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Discussion Starter #1
I haven't gone through an autumn with my Spider yet, and I need some opinions...

I don't want to look like a complete tool and drive around with my top down when it's really isn't appropriate. I see people do that and it looks like they are just showing off that they have a convertible.

Anyway, do you have a temperature in your mind that you have deemed "too cold" to have the top down? It was 91° yesterday, and it's supposed to be 57° tomorrow (gotta love Indiana weather!)

Just curious!!
 

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It's too cold when I'm not comfortable, and by the same token I put the top up and turn on the nice ice cold A/C when I feel too hot... My decision is based solely on how I feel rather than the actual temperature, and there are many days when the same temperature feels different. When I put the top down it is to have fun and enjoy the feeling, which is easy to do when driving topless. I normally always take a sweatshirt with me, as this can certainly extend my comfort range. I have friends who drive convertibles (not Alfas) in downright freezing weather, at a time when their is hardly anyone on the road. They do it because they like it - and I think that's the best criteria, irrespective of what anyone else may think,... except for the person riding with you.

Best regards,
 

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Too cold in Canada

I haven't gone through an autumn with my Spider yet, and I need some opinions...

I don't want to look like a complete tool and drive around with my top down when it's really isn't appropriate. I see people do that and it looks like they are just showing off that they have a convertible.

Anyway, do you have a temperature in your mind that you have deemed "too cold" to have the top down? It was 91° yesterday, and it's supposed to be 57° tomorrow (gotta love Indiana weather!)

Just curious!!
As long as I'd be warm and comfortable, I would enjoy driving with the top down. I haven't owned a (running) open car for several years :mad:, but some of my best memories of driving with the top down (or rather off, as was the case) are from the fall/early winter period. Leave the windows up, put the heater on at full blast, and enjoy. I find this a lot more enjoyable than frying under summer heat :eek:.
 

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I usually don't put the top down if I feel that the plastic rear window may crack because it and the ambient temperature is too cold. I would say nothing lower than 40F.

If it is a cloudy 40F, I would not be inclined to put the top down, only for the comfort level. IMHO, a strong sun on a 40F day is pretty comfortable in a drop top.

All in what your personal comfort level is--don't worry what others think.
 

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I concur with the previous posters. And Nick brings up a good point about the brittle plastic window. I have also been without a convertible for several years now. :(

I drove my ratty '74 Spider in the rain occassionally . . because I could (younger and dumber back then). I drove my bastard-year '81 Spider primarily at night in order to avoid the hot sun and to enjoy the stars. While our temperatures don't get nearly as low as IN, OH or NH, I would still need to bundle up at times. And like Nick said, screw what others think. ;)
 

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When I had my 71 Spider I'd put on a sweater and pea coat, turn the heater on to keep my feet warm and drive with the top down when it was 28 degrees out. I was younger then and enjoyed it. Really fun when it snowed. Hitchhikers didn't like it much but hey they didn't have to accept the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just waiting...

... here in califronia....:).... cold? winter? what it that?:)
It took a lot longer for a comment like this than I expected!! ;)

About the back window...my garage isn't heated. I plan on doing some interior work over the winter that would be easier with the top down. Is it better to "store" it with the top down rather than have it up and put it down (possibly cracking the plastic)?
 

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Tom, if you store your Spider with the top down, it may shrink to the point where you can't get up and it latched come spring. I always put the top up every time I'm done using the car.
 

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Tom, if you store your Spider with the top down, it may shrink to the point where you can't get up and it latched come spring. I always put the top up every time I'm done using the car.
How very true. My Dino's top has shrunk to the point where it does not seal on the sides or around the side windows. Mostly because of the PO, as it has been that way since I've owned it. Definitely store the car with the top up.
 

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sometimes a nice clear winters day is perfect for a topless drive.........this is the only time its acceptable to drive with a jacket on.

otherwise, anything below 14C needs a jacket & therefore I dont drive it with the roof down below 14C
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How very true. My Dino's top has shrunk to the point where it does not seal on the sides or around the side windows. Mostly because of the PO, as it has been that way since I've owned it. Definitely store the car with the top up.
My top is already very tight...I was going to drive it today but I couldn't get the top latched. (it was 43° this AM.) The few times I have tried to get it up (the top!) it is very difficult. Is there any way to adjust it?

P.S. For those other unknowing Americans...14°C = 57°F!:D
 

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FWIW, I drove my TR4 in the middle of winter with the Tonneau cover on and the heater going.:)
 

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The last convertable I drove was my 1963 Valiant Signet, but I still remember driving the back roads of ski country north of Montreal with the top down in January on a beautiful sunny day with the temperature around 10F. With the windows up and the heater on all four of us were very comfortable.
 

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You mean my top goes up????? :eek:
I guess I'm just a "tool" because unless its raining hard I almost never drive with the top up no matter how cold it is.
 

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My top is already very tight...I was going to drive it today but I couldn't get the top latched. (it was 43° this AM.) The few times I have tried to get it up (the top!) it is very difficult. Is there any way to adjust it?

P.S. For those other unknowing Americans...14°C = 57°F!:D
I don't think that there is any way to adjust the top...shrunk is shrunk! If you park in the sun a while, top up-not latched, it will be more flexible, and then you should be able to latch it up.
 

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Tom,

Just my Two cents:

Sometimes its nice to look like a tool :) Enjoy your car the way you want to... because at the end of the day.. it sits in your driveway, you pay the bills on it, and its your sleepless nights when something goes wrong with it.

That being said: Just a few tricks I picked up over the years...

1) Brittle Rear Plastic Window: When its really cold out.. e.g. 45 deg or less, before you throw the top down.. put a towel in the dryer and give it a really good spin on high... then lay the hot towel over the rear plastic and let it sit for a few moments. When the plastic is warm to the touch.. you are good to go, fold the top down and leave the towel in place for insulation.

2) Regarding Shrinkage: I have a Spider Quad, that has a hard top for really depth of winter driving e.g. 20 deg and below. (not that I drive much in a spider when its that cold.. but its nice to know I can)...

Before I roll the soft top completely up after having the hard top on for any length of time, I put again a LARGE BLANKET in the dryer and get it really hot... then I raise the top as much as I can, wet it down a little with warm water to relax the fabric, and lay the hot blanket on top.

Usually in 10 min or so, the fabric is warm, so I pull the top closed, and leave the blanket on there for another 10 min or so to keep stretching the fabric.

This little trick has worked for me many times over the years...

And there is nothing wrong with driving with the top down when its cold.. that is what hot chocolate and Parkas are for.. besides... I had the best experience of my college/alfa life driving home one February following a VW Jetta full of sorority girls who asked how "nippley" it was outside and preceded to show me :) Ah.. College..

Cheers
Martin.
 
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