about care for the soft top. Interesting!!

That's Dot's (thenewtbird2) website. We have not seen much from her lately, she and her husband have been out galavanting about the country. It has proved to be a handy tool for a lot of things related to the new Bird.
The car is just flat beautiful with that hard top on. It is like no other car top. It has the portholes, of course, but what really makes it distinctive in my opinion are the sharp angular bends where the sides meet the top. The top catches the light differently depending on where you are standing, emphasizing the break between top and sides and rear. I've never seen anything quite like it. The car is something truly special.

Now, having said that, let me add that I'm sitting here in Texas looking at two or three more days of heavy rain before I can pop that top off and start enjoying the Spring weather!
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