Record Straight on Prius Convertible

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by exproducer, Apr 30, 2008.

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  1. Yes I'd spend more?

    2.5%
  2. Never

    97.5%
  1. exproducer

    exproducer Junior Member

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    THERE IS AN UPDATE AT THE END OF THE THREAD

    I am the owner of the Prius Convertible (Waveline Blue) that has been shown in the pix from a few postings in magazines etc. I'm going to attach a few jpgs and clear up a few errors about the car.

    The car took approximately 6 months to complete all the work. It is, to my knowledge the only convertible Prius ever done. It was stripped to the bare metal, (interior) and every piece of the interior was removed and a complete custom rebuild, piece by piece) was undertaken by Newport Engineering in California.

    The side air bags had to be removed and the side interior moldings had to be rebuilt to allow the frame to set properly. There are now no side air bags.

    Insurance on the car with the modifications had the premium raised considerably but kept in a nationally known company not a collector car insurance group.

    The price is considerably higher than mentioned in various articles. Approximately $17,500++for the top, and approximately setup #6 Prius from Alhambra Toyota $28, 500. Total costs approximately $46,000. Now has 1,000 miles.

    The radio system for XM and AM/FM had to be reconfigured by a speciality audio installation group as the aerial had to be removed and could not be refitted on the car in another location. An XM radio antenna (3" round) is mounted now out side left front hood on the space by the windshield wipers. The AM/FM antenna is mounted as a bar antenna on the front dash just above the interior defrosters. Reception is good on all.

    The convertible is a power top hydralic system that was constructed around the left rear electrical battery vents. The button that powers the top is located to the left of the steering wheel. When the top is powered up in folds into a reconfigured visor frame and seals like a regular convertible.

    The rear seats no longer fold down. There is more room in the back seats and again reconstructed with more floor space.

    The white decals were custom decals I ordered outside the engineering group and were placed on by a specialist in this area.

    Since this was the first Prius done, the price and wait time may come down although I am not at liberty to discuss pricing.

    The top seals nicely with little wind noise. The mileage with top down loses approximately 2 miles a gallon and with the top up gains approximately 4 miles per gallon. Who would know!

    The windows have been tinted 35% black. The rear window in the convertible is also glass tinted the same 35% black done by local tinting garage.

    The top powers down into the trunk leaving about 1/2 the space as with hardtop.

    The center bar is a reinforced roll bar which is also custom mounted to the frame.

    I will be appearing on ABC Television LA this Friday morning to discuss the build out.

    As you might understand, I can not answer all the emails as I wouuldn't have time to drive the car.

    The Prius has a custom tonneau cover that covers the top and mounts to snaps.

    Attachments with different views of Prius
    DSC08447-1.JPG
    DSC08457.JPG
    DSCO8444.JPG

    Best,

    exproducer
     

    Attached Files:

  2. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Cool! Think you could make it to Hybridfest this year to show off the car?
     
  3. Barcelona Red Lass

    Barcelona Red Lass Sips gas like fine wine!

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    I love the theory, but not the actuality of a ragtop convertible...on any car.

    Yours is lovely, though!
     
  4. Sheepdog

    Sheepdog C'Mere Sheepie!

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    A fool and his money..... IMHO only of course! :rolleyes:
     
  5. Ichiro

    Ichiro Member

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    Don't be a hater :rolleyes:
     
  6. blamy

    blamy Member

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    Very nice but I have a problem with the basic looks of a "4-door" convertible" Since it was done from scratch with everything removed was there a reason not to cut it down to a 2-door? Price I suppose. Once again very nice but if you do another one try rescuing a Junk yard dog and turn it into a true convertible with 2-doors. IMHO:D
     
  7. Presto

    Presto Has his homepage set to PC

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    Props for having a convertible Prius. I notice the doors look untouched. Was there any consideration for removing the frames for the windows and shaving down the B-pillar cover and extending the roll bar in place of the pillar. IMHO, would make it look a lot better.

    I don't think I could dump in 17k+ for that kinda modification. I'd be more tempted to by a used convertible sporty car with that money, and have enough leftover for the stereo.
     
  8. NaptownPrius

    NaptownPrius Getting Greener....

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    Those are the same decals I bought here from this site.
     
  9. priusincc

    priusincc Member

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    Does this mean the factory warranty is voided?:rolleyes:
     
  10. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    First, Welcome to P.C. !!
    Wow! Talk about joining the group w/ a bang ... what a great post. I admire all the work your shop put into your rig there, exproducer. Being divorced (and remarried decades ago) I've produced an 'ex' myself :p on one accasion.

    If I could toss around cash like that, I'd have switched the Prius to CNG, flashed the hardware to run higher than 40mph (maybe 50mph) on pure electric, and added an extended battery pack that'd get me 40miles ... but we all have our dream. Glad to see you got yours fulfilled. Are you satisfied with it?

