Clive Reed talks us through his ideas.
I (and TVR's designers) did not see much point replacing the already semi-hard convertible roof with a hard copy in the same style. So I set about creating a hard top that visually altered the Griffith while still looking like an original part of the car in the same style. Many at TVR are interested in seeing the results of this project.
The three piece rear screen is made of coated polycarbonate (chosen for weight, strength and racing connotations). There is of course an opening rear screen (about 94x94 cms) allowing access to the boot through an internal hatch (this can be made lockable). I intend to make the rear screen open by the same button as is currently used by the original boot.
The roof is designed as a removable unit, i.e., in the summer the car is a standard convertible, in the winter it is a hardtop. This is achieved very easily by using the fittings that already exist on the car. No modifications are needed to the existing bodywork and the hardtop does not rest on any part of the bodywork that is exposed when the car is in convertible form - therefore no rubbing. The hard top is located and kept in position with the fittings for the convertible roof (it is possible to dispense with the over-centre struts), the rear is located by the original boot lock and possibly by bolts through the flanges of the original boot hinges. The fuel filler is adapted (simple push and turn bayonet fitting) and the new fuel filler is mounted in the polycarbonate quarter light (similar to the Speed 12 show car). This will be an aluminium unit (similar to a motorcycle filler).
For example here are the abbreviated instructions for the autumn soft-to-hard conversion:
This process should take less than one hour and is not technical so does not need dealer involvement.
The hard top is obviously painted body colour with three options for the polycarbonate screen (bronze, grey tints or clear). The interior will be fully trimmed in leather or vinyl. Any special requirements can be accommodated....
The Coupe style is the model that I will produce with various spoilers and aerofoils available as options.
The intention is to sell the roof through dealers and selected TVR specialists as it will require painting to match customer cars. I have no idea of price yet but it will be on the basis of cost plus "x" (the same basis of my pricing of the aluminium parts). It will be affordable especially when you consider that you end up with the best of both worlds. There will be that added advantage of driving "something different".
I will do a roof for the Chimaera but the style will be different as the car has a different philosophy to the Griffith.