Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Mazda Miata Convertible: A Best Seller!

First produced in 1989 as a 1990 model, Miata (MX-5) is now in it's third generation of design.

The original factory soft top, referred to as an OE Style top, was a 2 piece design with the window section zippered into the top deck section. The window was a clear plastic.

The top deck was made with a deck seam down both sides and had quarter panels that overlapped the window section. Original material was 38oz Cabrio Vinyl in black and tan. In 1991 Mazda offered an optional removable hardtop.

The Gen 2 top continued with the same 2 piece zippered design, however the plastic window was replaced with glass. Cabrio Vinyl in black and tan was still offered but in 2003 Stayfast Cloth was added as an option. Stayfast colors were 2514 Med Neutral; 848 Black; 2776 Dk Blue and 2009 Gray.

The MX-5 was completely redesigned for 2006. The soft top is a non zippered 1 piece design without the deck seams and overlapping quarter panels.  Cabrio Vinyl in black and parchment as well as Stayfast Cloth in 848 Black and 2944 Brick are the material choices.

Most glass window miata top upgrades are designed to fit the 1999-2005 model years. They can be installed on the 1990-1997 models as an upgrade.

New Bow Straps, which are included, must be installed on the top to make them fit the 1990-1997 models.If you are upgrading to a heated defroster glass window you will need to purchase and install a Mazda OE wire harness, part # N007-67-060A. The 1990

Miata does not have the vehicle wiring required to install this harness so it is recommended that a defroster wiring harness not be purchased for this vehicle.

WARNING: If the vehicle does not have a separate heater/defogger switch, the defroster window heat grids will activate when the fan switch is turned on. Serious damage to the top and/or interior may occur if this happens.


All Mata's have a plastic rain rail attached to the bottom of the top. The rain rail channels water down and out the drain holes in the body. The existing rain rail may be reused providing it is in serviceable condition however replacing it is highly recommended. Auto Tops Direct rivets the rain rail to the top which makes the installation easier and about 1 hour quicker.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hottest Convertible Tops for the Summer!

Summer brings with it many pleasures unique to the season, like barbecues and beach visits. Yet for many car enthusiasts, summer means one thing: Convertible season!

Of course, convertibles are exciting to drive all year round, but when the sun is out and the sky is blue, even those of us who don't consider ourselves to be car experts may feel the itch to cruise around with the top down.

If you're in the mood for a convertible this summer, you could choose a used model to save cash or a vintage car to go the classic route. But if you're like most car fanatics, you're probably on the lookout for the latest and greatest - and when it comes to finding the hottest convertibles of the summer, you have many different options to choose from, ranging from Ford to Maserati and beyond.

Perhaps the car of the summer is the brand new Porsche Boxster Spyder, a convertible lover's dream come true in terms of both form and function. The curves of the car evoke the classic Porsche 550 Spyder driven by screen icon James Dean in the 1950s. But make no mistake: This car is 21st century all the way, with all of the latest amenities and technologies available for the serious sports car connoisseur.
Another convertible that's sure to make waves on the highway in the months to come is the Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG.

This hard-top convertible will keep the interior of the car safe in all conditions, and doesn't compromise the clean lines of the car when the top is up. However, the weight it adds means that the model will be both slower on the road and quicker to consume fuel than a soft-top convertible.

At the highest end of the price spectrum, the Bentley Continental GTC Speed comes in at nearly a quarter of a million dollars - but it has the horsepower, speed, luxury and prestige to match.

Unfortunately, if you want to take advantage of the car's ludicrous 322 km/h speed capabilities, you'll have to put the top up, since indulging in the true convertible experience of driving with the top down actually diminishes the vehicle's aerodynamic design.

The Spyker C8 Alleron Spyder actually surpasses the $250,000 mark, bedeviling all but the wealthiest convertible fans.

Yet for a more affordable option, the Ford Shelby GT500 is a relatively reasonable $53,645, with the looks and performance potential of a far more expensive car.

Whatever your budget or personal preferences may be, whether the Porsche Boxster convertible or a Mercedes-Benz, there's a hot new convertible for you this summer.

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