Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!
Kristy asks: When I was in college back in the ’80s, my boyfriend had an IROC-Z Camaro with T-tops. I remember seeing cars with T-tops all the time. I never see them anymore. Did they just fall out of fashion?
My reply: No, T-tops fell out of favor with Uncle.
The reason you don’t see them anymore – as a new car feature – is because of federal roof-crush saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety standards, enforceable at gunpoint. Meaning – they’ll literally kill you to keep you saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafe.
Glass isn’t structural, so it’s very hard to design a T-top roof that is “compliant” with the federal ukase that requires the car’s roof be designed such that it can support the weight of the car in the event the car rolls over.
There’s another factor, too – and it’s related.
People are much less tolerant now of squeaks, rattles – and leaks. When you cut in T-tops, you cut out a lot of roof rigidity. It flexes more, which causes . . . squeaks and rattles and leaks. It was a common problem, back in the day, for water to dribble into the T-topped car’s interior when it rained. Over time, this would often become worse as rubber seals shrank or got brittle – which they inevitably do.
Still, I miss T-Tops, too. I never much liked convertibles; too much wind and cutting off the roof often ruined the car’s lines. With T-tops, you got better wind management and better looks – in my opinion anyhow.
They may return, one day.
If we can get rid of Uncle.
. . .
Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!
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