Steve Edwards

Car & motorcycle accident damage & paintwork repairs, plastic welding, SMART Repairs, TVR & Fibreglass projects
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Hardtop During Build Painted Hardtop

Developed as an alternative to the original TVR fold-down canvas roof, the removable rear hardtop has been specifically shaped to replicate the original roofline of the Chimaera.

During development of the initial mould, the mock-up structure was painstakingly filled and shaped to follow the exact lines of the original soft-top - even down to the uppermost slight bulge at each top rear corner where the canvas is stretched tight over the internal support header underneath.

Despite being a rigid fibreglass section, when the hardtop is covered in canvas the shape gives the impression that it is a taut soft-top material, stretching over the internal header/support underneath, and the thermoformed Acrylic rear window is precisely shaped and curved to replicate the original soft-top window.

The idea right from the start was not to design a completely new hardtop roof that strayed from the classic Chimaera shape, but to improve on the original design by considerably increasing security, weather protection and cabin sealing over the original fold-down version. The canvas-covered version in particular is vertually identical in appearance to the standard TVR fold-down section and retains the cars 'original' look. However, when the canvas covering is left off and the fibreglass hardtop sections are painted to match the bodywork as pictured above left, the hardtop becomes very unique and distinctive.

Used in combination with the hard centre targa panel, the rear hardtop is secured in place using stainless steel quick release catches and can be easily unlatched and stored in the Chimaera's generous boot alongside the targa panel when not in use - leaving the rear deck with a clean level appearance and completely unobstructed rear visibility - as opposed to the original folded section 'pram handle' jutting up at an angle and creasing the folding hood window.

youtube imageThe video clip to the right demonstrates how the hardtop sections fit to the car and how the panels stow in the boot - applicable to cars built up to approx 1999. A slightly different stowing method is used on post 1999 cars - video to follow.

The inner surface of the 'Roll Hoop' has a carbon fibre effect similar to the type used on the underside of the original TVR centre targa panel.

The standard TVR aluminium roof struts are carried over to provide secure positioning of the centre targa panel when fitted to the car, but instead of being anchored directly to the underside of the hardtop, they are located into fabricated slide-in brackets to allow quick removal and refitting.

The fixing methods for the detachable rear section include utilising existing mounting points as well as several additional discreet mountings - all of which are hidden behind trimmed-up areas.

With the painted option extra care will be needed when handling and storing to avoid scratching and an additional protective layer of Armourfend is recommended. The interior surfaces of both the rear hardtop and centre targa panel can be trimmed in vinyl. It is recommended that both painted and canvas versions also be covered with soft covers when stowed in the boot to create a cushioned layer and prevent marking from other articles in the boot.

Each hardtop is made to order and will require fitting and adjusting specifically for each individual car. The entire assembly includes all the following parts pictured:

  • Fibreglass rear hardtop section
  • Matching centre targa panel (optional/additional cost)
  • Thermoformed 4mm Acrylic rear window (shaped to match the original soft top window with discreet black border for bonding purposes)
  • Inner Header / 'Roll Hoop' section (with carbon fibre layer)
  • Rear deck finisher trim (fixed in place inside the rear deck top edge and hides the cut edge of the bulkhead carpet when the roof is removed, and provides an anchor point for the quick release catches)
  • 4 x quality stainless steel quick release catches
  • Various fabricated brackets and fixings
  • All weather strips and sealing rubbers (the existing targa roof seals and mounting channels will need carrying over from original panel)