So maybe the era of folding metal hardtops is really ending ! - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 10-19-2018
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So maybe the era of folding metal hardtops is really ending !

Having surveyed what is still available in my country with a folding metal roof,
I can only find the following, ( excluding the McLaren, Lambo, Ferarris )

Mazda MX-5 RF, Targa body
BMW 4-series Convertible, but its G23 replacement is due soon with fabric roof.
SLC
SL

Thatís it.

No more Peugeots 206 207,,306,307s, Opel Astras & Tigra, Focus, Sebring, 3-Series & Z4, VW Eos, Volvo C70, Nissan Silvia & Micra, Daihatsu en, Mitsubishi GTO & Colt,, Cadillac XLR, Renault Megane CC, Lexus IS & SC, Pontiac G6, Chevrolet SSR,

Everybody made one at some stage.

But before long the MX-5 RF will be all thatís left, for less than the cost of a house that is.

Maybe one part of the decision is that if none of the competitors are doing it, then why go it alone?


Did I just hear someone call ď Last drinks please?Ē
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#2 Old 10-19-2018
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I'm ok with this. Makes our cars just a bit more exclusive!
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#3 Old 10-19-2018
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As far as I am concerned, a retractable is the only way to go, much better AC. Am considering a Cad XLR but the price is not low enough yet.

Anyone interested in a nice Buick Reatta convertible with a Haartz cloth top ? Can open and close faster than a SLK.


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#4 Old 10-19-2018
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Chevy corvette is removable targa top. I have been STRONGLY considering getting one since my 2019 SLC is STILL IN FREAKING FLORIDA. 3 months it has been sitting at the VPC. Mercedes US corporate are a bunch of idiots.
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#5 Old 10-19-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Padgett View Post
As far as I am concerned, a retractable is the only way to go, much better AC. Am considering a Cad XLR but the price is not low enough yet.

Anyone interested in a nice Buick Reatta convertible with a Haartz cloth top ? Can open and close faster than a SLK.
I have a buddy who adores those... however he prefers to buy cars in barn-find condition!.. (and then continue to keep them that way). some car people are strange.
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#6 Old 10-19-2018
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I will certainly regret the passing of the folding solid roof, the SLK being my first after a lifetime of soft topped cars.
A fabric roof means:
A dark interior.
Vulnerable to yobs with Stanley knives.
Vulnerable to bird **** & general soiling.
Likely to become frayed (as per a 3 year old Audi A3 Cabriolet I once owned).
Frequent usage results in unsightly creases.
Loss of a sense of having two cars in one, a convertible & a coupe.


The argument by owners self-deluded as to their perception of being able to deduce the difference the weight of a solid roof makes always has me in fits of laughter. Such differences are rarely apparent under normal road conditions & only a professional racing driver would really have any idea & know what they are talking about.


Will hang on to my SLK as long as possible, maybe replace it with an SLC or the last of the BMW 4 Series hard-top convertibles, although I hate the idea of being labelled a BMW driver, something I've avoided all my life.
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#7 Old 10-19-2018
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If you go "Topless" you might do it the right way.....: anything else is just a Compromise grin:

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#8 Old 10-19-2018
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If it had not had the metal folding top I would not have bought it.
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#9 Old 10-19-2018
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Originally Posted by RobinRidge View Post
If it had not had the metal folding top I would not have bought it.
+1 to that.


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#10 Old 10-19-2018
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Cool Folding metal roof

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Originally Posted by RobinRidge View Post
If it had not had the metal folding top I would not have bought it.
+1 here too.
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#11 Old 10-19-2018
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+1 also. My first car was a convertible and while Targas, T-Tops, and roof vents come close, are not the same. All of the ones that went before had fabric roofs, some easy, some erector sets. While I can put the Reatta top up/down faster than the SLK I have to get out of the car to drop it. Meanwhile a FIAT 124 Spyder was one hand from my seat.

Still now that I have had a retractable, nothing is as good. However the fact is that the SLK is a better cruiser than a weekend-away car particularly with a lady. OTOH my Grand Cherokee is a great trip car for two with a lot of luggage. However it rides like a truck (bought as a tow car). And on the gripping hand, in a year the SLK will qualify for collector (cheap) insurance. Decisions, decisions.