    In my turbo cabriolet Porsche days (1990-1993), I discovered there were many who "chopped" the roofs off their 911's to end up with a convertable, the 'cheep' way. My mechanic showed me pictures of some of these that had literally fallen apart. The roof added strength, he explained. Without it, and the appropriate support ... BOOM ~ sagging to the ground, in some instances. He explained the the Porsche Cab has a lot of extra floor stiffening metal installed in order to give its chassis the strength of a standard car. I don't see any coment about that on your mod. Did your shop do that most important thing?
     
  11. exproducer

    exproducer Junior Member

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    PART II ANSWERS MORE PIX Re: Record Straight on Prius Convertible

    Prius Group:

    To answer a few questions from emails etc.

    Consideration was given to lose the window frames and reconstruct as true convertible a la 2 door look. The liability was too great though from the builder's perspective and they would not agree to this option. They would only consider this option if used exclusively for car shows. If it was done in this manner the insurance would also have had to go to collectors insurance at an extremely high premium and only driven 500 miles per year.

    The warranty is not voided.

    The decals were in fact purchased from a outside vendor but put on car by design specialist who made adjustments on placement, the decals trimming and where the placement would be positioned. They look better in person than in the pix.

    The wheel covers were/are a major concern. Unfortunately, the options are to go to a larger tire rim to get a chrome wheel custom look that doesn't make the car look like Pimp My Ride wheels. Gas mileage will suffer on the conversion to a larger tire setup. The other option now is a plating company in Los Angles has given me a reasonable price on the exact look/size wheel covers now on the Prius to chrome an exact duplicate. It will get done this month.

    The canvas top is custom made from Germany. The blue is as close a match after a number of choices were optioned and weeded out.

    I had been asked to do the NY car show last month and others but turned down the offers. Driver captains who supply cars for films in Los Angeles as well have seen the car and made offers to use it for the star vehicle in a new TV series. I passed on this request as well. I'm not trying to snooty but I have to tell you with the top down, cruising up Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu, where the ocean is yards from the road, is much more satisfying than any offer to buy, show or display the car. I love my Prius convertible.

    Best,

    exproducer
     

    Attached Files:

  12. 9G-man

    9G-man Senior Member

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    Absolutely Cool. Infinite thumbs up! I want to drive it.
    Welcome and Thanks for the post. Those pics should go into the gallery.
     
  13. Bobbyb

    Bobbyb bobbyb

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    My last 3 Cars were a 01 miata ,a 03 s2000 and and a 06 mx-5 miata .I love a good soft top .I see this and it does look strange but i do know if i was in the drivers seat with the top down either in the streets of NYC,Upstate NY or on Ocean Parkway on Longisland I would be loving it .

    Just maybe your efforts will push Toyota in that direction .Yet i have to think with the top down so goes the mpg down way down .Yet a rear cover may help that situation .The tonneau cover youhave i'm not really feeling .Also the extra weight and the increased drag has tobe more that 2 mpg just with the weight of the top alone

    Your took a chance and it seem to have worked out .Most cars look real bad with the top up this one does not .I do understand the window fram
    issue and having to keep them .

    I do have a question has the windshield been reinforced? I do know the s2000 and other have been in case of rollover .

    FYI I went with a sunroof of course the the price was alot less but
    coming from the cars i had .I had to do something .

    Good luck and enjoy enjoy enjoy .
     
  14. ForTheGlory

    ForTheGlory New Member

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    Am I the only person who doesn't buy the posted FE numbers?

    2 mpg decrease with the top down, 4 mpg increase with the top up?

    -It seems to me like the enormous drag increase from removing the roof would hurt more than 2 mpg, especially because the the aerodynamics of the front of the car were not designed for the convertible application.

    -How can making this mod possibly IMPROVE the fuel economy of the car? The roof itself does weigh less, but overall the car must be heavier than the stock model.
     
  15. NaptownPrius

    NaptownPrius Getting Greener....

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    Hmmmm.....nope, they look exactly like mine...put on by me in my driveway, bought here from this site.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. freshmtt

    freshmtt Dachshund Addict

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    Sorry, I just don't like the way it looks...
    I would never spend that much money for a car anyway, defeats the purpose of being economical...
     
  17. ravenmaniac

    ravenmaniac Senior Executive VP of Nothing

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    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess...IMHO, it is different, but does not look good at all. The window frames and B-pillar are detracting from the look. If they could be gone, it would look much better, but I don't know that it would look that great. Kudos to you for trying something different.:D
     
  18. slair

    slair Ubër Senior Member

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    I <3 opinions, so here's mine :)
    1. looks stupid with the window frames.
    2. You win over any mod ever done
    3. Stupid investment for that amount of money.

    How much higher did your MPG go with the lost weight?
    How much lower did your MPG go with the lost aerodynamics?
     
  19. BIGGDOGG

    BIGGDOGG New Member

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    I just am not feeling it. maybe if it was a 2 door minus those window frames, and it cost less.
    I too don't believe the gas mileage reflections.
    Props to having the best mod though, but it's one I wouldn't get.
     
  20. zenMachine

    zenMachine Just another Onionhead

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    Though I'm not crazy about its look (especially the plastic rings on the wheels), I must say this is the baddest mod of them all. And you deserve all the credit for having the passion (not to mention the wherewithal) to make such a bold statement.
     
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