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#12 Old 10-20-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinRidge View Post
If it had not had the metal folding top I would not have bought it.
+1 here too. Bought the top, car came with it. Call me vain, call me materialistic, call me shallow, call me superficial, call me a slave to fashion, but please, don't call me. Just looks better with the top up than a ragtop. No ragtop can say that. Many don't even have rear side windows. Take the GT Roadster - please. Looks awful with top up. Visibility is tank-like. Rather have the the coupe with a Panama roof.
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#13 Old 10-21-2018
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I don't like soft, hard all the way or forget it.

Trying to imagine an SLK, SL with soft top = identity crisis came to mind.
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#14 Old 10-21-2018
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We wont have to imagine for much longer. The 2020 SL is supposed to be a 2+2 soft top IIRC. Then there is the supposed replacement for the SLK, a turbo 4 cylinder (possibly electric hybrid for extra torq) soft top based on the project one platform. We shall see though.
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#15 Old 10-21-2018
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It's far more pervasive than just folding hard tops.

My 23 year old son drives a 350 SLK but he may be amongst the last generation to buy a personal use vehicle. The death knell has been sounded on petrol and diesel sales giving a massive push to not just electric but self drive or robotic cars. I can see centrally controlled traffic systems co-ordinating everyones 'transport vehicles' just around the corner. Access to the roads and parking allocated on a pay-by-the-mile system.

Personal transportation is going to completely transform over the next 30 years or so.

It may take a little longer in those countries with independent oil supplies or under developed infrastructure where a tank full of fuel is all that's necessary to get from A to B, but in Europe the process is well under way. China will see the same transition, its the simplest way to make a big dent in their pollution footprint.

I have a friend who has spent a lifetime in the plastic packaging industry, he is taking early retirement as the industry has collapsed over the past 12 months following 'The blue planet' episode.

The world is changing fella's, adapt or die!

( Anyone know how to convert a V8 to methanol? )

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You arent far off, although I do think (hope) that private vehicles for personal use will be around well padt that 30 year mark. Maybe the cars will drive themselves, but I still think people will continue to own their own, at least in the US. People are flung far and wide, and all commute in different directions at different times. It wouldnt be feasible for a centralized system to send cars to pick each and every person up at their house to transport them to work. Governments in cities would need hundreds of thousands if not millions of vehicles in their fleet.

Honestly I think any truly drastic changes to how americans get to work, store, leisure, etc. would require a fundamental breakdown and rebuilding of society, some sort of end of days crazyness. While the cars themselves may change to electric autopilot snoozefests, they will still be sitting in people's garages in large numbers for many decades to come.

I should probably just buy the 2019 and hope it lasts until I die, . I'd rather not drive at all than drive an electric windup toy.
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#17 Old 10-21-2018
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Someone like Musk or Apple will come up with am idea to make trillions out of this and resistance will be futile.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cousjcc View Post
We wont have to imagine for much longer. The 2020 SL is supposed to be a 2+2 soft top IIRC. Then there is the supposed replacement for the SLK, a turbo 4 cylinder (possibly electric hybrid for extra torq) soft top based on the project one platform. We shall see though.
But back to convertibles,

I donít see how a softtop SL 2+2 adds something extra to the M-B line up.

Already there are C , E & S- class softtop convertibles , each with a back seat, and I canít tell the C from the S anyway.

They all share the big engines.

So unless the SL has fabulous styling,,,,,,,,, if it has the corporate look, itís just another size.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pictor View Post
But back to convertibles,

I donít see how a softtop SL 2+2 adds something extra to the M-B line up.

Already there are C , E & S- class softtop convertibles , each with a back seat, and I canít tell the C from the S anyway.

They all share the big engines.

So unless the SL has fabulous styling,,,,,,,,, if it has the corporate look, itís just another size.
Exactly. Ditching the hard top and adding a tiny rear seat... they might as well just ditch the SL same time as the SLC. It will serve no purpose as a 2+2 cabrio.
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#20 Old 10-21-2018
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Originally Posted by RobinRidge View Post
If it had not had the metal folding top I would not have bought it.

I'm sure there are many who feel that way. On the other hand, I wish my SLK was a ragtop. The folding metal top almost made me rule the SLK out when I was looking to buy what passes for a roadster these days and is still the one thing I don't like about mine.
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